How Does the Samsung Galaxy S7 Compete?

by Dan Forster - , Last Updated on March 15, 2016, Buying Guides

A new Samsung Galaxy is always a big release, and the Galaxy S7 is set to be the biggest launch of the first quarter of 2016. However, a new flagship phone is a hefty investment, and you’re looking at spending well over £500. So, the real question is, how good a phone is the S7? We’re taking a look at how Samsung’s newest addition holds up against some of the top handsets from other manufacturers. Want to know if that new Galaxy is worth its price tag? Then keep reading…

The Contenders (and their prices…)

First up, we’ve rather obviously got the Galaxy S7, which is set to retail for about £569. Then there’s another newbie, the yet to be launched LG G5, which is expected to retail at around the £500 mark. Next up is the ubiquitous iPhone, in this case the newest flagship 6S model, which starts from £539.  Then there’s the new Sony Xperia X (though the X Performance is the highest specced model, there’s rumours that it won’t be getting a UK release, so we’ll stick with the regular X), priced again at about £539. Finally, there’s HTC’s current flagship, the M9, which retails for around £500. So, let’s see how our phones stack up.

Power and Performance

The first benchmark here is processing power and RAM, and the S7 blows the competition out of the water. It’s got octo core power, with a quad core 2.6 GHz processor and a quad core 1.6 GHz model, plus a stunning 4 GB of RAM. In comparison, and in descending order, there’s the LG G5 (octo core, quad core 2.15 GHz and quad core 1.6 GHz, plus 4 GB of RAM), the HTC One M9 (octo core, quad core 2.0 GHz and quad core 1.5 GHz, plus 3 GB of RAM), the Xperia X (hexa core, quad core 1.4 GHz and dual core 1.8 GHz, plus 3 GB of RAM), and the iPhone 6S (dual core 1.84 GHz processor, plus 2 GB of RAM).

Yes, the S7 is super fast, though to be honest it’s unlikely that the average user will notice much of a difference in speed and performance in any of these top end phones. Plus, it must be said that the iPhone’s numbers don’t tell the whole story, since Apple processors are notoriously low spec, but the device’s chip set more than makes up for puny GHz. However, the S7 definitely came out on top here.

Display Specs

Turning to screen specs, and there’s a couple of things to consider here. First is screen size. In that battle, the LG G5 comes out on top, with a 5.3 inch display (the S7 has a 5.1 inch screen, the HTC M9 and Xperia X both have five inch displays, and the iPhone 6S has a 4.7 inch screen).

When it comes to resolution, the S7 and the LG G5 both reign supreme with full Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels). Having said that, the S7 does have a Super AMOLED screen which gives better colour reproduction than the LCD screen on the LG G5. The HTC One M9 and the Xperia X both have HD LCD screens (that’s 1080 x 1920 pixels), and the iPhone has a mere 750 x 1334 pixels.

Bottom line for displays? The LG G5 and the Galaxy S7 are fairly equal in terms of resolution, though the G5 gets the bigger screen. And if you want full Quad HD then they’re your only top end choices right now.

Camera Specs

Turning now to those all important cameras, and there’s a fairly unexpected result here. Let’s look at those front facing cameras first, the ones you use for video calling and taking selfies. And here, the Xperia X comes out on top, with a massive 13 MP camera, followed by the LG G5 with an 8 MP device. The Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S both get 5 MP front facing cameras, whilst the HTC One M9 has a 4 MP cam.

Moving around to the rear, and once again, the Xperia X heads the pack with a huge 23 MP camera, though this time it’s followed by the HTC M9 which makes up for its weak front cam with a large 20 MP rear cam. The LG G5 gets a 16 MP camera, whilst both the S7 and the iPhone 6S get 12 MP cameras.

So, if photography is your thing, then it looks like the Sony Xperia X is the way to go. Remember though, that MP doesn’t always tell the whole story, and both the Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 have increased sensor sizes and apetures to create better looking shots. However, our S7 didn’t fair so well in the camera rankings.

Memory and Storage

Finally, there’s the question of storage. We all like to store things on our phone, and there are two kinds of memory. We’ll look first at internal, built in memory. And here, the iPhone comes into its own with three available options, 16 GB, 64 GB or a massive 128 GB version (though that 128 GB iPhone is going to cost you a whopping £699). Our S7 and the Xperia X both come in two versions, one with 32 GB of storage, and the other with 64 GB. Finally, the One M9 and the LG G5 both come in only 32 GB versions.

But, there’s also the issue of external memory, can memory be added to your device if you need to? There isn’t too much difference here. The S7, One M9, LG G5, and Xperia X all support SD cards up to a maximum of 200 GB of extra memory. The iPhone, however, does not support any kind of external storage.

The Bottom Line

So, how does that Galaxy S7 compete? Pretty well actually. It’s certainly the most powerful of the phones we looked at, and has an excellent screen, as well as plenty of memory. Camera specs aren’t terrific, but pictures from the S7 do look pretty sweet. As one of the top phone releases of the year, we expect the S7 to be awesome, and it really is, it’s one of the best mobiles around. Now all you need to do is figure out how you’re going to pay for it!