Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7 head-to-head review

The battle is on to be the world's greatest smartphone

Battery life

iPhone 7Galaxy S8
Battery life13hrs 2mins16hrs 45mins
Charging portLightningUSB-C
Wireless chargingNoYes
Fast ChargingNoYes

For many of us, battery life is the most common bugbear we have about our smartphones, and having your device die on you midway through the day can be a real irritation. Thankfully, both the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8 have rather impressive battery lives, and both phones will easily be able to see you through a full working day with juice to spare.

In our battery tests, the iPhone 7 lasted for 13hrs 2mins, which is nothing to be sniffed at. The Galaxy S8 still managed to blaze past it by well over three hours however, clocking in a final score of 16hrs and 45mins.

The S8 also has some added advantages up its sleeve in the battery departement, given that it comes with both wireless and adaptive fast-charging. It's also compatible with the USB-C charging standard, meaning there's a much wider variety of adapters and accessories to fit it.

Apple's device is trumped by the Galaxy S8 both in terms of sheer battery life and in terms of its versatility, offering numerous and more convenient ways to juice it back up after it's run out of power.

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Winner: Galaxy S8

Features

iPhone 7Galaxy S8
PortsLightningUSB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
WaterproofingIP67IP68
Biometric securityFingerprint recognitionFingerprint/ facial/iris recognition

With the iPhone 7, Apple finally listened to customers and added one of the most long-awaited features: full IP67 waterproofing. This will be old hat to Samsung fans, who have had waterproof phones for several years now, but it's one less thing that Apple's behind the curve on. Unfortunately, while it's added waterproofing, the iPhone 7 has also removed a much-loved feature in the form of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple giveth and Apple taketh away.

Samsung, meanwhile has added a slew of new features to its flagship line. First up is Bixby, the company's answer to Siri and Cortana. The digital assistant can do all the standard tasks like setting reminders and answering questions (though voice capabilities haven't landed in the UK yet), but can also use the camera to let you search for information on objects just by photographing them.

The Galaxy S8 also features new biometric authentication technology. Aside from the now rear-mounted fingerprint sensor seen in previous devices, Samsung has also brought over the iris-scanning tech seen in the ill-fated Note 7, as well as facial recognition capabilities.

Lastly, there's support for Gigabit Wi-Fi and LTE networking, ensuring speedy browsing and download speeds. Samsung has also released a new desktop dock peripheral, called the DeX, which allows you to use the S8 with a monitor, mouse and keyboard in a desktop-like environment, similar to Windows Continuum.

Aside from waterproofing, the iPhone 7 really doesn't have anything in particular to shout about. While it's just about caught up to where Samsung was two years ago, Samsung has delivered a smorgasbord of new features and functionalities, including enhanced biometric security and the ability to use the S8 as a thin-client device. The latter is a huge deal for businesses in particular, and at a single stroke, Samsung has added a string to the S8's bow that is conspicuously missing from the iPhone 7's.

Winner: Galaxy S8

Verdict

In head-to-head tests, Apple's handsets used to be a dead cert to win most, if not all, of the categories. Now, however, its rivals have caught up with it. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a more accomplished device in terms of its, design, display, features and battery life. The only area in which Apple still retains its edge is in performance - but even that's only a narrow lead.

The honest truth is that there's simply no reason to buy an iPhone 7 over the Galaxy S8. More importantly, there's a pretty compelling argument for people who've already bought the latest iPhone to upgrade to Samsung's new flagship. The next iPhone could change all this, of course, but for now, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is king of the smartphone hill.

Overall winner: Galaxy S8

Verdict

Apple's iPhone 7 is an excellent device, but it's just no match for the Samsung Galaxy S8. With a gorgeous design, a stunning display and more features than you can shake a stick at, Samsung has finally claimed its place as the best smartphone on the market.

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