With the Galaxy S7 Edge having finally been unveiled by Samsung, the new phablet-sized device will compete directly with the iPhone 6s Plus. Apple has established its own phablet contender in recent years, but how do the two devices compare to one another? One would certainly expect that the newer Galaxy S7 Edge to be the superior in pure spec terms, but does this turn out to be the case?
Galaxy S7 Edge vs. iPhone 6s Plus
The iPhone 6s Plus is the larger of the two devices. The iPhone 6s measures 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in), while the Galaxy S7 Edge is somewhat smaller, featuring measurements of 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm (5.94 x 2.86 x 0.30 in).
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Thus, it would be expected for the iPhone 6s Plus to be weightier than the Galaxy S7 Edge, but the gap between the two handsets in this department is perhaps surprising. The iPhone 6s Plus is in fact 35g or over 20 percent heavier than the new handset from Samsung. This could count significantly in favor of the Korean corporation, as it is often commented by casual consumers that phablets can be a little bulky and unwieldy.
Samsung has enjoyed something of a gap over Apple in the display department, and this has not altered with the release of the Galaxy S7 Edge. The quad HD resolution of the Galaxy S7 Edge is still superior to that full HD iPhone 6s Plus, but this does suggest that Apple could possibly level up the resolution of the two devices when the iPhone 7 is released later this year. Both devices feature 5.5-inch displays, so there’s nothing to choose between them here.
The Galaxy S7 Edge runs off the latest Marshmallow operating system, whereas the iPhone 6s features the usual proprietary iOS system. Which one of these is preferable to consumers is dependent upon what one requires from an operating system. iOS has a reputation for being slick, Android offers a more open and customizable experience.
The iPhone 6s Plus is driven by a dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister, which sounds rather paltry compared to the quad-core 2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 and quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 setup included in the Galaxy S7 Edge. It is worth noting that the iconic Apple smartphone series has always achieved superior performance to its apparent specs via its combination of proprietary hardware and software. Nonetheless, even though the Galaxy S7 Edge is not a true octa-core device, one cannot really argue against the power of this handset.
Apple has ensured that the iPhone range has significant storage built-in as standard, and thus the premium version of the iPhone 6s Plus features 128GB of storage. This is double that of the most storage-intensive Galaxy S7 Edge device, with only 64GB available to consumers as standard.
However, this is something of a misleading impression, as Samsung has ensured that the Galaxy S7 Edge can be boosted up to superb storage via micro SD technology. This is excellent news for Android fans, as the reinstatement of micro SD is something that Galaxy S consumers were particularly hankering after. And the micro SD slot in the Galaxy S7 Edge enables the memory of the device to be boosted by a further 200GB, exceeding the largest quotients among the iPhone 6s Plus range.
Apple prefers the iPhone series to be a closed shop, and thus has not embraced micro SD in recent iPhone releases. Whether this will be addressed in the next generation iPhone 6s remains to be seen, but it is not a technology that is regularly linked with Apple products.
The Galaxy S7 Edge device features double the rate of the iPhone 6s Plus, with Samsung having imbued the handset with 4GB of RAM. Again, Apple has always been able to achieve outstanding performance via its hardware and software combination, so this can be viewed as a slightly misleading spec. Nonetheless, there will be pressure on Apple to at least increase the memory in the iPhone to 3GB when the iPhone 7 Plus is released.
Camera technology is becoming increasingly important in smartphones, and thus it is not surprising that Samsung has pulled out all of the stops in this department. What we should note firstly, though, is that in order to do so, Samsung has reduced the megapixel rating of the Galaxy S7 Edge to 12-megapixels. This means that, coupled with the improvement in the iPhone 6s Plus last year, the two cameras actually now have an identical megapixel rating.
However, Samsung has included the BRITECELL technology that was widely linked with the smartphone ahead of its release. But one aspect of the technology that analysts did not predict is that Samsung would rename it for its inclusion in the Galaxy S7 Edge range. Thus, The Galaxy S7 Edge sports Dual Pixel technology, although the principle of this system is exactly the same as BRITECELL.
It has been noted that this new technology will enable Samsung to deliver outstanding photographic capabilities in low-light shooting conditions. This could give the mobile a serious advantage over the iPhone 6s Plus, and indeed the rest of the smartphone niche.
There is little to choose between the front-facing cameras in the two handsets, with both including more than adequate five-megapixel units.
It is notable that neither of the two markets-leading consumer electronics companies have decided to include a removable battery in their flagship phablets. But there is also no doubt that Samsung is in the lead in this department. The iPhone 6s features a non-removable Li-Po 2,750 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 Edge is armed with a non-removable Li-Ion 3,600 mAh battery. Apple has been criticized for the battery life of its products in recent years, so may choose to address this later this year when at the iPhone 7 is released.
It is hard to escape the conclusion that the Galaxy S7 Edge is significantly ahead of its Apple rival. This should be expected to some extent because, firstly, Samsung tends to pack its devices with outstanding specifications, and secondly it is of course a much newer device. But Apple will be monitoring this device very closely, and the capabilities of the Galaxy S7 Edge could well influence the next generation iPhone.