A few days back, Apple’s latest earnings report revealed that the Cupertino firm sold “only” 51.2 million iPhones in the last quarter, a 16 percent decline over last year. Clearly, things aren’t going as well as they used to in the recent past for Apple. The iPhone 6s sales were off to a great start initially, but a few months after release, interest in the latest iPhone models is waning down. Things aren’t expected to improve this quarter thanks to greater competition from the latest Android flagship smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, and the HTC 10. So today, we have decided to put the Apple iPhone 6s up against its current ace rival, the Galaxy S7 from Samsung.

The Galaxy S7 was unveiled by Samsung in February this year at the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona. Samsung hasn’t made any significant changes to the design with the Galaxy S7, but most of the hardware has been updated and many of the key issues with the Galaxy S6 have also been fixed.

Apple’s iPhone 6s is a much older device though, as it was unveiled in September last year. When it launched, the iPhone 6s was a pretty impressive device and was more or less on par with Android flagship smartphones that launched around the same time as it did. But are things still the same? Or has the iPhone 6s been completely outclassed by the Samsung Galaxy S7? That is exactly what we aim to find out in our Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Apple iPhone 6s versus comparison. Just like all our previous versus comparisons, we will be putting the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Apple iPhone 6s against each other in ten different categories to decide the winner – Display, Dimensions, Design, Battery Life, Connectivity, Processor, Camera, Operating System, Memory, and Price.

Dimensions

Apple hasn’t really cared about slimming down the bezels on its smartphones, so most of you should have a pretty idea about the outcome of this round.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 with its 5.1” display is 142.4mm tall, 69.6mm wide, and 7.9mm thin. It weighs in at 152 grams, which is pretty decent considering its premium build and screen size. Apple iPhone 6s on the other hand is 138.3mm tall, 67.1mm wide, and 7.1mm thin with a weight of 143 grams.

While the iPhone 6s weighs lower than the Galaxy S7, it has a significantly lower screen-to-body ratio thanks to its bigger bezels. That means the winner of the dimensions round is the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Connectivity

Now let’s shift focus to the connectivity features and find out if the Apple iPhone 6s can manage to keep up with the newer Samsung Galaxy S7 in this round.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 includes support Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMO, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, ANT+, Micro USB 2.0, NFC, and LTE Cat.9 networks (maximum download speeds up to 450 Mbps).

Apple iPhone 6s on the other hand is equipped with Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Wi-Fi Hotspot, NFC, LTE-A Cat.6 (maximum download speeds of up to 300 Mbps), and a Lightning connector.

While both smartphones are more or less similar here, the Galaxy S7 is slightly more future-proof thanks to LTE Cat.9 network support. So the connectivity round goes to the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Display

For people not interested in jumping to the “phablet” bandwagon, the Apple iPhone 6s is among the only few options out there. However, the Samsung Galaxy S7 can definitely be considered too as it is quite compact for a smartphone with a 5.1” display.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 features a 5.1” Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 Quad HD resolution and a pixel density of 577 pixels per inch. On top of the display, you get a layer of 3D glass with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. While the size and resolution of the display is identical to the one on the Galaxy S6, the display does offer a few improvements. First off, Samsung has managed to make the display on the Galaxy S7 even brighter, making it clearly visible even under direct sunlight. The calibration has improved as well, making the Galaxy S7 display among the most color accurate smartphone displays out there. However, if you aren’t too keen about color accuracy, you can always change the display mode to Adaptive Display, AMOLED Photo, or AMOLED Cinema by going to the Display Settings. The most color-accurate mode though, is the Basic mode. With the display set to “Basic” mode, the Galaxy S7 display provides highly accurate color reproduction that very few smartphone displays can come close to. A new feature that Samsung has added this year is the new “Always on Display” feature which keeps a part of the display on all the time in order display vital info such as remaining battery percentage, unread messages, and missed calls. The Always on Display graphics are dynamic, changing positions at a regular interval. This ensures that the display does not exhibit any burn-in issues. Unlike the LG G5, the Always on Display feature on the Galaxy S7 is highly customizable and you can download a number of different themes from the Theme Store.

Apple iPhone 6s on the other hand comes with a smaller 4.7” display with a resolution of 750 x 1334. That translates to a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, which is on the lower side when compared to other flagship smartphones out there. The IPS display of the iPhone 6s offers 1400:1 contrast ratio and peak brightness of up to 500 nits. Apple promises full sRGB color gamut coverage and fantastic viewing angles thanks to the dual domain pixels. The display is protected using a custom glass that is manufactured using a dual ion exchange process. While announcing the iPhone 6s, Apple even claimed that the glass is the strongest protective glass available for smartphone displays, even stronger than Corning Gorilla Glass. Color accuracy is impressive and is in fact fairly close to the Galaxy S7. A key feature of the iPhone 6s display is the 3D Touch technology, which also happens to be one of the key selling points of the latest iPhone models. With 3D Touch, users are able to get access to a number of various shortcuts by pressing down on the display with varying pressure. You can do stuff like preview links without having to open the browser, read your mails without opening them up full screen, and more.

While the Apple iPhone 6s display is fairly close to the Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy S7 as far as calibration goes, it is far behind when it comes to resolution. The Galaxy S7 display also has the edge with higher contrast, better sunlight legibility, and slightly better color accuracy. That means the clear winner of the display round is the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Memory

In many ways, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Apple iPhone 6s are quite different as far as memory is concerned.

Last year, Samsung’s decision to omit the microSD card slot on the Galaxy S6 led to a huge disappointment. Even though Samsung actively promoted the advantages of the faster UFS storage inside, many buyers weren’t exactly pleased by the decision. This year, Samsung decided to address the complaint by adding a microSD card slot to the Galaxy S7. While that’s definitely great news, there is some bad news as well. Unlike the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S7 doesn’t come with three different storage options. Only a base 32GB and a 64GB variant are on offer, although the 64GB variant is only sold in select markets in limited quantity. So a lot of you will have to settle with the 32GB Galaxy S7 and use a microSD card to expand the storage further. Samsung is still using UFS 2.0 storage on the Galaxy S7, so transfer speeds are very impressive and helps apps and games load up really quickly. As far as the RAM goes, the Galaxy S7 comes equipped with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Along with additional RAM, Samsung has also fixed the memory management bug that plagued flagship Galaxy smartphones launched last year. Multitasking on the Galaxy S7 is now much improved.

Apple iPhone 6s on the other hand is available in three storage options –16GB, 64GB, and 128GB. While it is no doubt disappointing to see mere 16GB of non-expandable storage on a flagship smartphone, it has to be noted that not many smartphones out there come with up to 128GB internal memory. Apple isn’t just offering high storage options, the flash memory inside is impressively fast too. Apple uses a NAND flash chip on the 6s, with a PCIe and NVMe solution that is normally seen on solid state drives used on PCs. As a result, the iPhone 6s delivers transfer speeds almost similar to an SSD. In addition to rapid fast onboard storage, the iPhone 6s is a major upgrade over its predecessor when it comes to RAM as well. While the iPhone 6 came with just 1GB of RAM, the 6s includes 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM, which makes it a lot better for multitasking than previous iPhones.

On one hand, we have the iPhone 6s with higher internal memory options, and on the other we have the Galaxy S7 that offers microSD expansion and comes with 2GB more RAM. We’re going to go with a tie here.

Camera

We are now going to see if the Apple iPhone 6s is competitive against the Samsung Galaxy S7 in the camera department.

Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with an all-new 12MP camera at the back with “Dual Pixel” technology. The new autofocus tech is a major upgrade over the phase detection autofocus tech used on Galaxy flagships last year. Each pixel on the 12MP sensor comes with two photodiodes instead of one, allowing the Galaxy S7 camera to focus quicker than almost any other smartphone out there. The sensor itself is sourced from Sony as well as Samsung’s LSI division. It is of the 1/2.5” type and is paired with a bright f/1.7 aperture lens that allows more light to enter the sensor. Thanks to the combination of Dual Pixels, large 1.4 micron pixel size, Optical Image Stabilization (Smart OIS), and the bright f/1.7 aperture lens, the Galaxy S7 camera performs brilliantly in low-light situations. Quite a few new software features have also been added along with the hardware improvements. Some of these include Motion Panorama, Hyperlapse, and Motion Photo (similar to Live Photos on iPhone 6s). All the other usual features such as 4K video recording, panorama shots, Auto HDR, face detection, and burst mode are supported too. For selfies, the Galaxy S7 includes a 5MP unit on the front, with a similar f/1.7 aperture lens and features such as Wide Selfie and Selfie Flash mode.

Apple iPhone 6s too features a 12MP camera at the back, although the hardware is very different from the Galaxy S7. The 12MP iSight camera module on the iPhone 6s is a lot smaller at 1/3” and features smaller pixels with a 1.22 micron pixel size. The sensor is paired with an f/2.2 aperture lens and a dual-tone LED flash. It uses phase detection autofocus feature, which is also not as impressive as the autofocus tech used on the Galaxy S7. Apart from the higher 12MP resolution, the other major upgrade that the iPhone 6s camera offers is the ability to shoot videos in 4K resolution. Previous iPhones were limited to 1080p resolution due to their 8MP resolution. Sadly though, the iPhone 6s doesn’t get optical image stabilization like the iPhone 6s Plus, so if you’re someone who shoots a lot of videos with your smartphone on a regular basis, the iPhone 6s might not be the best choice. Other key features offered by the iPhone 6s camera include Auto HDR, face detection, panorama shots up to 63MP resolution, burst mode, digital image stabilization, and exposure control. At the front, the 6s includes a 5MP selfie camera, which is also paired with an f/2.2 aperture lens but is limited to 720p resolution when it comes to video. It does get a selfie flash feature though, dubbed the Retina Flash.

Thanks to its superior sensor and better optics, the Samsung Galaxy S7 takes better quality shots both in daylight as well as low-light conditions. Thanks to OIS, it is superior when it comes to video as well. That means the Samsung Galaxy S7 gains yet another point by winning the camera round.

Processor

When it launched last year, the Apple A9 offered superior performance to other Android flagships when it came to most benchmarks. Have things changed now or is the iPhone 6s still the top performer? Let’s find out.

In the US, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is powered by the Snapdragon 820 chipset from Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 820 is a quad-core chipset with four custom Kryo 64-bit cores in a dual-cluster configuration with two cores clocked at 2.15 GHz and two energy-saving cores clocked at 1.6GHz. Taking care of graphics is the Adreno 530 GPU from Qualcomm, which is a massive upgrade over the Adreno 430 GPU seen on the Snapdragon 810 chipset from last year. The Snapdragon 820 chipset also includes a new Hexagon 680 DSP, Snapdragon X12 LTE modem with Global Mode, and supports the newer Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charging standard. However, Samsung hasn’t chosen to equip the Galaxy S7 with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. In a few other markets, the Galaxy S7 is powered by the Exynos 8890 chipset, which has been developed in-house by Samsung. It is an octa-core chipset with four Exynos M1 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz. The GPU is the Mali-T880MP12, which has been clocked at 650 MHz. Both the Snapdragon 820 as well as the Exynos 8890 SoC are manufactured by Samsung on a second-generation 14nm FinFet LPP process.

Apple iPhone 6s is powered by the custom Apple A9 chipset, which is a dual-core chip like previous A-series Apple SoCs. The A9 includes two Twister cores clocked at 1.85GHz, which deliver up to 70% higher CPU performance when compared to the A8 chipset. The GPU inside is the PowerVR GT7600, which offers up to 90% greater graphics performance compared to the A8 chipset. Some of the A9 chips are manufactured by Samsung on a 14nm process while the rest are manufactured by TSMC on a 16nm node. While the A9 definitely impressed us last year with its CPU and graphics performance, the newer Snapdragon 820 as well as the Exynos 8890 chipset offer even better performance, which means the A9 isn’t the most powerful chipset out there right now.

Since the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset inside the Samsung Galaxy S7 is more powerful than the Apple A9 chipset powering the iPhone 6s, the winner of this round is the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Battery Life

When you buy an expensive new flagship smartphone, you obviously expect it to be very impressive in the battery life department. Unfortunately, not every flagship smartphone out there is particularly impressive when it comes to battery life.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a pretty decent upgrade over the Galaxy S6 when it comes to battery stamina. The latest flagship Galaxy features a 3000mAh capacity battery, which is significantly larger than the 2550mAh unit on the S6. Thanks to the larger battery, the Galaxy S7 delivers better battery life than Galaxy S6 and is on par with most other flagship smartphones out there. In addition to the larger capacity battery, the newer and more efficient hardware components also help extend the battery life. Like its predecessor, Samsung does offer battery saving modes on the Galaxy S7, which should help you extract more of the smartphone. Fast-charge support is quite obviously present, as is fast wireless charging. Wireless Fast charging is supported for both the WPC and PMA standards.

Apple iPhone 6s on the other hand comes with a much smaller 1715mAh capacity battery. That’s actually even smaller than the unit inside the iPhone 6. However, thanks to the greater efficiency of the Apple A9 chipset, the iPhone 6s manages to deliver almost similar battery life to its predecessor. Apple claims the iPhone 6s delivers up to 14 hours of talk time on 3G, up to 11 hours of HD video playback time, and up to 11 hours of browsing over a Wi-Fi network. Disappointingly, there is no support for fast-charging or wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy S7 is definitely the clear winner here with a larger battery and support for fast-charging as well as wireless fast-charging.

Design

By now, almost everyone knows that the Samsung Galaxy S7 isn’t very distinguishable from its predecessor in the design department. The body of the smartphone is made out of metal, with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on both the front and back. The 3D glass on the front is integrated seamlessly to the curved metal alloy via a proprietary process that is called 3D Thermoforming. The back is slightly different as well. Like the Galaxy Note 5, the Galaxy S7 features a dual-curve at the back that makes it more comfortable to hold in the hand. Yet another change is that the Galaxy S7 is water resistant with IP68 certification. That means the smartphone can be submerged under 1.5 meter deep water for a maximum of up to 30 minutes. This feature is not a key selling point, but it does feel reassuring to know that your expensive new smartphone will not be damaged in case it accidentally falls inside the pool. The Galaxy S7 is available in Black Onyx and Gold Platinum color options in the US.

The Apple iPhone 6s is no different either. The iPhone 6s looks almost identical to the iPhone 6 in terms of the design, with very few design changes. The main change is related to the build. Apple has used stronger Series 7000 aluminum for its construction, which makes the 6s a lot stronger and more durable than the iPhone 6. Apple also introduced a new color option with the 6s – Rose Gold. The color has proven to be quite popular, especially among the fairer sex. Rest of the color options include Space Gray, Gold, and Silver.

Both smartphones look and feel premium in every way, so it is definitely tough to pick a clear winner. Which is why we think this round ends up in a tie.

Operating System

Samsung Galaxy S7 runs the latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system out of the box, with the latest TouchWiz UX layer on top. Samsung hasn’t made any major changes to its custom Android skin this year, as TouchWiz went through a major change last year, making it leaner and more palatable than ever. With Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Samsung has only gone with small changes such as new icons and a few slight UI changes to make it look a little like stock Android Marshmallow. Unlike TouchWiz of the past, the latest iteration doesn’t come with a lot of bloatware, so you are not likely to experience any major slowdown after a couple of months.

Apple iPhone 6s on the other hand runs Apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 9, with the latest release being iOS 9.3.1. With iOS 9, Apple has introduced a number of significant changes such as improved Siri voice assistant, integrated Spotlight search with third-part apps, a new Notes app, low-power mode to save battery life, security fixes and performance enhancements.
iOS 9 has no doubt introduced a number of interesting new features but in many ways it still does feel restrictive and is nowhere near as open as the Android platform. On the plus side, software updates are delivered much faster and for longer period of time compared to most Android smartphones. Still, for most people though, Android 6.0 Marshmallow definitely has more to offer. Which is why we think the Samsung Galaxy S7 wins the operating system round.

Price

Samsung Galaxy S7 is now available through all the four major US carriers. It is available on a 24-month contract for a monthly fee of $27.91 from T-Mobile, $27.09 from Sprint, or $28 from Verizon Wireless. AT&T on the other hand is offering the Galaxy S7 for a monthly fee of $23.17 for a period of 30 months. If you decide to get the Galaxy S7 off-contract, you will need to pay somewhere around $650, depending on which carrier you’re buying it from.

Apple iPhone 6s on the other hand is available for a starting price of $99 on a 2-year contract for the 16GB variant. The 64GB variant is being sold by most carriers for $199, while the top end 128GB variant of the flagship smartphone can be purchased for $299. When purchased outright, prices start at $800 for the base 16GB model.

Clearly, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is more affordable despite being a much newer device. That makes the Galaxy S7 better value for money when compared to the 2015 Apple flagship. So the winner of the price category is the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Conclusion

We have finally reached the end of our Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Apple iPhone 6s specs battle. Time now to find out which of the two flagship smartphones has managed to come out on top in out comparison today.

Out of the ten categories that we compared these flagship smartphones against each other, we couldn’t find a clear winner in two categories, which ended up in a tie. The Apple iPhone 6s did not manage to score a single point in our comparison today as the Samsung Galaxy S7 managed to come out on top in the rest of the eight categories.

Honestly, the result of this specs battle doesn’t surprise at all since the Samsung Galaxy S7 is a much newer device than the iPhone 6s. The iPhone 6s still remains a good buy, although it is starting to seem a little outdated now when put against the latest 2016 flagship Android smartphones.

Which of these two flagship devices would be your pick. Don’t forget to leave a comment down below to tell us your choice.

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