Comparing Samsung's Galaxy S7 Handsets With Apple's iPhone 6 Models

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-03-09 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Comparing Samsung's Galaxy S7 Handsets With Apple's iPhone 6 Models
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    Comparing Samsung's Galaxy S7 Handsets With Apple's iPhone 6 Models

    Smartphone makers Samsung and Apple are constantly trying to one-up each other. Here's a look at how their latest devices—the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s—stack up.
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    Screen Size Is a Big Factor
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    Screen Size Is a Big Factor

    The differences in screen size between the iPhones and Galaxy S7s could be one of the most important distinctions. Samsung's Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch display featuring a bezel. The Galaxy S7 Edge measures 5.5 inches and has curves on either side. Those curves are used to display icons, contacts and other important information. The iPhone 6s has a smaller display—4.7 inches—while the iPhone 6s Plus' display measures 5.5 inches.
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    The Processors Are a Bit Different
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    The Processors Are a Bit Different

    According to recent benchmarks, the processor built into the Galaxy S7 line is a bit more powerful than that in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The Galaxy S7 devices come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, the latest from the chipmaker. Apple's iPhone 6s devices feature the company's A9 processor, along with an embedded M9 motion coprocessor. Until the iPhone 7 launches, expect Samsung to win on power.
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    Mobile OS Preferences Are Often Decisive
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    Mobile OS Preferences Are Often Decisive

    There are major differences in the software experiences of Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s users. Apple's iPhones run on iOS 9, the latest version of the company's mobile platform, which features a News program, along with updated Notes, Messaging and more. The Galaxy S7s feature the latest Android operating system—Marshmallow—which boasts better security than its predecessor, along with improved performance.
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    Samsung Seeks a Sales Advantage With Virtual Reality Support
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    Samsung Seeks a Sales Advantage With Virtual Reality Support

    Unlike Apple, Samsung is using its latest handsets to push virtual reality. Samsung says that customers who buy a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge will get the company's Gear VR virtual-reality headset free of charge. Better yet, the bundle will come with six games valued at $150. While the offer is limited to available supply, the intention is clear: Samsung is hoping its smartphones drive VR sales.
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    Mobile Payments More Important Than Ever
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    Mobile Payments More Important Than Ever

    Choosing between the devices could come down to which payment platform a prospective customer prefers. The iPhone 6s line comes with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that allows for in-app and brick-and-mortar purchases through Apple Pay. The Samsung smartphones, meanwhile, have their own fingerprint sensor that works with the company's Samsung Pay. As of this writing, Samsung claims its platform supports more stores than Apple, but whether that changes over time remains to be seen.
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    Samsung Touts the Water Resistance of Its Handsets
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    Samsung Touts the Water Resistance of Its Handsets

    Samsung has made water resistance a core component in its sales pitch. The company says that the Galaxy S7 can survive "spills, splashes and even dunks" in water without any damage. That said, steeping any device—even the Galaxy S7—in water for an extended period of time is not a good idea.
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    3D Touch a Recent Addition to the iPhone
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    3D Touch a Recent Addition to the iPhone

    For its part, Apple established 3D Touch as its latest key iPhone feature. With 3D Touch, a different response is returned depending on how hard a user presses down on the iPhone 6s' screen. The feature works across Mail, Safari, Maps and other platforms.
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    Fighting for an Advantage With Camera Options
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    Fighting for an Advantage With Camera Options

    Samsung may also take the crown on cameras. Apple's iPhone 6s smartphones come with the 12-megapixel iSight camera with support for panorama shots and 4K video recording. On the front, users will find a 5-megapixel sensor. Samsung, on the other hand, is offering the first smartphones with "dual-pixel technology" that more quickly focuses the 12-megapixel rear-facing camera to reduce blur. Like the iPhone 6s, Samsung's smartphone comes with a 5-megapixel sensor on the front.
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    Wireless Charging Gives Samsung an Edge
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    Wireless Charging Gives Samsung an Edge

    Samsung's Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 Edge features a 3,600mAh battery. Perhaps most importantly, the devices support wireless charging, meaning they won't need to be tethered to a wall outlet to power up. Apple doesn't say how big its battery is, but it doesn't support wireless charging. That said, Apple claims its battery offers 24 hours of 3G talk time, depending on the model customers choose.
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    An Eye on Pricing, Availability
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    An Eye on Pricing, Availability

    The Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s lines have similar pricing. The iPhone 6s line is available on all four major carriers and ranges in price from $649 to $949, depending on the model and how much storage customers want. The phones are available now. The Galaxy S7 is available for preorder from all four major carriers. Pricing again varies depending on the model, but customers can expect to pay around $750 and up, depending on the carrier and plan they choose.
 

Samsung and Apple together dominate the smartphone market. In 2015, Samsung shipped 325 million smartphones worldwide, earning 22.7 percent market share, according to research firm IDC. Apple shipped 231.5 million iPhones, helping the company nab 16.2 percent of the market. Since they are competing for the same customers, the two companies continually try to one-up each other with new handsets with the latest bells and whistles. Samsung was first to reach the market this year with new models by announcing its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge at Mobile World Congress in February. The devices don't contain major improvements over the Galaxy S6, but they're among the best smartphones on the market. Many smartphone buyers will ultimately choose between those two Samsung models and Apple's high-end Phone 6s line. To help people make more informed buying decisions, this slide show compares the key features in each model. There are new smartphone models available from many device makers. But as history has shown, Apple's and Samsung's products see the strongest sales. Here's why.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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