iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Which is best?

ByKim Staples
iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung’s new phone, the Galaxy S7, has already been called the best smartphone ever made. But how does it compare to one of the best phones already out there - the iPhone 6s?

We've put the two mobiles side by side and compared everything that matters, from the screen, to the battery life, to the cameras. Read on to find out how they both score against each other and what our ultimate verdict is.

The phones at a glance

  iPhone 6s Samsung Galaxy S7
Size (mm) 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9
Weight 143g 152g
Available colours Space Gray, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold Black, White, Gold, Silver
Display LCD, 4.7 inches, 750 x 1334 pixels Super AMOLED, 5.1 inches, 1440 x 2560 pixels
Processors Apple A9 chipset Exynos 8890 Octa chipset
Operating system iOS 9 Android 6.0 Lollipop
Internal memory 16/64/128GB 32GB
Main camera 12MP with phase detection autofocus, dual-tone flash 12MP with phase detection autofocus, OIS,flash
Front camera 5MP 5MP
Battery 1715 mAh 3000 mAh
Price* From£539 From£569

*At the time of writing. Both phones are available on contract or with a SIM-only deal.


Looking almost identical to the iPhone 6, the 6s doesn't really offer anything new in the way of design… but that design is a very nice one. The aluminium used for the case - the same kind used in the aerospace industry, as Apple is very keen to let us know - is some of the strongest and smoothest you'll find on a smartphone.

The Galaxy S7 garnered similar criticisms: it's not a whole lot different from the old Galaxy S6. In fact, it's exactly the same, with metal and glass and smooth rounded corners. Holding the phone feels like you're holding something semi-precious - but being shiny glass, it has a tendency to get completely covered in fingerprints.

Verdict: Design really comes down to personal preference, and both these phones look stunning. However, Apple gains points for the smooth design and premium-feeling aluminium, while Samsung loses some for the number of fingerprints it attracts. The iPhone wins - at least for us.


Good news - Apple's latest phone has an HD display. Even better news - the Galaxy S7 has a QHD (Quad HD) display.

So Samsung has by far the sharpest screen, with one of the highest pixel densities on the market at 577ppi. And it's truly stunning: bright and clear, with vibrant colours and crisp lines, and it's somehoweven betterthan the old Galaxy S6. There's also the added feature of an 'Always on' display - meaning part of it is, well, always on, so you can check the time or your battery life at a glance.

The iPhone has another trick up its sleeve too: the introduction of 3D Touch, a new kind of touchscreen that lets you perform different actions by applying different levels of pressure. Pushing hard will show a preview of an email, for instance, while tapping will open it.

Verdict: For functionality, 3D Touch offers something impressive. But visually, you won't get much better than Samsung. Until enough apps make use of 3D Touch, Samsung wins for the stunning QHD and the innovative always-on display.


Samsung Galaxy S7 deals


1GB data

1000 minutes

Unlimited texts

£36.99 upfront

£32.49 a month

24 months

See deal

1GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£42.99 upfront

£34.00 a month

24 months

See deal

See all Samsung Galaxy S7 deals

Processors and performance

Apple, true to form, gave its iPhone 6s a brand new 64-bit Apple A9 chipset - a dual-core 1.84GHz offering.

The Galaxy S7, on the other hand, has an octa-core Exynos chipset (at least in the UK), making it one of the most powerful phones out there with eye-wateringly high results in benchmark tests. Paired with 4GB of RAM, you're looking at a device that can handle intensive games and flit back and forth between apps with nary a complaint.

The iPhone, meanwhile, has 2GB of RAM; still plenty for a smartphone. The slick software offered by iOS means that iPhones can generally get by with a lower spec count than most Androids - so while numbers seem a lot lower for the iPhone, we wouldn't give them too much credence.

While we're talking about memory, let's look at the phones' internal storage. The iPhone 6s comes with up to a lovely 128GB - though it'll cost you quite a bit extra, and with no SD card slot you can't expand it. That may become a little troublesome for owners of a smaller 16GB model. The Samsung, meanwhile, has 32GB in the UK, and thereisan SD card slot… but it's not adoptable. In other words, you can store data, files, pictures, videos, and the like on your card, but not apps.

Verdict: The Galaxy S7 has more raw processing power ideal for gaming and intense use, though for everyday usage you'll barely notice a difference between the two.

Interface and software

The iPhone 6s ships with iOS 9, the latest version of Apple's operating system. It's got a few more intuitive features, like a pull-down Notifications Centre where everything is ordered chronologically, and a better keyboard that shows you whether you're typing in upper case or lower case. Which… well, not to bethatperson, but Androids have done both of those things for a few years now.

But that's not all the OS has to offer, of course. The new Proactive, accessible with a side swipe, shows your most used apps and contacts, as well as suggestions based on your location and time - for instance, making the Starbucks app readily available when it detects you're in a Starbucks, or the Health app when it's the time of day you usually do a workout.

A huge advantage of iOS is how integrated the ecosystem is. If you have a Mac, an iPad, an Apple TV, or any other Apple product, you'll really appreciate being able to sync them all up together seamlessly.

The Galaxy S7 comes with Android Marshmallow. It's overlaid with Samsung's TouchWiz UI - an interface that tends to divide opinions. It's generally pretty slick, but not everyone likes how it looks, nor is it as well integrated as iOS 9. This version's at least less cluttered than previous iterations, and it's one of the most customisable UIs out there with plenty of settings to fiddle around with.

As for software, you'll get the usual Google suite and a bunch of Samsung's own apps. That includes the new Game Launcher: a folder just for games, with their own special settings. Those include the ability to mute notifications while you're playing, take screenshots, and disable the soft keys. Plus there's the good old music player, complete with support for FLAC files and Samsung's AdaptSound which optimises audio to suit your headphones.

Verdict: The iPhone offers its usual smooth and flawless self, but Samsung has one of the best Android UIs with some good software thrown in. It's a classic Apple vs. Android conundrum. In other words, a tie.


When comparing the cameras on these two phones, it's actually a very close call. Both are excellent camera phones, able to take some fantastic pictures.

iPhones have always had good quality snappers, with features like dual tone flash, large Focus Pixels, and phase detection autofocus proving that megapixel count isn't everything. But, nonetheless, the lens in the iPhone 6s has been bumped up to 12MP - meaning it can now capture even more incredible detail than before. It also brings the arrival of 'Live Photos', which capture 1.5 seconds of video around your shot to create a Hogwarts-esque subtly moving pic.

The Galaxy S7, however, has a couple of things that the iPhone doesn't. There's optical image stabilisation, HDR mode, and incredibly in-depth settings. The rear lens is smaller in pixel count than it was on the Galaxy S6, but it makes up for that with bigger pixels that let in more light.

Verdict: Now that the pixel count has been raised, there are very few criticisms to be made of the iPhone's camera - and it's got the added bonus of dual-tone flash. The iPhone wins.


iPhone 6s deals


1GB data

1000 minutes

Unlimited texts

£50.00 upfront

£35.00 a month

24 months

See deal

2GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£50.00 upfront

£32.49 a month

24 months

See deal

5GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

FREE handset

£39.00 a month

24 months

See deal

See all iPhone 6s deals


The Galaxy S7 definitely has more power in its battery - 3,000 mAh compared to the iPhone's 1,715 mAh.

In real life testing, however, they're not as different as you might think. You'll get a full day's use out of both phones without needing to rush to a plug socket. Though, ultimately, Samsung's battery seems to last a bit longer - initial reviewers say they easily got a day and a half of moderate use. It's also capable of wireless charging, so there's that too.

Verdict: We'll give this one to Samsung - for the extra life you can get from a single charge, and for the wireless charging.


The 6s is without a doubt the best iPhone ever made, and putting it against the best Android phone ever made makes for a very tough competition.

From Apple, we get the innovative 3D Touch, an impressive camera, and an interface with a well-shaped ecosystem where everything flows together seamlessly. From Samsung, we get a heck of a display, and specs like battery life and processing power that beat the iPhone hands-down.

Samsung Galaxy S7

The 'best smartphone' crown goes to the Samsung Galaxy S7 - but whether it will be enough to tempt away long-term iPhone fans is still up for debate.

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