Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs iPhone 7 Plus

Alex Kidman 30 March 2017

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In the battle of the Plus sized phones, are you better off with Apple or Samsung?

Alongside the Galaxy S8, Samsung also announced the Samsung Galaxy S8+ smartphone. It’s a standard play from the South Korean manufacturer to announce a "larger" Galaxy S series phone, and it not-coincidentally pitches itself squarely against Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus handset.

Samsung Galaxy S8+: Everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S8+: Everything you need to know

The iPhone 7 Plus has now been in the market since September 2016, so it’s relatively old in smartphone terms. That being said, Apple isn’t expected to refresh its iPhone line until at least September this year, which means for now, the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8+ will be the heavyweight players in the premium phone space. So how do they compare?

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs iPhone 7 Plus: Specifications

SmartphonesSamsung Galaxy S8+Apple iPhone 7 Plus
OSAndroid 7.0 ("Nougat")iOS 10.3
Screen size6.2in5.5in
Resolution2960×1440 Super AMOLED1920x1080 LED
Display density530dpi401ppi
Storage64GB32/128/256GB
WeightTBC401ppi
ProcessorSnapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895Apple A10 Fusion
Rear camera12MP12MP
Front camera8MP7MP
Battery3500mAh2900mAh
Price$1349$1269/$1419/$1569

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs iPhone 7 Plus: Cameras

Cameras are a key part of the modern smartphone experience, and the biggest phones are usually home to the best cameras. Here there’s a distinct difference between the Galaxy S8+ and Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, because the 7 Plus features a dual camera array to the Galaxy S8+’s single lens.

That gives it an quantity of flexibility thanks to the 2x optical zoom on that second lens, as well as the iPhone 7’s much-lauded "portrait" feature that combines images from both lenses.

Comparatively, this is a fight that the Galaxy S8+ might just lose. We don't expect it to be a slouch in camera terms, but the added flexibility of that additional zoom lens on the iPhone 7 Plus might just give it a leg up over the competition.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs iPhone 7 Plus: Display

If you just look at the numbers it would appear to be a slam dunk for Samsung, with a higher resolution Super AMOLED display that curves to the edges of the phone, assisted by the "invisible" home button that gives you even more screen space. Comparatively the iPhone 7 Plus has a large bezel around a smaller, lower resolution display.

Once again, though, you’ve got to go a little deeper than the numbers and look at the utility. Apple has been very good at delivering screens with excellent colour clarity, and where it may outshine Samsung is in the way it controls both the hardware and the operating system that runs on it. It’s not uncommon for larger-screened Android devices to struggle a little when it comes to running apps at higher resolutions and especially on curved screens. It’s the nature of Android screen size fragmentation, although Samsung’s heft in the smartphone space means that it has decent odds of developers working to its resolution specifications.

iPhone7Plus_camerabump_450

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs iPhone 7 Plus: Apps

The same story that plays out between the two gigantic flagships in screen terms applies across apps generally. There was a time when Android distinctly lagged behind iOS in app terms, but for most tasks and experiences there’s an app for either environment available. Again, Apple has a slight advantage in terms of overall ecosystem control, but then Samsung can bring experiences such as VR to the table that Apple has yet to even approach.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7 Plus: Battery Life

While we haven’t tested the Galaxy S8+ battery as yet, we have had extensive experience with the iPhone 7 Plus and its integrated battery. It’s the best battery experience you can get on an Apple smartphone, but it still lagged behind even the Galaxy S7 Edge last year. Samsung packs in a 3,500mAh battery behind the Galaxy S8+ display, and it would be a major disappointment if it can’t beat the iPhone 7 Plus in battery life terms.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs iPhone 7 Plus: Price

Samsung has aggressively priced the Galaxy S8, but that means that inevitably the Galaxy S8+ attracts an even higher price point. In Australia it will retail at $1,349 outright with pre-sales commencing on 31 March 2017.

Comparatively, the cheapest iPhone 7 Plus will only cost you $1269 outright, but that’s for a model with only 32GB of fixed storage. There’s no 64Gb comparable tier of iPhone 7 Plus, but the next highest model costs more than the outright price of the Galaxy S8+

That has a knock-on effect on contract pricing, too. Apple’s iPhones typically command the highest handset repayment schedules of any contract phones in Australia. The contract pricing for the Galaxy S8+ is just starting to emerge, and while you will pay a reasonably high price for the phone on a low contract tier, there are plenty of carriers offering the phone with no handset repayments at all on higher tier plans.

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