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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Is the S8 a better buy than the iPhone?

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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Is Samsung’s upcoming 2017 flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, a serious rival to the iPhone 7? Now that most of the Galaxy S8 specs and features have leaked online, we can compare the two to see if Android or iOS boasts the best mobile phone.

Apple’s iPhone 7 is undeniably the best iPhone to date, with its fresh new design work, beefy performance, update camera tech and the rather brilliant iOS 10 on board.

But at the end of March, Samsung will finally reveal its own mobile masterpieces: the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. These two Android smartphones will arrive packing premium specs and a mouth-watering new design, making them obvious rivals for the iPhone 7 – and you can expect the same wallet-draining price tag too.

So if the Galaxy S8 rumours are on the money, which will be best for you: Samsung’s 2017 flagship or Apple’s iPhone 7? Here’s our full comparison review, to help you decide.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Specs

PhoneiPhone 7Samsung Galaxy S8
Screen size & type4.7-inch IPS5.8-inch Super AMOLED
Screen resolution1334×7502560×1440
Water resistant?YesYes
Fingerprint sensor?YesYes
ProcessorApple A10 FusionSnapdragon 835
Memory2GB4GB
Storage32/128/256GB64/128GB
MicroSD?NoYes
Battery1960mAh3000mAh
Rear camera12MP f/1.812MP f/1.7
Front camera7MP8MP f/1.7

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Design

Apple’s iPhone 7 looks remarkably similar to the previous iPhone 6s in its standard form, but Apple has actually refreshed the design in two key areas.

First off, the latest iPhone comes in a ‘blacker than black’ glossy finish, if you’re bored of the matt metal surfacing. This is sadly prone to scratching, however, so is best obscured with some kind of case or cover. Secondly, the iPhone 7 is fully water resistant, unlike previous models.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is fully water resistant too, with a similar glossy backing to the old Galaxy S7. And while it sports a much bigger screen than the iPhone 7 (at 5.8-inches versus 4.7), the phone still boasts surprisingly slender dimensions thanks to Samsung’s awesome curved-screen design. That panel actually wraps around the edges of the phone, just like the Galaxy S7 Edge’s, as well as reaching close to the top and bottom of the handset.

Of course, one-handed use is still likely to be tricky with the S8, so Samsung has added a screen shrinking feature to help out a bit. The iPhone 7 is just about usable with a single mitt.

Read next: iPhone 7 tips, tricks and best hidden features

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Screen and media

Media fans will be more than happy with the movie playing chops of either the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 7.

If you lust for rich, vibrant colours, the Galaxy S8 is more likely to float your boat. Samsung’s Super AMOLED panel is pleasingly punchy, while that Quad HD resolution keeps images crisp and detailed.

Meanwhile the iPhone 7 opts for more realistic visuals thanks to its IPS technology, with a greater range of colours on offer than ever before. And while the Full HD iPhone 7 screen isn’t as sharp as the Galaxy S8’s, it’s still just as strong when it comes to high-def movie streaming.

However, when it comes to storage space for your media collection, Samsung is the clear victor. For while the Galaxy S8 maxes out at 128GB of storage and the iPhone 7 Plus comes with an option of 256GB, only the Samsung phone offers microSD memory card expandability.

Read next: Most exciting Galaxy S8 rumours

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Features

The latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor is rumoured to be crammed inside the Galaxy S8, offering impressively smooth everyday performance as well as super-speedy download speeds of up to 1Gbps. Of course, Apple’s own A10 Fusion processor also delivers a nippy experience on the iPhone 7, so you won’t notice any lag or stutters here either. Either phone should be capable of playing the latest games with a perfect frame rate for the next couple of years.

If you’re interested in mobile VR, the Galaxy S8 is the one for you. Firstly, Samsung has its own Gear VR platform which offers a strong catalogue of VR games and experiences out of the box. All you need to do is grab a Gear VR headset and you’re good to go. Plus, that Quad HD screen makes for pleasingly clear images when the phone’s up against your face.

By comparison, the iPhone 7 sports a lower res screen and no dedicated VR support. Boo.

Of course, one of the major differences between these two handsets is the operating system. This determines the look and feel of your mobile phone’s software, what apps you can run and so on.

The iPhone 7 runs iOS 10, Apple’s own mobile OS, while the Galaxy S8 runs Google’s Android Nougat. Both iOS 10 and Android Nougat have their own advantages and disadvantages, but each new update means they’re getting more and more alike.

For instance, both iOS and Android now offer side-by-side multitasking, a strong selection of apps and games for download, plus the ability to get real-time information such as the latest headlines right there on your desktops.

For more info, check out our iOS guide and Android guide.

Read next: Most disturbing Galaxy S8 rumours

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Cameras

The iPhone 7 boasts Apple’s all-new f/1.8 aperture lens, which offers better low-light performance compared with older iPhones. You also get Optical Image Stabilisation to cut down on blur from hand judders and PDAF for a fast focus action. And you can shoot up to 4K resolution video, complete with time lapse and slow-mo video support if you want to shoot some funky footage.

Take a look at our iPhone 7 camera review and iPhone 7 camera tips and tricks guide for more info.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 should prove at least as effective in dim conditions, however, with its f/1.7 lens. Photos are almost certainly going to be just as detailed, with attractive results captured in almost any conditions. And like the iPhone 7, you can shoot up to 4K resolution video, with time lapse and slow-mo support.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: UK pricing

If your heart is set on one of these mighty flagship phones, then better get saving – or looting.

The Galaxy S8 will hit the UK in April 2017 for the princely sum of £799, while the iPhone 7 can already be bagged for the slightly-more-modest £599 (for the base 32GB model). Either way, you’re getting some seriously premium smartphone tech for your cash.

Check out our iPhone 7 and 7 Plus hub for everything you need to know about Apple’s latest iPhones and our Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus hub for more on Samsung’s 2017 flagships. Stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus reviews!

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