With a new Galaxy out in April and the next iPhone supposedly on the way this year, you’re all wondering which has the best features for the money. That is, does Samsung or Apple offer the most bang — or swipe — for your buck? In this episode of The Infographics Show, we’re comparing the Samsung Galaxy versus the Apple iPhone.
The most recent version of each is the S8 or S8 Plus for the Galaxy and the 7 or 7 Plus for the iPhone. The Galaxy, released April 21st, runs on the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system while the iPhone, released last September, is on iOS10.
Both have great cameras and built-in features, are water-resistant, and have biometric features – that is, they recognize your fingerprint, though the S8’s is reportedly tricky.
For the S8 release, Samsung ran a promotion to capture the growing virtual reality customer base by throwing in the latest Gear VR and controller and an Oculus game pack for those who pre-ordered starting March 30th. And included in the box with every Galaxy, irrespective of order date, are AKG earbuds in the box, valued at $99. Score one for Galaxy there, because Apple eliminated the headphone jack in both the 7 and 7 Plus, forcing users to switch to wireless earbuds, called Air Pods, rendering the collection of earbuds we’ve all accumulated over the years obsolete. Reviewers rated the wireless functionality highly while the actual sound quality got mixed reviews.
Before we get to aesthetics, what’s inside? The U.S. version of the Samsung S8 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor while the international version has a Samsung Exynos 8895. The Snapdragon 835 is a big deal because, in short, it’s smaller but does more, faster than the last top processor, the Snapdragon 821. And, because of Qualcomm’s partnership with Samsung, you can only get that processor in a Samsung Galaxy S8, providing a major selling point for the phone. In practical terms, a smaller processor means more efficient operation and phone designers have more freedom to build something ultra slim, or structure internal components without working around a large processor. a big plus – it also uses less battery life.. In a comparison with Apple’s A10, the tech review website TrustedReviews.com found that the A10 – that is, the iPhone 7 – just edged the Snapdragon 835 in a benchmark test of mixed-processor intensive tasks. However, in the 3D graphics score, which predicts how well the phone will do on gaming tasks, the Snapdragon was 25 percent higher than the A10. While benchmark tests don’t always translate to real world application, a difference like that suggests a major leg up for Samsung with the gamers, in addition to the VR bundles for order with the S8. Its graphics processing unit, or GPU, from Qualcomm, is an Adreno 540, while Apple used a PowerVR GT7600 GPU.
The Galaxy S8 also takes the RAM competition, with 4 gigabytes, as the iPhone 7 has just 2, or 3 on the 7 Plus. Well, it sort of takes the RAM competition. RAM means memory, that is, what hangs on to what you’ve recently been doing on the phone. More RAM or memory allows you to multitask or get back into a recent app more quickly. So while both RAM and processor are related to speed, they are distinct. However, while the Galaxy S8 has more RAM, iOS is more efficient and doesn’t need more RAM to function equally. That’s why the Galaxy has more RAM, but it’s actually about a wash.
Now on to how it looks and feels to the consumer. The Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch display of 570 pixels per inch and a weight of 5.46 ounces (155 grams).
iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch display of 325 pixels per inch and a weight of 4.87 ounces (138 grams).
If you’re really a camera pro, you probably already know that both phones – and by that we mean each version including the plus, so all four models – have a 12 megapixel camera. But the 7 got raves from the photog blogs, hailing the Optical Image Stabilization that was on previous iPhone pluses, and the new image signal processor. The 7 plus has bokeh effect for portraits. A BGR comparison for overall camera function placed them about even, depending on use. Side by side comparisons of identical photos shot with each camera in multiple reviews show the S8 a little brighter and a little more vivid for still photos of selfies and simple landscapes.
For video, both have good stabilization, but the iPhone has 2x zoom thanks to its telephoto lens – one feature that the S8 lacks.
But for most of us, the real question is how long each phone will last on a charge. The S8 specs tell you how long the phone will go on just MP3 playback, video playback, and talk time. But you want to know how long it will last over the course of your average day mixing talk, text, social media, YouTube and other videos, games, taking and browsing photos, and maybe a Netflix or two. You’ll have about the same on both phones – the ability to go a full work day plus evening on one charge, if you’re not constantly on energy-intensive apps. You can conserve battery by kicking down screen brightness to a still-legible 75 or 80 percent.
As for organizing your work and life, the iPhone’s Siri is probably still the champ. You can ask her any random question, and use your voice for functions. The S8’s Bixby is more of a task manager to help you use features in your phone than an instant encyclopedia to the world like Siri. If you’re a shopaholic, one cool Bixby feature is snapping a photo with object recognition that will help you track down where you can get the sweet gear you just saw.
To get apps for either phone, both the Google Play store and the Apple Store have millions of apps. You won’t suffer options on either operating system.
On the topic of apps, you’ll need them in the S8 if you’re a video chatter. Unlike Apple’s FaceTime, there is no single built-in standard free video chatting app across all Android phones. Skype and Google Hangout have their advantages, but if you’re averse to learning something new and using different apps for the same core function, you might think twice about the S8.
Regarding price, the iPhone starts lower but also goes higher. On the S8, retail price is either $750 or $840 for the plus, with standard 64GB storage. The iPhone 7 and plus each offer 32, 128, or 256 gigabytes. The price range is $649 for the 7 at 32 gigabytes to $969 for the 7 plus at 256 gigabytes. There are of course deals and promotions with the four carriers that offer both the S8 and iPhone 7: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
You might want to keep those deals in mind, and think twice about investing in an iPhone 7 right now, as the iPhone 8 is rumored to be out later this year. One feature Apple watchers say will be included is superior biometrics: the fingerprint feature will easily dominate the Galaxy’s troublesome reader. No word yet on how glossy the iPhone 8 might be, if Apple’s designers attempt to step to the S8’s much-touted look. But Apple could think twice about that idea, as reviewers noted that the glass body that makes the S8 so beautiful also makes it smudge-prone.
So, which smartphone do you prefer? Let us know in the comments! And if you like these type of comparison videos, be sure to watch xbox vs playstation. Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. Also, please consider heading over to our Patreaon; we are currently raising money to hire more writers so that we can continue bringing you this bi-weekly show!