It's a stand out device, there's no doubt about that, but how does the Galaxy S8 compare to its competition? You can read how it stands up against its predecessor, as well as the LG G6 and Google's Pixel devices in our separate features, but here we are focusing on how it compares to Apple's iPhone 7.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7: Design
- Both offer premium designs with waterproofing
- iPhone 7 is smaller and lighter
- Galaxy S8 has an all-screen front
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a beautiful design featuring a metal build, almost all-screen dual-edged front with very slim bezels and a glass rear. There is no branding or physical buttons on the front of the device, while the rear sees the square camera lens in the centre at the top with the fingerprint sensor to its right and the flash module to the left.
The Apple iPhone 7 also delivers in the design department, though it has a flat screen and much larger bezels than the S8, making it look a little more dated given the latest trend for big screens. The iPhone 7 has a circular home button with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the front, while the all-aluminium rear has a small camera lens in the top left corner in a more subtle form than the S8.
In terms of physical measurements, the S8 comes in at 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and it hits the scales at 155g, while the iPhone 7 isn't quite as tall and ever so slightly slimmer at 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm. It is also lighter at 138g. Bear in mind that the S8 has a much larger display than both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus though.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7: Display
- Galaxy S8 has much larger display
- Galaxy S8 has more than double the pixels per inch
- Galaxy S8 offers curved display and Mobile HDR Premium
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch display, while the Apple iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch display so you get quite a bit more screen on Samsung's device without having a significantly bigger device, largely thanks to the S8's 18.5:9 ratio over the traditional 16:9.
Samsung also offers a higher resolution than Apple, with 2960 x 1440 pixels on the S8 compared to 1334 x 750 pixels on the iPhone 7. This means the Galaxy S8 should offer crisper and sharper detail than the iPhone 7 with a pixel density of 570ppi compared to 326ppi. The iPhone 7 still offers a great display though so don't get too caught up in the numbers.
The iPhone 7 opts for a Retina HD display, translating to an LED-backlit LCD flat screen, while the Galaxy S8 has a Super AMOLED Infinity Display, which means bezel-less and edge-to-edge offering rich and vibrant colours. Samsung also offers Mobile HDR Premium on its S8, making the new flagship compatible with viewing HDR content.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7: Camera
- Both have 12MP rear cameras
- Galaxy S8 has 8MP front camera, iPhone 7 has 7MP
- Excellent results expected from both
When it comes to smartphone camera capabilities, it is no secret that Apple and Samsung both deliver fantastic results. The iPhone 7 has already proved itself in this department, and while the Galaxy S8 still has to, we're expecting great things so you're not likely to be disappointed with either device here, no matter who wins the megapixel battle.
For those of you who do want the details though, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 12-megapixel Duo Pixel rear camera with an f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilisation and phase detection autofocus. Samsung offers multi-frame image processing, which means the S8 snaps three pictures and uses all the information to create one better, more detailed final image.
The front-facing camera on the S8 has an 8-megapixel resolution with an f/1.7 aperture and autofocus over fixed focus. There is also iris scanning technology on board the S8, allowing you to unlock your device quickly and easily.
The Apple iPhone 7 meanwhile, has a 12-megapixel rear camera too with a slightly narrower aperture of f/1.8, though in the grand scheme of things, this is minor. It too has optical image stabilisation, along with plenty of features including a Quad-LED True Tone flash.
The front-facing camera resolution sits at 7-megapixels with a f/2.2 aperture, a Retina Flash and auto image stabilisation. There is no iris scanning on board the iPhone 7 though so unlocking is via the six-digit passcode or Touch ID only.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7: Hardware
- Galaxy S8 offers double RAM and microSD
- Performance on both should be great
- No 3.5mm headphone jack or wireless charging on iPhone 7
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has an Exynos octa-core chipset under its hood, coupled with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and microSD support for further storage expansion. Some regions may get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, but either way, you're looking at a lot of power.
There is a 3000mAh battery capacity running the S8 show, charged via USB Type-C with both wireless charging and fast charging supported. Samsung says the battery will offer up to 20 hours talk time and up to 14 hours Wi-Fi browsing. You'll also find a 3.5mm headphone jack for plugging in the AKG in-ear headphones that are bundles with the S8 in the box.
The Apple iPhone 7 has the company's A10 Fusion chip with embedded M10 motion coprocessor, coupled with 2GB of RAM and storage options of 32GB, 128GB and 256GB, none of which have microSD for storage expansion.
In terms of battery, Apple claims the iPhone 7 will deliver up to 14 hours talk time and up to 14 hours Wi-Fi browsing. It is charged via Lightning and wireless charging is not supported. There is also no 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7, though Apple does bundle in a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack adapter in the box, meaning you'll still be able to use your old headphones.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7: Software
- Galaxy S8 runs on Android with TouchWiz
- iPhone 7 runs on iOS 10, with quick updates to latest software
- Both good platforms
The Samsung Galaxy S8 runs on Android 7.0 with the TouchWiz interface over the top, while the Apple iPhone 7 runs on iOS 10, meaning quite different experiences on both, though both great.
It comes down to personal preference as to which platform you prefer, but ultimately both offer similar features - like great app stores - they are just packaged in a slightly different way. Apple offers quicker updates when new software builds are released, while Samsung users normally have a wait a while following an Android update, but the overall experience on both devices is excellent.
The Galaxy S8 will eventually offer Bixby, Samsung's new AI system, while Apple offers Siri so both devices deliver a personal assistant of some sort. If you're undecided on which platform you might prefer, try reading our iOS 10 tips and tricks feature and our S7 tips and tricks feature to give you an idea of the kinds of things you'll be able to do on both. We will do a separate S8 tips feature when we have spent more time with the device.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7: Price
- iPhone cheaper but less storage
- S8 comes in five colours, iPhone in six
The Samsung Galaxy S8 costs £689 and it is available in five colours, though not all colours will come to every country. The options comprise Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Coral Blue, Artic Silver and Maple Gold.
The Apple iPhone 7 costs between £599 and £799 depending on the capacity you choose. It is available in six colours: Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold (PRODUCT) Red. The Jet Black model only comes in 128GB and 256GB options though, meaning it starts at £699.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7: Which should you choose?
The Apple iPhone 7 is a great device, though its battery isn't awesome, while the Samsung Galaxy S8 has all the potential to be an great device, even if it hasn't yet proved it. So which do you choose?
Well, ultimately this decision comes down to which design and platform you prefer. The Galaxy S8 has an amazing design that catapults Samsung into the future, while the iPhone 7 stays safe, offering a design that works and looks great but is perhaps not quite as exciting as newer devices.
In terms of specs, there isn't a great deal between these two handsets. Both have great cameras, powerful hardware, good software and good displays. They are also both waterproof and they aren't too far off each other in terms of price and although the S8 is more expensive, neither is likely to disappoint.
If you're swaying towards the iPhone, bear in mind that the iPhone 8 should be appearing in the next six months so it might be worth hanging on a little longer. If you think Samsung is the one for you, pre-orders are open now, with delivery on 21 April.