Samsung is hoping to steal some of the premium smartphone market from Apple with its latest smartphones, the Galaxy S7 and the S7 edge.
The South Korean company has packed a number of new features into a package very familiar to 2015’s Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. If you’re on the fence between purchasing the iPhone 6S and the Galaxy S7, here are a few features you should keep in mind before you shell out hundreds of dollars:
The Galaxy S7 sports a screen nearly a half-inch larger than the iPhone 6S when measured diagonally and also comes packed with more pixels — 2560x1440 pixels vs. 1334x750 in the iPhone. The S7 edge matches the iPhone 6S Plus in screen size with a 5.5-inch display, but packs even more pixels: 2560x1440 vs. 1920x1080 in the iPhone 6S Plus. Also unique to the S7 edge is its curved display, which partially wraps around its sides.
The Galaxy S7 sports 4GB of RAM, double the memory found in the iPhone 6S. More memory makes it easier for a device to run more apps and more content simultaneously. But real-world performance can vary by device, since Android software maintains application and memory usage differently from iOS.
Both the Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6S sport 12-megapixel cameras. But Samsung claims the S7 can focus faster than the competitors using a dual-pixel sensor, technology similar to that used in professional digital cameras. The S7 also boasts a f/1.7 aperture, which allows more light into the lens compared to the f/2.2 aperture of the iPhone 6S. Both the S7 and the S7 edge also come with optical image stabilization, whereas the same feature is available only on the iPhone 6S Plus.
With 32GB of base internal storage, Samsung Galaxy S7 sports double the base storage of the iPhone 6S, which starts at 16GB. Another advantage for the smartphone is if customers want more storage, they don’t have to buy another S7. They just need to pop open the SIM card slot, which also has a tray for expandable MicroSD storage for up to 200GB of more space.
If you get caught in the rain or your Galaxy S7 takes a trip into the drink unintentionally, Samsung’s smartphone can handle it. According to Samsung, the S7 is rated IP68 water resistant, which means it has been tested for submersion in up to 5 feet of liquid for 30 minutes. It’s enough for those little accidents. But that doesn’t mean you should take it scuba diving. In comparison, the iPhone 6S isn’t at all water resistance rated. However, some tests performed by third parties on YouTube have shown it could survive an accidental submersion in some situations.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge come loaded with Samsung Pay, the company’s mobile payment system. The service supports both wireless near-field communication (NFC) technology and magnetic secure transmission (MST), which emulates the swipe of a traditional magstripe card. This makes it compatible with more retail stores, even if they don’t have upgraded credit card payment terminals to support wireless payments.
Battery and Charging
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge pack 3,000 mAh and 3,600 mAh batteries, respectively, compared with the 1715 mAh battery in the iPhone 6S and the 2750 mAh battery in the 6S Plus. While the S7 has a larger battery capacity than both of Apple’s iPhones, real-world performance may vary.
The Galaxy S7 also supports wireless fast charging, which is compatible with Samsung’s separate charging accessory.
Samsung hasn’t announced prices for the Galaxy S7 with all carriers in the U.S. But if you want to purchase it from T-Mobile it’s expected to start at $669, about $20 more than the 16GB iPhone 6S. But for $20 more, you get 32GB of storage and a slew of new features. Preorders for the S7 are expected to start Tuesday.
In almost every category, Samsung has jumped ahead of Apple with the Galaxy S7, whether it’s the display or its waterproof features. And if you’re looking for an Android smartphone that comes with high-end features as well as flexible options, such as the SD card slot, the S7 may be the right phone for you. But while there is a long list of upgrades, the similar design of the S6 and S6 edge could keep owners of the 2015 Samsung smartphone from upgrading.