The Samsung Galaxy S8+ was announced late last month, alongside the smaller Galaxy S8. As the “+” suffix in its name clearly indicates, the Galaxy S8+ is a big smartphone. In terms of display size, the smartphone features a 0.7” larger display than the Galaxy S7 Edge, which is huge. However, thanks to a new design, the Galaxy S8+ is nowhere near as large as you would expect. In addition to being relatively compact for its display size, the Galaxy S8+ offers several other major upgrades that make it one of the best Samsung flagship smartphones yet and undoubtedly the best flagship smartphone released so far this year.

The most formidable rival to the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is no doubt the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which proved to be the most popular flagship phablet last year. Even though the iPhone 7 Plus may be several months old now, it still remains very popular among consumers. Its hardware is no slouch either and the as an overall package, the iPhone 7 Plus is definitely a very desirable product. In our versus battle today, we will be comparing the Apple iPhone 7 Plus against the new Samsung Galaxy S8+ and try to find out if the latest Samsung flagship is truly a better choice. Like our previous versus battles, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Apple iPhone 7 Plus are going to battle it out in ten categories before we find out the winner of our comparison. We will award one point each to the winner in each category, so the smartphone that manages to win maximum number of points by the end of our comparison will be declared the winner. Let’s get started.

Dimensions

We will begin our comparison by taking a look at the physical dimensions of these two flagship smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is 159.5mm tall, 73.4mm wide, and 8.1mm thin. In terms of weight, the phablet weighs in at 173 grams, which is on the lower side for a device with a 6.0+ inch display. Apple iPhone 7 Plus on the other hand is 158.2mm tall, 77.9mm wide, and 7.3mm thin. It tips the scales at 188 grams, which makes it the heavier of the two.

As you can tell from the numbers above, the Galaxy S8 is a little taller but less wide than the iPhone 7 Plus. When it comes to the screen-to-body ratio, the Galaxy S8+ is much ahead with 83% as opposed to the Apple phablet’s 67.7%.

That makes the Samsung Galaxy S8+ the clear winner of the dimensions round.

Connectivity

Since the Samsung Galaxy S8+ was unveiled only recently, it has an advantage over the Apple iPhone 7 Plus in the connectivity department.

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ comes with all the latest connectivity features such as Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band, VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy, NFC, USB Type-C port, ANT+, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, MST, and Cat.16 LTE with support for up to 1Gbps download speeds. In addition to 1Gbps LTE, the phablet supports 1Gbps Wi-Fi speeds as well, thanks to being gigabit Wi-Fi ready. In terms of biometric security options, you get a fingerprint scanner mounted at the back, an iris scanner, as well as a facial recognition technology.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus on the other hand features Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy, NFC (Apple Pay only), Wi-Fi hotspot, Lightning connector, and 4G LTE Cat.9 with maximum download speeds of up to 450 Mbps. While it may not have the fastest LTE modem, the iPhone 7 Plus does support the widest range of LTE bands around the world. To easily unlock the phablet, you have the Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded inside the home button on the front. What it doesn’t have is a 3.5mm headphone jack. That means you will need to use the bundled Lightning to 3.5mm adapter in order to connect your favorite pair of headphones. In the box, the phablet comes with a pair of Lightning EarPods.

Connectivity is one area where the Samsung Galaxy S8+ has a strong lead over every other smartphone on the market currently. Needless to say, the iPhone 7 Plus is not in the same league as the Galaxy S8+ here. That means the connectivity round goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Display

When it comes to display size, the Galaxy S8+ is the clear winner. But what about the overall quality?

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ features a large 6.2-inch display with 1440 x 2960 resolution and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The dual-curved Super AMOLED display has a pixel density of 530 pixels per inch and is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top. Similar to the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S8+ sports an “Infinity Display” with close to no bezels on the front, which means all you get to see is the screen. With a screen-to-body ratio of 83%, the Galaxy S8+ display offers a highly immersive viewing experience, no matter what content you are viewing on the display. Another key feature that sets the Galaxy S8+ display apart is that it is the first mobile display (along with the Galaxy S8) to feature Mobile HDR Premium certification from the UHD Alliance. The display supports the HDR10 standard, which means you will be able to view compatible HDR media from streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video. The Always-on Display feature from last year has been retained too, allowing users to quickly glance at the missed notifications, time, and remaining battery percentage without having to unlock the phone first. Samsung has made significant improvements in the core areas as well. The Galaxy S8+ display offers higher brightness when compared to last year’s models, hitting over 1000 nits. The high peak brightness allows the display to deliver fantastic HDR performance as well as outstanding sunlight legibility. The color gamut has been expanded as well, which further helps with the HDR performance. Colors remain as accurate as ever, provided you choose the Basic mode under Display Settings. Overall, the Galaxy S8+ display is as close to perfection as it gets currently.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus sports a smaller 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1080 x 1920 Full HD resolution, giving it a pixel density of 401 pixels per inch. That’s identical to the iPhone 6 Plus as well as the iPhone 6s Plus. However, the iPhone 7 Plus display does boast some significant improvements when compared to its predecessors. Perhaps the biggest difference is the expanded color gamut. The iPhone 7 Plus display covers the cinema-standard DCI-P3 color space, which is the new standard for 4K content. Apple has also improved the peak brightness, which is now over 700 nits. According to Apple, the iPhone 7 Plus panel is 25% brighter than the iPhone 6s Plus display. The Apple phablet comes with a Night Shift mode as well, which reduces harmful blue light emissions from the display, minimizing eye-strain. Color accuracy has been improved as well and the iPhone 7 Plus display is actually among the most color-accurate displays on the market. If you love natural color reproduction, the iPhone 7 Plus display is definitely going to appeal to you.

While both the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Apple iPhone 7 Plus sport excellent displays, the Galaxy S8+ definitely has the upper edge thanks to HDR support, higher contrast, better sunlight legibility, and a wider color gamut. So the display round too ends up in the Samsung flagship’s favor.

Battery Life

While the previous rounds have been quite easy for the Samsung Galaxy S8+, battery life is one area where the Apple iPhone 7 Plus as well as the previous iPhone “Pluses” have been quite impressive.
Samsung Galaxy S8+ packs a 3500mAh capacity battery inside, which is 100mAh smaller than the 3600mAh unit used in the Galaxy S7 Edge. However, the slight downgrade is not a big deal when you consider the fact that the internals are more efficient when compared to the Galaxy S7 Edge. According to most battery results available so far, the Galaxy S8+ does in fact fare better than the Galaxy S7 Edge overall. That makes it one of the most impressive phablets out there when it comes to battery stamina. The smartphone also supports fast charging and wireless fast charging over the WPC and PMA standards.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus on the other hand features a 2900mAh capacity battery, which puts it at a disadvantage against the Galaxy S8+, at least on paper. However, Apple has done a great job with optimization, which results in impressive battery life. The Cupertino firm claims the iPhone 7 Plus can deliver up to 21 hours of talk time (on 3G), 15 hours of Wi-Fi browsing time, 14 hours of continuous video playback, and up to 16 days of standby time. Unfortunately, the phablet does not support fast charging and nor is there any support for wireless charging. This is a big disappointment, especially considering the high price Apple charges for the iPhone 7 Plus.

Even though both the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Apple iPhone 7 Plus deliver excellent battery stamina, the Galaxy S8+ wins this round thanks to fast charging as well as wireless charging support.

Memory

Samsung Galaxy S8+ will be available in most markets with just 64GB of UFS 2.1 storage. Unlike previous years, Samsung isn’t giving consumers a choice this year. However, Samsung has retained the microSD card slot, which means you will be able to expand the storage further by up to 2TB with a microSD card. The UFS 2.1 storage is also a slight upgrade when compared to UFS 2.0 storage that Samsung had used in the last two generations. While it isn’t a major upgrade, UFS 2.1 does bring some performance as well efficiency-related improvements that make it more desirable. In terms of RAM, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ includes 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, which is essentially identical to last year’s flagship models from the company. We’re definitely a little disappointed as flagships these days have started to come equipped with 6GB and even 8GB of RAM.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus comes in three storage variants – 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The base storage has gone up from 16GB to 32GB, while the top option now is 256GB. Similar to the iPhone 6s Plus, Apple is using a custom SSD controller and TLC NAND flash memory in the iPhone 7, resulting in highly impressive transfer speeds and swift performance. In fact, the iPhone 7 Plus storage is the fastest on the market currently. In terms of RAM, the iPhone 7 Plus includes 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM, which helps it deliver very impressive multitasking experience.

The memory round will have to go to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. It offers three storage options and the multitasking experience is slightly better as well, thanks to superior memory management.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ may be a huge upgrade over the Galaxy S7 Edge in many areas, but the camera department isn’t one of them. Samsung is using a 12MP resolution camera at the back, with the Dual Pixel autofocus tech that it debuted last year. The hardware isn’t identical though. The Galaxy S8+ units use either a Sony IMX333 or an S5K2L1 ISOCELL sensor sourced from Samsung’s System LSI division. These sensors are slightly larger than sensors used in the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, but are paired to a similar f/1.7 aperture lens. Key hardware specs of the primary includes optical image stabilization, a powerful single-LED flash, Dual Pixel autofocus tech, and 4K video capture. Moving on to the software, Galaxy S8+ offers a Pro Mode for advanced users, giving them control over settings such as ISO, Color Tone, Manual focus, White Balance, EV, and more. The Quick Launch feature from the previous Galaxy flagships is still there, but instead of tapping the home button twice to open the camera, users will have to press the Galaxy S8+’s power button twice to quickly launch the camera app. On the front, the Galaxy S8+ includes a new 8MP resolution snapper with Smart Autofocus tech, paired with an f/1.7 aperture lens.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus sports a dual-camera system at the back, comprising of a 12MP primary sensor and a 12MP secondary sensor. The primary iSight camera is coupled with a wide-angle f/1.8 aperture lens while the secondary sensor is a Telephoto unit paired with an f/2.8 aperture lens. That means the secondary unit allows the iPhone 7 Plus to give users up to 2x optical zoom functionality, without any ugly hump at the back. If you wish to zoom further, you can make use of the 10x digital zoom that the phablet offers. Key camera features include optical image stabilization, a Quad-LED True Tone LED flash, Sapphire crystal lens cover, hybrid IR filter, and Focus Pixels for accurate and fast autofocus. In terms of video, the iPhone 7 Plus camera is capable of shooting 4K videos at 30fps and can capture 720p HD slow-mo videos at 240fps. Software features include Live Photos, Auto HDR, Panorama photos, Burst mode, geotagging, timer mode, and more. For selfies, there is a new 7MP FaceTime HD camera on the front, which has been coupled with an f/2.2 aperture lens. It is capable of capturing videos in 1080p Full HD.

While both smartphones have capable cameras all around, the Galaxy S8+ does offer a slight advantage thanks to its superior low-light performance and a better selfie camera on the front. The camera round goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Processor

In most markets around the globe, Samsung Galaxy S8+ will be powered by the company’s in-house developed Exynos 9 8895 octa-core SoC. In North America, China, and Japan, the smartphone is going to run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC. Both the SoCs are manufactured by Samsung on its 10nm process node. Let’s talk about the Exynos 9 8895 first. It is an octa-core chipset with four custom Exynos M2 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz. For taking care of the graphics processing, the chipset includes the ARM Mali-G71MP20 GPU, which is quite a powerful beast. The Snapdragon 835 on the other hand uses four performance-oriented Kryo 280 cores clocked at 2.35 GHz and four efficiency-oriented Kryo 280 cores clocked at 1.9 GHz. The GPU integrates in the SoC is the Adreno 540, boasting significant performance gains compared to the Adreno 530. While CPU-intensive benchmarks show little gains in performance when compared to last year’s flagship mobile SoCs, both the chips deliver significantly improved graphics performance.

Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is powered by the Apple A10 64-bit Fusion SoC, based on an all-new architecture. The A10 is a quad-core SoC, but Apple has enabled it to use only two cores at any given time, which means it works similar to a dual-core SoC most of the times. Taking care of intensive tasks are two high-performance Hurricane cores clocked at 2.34 GHz while the highly efficient Zephyr cores take care of more basic tasks. The Zephyr cores, according to Apple, use just one-fifth the power of the Hurricane cores, which is mighty impressive. The A10 dominated its rivals last year with fantastic CPU as well as GPU performance. However, it is defeated by the newer 2017 SoCs when it comes to most benchmarks, including graphics benchmarks.

While there is no doubt that the A10 SoC is a beast of a SoC, it does fall behind the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 9 8895 SoCs. That means the processor round ends up in the Galaxy S8+’s favor.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy S8+, as you may have seen already, looks very different from the Galaxy S7 Edge. That’s because Samsung has shrunk the top and bottom bezels significantly, maximizing the display area. The physical home button has been axed as well, forcing the fingerprint scanner to be placed at the back. For navigation, the smartphone uses on-screen keys. As far as the basic build goes, not much has changed. Samsung Galaxy S8+ uses a solid aluminum frame in the middle with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front as well as the back of the handset. The smartphone is IP68 certified for dust and water resistance, which means you can use it in the pool or in the rain without any worry. Color options include Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus isn’t very different from its predecessor in the design department. It features an identical unibody build with large bezels on all sides. However, Apple has moved the visible antenna lines further towards the top and bottom edges, giving it a much cleaner back than the iPhone 6s Plus. The other major change of course, is the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. Instead, you only have a lightning connector and speaker grilles on both sides. Similar to the Galaxy S8+, the iPhone 7 Plus is water and dust resistant too, although with a lower IP67 certification. The phablet comes in Jet Black, Black, Rose Gold, Gold, Red, and Silver color options.

To be honest, it is very difficult to pick a clear winner. Both smartphones not only look great but also feel great in the hand. We are going with a tie here.

Operating System

Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to be launching with Android 7.0 Nougat operating system out of the box. It features the latest version of Samsung’s new “Grace UX” running on top, which brings several new UI design elements as well as reduced bloatware when compared to the previous version. The key highlight is the new Bixby virtual assistant, which Samsung claims is smarter than any other virtual assistant on the market. There is even a dedicated hardware button for Bixby, which gives you instant access to it. Bixby is currently integrated into Samsung system apps such as Contacts, Camera, Gallery, and Settings. In the future, Samsung hopes to add third party apps support as well.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus runs on Apple’s new iOS 10 mobile operating system, with the latest version at the time of writing being 10.3.1. It brings some changes to 3D Touch and the lock screen, additional emojis in the Messages app, redesigned Maps, new Home app to manage your HomeKit enabled accessories, as well as a few upgrades to Siri.

As everyone knows, Google’s Android OS is currently much more open compared to Apple’s still-restrictive iOS 10 platform. That means the operating system round goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Price

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is now up for pre-order in the United States from all the major carriers as well as retailers. If you look around, you can get a new Galaxy S8+ on a 24-month installment for around $29 monthly. If in case you are an AT&T subscriber, you can get the Galaxy S8+ by paying roughly $25 every month for a period of 30 months. Full retail price of the phablet comes to around $850 at most places.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus on the other hand can be purchased for roughly $34 monthly on a 24-month installment plan at most carriers. AT&T sells the 32GB variant for around $26 monthly on a 30-month installment plan. If you wish to get a 128GB or 256GB variant, you will obviously end up paying even higher. Full retail price of the iPhone 7 Plus is also higher than the Galaxy S8+ at close to $870.

Despite being a newer device, it is the Galaxy S8+ that is more affordable. The price round too goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Conclusion

Out of the ten categories that we compared the two flagship smartphones against each other in, just one ended up in a tie- Design. Apple iPhone 7 Plus reigned supreme in the memory category, while the rest of the eight categories were won by the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

That clearly means the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is a better flagship smartphone than Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. What are your thoughts? Do let us know by leaving a comment down below.

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