Sony Xperia X vs Samsung Galaxy S7
Sony’s custom Android skin is light, unobtrusive and fast. Samsung’s TouchWiz, on its part, offers better customization options.
Samsung’s custom TouchWiz user interface is probably the most recognizable face of the Android platform, despite the fact that it looks so different from stock Android. Then, there is Sony’s radically different approach: its custom Android interface that is on the Xperia X is light, very similar to the pure, stock look of Google’s platform.
And that’s a good thing: animations are quick and to-the-point, the few custom additions like the clock give the phone some character, but overall the approach Sony takes is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it’. Some options like 'double tap to wake' are not enabled by default, so you'll have to go on a trip to settings to turn them on if you want (go to Settings > Display > scroll all the way down to the Interaction section and tap on the Tap to wake up setting).
These being Android phones, you have very rich customization, but Samsung’s Galaxy S7 sure has the longer list of options.
Internet and Connectivity
The good thing about phones from mainstream brands like Sony and Samsung, especially for their U.S.-bound phones, is that they are supplied with proper 4G LTE bands, so in the case with the Xperia X and Galaxy S7, you needn’t worry about band compatibility with the major US carriers.
The web experience on the Xperia X is good: pages load fairly quickly and we did not notice much of a lag in our daily usage, but the Galaxy S7 still feels a bit zippier in everything it does on the web.
Naturally, both phones have dual-channel Wi-Fi support, as well as Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC connectivity.
Performance and Memory
The Xperia X with Snapdragon 650 performs well for daily tasks, but is definitely not on par with the Snapdragon 820 on the S7 in more intense operations.
The Sony Xperia X rocks the Snapdragon 650 system chip with 3GB of RAM, which is clearly not the best on the market in terms of performance. The Snapdragon 650 chip is decent for daily tasks, but if you put it through its paces with gaming and image-heavy websites, you will notice it takes longer to render pages and some games might load longer and stutter.
The Samsung Galaxy S7, on the other hand, is equipped with the cream of the crop Snapdragon 820 SoC and 4 gigs of RAM. It is the faster of the two with those more intensive tasks, while for daily routines, the difference between the two chips is barely noticeable.
Technically, geeks would be interested to know that the Snapdragon 650 on the Xperia X is manufactured on the rather dated 28nm process, while the Snapdragon 820 on the Galaxy S7 is made using the much more power efficient 14nm manufacturing process, an advantage for the S7.
Good news is that both phones come with 32GB of storage on board, and both support microSD card expansion. The storage on the Galaxy S7 is a bit faster, which speeds up app installs, but also contributes to faster loading of apps.