NOW THAT THE Galaxy S8’s finally been unveiled – officially and in full – everyone with an S7 has the same questions: does this make my phone obsolete? Should I upgrade to the new one or wait? Is the S8 worth the extra money?
If you’re asking the same – or you’re thinking of getting an S7 and want to know if it’s worth the extra outlay for the next model up – you came to the right place. We’ve got all the answers.
Here’s the definitive lowdown on the Samsung Galaxy S7 vs the S8.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S7: Design
S7: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g
S8: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, 155g
No contest. When the S7 came out in 2016, it was one of the most gorgeous phones around, but the S8 has taken such a step forward that it leaves its predecessor in the dust. Which is OK because both phones are IP68 rated.
The disparity is nowhere clearer than on Samsung’s own store. Admittedly, the image they use on the S7 screen doesn’t exactly show off its capabilities, but it was the image on all the ads so it’s a fair test.
The S7 comes off looking very ‘last year.’ The decision to use a black faceplate on the S8 was a good one, too: no one wants to see all the sensors.
However, taste is a complex thing, and so some people will prefer the physical home key and front-mounted fingerprint sensor on the S7. On the S8, it’s on the back next to the camera.
There’s also no ‘flat’ version of the S8, so people who don’t like curved screens won’t be impressed.
Finally, there’s also been a lot of hesitation around the relative sizes of the new phones, but in fairness they seem a lot smaller in the hand than they sound, precisely because of the curve and the small bezels.
Despite all of that, it’s still an absolute knockout for the S8. What a beauty.
Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S8: Display
S7: 5.1″ quad-HD (2560×1440, 577ppi), AOD, flat
S8: 5.8″ quad-HD+ (2960×1440, 570ppi), AOD, HDR certified, curved
Another total KO. Not only does the S8’s HDR Infinity Display offer a lot more screen space in a surprisingly compact body, it has a higher resolution and that glorious curve.
Admittedly, the S8 has slightly fewer pixels per inch, but not to the point that you’d notice. And if you liked the Gear VR with the S7, you’re going to love it with the S8. Those slim margins make for a more immersive experience than we’ve seen on any other phone.
They’re amazing for movies, TV and photos too. Most beautiful screen on any phone right now, in our opinion.
Samsung S8 vs Galaxy S7: Hardware & storage
S7: 64-bit octa core (2.3GHz quad + 1.6GHz quad) processor, 4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage, microSD up to 256GB
S8: 64-bit octa core (2.3GHz quad + 1.7GHz quad) processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD up to 256GB
Some countries are getting the Snapdragon 835 chipset on the S8, but not the UK. We’ve got the Samsung-made Exynos 8895, which means our S8s have a little less processing power. As a result, there’s less of a jump between the S7 and S8 in this country.
Given that RAM and microSD capability haven’t changed between the two, and given that we’ve actually lost one storage option (it’s 64GB or nothing on the S8), on paper it looks like the S8 has barely moved forward at all in the hardware stakes.
Samsung has unveiled a brand-new, 10 nanometre processor on the S8, and that makes a huge difference. For comparison, the S7’s was 14nm, and this is one of the factors that’s allowed Samsung to shrink the bezels so much compared to this:
It’s also made the processor much more energy-efficient – the most energy-efficient around, according to Samsung – and it seems a good bit more powerful, too. On the Geekbench 4 multi-core processing test, the S8 benchmarked at 6249, while the S7 currently averages at 5218. For reference, the S7’s score is currently the highest of all Androids on this test. So it looks like the S8, while not sounding very impressive, is actually a bit of a powerhouse.
And what else can that 10nm processor do? It paved the way for Samsung DeX, the ridiculously cool feature of the S8 whereby via a dock and some peripherals, you can turn it into a full-blown PC. Several manufacturers have tried to make this work, but it looks like Samsung’s the first to nail it.
Next page: software, battery, cameras and the all important verdict
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