Apple took to the stage earlier this month and announced the iPhone 7, 7 Plus and some other important products. However, in this article, I’m going to pit the iPhone 7 against three other big hitters from 2016. They are the Galaxy S7, HTC 10, and LG G5. So let’s get started and discover which, on paper, is the better handset.

iphone 7 vs android flagships

Design

Starting with design is always difficult because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that means what I may think looks good, you may consider horrendous.

So here we go. As always, with 2016’s flagship handsets, the all-important factor is how they look. Every phone in this comparison has received a dose of metal or glass or, in some instances, both! As for who started this design revolution, that can be firmly pinned on Apple and HTC.

However, for 2016, no handset being talked about here has pushed any design boundaries. The iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 are sporting the same designs found on their predecessors. However, unlike their older siblings, both of these devices are both dustproof and water resistant.

The HTC 10 is the best-looking handset HTC has ever made (in my opinion). It’s rather thick compared to most modern flagships at 9mm, but I think its aluminium unibody makes up for this due to the way it reflects light. Additionally, if you like a handset that is comfortable to hold, this can certainly be said about the HTC 10.

However, if you ‘re looking for some innovation, the LG G5 is nothing like the G4 from last year. In fact, it offers a modular design; you can plug in accessories like a camera grip or an audio module. While the G5, and even the HTC 10, don’t compare in the looks department compared to the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7, they are well-designed handsets in any case.

For me, the winner has to be the Galaxy S7, with the iPhone 7 in an extremely close second place, especially when the Jet Black model is compared.

Performance

Tim Cook stated at Apple’s event on September 7 that the iPhone 7 is the fastest handset ever, and having had the handset in my hand, I can say that he’s correct! But let’s look at its chip, the A10 Fusion. Apparently it’s 120x faster than that found in the first iPhone and 40% faster than the A9 chip found in its predecessor, the iPhone 6s, so it has to be impressive.

In comparison, the Galaxy S7, depending on where you are in the world, comes with either an Exynos 8890-octa core CPU or an Octa-Core Snapdragon 820; either way, it’s hugely powerful. It also comes packing a massive 4GB of RAM, which helps it be one of the fastest handsets available.

Both the LG G5 and HTC 10 comes with the same Snapdragon CPU as the S7 and also have 4G of RAM. There seems to be something of a convergence among all top-end Android handsets. I think this has something to do with storage and the strain the OS puts on devices.

One difference here is that the HTC 10 has a feature called Boost+; unfortunately, I am unable to test how this affects the performance of the handset. So I’ll have to assume it brings it on par with the others.

Having played around with a few of these handsets, I’d have to say the iPhone 7 with its A10 Fusion chip slightly edges out the others here. However, I do like the LG G5; its performance after hours of use was not laggy, which is rather unusual for an Android.

Usability and software

Now before we start, I’m not a fan of either Android or iOS. I like what both operating systems bring to the table. And while most Android handsets are very similar regarding usability, real differences can often be found in top-end devices.

Of course the iPhone 7 runs on iOS 10, which I do like. Yes, it’s very similar to what came before it, but Apple has tidied up some areas and significantly improved others. A lot of what Apple has worked on brings some features over from Android and others that were only previously available as tweaks on jailbroken devices.

Moving onto the Android handsets, the G5, S7, and HTC 10 all run on Android Marshmallow. Yes, this makes them all fundamentally the same from a basic software point of view. You can play the same games, use the same apps, etc. However, at the flagship level, manufacturers pay more attention to creating an individual experience.

As for which handset I think comes out on top, I’m not sure. Yes, iOS 10 on the iPhone 7 looks great. But what HTC has done with stock Android is great. They’ve removed almost every bit of bloatware, and the Sense UI has some nearly amazing capabilities. So I will have to say the HTC 10 is the winner.

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7 vs LG G5 vs HTC 10: Specs

iphone 7 vs galaxy s7 vs lg g5 vs htc 10

And the winner is?

For all the negative hype surrounding the iPhone 7, I rather like it. You may remember that most critics had it pegged as a loser of a handset moths ago, and that was mainly due to it being similar to its predecessors. The fact that it looks like a handset that from a design aspect was good-looking isn’t a negative. In fact, I was rather surprised by what Apple had changed with the iPhone 7. So Apple’s handset is the winner!

What do you think? Would you have chosen one of the others? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.