The Samsung Galaxy S7 is out in the wild, and has secured a high-ranking place on our Best Smartphones list. It may be a fantastic device, but is it worth upgrading if you have a Galaxy S6? What if you have a Galaxy S5?
On the surface the S7 is certainly not as big a departure from the S6 as the S6 was from the S5. Underneath that glossy Super AMOLED screen, polished glass and metal frame, however, the S7 brings some major changes to Samsung’s flagship phone.
Does that mean it’s time to trade in your year-old Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge for an S7 or S7 Edge? What if you’re clinging onto a Galaxy S5? Or perhaps you’re new to Samsung’s phones and can’t decide between the Galaxy S7 and the budget Galaxy S5 Neo. To help you decide, we’ve put together this handy comparison between the three generations of Galaxy phone.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S5: Design
The Galaxy S5 is the last iteration in the older generation of Galaxy phones – with a plasticky design that looks and feels cheap compared to the glass and metal aesthetic of later handsets. While the Samsung Galaxy S6 was a pleasing departure from what came before, the S7 is largely more of the same.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t help but make the S7 and its Edge counterpart feel a little bit tired from the start. Thankfully Samsung has tweaked the design ever so slightly, rounding off the rear camera’s edges a bit more and reducing its bulge by a shade of a millimetre or so.
The key difference between the S6 and S7 series comes down to size. While the base S7 is the same as the S6 in terms of dimensions, the S7 Edge is actually slightly larger, helping it stand apart from its straight-edged sibling.
In terms of overall aesthetics, though, both newer generations of Galaxy S phones are practically the same.
Winner: Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S5: Display
While the S7 Edge may be equipped with a larger 5.5in display, the 5.1in screen on the S7 is still the same 1,440 x 2,560 Super AMOLED panel found in the S6.
While, theoretically, the S6 and S7 panels should be identical, our tests showed that the S7’s screen is slightly duller than that of the S6. While the S6 has a maximum brightness of 560cd/m2 the S7 only manages to reach 469.8cd/m2.
In comparison, the Galaxy S5 Neo has a 5.1in Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, managing a maximum brightness of 388cd/m2. That means the screen may not be much good in searing sunlight, but should be readable in most other situations.
As you can expect for a Super AMOLED display, all phones have a perfect contrast ratio of 1:1. While both the S6 and S7 have the same resolution, with the same colour-accuracy and contrast ratio, if screen brightness is more important to you, then the Samsung Galaxy S6 has the better display.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S6
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