Interface and Functionality

Tradeoffs, tradeoffs: the feature-rich S8+ interface slows the Galaxy down

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus

We won't delve much into the iOS 10 vs Android 7 specifics here, as both the iPhone 7 Plus interface, and Samsung's UX are painfully familiar from our reviews, but would rather focus on added functionality, and dedicated modes that make using the big phablets easier with one hand. The S8+ does come with new iconography compared to, say, the S7 with the Nougat update – more uniform and minimalistic – but that beauty is skin-deep, as the settings and other menus are nearly identical. Not that they look bad.

Samsung has provided some wise new ways to call stuff on the big screen, and we aren't talking about the one-handed mode that shrinks the whole interface two sizes down for easier reach. You can, for example, slide up from the bottom of the screen to pull the app drawer now, then swipe in either direction to close it. Given how often you go to the app drawer, compared to pulling down the status bar with the connectivity toggles, though, it would have been wiser to include a swipe down gesture to unfurl the notification shade from any empty screen area, like on so many other Android interfaces. Now, if you want to turn off a radio, or read a notification preview, you have to hold the S8+ with both hands to pull down the shade safely. The alternatives are to do some dubious palm gymnastics to reach all the way to the top, or swipe on the faraway finger sensor which can be assigned as a touch pad of sorts for that action – both rather unsavory options.

Main UI of the Galaxy S8+ - Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Main UI of the Galaxy S8+ - Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Main UI of the Galaxy S8+ - Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Main UI of the Galaxy S8+ - Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Main UI of the Galaxy S8+

The iPhone 7 Plus is not much easier when it comes to bringing down its Notification Center shade with one hand, but it has a Reachability mode that can bring down the screen by double-tapping the Touch ID home key. Also, the connectivity switches and other oft-used controls are placed in the Command Center at the bottom, and it is much easier for your thumb to swipe or tap at the bottom than try to stretch all the way up.

iOS 10 on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus - Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus
iOS 10 on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus - Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus
iOS 10 on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus - Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus
iOS 10 on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus - Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus

iOS 10 on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung's interface overlay on top of Android 7.0 Nougat is, as usual, full to the brim with functions you may or may not use, like the iris recognition security that is in addition to the fingerprint and other authentication methods already on the phone. It may be cool for bragging purposes, or if you are in a secure corporate environment, but not that much faster or more convenient than finger scanning or keying in a PIN number. Not that Apple hasn't added features that haven't proved everyday necessities just yet (looking at you, 3D Touch screen Peek and Pop), but on Samsung's new Experience UX, just as with TouchWiz of yesteryear, these are much more numerous, and often redundant. The end result for Samsung handsets is that you get a more function-rich, but a tad slower to move and execute apps interface, compared to the iOS frenemy.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Some of these extra options, especially with Nougat, can be attributed to Android itself, like the split-screen multitasking, or the power management features, so Samsung doesn't really have a say here, but others are of its own making. The new Bixby virtual butler, for instance, thinks it will be better than Apple's Siri in terms of natural speech recognition and language support, but its full functionality will be coming at a later date, and for now it just duplicates Google Assistant.

Processor and memory

Galaxy S8+ is powered by the latest and greatest Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 8895, which blaze through benchmarks, and even encroach on Apple's scores achievable with the A10 chipset in the 7 Plus. Moreover, 4 GB of RAM are a pretty generous amount still, but, as we mentioned, the Samsung UX is heavier than iOS, and not as organically fused with the underlying operating system kernel, so this raw horse power doesn't translate into unequivocally better performance of the S8+ compared to the 7 Plus, and even falls behind in some demanding graphics tasks.

Samsung starts at 64 GB of internal storage this year, and provides a microSD slot for memory expansion, while Apple has 32-256 GB tiers to choose from.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 173945
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 179811
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 3223
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 6881
JetStream Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 60.931
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 167.76
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 60
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 58.2
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 41
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 55.8
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 3256
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3119
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 2006
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3443
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 6708
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 5619


Top LTE dogs, but S8+ hits it out of the park in download speeds

These two are the handsets with the most LTE bands you can find (20+ on both), so if you are a globetrotter they are your best bets for local network compatibility. The S8+, however, has the upper hand in theoretical LTE speeds as it is the first phone to support Cat. 16 for up to 1Gbps downloads, if your carrier can provide those. T-Mobile already boasted that it can, in certain areas and conditions, so there's that – you can eat through your 30 GB “deprioritization” limit in no time now with the Un-carrier's unlimited plan.

The Galaxy S8+ and iPhone 7 Plus are chock full of almost every radio you can think of, and Samsung even throws in its MST standard for wireless payment authorizations that can mimic a swipe credit or debit card. As for wired connectivity, Samsung moved to USB-C at long last, while Apple has been doing Lightning for a good while – both are the best in speed and power transfers, so no complaints.



1. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

iPhone 7 Plus was rated a 9.3. So have to go with it since it's the better phone. The iPhone 8 Plus will obliterate the competition.

3. stferrari

Posts: 36; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

Dream on Lumbergh.......Dream on

5. sgodsell

Posts: 6594; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

PhoneArena gave it that score. However PhoneArena also stated in this article that the iPhone 7 plus has the more standard 1920x1080 display. Maybe standard in iPhones now. But Android flagships and even a number of even mid range Android smartphones have been using QHD for a few years now. So 1920x1080 is standard​ to sum, but definitely not in the Android camp.

24. Muklee

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Can anyone tell me, why is 1920x1080 not enough? I am using an iPhone 7+, and have never been in a need of more pixels. Had Galaxy S7 before with QHD, but absolutely no difference visible. I'm not using VR as 99% of the user either.

8. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 2015

Phonearena gives 0.3 extra point to iPhone 7 because they think iPhone 7 has better battery life. But we all know that is not true. So is the ratings given.

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

they gave some old blackberries above 9.0 scores as well. They must be better than the iphone.

20. lightyears

Posts: 69; Member since: Aug 24, 2015

Good joke man

26. giovan

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

Long time user of iPhone and received an S8 to test out and though have never been a Andriod fan , though the S8 makes the i7+ look and feel like a blackberry bold . no doubt Apple needs a home run out of the park to catch up . I will wait till 8 as all my infrastructure is iOS though if apples fails on screen quality , I have no issue moving over

2. Tech_fan

Posts: 94; Member since: Mar 28, 2017

hehe.. look at the 7+ next to looks like Brick

14. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

he write: "The narrow 6.2” S8+ is a looker, but its actual display area is not much higher than the 7 Plus" not much bigger? just look at the very first picture, lol..

19. Darckent

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 17, 2016

Yeh iphoneArena are blatantly lying about screen Estate Firstly there's an option to force every app and video to fit the screen estate Secondly there are videos on YouTube comparing games like asphalt etc and not only can you see the screen Estate difference between these two phones there are no slowdowns or hiccups like iphoneArena have stated When a website starts to blatantly lie to discredit another company because their phone of choice is being beaten quite significantly by a rival product you know that they are heading downhill We need to spread not only this comparison but the reviews which lie about the s8 battery life, screen brightness and the colour reproduction of the screen with actual facts so people can now see how far iphoneArena have gone just because there is a better phone than the iphone People spread these reviews with links of facts that show the lies of this website I have already and actually got a reply from IGN who state that phonearena is well known among other publications for their biassed when it comes to anything Apple but other publications won't highlight the fact due to being sued etc I might publish the email I received but don't know if that will get IGN in trouble I'm going to forward the reviews and this comparison with facts to other websites and see if I get a response aswell So it's not just us other publications think iphoneArena are a joke

21. TerryTerius unregistered

MKBHD and Michael Fisher said the same thing about certain apps having the issue of the black bars, and that it may remain an issue unless content creators update their apps to support the new ratio. You can force content to fit, but that can result in certain portions of whatever you're looking being cut off. And at least with Michael Fisher's review unit, there was occasional stutter, but that was mostly whenever he called up Bixby. You could clearly see it while he was reviewing the device. That wasn't the case for MKBHD or The Verge, so it may have simply been Michael's unit. Who knows. We'll see if that comes up with other reviews, I haven't looked around yet. But I am kind of curious. If you don't see any value in their reviews and you dislike the way they conduct themselves, then why do you visit the site? I'm not asking to be antagonistic, I'm just curious.

25. Muklee

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

The S8's screen size is not even 1% (0,7%) bigger. The writer was right, it's not a real difference.

17. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

It's just the white bezels. They could've used black bezels for this comparison but they have to make up for 'em Samsung fans for sucking Apple's d*%# too hard.

4. Tarox

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 17, 2015

oh iphonearena come on. Already the look at your battery stats let's everybody see how biased your reviews are... Here an real life test of the two opponents:

6. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Wow! You really made PA. Look bad with this YouTube

7. ithehappy

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

Hmm, nothing makes sense in this site! In the iPhone 7 review it said call quality is stellar, but here it says something different. Whatever!

12. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1059; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

iPhones have never had the best call quality, nor reception, batterylife and so on. Free iphones for great reviews, better than spending a fortune on them.

18. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

None of that matters because at the end of the day, it's about how good and not what's best. Best is subjective.

9. Dagdigdug

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 18, 2017

the article S8 vs iphone7 and s8+ vs iphone is like a lazy writer who decided to plagiarize his/her own work. So Similar and even use the exact same sentences. Only a little paraphrase and changes only iphone 7 and 7 plus side. Even the video of the s8+ is from s8.

15. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

just look at S8 review and S8+ review.. it's pure copy paste..

10. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

The iphone 7+ does not have better battery life than the S8+ as real life tests show:

16. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

I've seen this link in PA for like 30times now.. let's continue to spread that video, lol..

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 30513; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'll own both, as of Thursday :D

22. TerryTerius unregistered

I am honestly jealous of you my friend. I will not be picking one up for probably two or three months.

23. BobbySummers

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 04, 2017

iphonearena logic: Iphone 7 plus has 2 cons- give it a 9.3 Samsung s8 plus has 0 cons- give it a 9.0 So the better question is how much does apple pay you guys for the faulty reviews

27. madara82

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

We can't compare the S8 to iphone . Mayabe if the Iphone 8 will be released their we can compare them

28. madara82

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

i'm just waiting for iPhone 8 to be release and that's the time that we can compare S8 and Iphone 8..... this will be a toe to toe comparison.

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