With the release of the Galaxy S8 Plus, Samsung has submitted its latest entry to the phablet marketplace, with the Galaxy Note 8 expected later this year. Its major rival is undoubtedly the iPhone 7 Plus, but how do the two major players in this niche stack up against one another? Here ValueWalk examines all of the specs, stats and qualities of the two devices.
The iPhone 7 Plus is marginally slimmer and smaller than the Galaxy S8 Plus, which will naturally find favor with consumers. The full measurements for the Galaxy S8 Plus are 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm (6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 in), which compares slightly unfavorably with the 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in) of the iPhone 7 Plus. Obviously this is necessary in order to accommodate the additional screen real estate, but the Apple device has the edge in this department.
Nonetheless, despite being slightly larger, the Galaxy S8 Plus is actually the lighter of these two devices, weighing 173 grams. The iPhone 7 Plus weighs 188 grams, and is thus approximately 10% heavier than its rival.
As mentioned previously, Samsung has included a larger 6.2-inch wraparound display in the Galaxy S8 Plus, which is significantly bigger than the 5.5-inch flat panel on which is the iPhone 7 Plus is based. Despite6.2- inches of the Samsung device in the forthcoming generation.
Apple has been lagging behind somewhat in this department over the last few years, and the iPhone 7 Plus has done nothing to remedy this situation. Apple has stuck to full HD for its flagship phablet, while the Galaxy S8 Plus exceeds even the Quad HD provision of previous releases. With its 1,440 x 2,960 pixel resolution (~529 ppi pixel density), there is no doubt that the display of the Galaxy S8 Plus has the edge over Apple’s particulars, which for the record are 1,080 x 1,920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density).
While Samsung has embraced a 3D Touch-style system with the release of the Galaxy S8 Plus, the technology included in its phablet is inferior to that of the Apple competitor. The Californian corporation has delivered a system in which 3D Touch is available throughout the entirety of the display included. This is not the case with the Galaxy S8 Plus, which only offers 3D Touch functionality via the Home button.
This is one area of smartphones that is traditionally extremely difficult to compare, as performance can be influenced by more than mere specs alone. And Apple has always benefited from this unique combination of proprietary hardware and software, which means that the iPhone range always delivers a slick experience regardless of its specific numbers.
Thus, although there is little to choose between the processors included in these two devices, it can also be asserted that Samsung has the slight edge in pure specs. The octa-core Galaxy S8 Plus (4 x 2.35 GHz Kryo & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo) must be considered more powerful than the quad-core 2.34 GHz (2 x Hurricane & 2 x Zephyr) iPhone 7 Plus.
However, it is difficult to hand the advantage to Samsung in this department, as the performance of the two phones is of similar standard.
Apple has always relied on its proprietary hardware and software to deliver outstanding performance, but it has still increased the memory included in the iPhone to a similar level to the Galaxy S8 Plus, providing 3GB in the iPhone 7 Plus release. This is still less, though, than the 4GB included in its rival.
Apple definitely has the edge in the storage department, with the iPhone 7 Plus benefiting from a higher maximum amount of native storage, along with more options for consumers. With 32, 128 and 256 GB models available, the iPhone 7 Plus is more flexible than the Galaxy S8 Plus in this area. Samsung offers merely one 64 GB model, although micro SD is available to provide some flexibility.
The Galaxy S8 Plus features a non-removable Li-Ion 3,500 mAh battery, which is larger than the 2,900 mAh unit is included in the iPhone 7 Plus. It is perhaps not surprising then that Apple continues to be criticized for the rather paltry battery life delivered by its products, meaning that Samsung has a definite advantage here.
Finally, the camera specifications and photographic capabilities of smartphones are becoming increasingly important, and this is reflected in the snappers included in these two phablet contenders. Both feature 12-megapixel cameras, but the iPhone 7 Plus benefits from a dual-lens that is undoubtedly advantageous.
However, the camera in the Galaxy S8 Plus has a superior aperture, while its face detection autofocus has also been particularly praised. Both Apple and Samsung have included optical image stabilization in their latest flagship smartphone cameras, and overall the performance of both units is of extremely similar level. Ultimately, decisions in this department come down to personal preference and perception.
There is no doubt that the Galaxy S8 Plus is the most advanced phablet available on the market at present. This is perhaps not surprising considering that it is a brand new device, while the iPhone 7 Plus has been on the market for some months, with Apple due to update its range at some point during 2017.
However, those consumers wishing to purchase the most state of the art phablet will undoubtedly opt for the Galaxy S8 Plus at present. This will put pressure on Apple to deliver something outstanding in the iPhone 8 generation, although precisely what form this will take remains open to speculation and debate.
Meanwhile, Samsung can expect the Galaxy S8 Plus to be an outstanding seller for the company.