Samsung has launched the highly anticipated , the latest – and quite possibly the greatest – flagship mobile on the market.
For many consumers, the battle for smartphone supremacy has long been a war between Apple and Samsung. However, early impressions suggest the South Korean firm has blown all of its rivals away with its latest device.
If you’re looking to purchase a new high-end handset, here’s why you should choose the over the iPhone 7.
Apple’s biggest advantage over all of its competitors has traditionally been design, but that’s no longer the case.
The iPhone 4, launched way back in 2010, is to date the best-looking version of the iPhone. Being seven years old, it’s of course dated in every other way, but in terms of design alone, the iPhone 7, iPhone 6 and 6S and iPhone 5 and 5S can’t stand up to it.
At that time, design was Samsung’s weakest point, with the company’s flagships constantly let down by mediocre looks and questionable build materials. However, it closed the gap with the arrival of the Galaxy S6 in 2015 and has now surpassed its main rival.
The Galaxy S8 makes the iPhone 7 look dull and dated. In fact, it puts every other phone on the market to shame, including the S7.
Samsung’s managed to marry beauty and practicality, squeezing a large screen onto a handset that’s compact enough for comfortable one-handed use. I’m sceptical about ‘bezel-less’ displays, , but the S8’s looks fantastic.
LG took largely the same approach with its new G6 flagship, but Samsung has simply managed to pull it off better.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy S8 Screen
The iPhone 7’s display isn’t bad, it’s just that the Galaxy S8’s is far superior. I’m still not convinced that the curved edges serve much of a purpose beyond aesthetics, but Samsung’s phone trounces the iPhone in other areas.
The S8’s 5.8-inch screen is not only much larger than the iPhone 7’s 4.7-inch display, it’s also much sharper. The S8 offers an impressive 570 pixels per inch, while iPhone 7 users have to make do with 326 pixels per inch.
This difference is particularly noticeable when it comes to viewing virtual reality content. VR is becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers, the vast majority of whom would understandably rather purchase a relatively cheap headset for a mobile device instead of an expensive system like the HTC Vive.
While Samsung has embraced this, Apple is lagging some way behind.
The fact that this is an old criticism of the iPhone doesn’t make it any less relevant. Apple never has and quite possibly never will equip the iPhone with a microSD card slot.
The 32GB iPhone 7 costs £599, while the 128GB version costs £699 and the 256GB version costs £799. A high-quality , meanwhile, can be purchased for less than £40 on Amazon.
Apple’s decision to deprive the iPhone 7 of expandable storage is a deliberate one made with one aim in mind: to encourage consumers to part with more money for a model with more storage capacity.
The Galaxy S8, meanwhile, comes with 64GB of storage as standard, which is expandable by up to 256GB. Oh, and it also features a headphone jack.
An iPhone 7 is displayed in a store in London, Britain October 4, 2016 (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)DeX
DeX isn’t the S8’s most exciting feature, but it could prove really useful for business-focused users.
You can transform the phone into an Android-running desktop computer by hooking it up to a dock, monitor and keyboard. However, users can also access Windows 10 through a virtual desktop interface.
The system looked slick enough to be taken seriously in demonstrations, booting up quickly and simultaneously running multiple applications – including 4K video – without suffering any lag. Samsung has talked up its apparent multitasking capabilities, and early impressions suggest it can walk the walk too.
A patent for a similar-looking Apple system was discovered recently, suggesting that the company could launch a version of DeX for the iPhone at some point in the future, but Samsung has beaten it to the punch.
Siri has been around for a long time now, but beyond setting reminders and providing silly answers to silly questions, it’s been quite the disappointment. Amazon’s Alexa has quickly established itself as the world’s favourite AI assistant, and .
The “intelligent interface” is like a cross between a virtual assistant, a personal shopper and a tour guide, and is designed to help users get things done more quickly without touching the S8’s display.
It will initially only work with a handful of apps, but Samsung says it will support almost every task the apps are capable of performing, entirely through spoken commands. The company intends to make all of its internet-connected appliances, such as washing machines and fridges, Bixby-compatible too.
“As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a smartphone interface to an interface for your life,” said Injong Rhee, the executive vice president and head of R&D at Samsung software and services.