For a long time Samsung had been playing catch-up to Apple in terms of smartphone design, as the iPhone clearly held the iconic standard every phone maker aspired to. That all changed when the nearly bezel-less Galaxy S8 was released. By that time, Apple’s current flagship, the iPhone 7, was still sporting the same look from two years ago, and the disparity couldn’t be bigger. Still, it’s not only the outside that matters. Below we compare each phone’s specs and features to see who comes out ahead in this head-to-head.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung S8 Comparison Chart
|Model||iPhone 7 128GB (GSM Unlocked)||Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB (GSM Unlocked)|
|Display||4.7″ IPS LCD||5.8″ Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||750 x 1334 pixels||1440 x 2960 pixels|
|Pixel Density||326 ppi||570 ppi|
|Height||138.3 mm||148.9 mm|
|Width||67.09 mm||68.1 mm|
|Thickness||7.1 mm||8.0 mm|
|Weight||138 g||155 g|
|System Chip||Apple A10 Fusion||Snapdragon 835|
|Processor||Quad-core 2.3 GHz||Octa-core 2.35 GHz|
|Internal Storage||32GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB|
|Expandable Memory||None||Yes (Up to 512GB)|
|Front Camera||7MP, ƒ/2.2||8MP, ƒ/1.7|
|Rear Camera||12MP, ƒ/1.8||12MP, ƒ/1.7|
|Biometrics||Fingerprint sensor||Fingerprint sensor, Iris scanner, Face recognition|
|Colors||Black, Jet Black, Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Red||Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Rose Pink, Arctic Silver, Orchid Gray, Coral Blue|
|Battery Capacity||1960 mAh||3000 mAh|
|Talk Time||Up to 14 hours on 3G||Up to 20 hours on 3G|
|Internet Use||Up to 12 hours on 4G, 14 hours on Wi-Fi||Up to 12 hours on 4G, 14 hours on Wi-Fi|
|Ports||Lightning||USB-C, 3.55 mm audio jack|
|Released||September 2016||March 2017|
The Samsung Galaxy S8 looks more modern.
Back when the Samsung Galaxy S8 was announced, people oohed at how near along the edges its bezels have gone. There were just narrow strips of black along the top and bottom, while they were practically invisible on the sides. In other words, people recognized that the edge-to-edge Infinity Display of the S8 was the aesthetic of the future. It quickly made the iPhone 7 look like it’s from a previous generation even though they were released only six months apart.
Considering how Apple redesigned the iPhone X and what the latest flagship lines look like, you can see how the S8 influenced modern smartphone design. Despite being only a tad taller, its 5.8″ display dwarfs the iPhone 7’s 4.7″ screen. Increasing its overall size doesn’t make it feel bulky at all either, as it only weighs around 12% heavier. In fact, its curvier edges and longer build make it more ergonomic than the iPhone 7. You’ll be able to hold it in one hand comfortably despite how big it looks.
However, to get all that screen space Samsung had to move its fingerprint reader elsewhere, and the location they chose is awkward to say the least. It’s now right beside the rear camera, which you’ll undoubtedly smudge a lot while you’re getting used to it. Its glass back does look great, but the aluminum case of the iPhone 7 should prove more durable. Both are dust and water resistant, although the S8 can withstand dunks a half-meter deeper.
The Galaxy S8 has a bigger display that reaches its edges.
The size of the Infinity Display on the Galaxy S8 isn’t its only edge versus the iPhone 7 dated Retina display. As already mentioned, the S8’s display stretches across the entire front, resulting in an amazing 83.3% screen-to-body ratio compared to the 65.6% of the iPhone 7. You get to see a lot more on a massive 5.8-inch screen with a 2960 x 1440 resolution at 570 pixels per inch. Its Super AMOLED display is also brighter and sharper than the 7’s LED-backlit IPS LCD.
Apple had a few upgrades for the iPhone 7’s display such as dual-domain pixels, which widen the phone’s viewing angles, and 3D Touch from the iPad Pro. They also made it 25% brighter than previous iPhones and improved its color gamut for better accuracy. However, these pale in comparison to the innovations Samsung made.
It should be noted that the default resolution on the S8 is actually set lower, at 2220 x 1080 pixels, in order to moderate battery consumption. You’ll have to manually adjust its settings to get the maximum possible. Still, the s8’s default is much higher than the iPhone’s maximum of 1334 x 750.
The iPhone 7 feels faster and smoother.
While the Samsung Galaxy S8’s specs look better than the iPhone 7’s on paper — an octa-core processor with 4GB RAM vs a quad-core processor with 2GB RAM — actual performance shows differently. Apple is well-known for keeping its hardware and software humming harmoniously, and it’s exemplified in how iOS can utilize the iPhone 7’s older A10 Fusion chip. On the other hand, Samsung is notorious for bloated and inefficient software, as well as always reskinning the stock Android OS with its One UI.
Geekbench 4 gives the Samsung S8 a single core score of 1761 and a multi-core score of 6030. Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 received 3410 and 5745, respectively. It’s safe to say that the iPhone 7 has the edge in speed over the S8, as it can compete on multi-threaded processes while being significantly faster on less intensive computing tasks. On Sling Shot Extreme and Ice Storm Unlimited, the S8 received 3412 and 33636 while the iPhone 7 received 1964 and 37076. The Galaxy S8 can be given the edge on game graphics but it’s arguable.
Even without benchmarks, simply using the iPhone 7 would prove how smoother and more responsive it is than the Samsung S8. It’s one of the main reasons why Apple fans prefer iOS over Android.
The Galaxy S8 has better cameras.
Samsung continues to stay ahead of Apple in the camera department, as the older S7 already had the iPhone 7 beat. The newer S8 does have two more advantages over the iPhone 7. First, the front camera on the Galaxy S8 has 1 more megapixel than the iPhone 7’s, along with a larger aperture of ƒ/1.7 vs ƒ/2.2, so you can expect more vivid selfies from the former. Second, both of the S8’s cameras perform better under low-light and night conditions.
The main cameras on both phones do have their own issues though. Color accuracy tends to be better on the iPhone 7, but it also tends to wash out white areas while graying out dark areas. On the other hand, the S8’s photos have more contrast, but it can also oversaturate bright colors. Video performance for both, on the other hand, are comparable.
There are additional features introduced on the Galaxy S8 that really puts its cameras ahead — and those are up next.
Storage, Battery, and Other Features
The Galaxy S8 has additional security features, wireless charging, and expandable memory.
Two new ways to unlock your phone were added to the Galaxy S8: face recognition and iris scan. While facial recognition is actually less secure since it can be fooled with photographs, the iris scanner does seem promising. You’ll be able to quickly unlock the S8 just by looking at it. It’s not very consistent though, since too much or not enough light can hamper its cameras ability to see. Still, when it does work, it feels amazing.
Battery life is actually comparable for both phones, but for completely different reasons. The S8 has a larger battery capacity than the iPhone 7, but it’s the same one in the previous S7, and now it has a larger display to power. The iPhone 7 on the other hand has simply stagnated as it has stuck with the same display size and similar battery capacity. However, even though you can’t heavily use either for a day without recharging, it’s where the Samsung S8 really zips ahead. Not only can you wirelessly recharge the S8, you can fully recharge it that way faster than the iPhone 7 with its wired adapter.
Finally, keep in mind that the iPhone 7 has no MicroSD slots to expand its storage and no audio jack for your old earphones. Both features are available on the Galaxy S8, so you can purchase a model with lower storage and simply add more later. Moreover, it’s quite a feat that Samsung managed to keep the audio jack while still enlarging the display and improving water resistance.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is better in every way except performance.
That’s a big exception indeed and one you should heavily consider when choosing between the S8 or the iPhone 7. No doubt, all that would boil down to is whether you prefer iOS over Android, since the Galaxy S8 is still really fast for an Android device. If you own an older iPhone and are looking to upgrade, you’d be happy to know that the iPhone 7 will definitely feel faster and smoother than what you had, while still having that comfortable look. It’s also a great choice if it’s going to be your first iPhone — you’ll definitely appreciate how slick and responsive the iOS software environment is.
However, in every other regard, the Galaxy S8 is well ahead. You get to enjoy a better-looking phone with an even better-looking display, all without giving your hands a tough time. With more advanced cameras, additional security features, and faster charging, you’ll have a clear winner on your hands. The choice might be a little harder if you’ve been using an iPhone and are used to its interface and speed, but it’s an easy one if you’ve preferred Android’s flexibility all your life.
Last update on 2020-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API