In one corner, representing the Korean-based manufacturer, we have Samsung’s Galaxy S8. In the other corner, we have the iPhone 7 straight from Apple’s Cupertino HQ. The prize: the undisputed title of the best smartphone of the year.
It may not compare to Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao, a match-up that went down as the highest-grossing fight in professional boxing history, but there’s no contesting that this handset head-to-head should be billed as its very own Battle for Greatness in the smartphone world.
No need for a ring. This matchup will go down in the palms of our hands, so let’s get ready to rumble and see which phone delivers the knock-out punch. We’re eager to see which handset can come out on top.
Design and Display
Let’s get aesthetics out of the way first because the look and feel of it is just as important as any other feature. In terms of design, the S8 manages to land the first jab with its Infinity Display. The S8 has perfected Samsung’s curved edge design with a near bezel-less construction. This allows for a stunning 5.8 inch display that doesn’t compromise on size. It beats out the iPhone’s 4.7 inch screen, but it doesn’t do it by hulking out into an unwieldy phablet. The S8 only has an extra 10 millimeters in length, so it’s still easy to hold in one hand.
It should be noted the latest mockups of the iPhone 8 hint at an edge-to-edge display, suggesting Apple plans to capitalize on the narrow bezel pioneered by Samsung. The 8 also promises to take advantage of the AMOLED screen seen in the Infinity Display.
The 7, on the other hand, still relies on SHD LCD display enhanced by a wide color gamut. While it offers a clear display with deep blacks and vibrant colors, it lacks the extra resolution found in Samsung’s HDR AMOLED screen. It’s not something you’d notice right away, but if you spend most of your time streaming Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black on to your phone you’ll appreciate the clarity of image as Taystee leads a prison-wide riot.
Never in a million years did we think the position of an unlock button would sway a competition one way or another, but here we are. One of the biggest complaints from S8 owners has been the unusual placement of its fingerprint scanner. It’s set on the back of the handset close to the top right next to the camera lens. Users have to strain in order to get their finger into position, making it hard to handle and easy to fumble.
Luckily this hardware issue has a relatively simple solution. A Galaxy S8 skin can solve the problem of grip if you shop through the selection of dbrand decals. S8 skins from dbrand are made out of vinyl partly due to their grip-enhancing properties. The other reason is because their exclusive use of 3M vinyl allows them the greatest range of customization when it comes to finishes and colors. Head to dbrand.com to see how many different ways you can personalize the look of your phone while you improve its grip.
Here’s where the iPhone 7 get its first hit. Apple fully integrated its fingerprint sensor with its home button — though the term button is a bit of a stretch. The iPhone’s done away with the physical button that depresses now that the static home button has the same haptic technology as its touchscreen. It’s a simple yet effective way to unlock the phone.
Putting up an iOS against an Android is almost like comparing apples (ha!) to oranges, but we’ll attempt it. The S8’s set with a Snapdraggon 835 while the 7’s outfitted with Apple’s own A10 fusion chip that manages to take the lead in terms of sheer processing power. The S8, however, has twice the RAM as the 7 and twice the amount of storage with 4-gigs and 64-gigs respectively, evening out this section of the match. What this portion of the match comes down to your preferences and whether you’re an Android or Apple owner.
After the disaster of the Note 7’s battery last year, Samsung was a little cautious when it came to the S8. Its 3000mAh battery is relatively small considering the 5.8 inch screen it has to power, but compared to the iPhone 7’s 1,960mAH, it’s better suited to last an average days’ worth of text, calls, and browsing.
This isn’t the real issue, despite the large size disparity between battery capacities. After all, if you’re smart with your phone and willing to employ battery saving techniques like lower screen brightness you can prolong the life of any battery. The important distinction is the iPhone’s lack of wireless charging. Once again, it’s something promised in the upcoming 8, but the 8 isn’t in the ring. Compared to the S8’s fast wired- and wireless charging with Quick Charge 4.0, there’s no chance at the 7 winning this round.
There wasn’t exactly a KO moment that automatically crowned one handset the reigning champ. Rather, it was a series of smaller victories in each round that give the title to Samsung. Too often we had to mention Apple’s plans to match the S8’s specs in their upcoming generation set for a fall release, proving that the iPhone 7 is not as fast or strong in the ring as Samsung’s flagship. As a result, the S8 leaves the ring with the belt until the next competitor challenges the title.