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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Which is the best smartphone you can buy in 2017?

Christopher Minasians Nathan Spendelow
13 Jun 2017
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The Samsung Galaxy S8 has officially launched, but is it better than the iPhone 7?

Looking to get a new smartphone in 2017? There's currently two standout choices; Apple's iPhone 7 and Samsung's Galaxy S8. Sure, there are a lot of smartphones doing the rounds these days, but these are the biggest of the bunch. The tricky question is, which smartphone is best?

Apple's iPhone 7 is the older phone of the two, while Samsung's Galaxy S8 is rather new. And it's like deciding which of your kids you like the most - we loved both handsets, but we need to find a clear winner.

That's where we come in. We've had extensive time with both devices, and as such, can run down the pros and cons of each, all so you know which phone is best for your hard-earned cash. Both offer different things after all, so in the end, it all boils down to what exactly it is you want out of your phone.

READ NEXT: Samsung Galaxy S8 review

In the versus article below, I'll compare absolutely everything that matters about both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone7, and pit them in a head-to-head deathmatch to find out who comes out on top. Look out for comparisons with price, camera, design and display as well as those neat little extra features. The winner will be crowned the best phone in 2017.

Before we get to that, you'll find a handy at a glance specs guide, so you can compare the two.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Specs at a glance

Samsung Galaxy S8

Apple iPhone 7

Weight

155g138g
ResistanceIP68 certified - dust/water proof over 1.5 meter and 30 minutesIP67 certified - dust and water resistant

Display

5.8in Super AMOLED 1,440 x 2,9604.7in LED-backlit IPS LCD 750 x 1,334

Operating system

Android 7.0iOS 10.3

Processor

Octa-core (4x2.3 GHz & 4x1.7 GHz)Apple A10 Fusion

Internal memory

64GB, 4GB RAM32/128/256GB, 2 GB RAM

Rear Camera

12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash12 MP, f/1.8, 28mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, quad-LED (dual tone) flash

Front Camera

8 MP, f/1.7, autofocus, dual video call, Auto HDR7 MP, f/2.2, 32mm

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, though, offers a huge change from the Galaxy S7, and it looks incredible.

With Arctic, Silver and Black colour schemes, the new Samsung Galaxy S8 features dramatically rounded corners, curved screen edges and virtually no top or bottom bezels. There's no home button either, and when you combine that with the S8's Galaxy Edge style wraparound screen, it's a 5.8-inch phone that feels like a 5.2-inch device.

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.

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 looks both futuristic and modern – and it's definitely the better-looking handset of the two.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Features

Samsung's Galaxy S8 comes 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.

The S8 features an all-new AI assistant called Bixby, which Samsung created following their acquisition of Viv Labs – the company behind the original Siri. The Samsung Galaxy S8 also has a fingerprint sensor on the back, but there's Iris and facial scanning too, for even more biometric security.

READ NEXT: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Samsung Galaxy S7

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. Siri might not be the best digital assistant, but it's probably the most popular – and you can expect Apple to constantly update it.

The iPhone 7 is great, but it can’t really compete with the Samsung Galaxy S8. Samsung's new phone is a generation ahead, and it certainly feels like it.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S8's 12-megapixel camera is more evolution than revolution – but that's not a bad thing. Instead, it comes with far more useful features, like a mode that grabs three frames in rapid succession every time you take a picture, combining them together to create a sharper photograph.

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.

The iPhone 7 might be the best Apple phone yet for taking pictures, but it was arguably beaten by the Samsung Galaxy S8 when we compared the two.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Price

The Samsung Galaxy S8 now costs £610 in the UK, while the larger S8+ will set you back £677. The iPhone 7 costs between £579 or £759, while the iPhone 7 Plus is between £679 and £879, depending on the model you go for.

Both phones are roughly the same price then, although you'll obviously need to factor in the cost of additional, upgradeable memory for the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Winner: It's a draw.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Display

The iPhone 7 comes with either a 4.7 or 5.5in display, and although they aren't AMOLED panels, they're capable of producing some seriously punchy and vibrant colours. Because both screens are Retina HD, they’re extremely clear at distances associated with normal use, too.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a very different type of display. It's a super-widescreen 5.8in screen with a resolution of 2,960 x 1,440, a pixel density of 570ppi and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Because of the Galaxy S8's AMOLED panel, it's significantly more vibrant than its iPhone rival, too.

The iPhone 7 has a great display – especially when you consider the technology that it’s using – but the Galaxy S8 does things so 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.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Processor

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chip with 10nm technology, with Samsung touting 10% faster CPU operations over the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and a 20% bump for graphics. Not bad, eh?

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.

The Galaxy S8 has more RAM and a newer (and faster) processor. However, Apple handsets are much better than their stats suggest in real-world use, so it’s probably worth withholding judgement in this round.

Winner: It's a draw

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Verdict

The iPhone 7 is still a great phone but, following its official release, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S8 makes for an even better purchase. Because Samsung’s yearly release schedule is a few months earlier than Apple’s, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is essentially one step ahead of the iPhone 7.

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 there's a while to wait.

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