Interface and Functionality

The feature-rich Samsung Experience UX slows the Galaxy down

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7

Both the iPhone 7's iOS 10 interface, and Samsung's UX are painfully familiar from our reviews, so we'd focus on added functionality. 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 handy new gestures, though. 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, or swipe on the finger scanner to bring down the notification shade. On the iPhone 7, 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.

Samsung's unique software UI is now dubbed Samsung Experience - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Samsung's unique software UI is now dubbed Samsung Experience - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Samsung's unique software UI is now dubbed Samsung Experience - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Samsung's unique software UI is now dubbed Samsung Experience - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7

Samsung's unique software UI is now dubbed Samsung Experience


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 iOS.

Apple's iOS 10 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Apple's iOS 10 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Apple's iOS 10 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Apple's iOS 10 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7

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, claims 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


The Galaxy S8 is powered by the latest and greatest Snapdragon 835 (US and China), or Exynos 8895 processors, which blaze through benchmarks, and even encroach on Apple's scores achievable with the A10 chipset in the iPhone 7. 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 166646.66
Apple iPhone 7 168795
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 3074
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 6759
JetStream Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 55.503
Apple iPhone 7 144.71
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 60
Apple iPhone 7 57.3
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 41
Apple iPhone 7 59.1
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 3201.66
Apple iPhone 7 3355
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 2008.33
Apple iPhone 7 3464
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 6575
Apple iPhone 7 5605

Connectivity

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 you 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 are chock full with 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.

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56 Comments

1. miketer

Posts: 472; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

Such a fine diplomatic, gentlemanly comparison when a gadget is better than the iPhone. Hate to make such comments, but couldn't help it.

17. wildcat80

Posts: 6; Member since: Aug 02, 2012

I wonder why PA continues to show the battery usage for the non US version of the S8 with the Exynos processor and not the Snapdragon that comes in the US version.

20. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

need better battery comparison? there you gohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMC_zo_Ge3w (spoiler: S8+ win over iPhone7+ with ~40% battery left)

28. htcisthebest

Posts: 423; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Even their Exynos version battery result is not accurate. Normally the Exynos processor is more battery efficient than the Snapdragon, at least that's been true in the past.

21. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and about some of that S8's cons: - letterboxing can be removed in S8. and even with letterbox, S8 still have much bigger screen area than iPhone7 - color accuracy? better check displaymate for that (they said it's really great) - one hand usage? just enter one-hand mode, it won't even take 1second to it :-/ - battery and performance test, youtube have lot of (more) legit reviews for that for iPhone's pros: "Richer apps and services ecosystem" seriously? lol... both OS have almost the same good apps right now.. and android is far more customizable btw..

23. Darckent

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 17, 2016

I phonearena are soo upset there beloved iphone looks ancient next to the s8 they are now calling the look of the s8 pretentious This site gets lower and lower When the iphone 8 has less bezels you can be sure as hell they will call it amazing

2. Tech_fan

Posts: 94; Member since: Mar 28, 2017

Sorry, there is NO comparison.

3. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Samsung Fanboy Denial syndrome at its finest. iPhone 7 - 9.3 rating S8 - 9.0 rating Clearly, there is some comparison.

7. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

This site is called iphonearena by the users for a reason.

11. Kibzara

Posts: 119; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

lol, them ratings are from last year. it's same as puting iphone 6 or 5s to comparison with s8, and looking at ratings. please, walk away with a cape on your head, seriously...

13. piyath

Posts: 2443; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

WELL SAID.....LOL

25. ColinW

Posts: 411; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

I think it is you and PA that is in denial. The S7 Edge was clearly better than the iPhone 7+ which is superior to the iPhone 7 and the S8 is above them all. I would struggle to give an iPhone 7 a 7/10.

4. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

Iphone 7+ looks ugly near gs8+ lol

5. AlikMalix unregistered

I'm an iPhone fan - but I agree when it comes to screen side. The rear side - I will take iPhone over samsungs clutter-mess anyday. The arrangement of FP sensor and camera flash - look at the comparison of the FCC prints on the back of both. Yeeek!

15. sgodsell

Posts: 6594; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The S8 also has a heart rate monitor and a O2 sensor. Oh, yeah and every SX has wireless charging as well. All of which is missing from every iPhone. But you don't really notice those things if your a blind ignorant person like you AlikMalix.

24. AlikMalix unregistered

Look asshole, stop calling me ignorant. 1. I don't care for heart rate monitor - and if I wanted one there's an app that does the same thing with camera on any phone. 2. I don't care for O2 sensor at all. 3. And I will only care for wireless when it's really wireless - not inductive charging - since you cannot pick up the device and use while it's on the pad - but you can while it's plugged in - plus I don't want to give up metal body for glass or plastic just to have inductive charging that I'm not gonna use. 4. And most important, why don't you find me when I'm talking about gimmicks and features instead of aesthetics to flame my post. Got it? (So annoyed).

29. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Lol isheep. Baaa

30. AlikMalix unregistered

Seriously why do I even bother..?

31. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3084; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

You cannot reason with s-sheep. They're too blinded with the S logo. Don't bother.

6. adecvat

Posts: 582; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

iPhone 7 pros. + Display - no flickering, no pentile. + Camera video stabilization.

16. sgodsell

Posts: 6594; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The iPhone 7 cons are no video stabilization for the second zoom camera. The S8 has both OIS and EIS. Plus the S8 has Superior low light capture compared to the iPhone 7 and 7 plus. Can you tell everyone here why iPhone users like you are so blind and ignorant like you?

18. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and S8's OIS also work on 4k video..

42. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

IPhone 7 doesn't have any secondary zoom camera.

27. htcisthebest

Posts: 423; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Let me add more to the iPho 7 pros: + shiny (and ugly) Apple logo on the back + super big bezels (bigger is better, right?) + camera that stands out (literally because the camera sticks out) + 'battery-efficient' (and out-dated) 720p resolution display + antenna design that isn't copied from HTC anymore Wow, the iPho 7 is so great! (sarcasm)

46. SCell

Posts: 15; Member since: Apr 23, 2017

You'll be wonder, but LCD backlight flickering :))) Pentile... lol... you dont ever see it. And on FHD resolution you have more the 12 diods on pixel!!!

8. Leo_MC

Posts: 5915; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

One can't go wrong with either one. S8 is clearly the better choice today and it really makes the iPhone look somehow dated (fast/inductive charging, Apple, we want that).

9. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1337; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

PA - you are aware the iPhone 8 will get an Amoled screen with the same aspect ratio? I really can't believed you are turned off by the display when Apple will be sourcing its displays from Samsung with the same aspect ratio? How will you review that? will it also be a con? I was hoping you would be fair with this review However, I feel a big bias here. But I will wait and see what your iPhone 8 review will be like. That should say it all.

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Every new Samsung phone PA, you purposely leave out specification of accuracy to mislead the inevitable stupid, including YOURSELF. The Note 7 for example, had a brightness of over 800NITS when set to auto, which is its default, as is also what the iPhone is set at...auto brightness. The Galaxy S8 according to DisplayMate has a maximum bright of an I quote: When Automatic Brightness is turned On, the Galaxy S8 produces up to a very impressive 1,020 cd/m2 (nits) http://displaymate.com/Galaxy_S8_ShootOut_01.htm You guys purposely do this every year and its annoying. The facts are availble to you. Why dont you try to act like a tech site and not some biased bunch of ingrates. When its comes to hardware specs, you have no problems mentioning any facts about the iPhone. If you just speak the facts and stop being biased, the specs will speak for themselves. 1000 nits is double what the iPhone produces at max. Its not a bad thing because the iPhone is lower. The iPhone has been lower than the Galaxy in NITS since the S4.

12. darknyte

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 18, 2017

I registered to comment here specifically. I don't understand the purpose of this review, other than to undermine the progression of technology. I own both Apple and Android devices (my home is a mishmash of android/apple - macbook pro, chromecast, etc, work iphone, home android). And after reading this review in it's entirety, I do not understand what the writer is trying to get at here. It would make more sense if they reviewed the S8 to the Iphone 8, when it gets released. Sorry, but to review this year's model phone, to another phone of last year is just a disservice to the newer device. Would anyone do a review with an Iphone 7 to a Galaxy S6.. no because that is just stupid and proving nothing. Furthermore, IOS and Android are inherently different, you get an iPhone if you like iOS, you get Samsung if you like Android.. to compare the OS as part of the phone review is just a waste of time. I feel like this writer is somewhat uneducated in terms of it's remarks on nit (further explained by another comment) and how more screen equals issues with durability. Let's make it clear, when the iPhone 8 comes out with the same or similar form factor, this reviewer better hold to that stance as well. If you read reviews from all the other sites (including Apple Insider), they are at least slightly more honest and less biased as to what is great and what needs work. I for one, am excited at the excellent form factor and sleekness for this phone, and equally excited to see what Apple will release in the future. Please move on, and stop bashing new phones with the old one, upholding progression of technology. Call it for what it is, Apple has been stagnant for the last 3 years, and Samsung is on their heels, which is great, because I'm expecting something grand from Apple this year.

19. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

welcome to iPhonearena... btw, did your "Enter" button broken or something? :-/

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