At the beginning of this week, Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge — its flagship handsets for at least the first half of 2016. The company has vastly improved its latest handsets in some key areas compared to its predecessors, and in many ways, the Galaxy S7 is superior to its chief rival: the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
There are some things that the iPhone 6s simply cannot do either due to technical limitations or due to iOS constraints, which makes the Galaxy S7 a better choice over it. Below, we highlight six such features. Depending on their priority, you can then easily decide which is the better phone between the two for you.
#7 Fast charging
Even though the Galaxy S7 comes with a 5.1-inch Quad HD display, it features a 3,000mAh battery, which is bigger than even the 2750mAh battery found inside the iPhone 6s Plus.
Whether the former is able to beat the latter in real life battery tests is something that only time will tell, but one area where the S7 and S7 edge handily beat the iPhones is charging times. Thanks to fast charging, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge can be charged from 0-100% in just over 1.5 hours, which considering their beefy battery size is insanely fast. For comparison, the iPhone 6s Plus when charged with its stock charger takes well over 2 hours to reach full battery capacity.
The Galaxy S7 edge with its larger 3,600mAh battery will take slightly longer than the Galaxy S7 to charge, but it will still be less than the time taken by the iPhone 6s Plus. As someone who has used smartphones with fast charging feature built-in before, I can confidently say that this feature is a must-have in every smartphone or device that is powered by rechargeable batteries.
#6 Wireless fast charging
Just like their predecessors, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge also come with wireless charging, though this time around they do have another trick up their sleeve: fast wireless charging. This means that charging the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge wirelessly will almost be as fast as charging the devices through a wired charger. Overall, the difference between charging the Galaxy S7 through a wired fast charger and a wireless fast charger is likely only going to be around 10-15 mins, which is more than made up by the added convenience of the latter.
Sure, it may not be ‘true’ wireless charging, but it is convenient and until true wireless charging becomes mainstream, I am sure consumers will prefer at least its half-baked implementation rather than having nothing at all. Do note that fast wireless charing chargers are different from normal wireless chargers.
Just like with the Galaxy Note 5, it is possible to use the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge as a virtual reality headset when used in conjunction Samsung’s Gear VR. In fact, Samsung’s launch event for the S7 itself was in VR where every attendee was using a Note 5 inside a Gear VR to view the event.
Sadly, while the iPhone has a thriving ecosystem of accessories, there is no such accessory for it that will convert it into a VR headset.
Rumors have indicated that Apple will be adding waterproofing abilities to the iPhone with the release of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus later this year. Samsung, however, has already one-upped its chief competitor in this department by adding IP68 dust-proof and water resistant capabilities to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. And unlike the Galaxy S5, Samsung has achieved this by sealing the Galaxy S7 from inside and not from outside, which means there is no ugly flap covering the microUSB port this time around.
The IP68 certification means that the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge can be immersed in up to 1-1.5m of fresh water for an unlimited period of time.
#3 Expandable storage
Last year, Samsung tried to pull an Apple by removing the expandable storage option on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. The plan misfired badly and Samsung was heavily criticised for it by power users.
Learning from its mistake, Samsung has this year included a microSD card slot on the S7 and S7 edge that can accept microSD cards of up to 200GB. When combined with the 32GB internal storage, the S7 and S7 edge offer up to 232GB of storage space — 100GB more than the maximum storage option that Apple offers for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. This makes the S7 and S7 edge a haven for people who like to carry around their whole music library on their smartphone.
#2 Always-On display
On the iPhone, if you need to check the date/time or any new notification, you need to first press the power/home button to wake up the display of the device, or take a much costlier route and buy an Apple Watch. Thanks to the always-on display of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge though, you will never need to wake the device up to check the time/date or any new notification.
The displays on the S7 and S7 edge switch to a low-power always-on mode where they continuously display the time and date and new notifications. Since the handsets feature an AMOLED display, only a certain part of the display is lit, which ensures that the battery life is not penalised heavily by this feature. They also automatically switch themselves off when they are in your pocket or when the display is covered to further preserve battery life.
#1 Hybrid SIM
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge come with a hybrid SIM slot, which in certain markets of the world will allow Samsung to easily add dual-SIM capabilities to its flagship handsets. In China and other Asian markets, dual-SIM phones have been doing very well, though there is a lack of high-end flagship phones with this feature. Last year, Samsung launched a special variant of the Galaxy Note 5 with dual-SIM capabilities in India and other neighbouring regions to cater to this niche, but with its 2016 flagship Galaxy handsets, it has befitted them with this feature right from the get go.
Another advantage of hybrid SIM is that international travellers can use a local SIM alongside their normal SIM and use the former for calling purposes.
In comparison, Apple only offers the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus with a single SIM slot in whichever market it sells the phone.
Do you think the presence of above features make the Galaxy S7 a better buy than the iPhone 6s? Or will you still be buying the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus? Drop in a comment below and let us know.