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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7



The S8 excels in low-light and continuous focus

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7

Samsung gave the S8 the same camera that is in the S7 edge, at least on paper – a 12 MP shooter with Dual Pixel focusing tech. The camera system uses new Sony or Samsung sensor models, though, and, in addition, the selfie snapper has been upgraded to an 8 MP autofocus affair, from a 5 MP fixed-focus unit. The iPhone 7 also has a 12 MP rear camera, but with a smaller sensor and pixels, which, all other things being equal, would mean less photons soaked in for low-light scenarios.

Samsung cleaned up its camera app interface significantly, with only the most used functions on the main screen, like with the iPhone, while the numerous shooting modes and color effects are tucked a gesture flick away. The front camera interface got richer, though, as it can now add bunny ears or funny sunglass stickers to your pics and vids, Snapchat and Apple Clips-style. When it comes to speed of shooting, these two are kings of the hill, and yet the Galaxy S8 feels slightly ahead, as the Dual Pixel tech is best in class when it comes to focus and refocusing times.

Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S8 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S8 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S8 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7

Camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy S8

Camera interface of the iPhone 7 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Camera interface of the iPhone 7 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Camera interface of the iPhone 7 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7
Camera interface of the iPhone 7 - Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Apple iPhone 7

Camera interface of the iPhone 7

Image quality

The iPhone captures images in “wide color,” and these can be viewed as such on the handset's display immediately, which is pretty svelte, especially if you are swapping photos with other iPhone 7/7 Plus users. Oftentimes, especially in sunlight scenarios, the pictures from the iPhone 7 come with a warmer color temperature than those from the S8, but sometimes the roles are reversed, and it's the S8 that gets warm and fuzzy. Still, it's the pictures from the iPhone 7 that come out much warmer than natural, to the point of having a yellow overcast, of which we aren't particularly big fans. In those scenarios, the Galaxy S8's photos tend to look more authentic, though not perfect either, due to an oversharpening and saturation which makes pictures stand out at first, but also gives them a somewhat artificial look. Both phones can capture copious amounts of detail, and handle tricky dynamic range scenes in a superb manner – probably the best that the tiny phone sensor technology can offer at the moment. Needless to say, the fast processing times and auto HDR modes play a significant part in these stellar exposure adjustments that the iPhone 7 Plus and S8 are capable of. In low-light the Galaxy exhibits some sharpness and exposure advantages, emphasizing the shadows a bit more.

Image size:
Use our samples comparison tool to see photos from more phones

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 1.2
Apple iPhone 7 1.13
No data
No data
View all

Video recording

All 4K video abilities aren't created equal, and Apple, while a late bloomer, used to do UHD recording the best of them all, with smooth footage, devoid of artifacts, and no recording limitations. With the Galaxy S8, however, it now has a worthy competitor, as Samsung hits all the spots mentioned, too, but the Dual Pixel focusing system that uses the whole sensor to focus, makes going from near to far objects, and vice versa, a seamless process. Not that the continuous autofocus of the 7 Plus is slow, it's just not as fluid. Both the iPhone and the S8 are capable of slow-motion video with 240fps at HD definition, which can create some very eye-pleasing effects.


The AMOLED display of the S8, while superior in terms of contrast and with HDR certification should the need arise, is a bit of an oddball on the S8. Not only is video watching marred by the slightly curved display sides, but also the new aspect ratio is hit or miss. Go to the YouTube app, for instance, and you will find yourself with black bands on the sides of the screen to fit the standard 16:9 aspect, or with slightly cropped footage in compatibility mode. Even if you are streaming one of the new Netflix series, which are now shot in 2:1 Univisium format, they'd still show letterboxed, even if you download them for offline viewing, and there is no compatibility button in the Netflix app by default. You have to explicitly go to the Full Screen option in the Display settings menu to add an aspect ratio compatibility option for the Netflix app. Upon tapping said button, if the series is 2:1, then you lose nothing by making it stretch and fit the whole display, but if it's 16:9, tough luck, you got cropped.

The Galaxy S8 outputs decent audio with its sole speaker, but the iPhone 7's stereo sound does it one better. Even though it is smaller than the 7 Plus, so the stereo effect is more dubious, there's a fuller, stronger sound coming out, while the S8 tonality and strength range are more limited in comparison.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 0.75
Apple iPhone 7 0.991
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 78
Apple iPhone 7 78.1
View all

  • Options

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 10:09 7

1. miketer (Posts: 269; Member since: 02 Apr 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 20:47

17. wildcat80 (Posts: 6; Member since: 02 Aug 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 20:54 2

20. ibend (banned) (Posts: 6747; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

need better battery comparison?
there you go
(spoiler: S8+ win over iPhone7+ with ~40% battery left)

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 23:20

28. htcisthebest (Posts: 294; Member since: 15 Nov 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 21:02 4

21. ibend (banned) (Posts: 6747; Member since: 30 Sep 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..

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 21:49 2

23. Darckent (Posts: 28; Member since: 17 Sep 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

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 10:16 6

2. Tech_fan (banned) (Posts: 94; Member since: 28 Mar 2017)

Sorry, there is NO comparison.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 10:18 9

3. Lumbergh (Posts: 358; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)

Samsung Fanboy Denial syndrome at its finest.

iPhone 7 - 9.3 rating
S8 - 9.0 rating

Clearly, there is some comparison.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 12:32 6

7. HomerS (Posts: 418; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 13:58

11. Kibzara (Posts: 19; Member since: 24 Feb 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...

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 16:22

13. piyath (Posts: 1132; Member since: 23 Mar 2012)


posted on 18 Apr 2017, 22:34 2

25. ColinW (Posts: 273; Member since: 04 Jun 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 10:37 9

4. abdoualgeria (Posts: 846; Member since: 27 Jul 2015)

Iphone 7+ looks ugly near gs8+ lol

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 10:56 1

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!

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 20:34 2

15. sgodsell (Posts: 5057; Member since: 16 Mar 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 22:27 1

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).

posted on 19 Apr 2017, 01:13 1

29. omnitech (Posts: 982; Member since: 28 Sep 2016)

Lol isheep. Baaa

posted on 19 Apr 2017, 02:06

30. AlikMalix (unregistered)

Seriously why do I even bother..?

posted on 19 Apr 2017, 03:09

31. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 2443; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 11:16 2

6. adecvat (Posts: 355; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 20:37 2

16. sgodsell (Posts: 5057; Member since: 16 Mar 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?

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 20:50 1

18. ibend (banned) (Posts: 6747; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

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

posted on 22 Apr 2017, 09:09

42. AmashAziz (Posts: 1602; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)

IPhone 7 doesn't have any secondary zoom camera.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 22:47 1

27. htcisthebest (Posts: 294; Member since: 15 Nov 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)

posted on 23 Apr 2017, 10:14

46. SCell (Posts: 15; Member since: 23 Apr 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!!!

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 13:09 4

8. Leo_MC (Posts: 3017; Member since: 02 Dec 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).

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 13:16 5

9. PhoneCritic (Posts: 1072; Member since: 05 Oct 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 13:57 3

10. TechieXP1969 (banned) (Posts: 14967; Member since: 25 Sep 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)


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.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 15:33 1

12. darknyte (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Apr 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 20:52 1

19. ibend (banned) (Posts: 6747; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

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

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