Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: What can we expect from Samsung’s next flagship
Samsung is expected to unveil its new flagship smartphone range some time in the next month or two, probably during Mobile World Congress 2016.
As always, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will to take on the incumbent smartphone champ from Apple, in this case the iPhone 6S and go head-to-head with the upcoming iPhone 7.
Initial reports suggest that Samsung will be looking to emulate the current Apple flagship in a number of key ways. Here’s how we’re expecting the Galaxy S7 to stack up to the iPhone 6S.
Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: Familiar looks
Just as Apple stuck with the iPhone 6 design for the iPhone 6S, so Samsung will stick with the Galaxy S6 design for the Galaxy S7. Or so the rumours claim.
One of those reports from December 2015 involved supposed Galaxy S7 case renders, which appeared to confirm the phone’s distinctly Galaxy S6-like looks.
Case renders tend to appear when the final dimensions of a device are established and sent out to third party accessory makers. It was one such accessory maker that also provided basic renders of the Galaxy S7’s body prior to that last report.
All of which means that if you want a comparison of the looks and design of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6S, you need only look at the following linked piece…
A possible render of the Samsung Galaxy S7
Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: Two size options for both
With the launch of last year’s Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung opted not to emulate Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in offering two size options, although Samsung did later release the Galaxy S6 Edge+.
With the Samsung Galaxy S7, we’re expecting Samsung to amend that decision.
Several reports have claimed that Samsung will be launching the Samsung Galaxy S7 alongside a larger Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, offering 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch displays respectively.
Of course, the smaller Galaxy option will be a good half an inch bigger than the iPhone 6S, so if you find the latter a little too small for your needs but don’t want to stretch to a phablet, the Galaxy S7 could be a worthy purchase.
Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: Power struggle
Samsung set the performance bar in 2015 with the early launch of the Galaxy S6 and its custom Exynos 7 CPU. Apple then matched, and in several ways surpassed, that effort with its own custom A9 chip in the iPhone 6S.
Perhaps surprisingly, a number of recent reports are pointing not to another custom Exynos chip powering the Galaxy S7, but to an off-the-shelf Snapdragon 820 from Qualcomm. Still, the Snapdragon 820 should offer an appreciable performance boost, with a claimed two-fold performance increase over last year’s Snapdragon 810 and a 30 percent efficiency boost.
Perhaps explaining Samsung’s decision here is the recent announcement that Samsung had won the right to produce Qualcomm’s new chip using its own 14nm FinFET process. Samsung reckons this process will provide up to 15 percent higher speed and 15 percent less power consumption than the process it used to create the Exynos 7.
The most recent report at the time of writing, however, relates to a benchmark test that has emerged of an alleged Galaxy S7 operating in the wild. This suggests that Samsung could be splitting CPU duties between the Snapdragon 820 and its own Exynos 8 – perhaps with the UK and European S7 getting the Exynos and the US version getting the Snapdragon. Samsung has adopted such a split before, so it’s certainly not out of the question.
As both chips are being made by Samsung to the same standard, expect performance to be roughly equal across the range.
Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: S7 could mimic 6S 3D Touch display
One of the key innovations Apple supplied in the iPhone 6S was its 3D Touch display. This feature incorporated a pressure-sensitive display and a ‘peek and pop’ UI overhaul that used this technology for shortcuts and previews.
Various reports have claimed that Samsung is looking to include a similar feature with the Galaxy S7.
Back in October, it was reported that Samsung was looking to make use of Synaptics’s ClearForce technology, which can be used for similar pressure-initiated control shortcuts to Apple’s 3D Touch solution.
One possible case render
Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: Samsung looking to Live Photos
The other key innovation of the iPhone 6S was its Live Photos feature. This saw the automatic creation of brief, eminently sharable three-second videos every time you raised the camera to take a snap.
Wouldn’t you know it? Rumour has it that Samsung is looking to create its own version of this feature.
The latest report on this claims that Samsung is in the process of testing such a feature out for possible inclusion in the Galaxy S7.
However, there seems to be a chance that it will miss the launch windows of Samsung’s forthcoming flagship, and will instead be issued as a later software update. It’s also claimed that Samsung’s iteration won’t have audio, which puts it at a slight disadvantage (though hardly a decisive one).
Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: S7 camera may pack in more pixels – or they may be the same
Initial reports suggested that Samsung was upping the megapixel count of its flagship smartphone camera once again. After going with 16-megapixels for the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy S6, it seemed the Galaxy S7 was to leap to 20-megapixels.
The reason behind this prediction can be traced to an announcement Samsung itself made in November. It was then that it announced its new Britecell camera technology.
Britecell uses smaller pixels, thus enabling more to be packed into an image sensor. Despite this, images are said to be even sharper and – crucially – brighter than before. It seemed a fair bet that the first working example of this ould find its way to the Galaxy S7.
However, there has also been a more recent report from an alleged AnTuTu benchmark test of an early Galaxy S7. This suggests that the S7 is actually running a 13-megapixel camera, similar to the iPhone 6S.
Whichever way Samsung turns, we’re expecting the Galaxy S7’s camera to seriously push the iPhone 6S’s. Given that the Galaxy S6 camera already gives the iPhone 6S’s 12-megapixel example a run for its money – and trumps it in certain areas, such as manual control and OIS – Apple could well be playing catch-up when the iPhone 7 arrives.
Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S: Battery
The area where the leaks seem to be flowing the least is in the battery department, which also happens to be one of the of places where the S6 disappointed the most.
Both the S6 and 6S have smaller cells than the devices they replaced, so we’d be really hoping Samsung turns things around this year.
We don’t know anything for sure about the Samsung Galaxy S7, but there’s every indication that it will be a faster, better version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 – just as the iPhone 6S was to the iPhone 6.
Indeed, the main improvements to the Galaxy S7 are expected to crib from the iPhone 6S handbook – 3D Touch and Live Photos equivalents, as well as a pair of screen size options, are expected from Samsung.
When we compared the iPhone 6 to the Galaxy S6, the Samsung took a marginal win. That swung to a marginal Apple win when the iPhone 6S arrived. There’s a good chance Samsung will maintain the pattern with the Galaxy S7, but one thing’s for sure – we’re not expecting the decision to be an easy one either way.