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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Android or iOS, which flagship should you buy in 2017?

Expert Reviews logo Expert Reviews 10/03/2017 Curtis Moldrich

If you’re after a new smartphone, chances are your main decision is between Android and iOS, and that means you’ll probably looking at either the iPhone 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S7. However, you might want to wait a while, because later this year we’ll see the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a match for the iPhone 7 in design, and arguably better in features and specs – but new rumours and leaks suggest the forthcoming Galaxy S8 will be even better. So, which phone should you buy, the already released iPhone 7 or the imminent Galaxy S8? In this article we’ll compare everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S8, with everything we’ve learnt about the iPhone 7.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Release date

When deciding which phone to get, a release date isn’t usually that important, but it’s something to consider when you’re waiting for a brand-new flagship. Luckily, Samsung has pretty much confirmed when it will release the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

An invitation for the Galaxy S8 has already been sent out with the the words “unbox your phone” emblazoned between a set of upper and lower screen bezels. The event will take place on 29 March in New York City, so we should see Samsung’s handset then. In contrast, the iPhone 7 was released in the latter half of last year, so it’s available to buy now.

Verdict: A draw. If you really need to get a smartphone, or you’re just slightly impatient, it’s often worth biting the bullet and getting whichever phone is currently available. However, with the Samsung Galaxy S8 due this month, there’s not too long to wait for the Android phone.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Design

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge looked and felt much nicer than Samsung’s previous plastic efforts, but the Android phone still didn’t feel as good as the iPhone 7 – or iPhone 6s for that matter. The Samsung Galaxy S8, however, promises an all-new design, and the latest leaks reveal a VERY good-looking handset.

As hinted at from several rumours – and Samsung’s own invite – the new Galaxy S8 will have an edge-to-edge display and no home button, so it’s going to be pretty revolutionary compared to its predecessor.

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On the other hand, the iPhone 7 looks pretty familiar, and that’s because, on the surface at least, it’s very similar to the iPhone 6 that came two years before it.

Verdict: The S8 wins. The iPhone 7 is by no means an ugly phone, but its overall design feels a little long in the tooth now. Apple’s latest flagship can be easily confused with a similar handset that launched two years ago – and that’s not ideal. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 will look both futuristic and modern – and it will probably be the better-looking handset of the two.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Price

The Samsung Galaxy is going to set a precedent in style, but reports have suggest it’lll set a precedent in pricing too. According to several rumours, Samsung’s new flagship could cost around €799 when it’s released in Europe.

The iPhone 7’s price has stayed the same compared its to predecessor, and because it’s already out, it’s only a matter of time before networks and tariffs start offering even better deals on the Apple flagship.

Fast Company previously suggested the next iPhone would cost more than $1,000, and it’s possible this is the handset its source was talking about.

Verdict: A draw. Both phones are roughly the same price, although you’d expect to pay more for the newer handset.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Features

The Samsung Galaxy S8 should come with several great new features, with the most important being an edge-to-edge, almost bezel-less screen. However, it should include one other interesting feature too.

Samsung has confirmed that the S8 will feature an all-new AI assistant, and after buying Viv Labs – the company behind the original Siri – it’s likely to be a standout feature in the new Galaxy. What’s more, the S8 should also have a fingerprint sensor on the back, but Samsung says it’ll also use biometric security to confirm purchases – so you can effectively use your face as a password.

The iPhone 7 has some great features, such as a haptic home button and an extremely vibrant screen. What’s more, the iPhone 7 features technology such as 3D Touch and Live Photos, which aren’t essential, but help make the phone more enjoyable to use. Of course, the fact the iPhone is compatible with iCloud and most apps is a bonus, too.

Verdict: The S8 wins. The iPhone 7 is great, but it can’t really compete with what we already know about the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S8. The iPhone 7 might be one of the best phones you can get in this generation of handsets, but the S8 will feel as though it's a generation ahead.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Camera

Reports indicate that the S8 could feature a dual-camera setup, encompassing both a 12-megapixel and 13-megapixel sensor. Whether or not Samsung opts for dual-cameras, it will undoubtedly pitch the S8 as a superior photo-taker than its predecessor.

In contrast, the iPhone 7’s camera offers a huge jump over the performance on the iPhone 6s. Packing in a rear-facing 12-megapixel camera, and two of them on the larger Plus, the iPhone 7 is Apple’s best phone for taking pictures by far.

Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S8. The iPhone 7 might be the best Apple phone yet for taking pictures, but it was arguably beaten by the Samsung Galaxy S7 when we compared the two. We expect Samsung to give the Galaxy S8’s camera another boost, so there should be some serious daylight between both handsets.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Display

The iPhone comes with either a 4.7 or 5.5in display, and although they aren't AMOLED panels, we found they display colours in a strong and vibrant manner. Because both screens are Retina HD, they’re extremely clear at distances associated with normal use, too.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will use an AMOLED screen like the S7 before it, but this one will feature what Samsung is calling an Infinity display. This means it will be virtually bezel-less, and it will also be much larger than you’d expect of a phone that size.  

Verdict: The S8 wins. The iPhone 7 has a great display – especially when you consider the technology that it’s using – but the Samsung S8 should be much better. The S7 was good, but when you combine AMOLED tech with an edge-to-edge form factor, it’s clear which screen is best.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Processor

Most sources suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will use Qualcomm's 10nm Snapdragon 835 processor. The chipset works with up to 8GB of RAM, although it’s likely Samsung will put 6GB in the S8 – partly for cost reasons.

The iPhone 7 Plus has 3GB of RAM, while the smaller iPhone 7 has just 2GB of RAM. Both phones use the Apple A10 Fusion chip, a quad-core, 2.35GHz processor.

Verdict: Draw. The Galaxy S8 has more RAM and a newer processor, so should be the faster of the two. However, Apple handsets are much better than their stats suggest in real-world use, so it’s probably worth withholding judgement in this round.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Verdict

The iPhone 7 is still a great phone but, at this stage at least, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S8 would make an even better purchase. Because Samsung’s release schedule is a few months earlier than Apple’s, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is essentially one step ahead of the iPhone 7.

That means if you’re not bothered about choosing iOS or Android, it’s probably worth waiting for. If you already have Apple products and you’re looking to stay within the iOS ecosystem, you might have to wait for the equivalent iPhone. The only catch? That should be out in September 2017, so you have a while to wait.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Android or iOS, which flagship should you buy in 2017? © Expert Reviews Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Android or iOS, which flagship should you buy in 2017?

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