Samsung Surpasses Apple
The Galaxy S8 raises the bar, and not just for Android phones. While Apple fans wait for an iPhone 8 that could be exciting, the S8 and S8+ push the mobile envelope now with their combination of superior design, blazing performance and helpful new special features. Yes, the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus do some things better, but overall Samsung’s new flagships take the prize.
These are all the ways the Galaxy S8 beats the iPhone 7.
Photo Credits: Jeremy Lips and Sam Rutherford/Tom's Guide
Superiror design (much slimmer bezels)
While the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus rely on the same basic slab design Apple has been using for three years in a row, the Galaxy S8 step boldly into the future with a front that’s almost all screen and a chassis that curves on the front and back. Meanwhile, the iPhones still have thick ugly bezels. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are also narrower than the latest Apple phones, so they’re easier to use with one hand, and the 6.2-inch S8 Plus is significantly lighter than the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, despite its larger screen.
MUCH better displays
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ boast sharper, bigger and more colorful displays than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which makes them better for watching video, looking at photos and pretty much everything else you’d want to do on your phone. The more saturated colors come from Samsung’s Super AMOLED tech, and Apple is reportedly planning to replace the iPhone’s LCD panels with AMOLED screens supplied by Samsung for the upcoming iPhone 8.
You say you want resolution? The S8 and S8+ pack 2960 x 1440 pixels, vs 1920 x 1080 for the iPhone 7 Plus and a pitiful 1334 x 750 pixels on the iPhone 7. Plus, the Galaxy S8 supports HDR for more colors and better contrast.
Iris scanning and facial recognition for no-hassle unlocking
There’s no easier way to unlock your phone that simply staring at the screen, and that’s what the Galaxy S8 lets you do via two methods. You can choose facial recognition, which leverages the front camera, or iris scanning, which is more secure and is unique to your eyes. We prefer iris scanning because it works in the dark, though it has trouble in sunlight. The iPhone 7 limits you to only its Touch ID sensor, which just like any sensor, can get tripped up sweat or anything else on your fingers.
Longer battery life
The numbers don’t lie. On the Tom’s Guide Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over 4G, the Galaxy S8+ lasted 11 hours and 4 minutes. That’s about 20 minutes longer than the iPhone 7 Plus. We saw an even bigger delta between the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 at 10:39 vs 9:03. That’s about an hour and a half more juice for Samsung’s phones.
Better cameras (though just by a bit)
We compared to the iPhone 7 Plus versus the Galaxy S8+ in a camera shootout, and Samsung’s 12-megapixel rear shooter and 8-MP camera edged out the back 12-MP and front 5-MP cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus. While both phones excelled outdoors and produced fantastic results, even in the shadows, the Galaxy S8 pulled ahead in dim lighting, producing a bit more detail. To be fair, the iPhone 7 Plus benefits from having dual cameras, which enables a 2x optical zoom; you can’t get that on the S8 or S8+.
The Galaxy S8 is the first phone in the U.S. to benefit from Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, and it packs a punch. On the Geekbench 4 multi-core benchmark, Samsung’s handset turned in a score of 6,295, which seriously rivals some laptops. The iPhone 7 mustered 5,392, or about 15 percent lower. (The iPhone 7 did turn in a higher single-core, though) The Galaxy S8 was only a hair faster than the iPhone on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test, hitting 36,508 compared to 36,104 for Apple’s device.
You can use it as a mini PC
As smartphones become as powerful as computers, it only makes sense to harness their horsepower on a bigger screen. And Samsung lets you do just that with the clever DeX dock, which enables you to connect the S8 or S8+ to a full HD monitor, keyboard and mouse. The $149 dock isn’t cheap, but Samsung has done a nice job optimizing various apps for a larger canvas, complete with multi-window support.
More storage out of the box (and you can expand it)
Not only do you get double the starting storage with the Galaxy S8 compared to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (64GB vs 32GB), you can expand it an additional 256GB with a microSD card. Apple’s phones have never let you add on storage. This extra capacity on the S8 could really come in handy over the course of a couple years as you snap thousands of photos, record 4K video and download large games and apps.
Apple may finally offer wireless charging with the iPhone 8, but if you want to charge the iPhone 7 without a cable you need to slap on a bulky third-party case and then purchase a separate charging pad. With the Galaxy S8, all you need to do is drop it on an accessory like Samsung’s own Wireless Charging Convertible ($89) or a cheaper option like the Spigen Qi ($25.99), and you’ll be good to go without the clutter.
New Gear VR
If you’ve ever wanted a taste of virtual reality, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ can take you there with the new Gear VR, which now comes with a nifty touch controller that makes games and apps feel more immersive. It’s not just about games, either. There are thousands of 360-degree videos and other experiences that transport you to another world. Not bad for $129.