iPhone 7 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 7: best big screen phone of 2016-2017?

iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy Note 7

There comes a time in your life when you pause for a moment, take a deep breath and appreciate the great things happening in this world. It is constantly improving and what seemed like the impossible has now become the routine. This is certainly the case with two of the largest competitors in the smartphone world; Apple and Samsung.

2017 is poised to turn into a great year for both, if not yet has it turned into the best ever for Samsung already. Both the companies have now released some staggering smartphones; Galaxy Note7 by Samsung and the Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

But, a questions remains in everyone’s mind: “Which is the better of the two?” That is indeed the case with us too so why not partner up and answer it together? It’s time for our main event; the Galaxy Note7 versus the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. The battle of the phablets is coming right up folks!

Pricing, availability and warranty

There’s no doubt about which the cheaper smartphone is. The cheapest Galaxy Note7 prices suggest that they’ll always below the iPhone 7 Plus’s which is great news. The Note7 was officially launched last August but now faces a voluntary recall due to the “exploding batteries” fiasco leading to many companies including PIA to ban its entry near their flights. We do expect the Note7 to be back within a month after Samsung has completed refurbishing faulty units.

Since Samsung officially sells its smartphones in our country, their warranty isn’t an issue at all, regardless of the fact that you’re buying your device from a network carrier or from a local renowned market.

The iPhone 7 Plus though is expected to launch later rather than sooner with start of November being earmarked as the right time for its unveiling in Pakistan. Sky is the limit for its prices and we do expect it to start selling in excess of 120,000 rupees. The iPhone’s warranty is also a mix of yes and no’s but we’re adamant that buying an iPhone without it is still low-risk.

Build quality and display

The Galaxy Note7 features an all glass build with a touch of metal between the two glass panels. Both the glass panels have received the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection and their feel is superb. Not just their feel but they’re extremely delicate to look at and beware! Their shininess might burn your eyes.

The Note7 is delicately poised and crafted all within a fantastic 7.9mm width. It weighs in at 169g which is superb considering that it’s a phablet and it also features IP68 certified dust and waterproof technology.

Its display in numbers is a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 518ppi pixel density which allows a sumptuous 1440p resolution. Protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and making use of the “Always On” technology, the Note7’s display is as good as it gets!

When talking about the iPhone 7 Plus, it is a completely different piece of the jigsaw altogether. Its build features something similar to the aluminum 7000 series which was extremely pleasing both to the eye and to touch when it first debuted on the iPhone 6S. The new jet-black finish is one of the best ever colors to ever hop on a smartphone’s body and it looks all the more stunning on Apple’s latest device.

Its dimensions are excellent as it features dust and waterproofing within a slender 7.3mm waist. This is where Apple tends to get a nod above its competitors. It has a knack of doing things in an efficient way and the iPhone 7 Plus being able to stuff waterproofing while not gaining any width at all compared to its predecessor is a great achievement. The Note7 with the added waterproofing is comparatively thicker.

Its display features a 5.5 inch backlit-LED IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 401ppi pixel density. Ion strengthened glass is its designated protector. This allows 1080p resolution which might seem good but is dwarfed by the Note7’s 1440p HD resolution. 3D-Touch and wide color gamut are its pluses which means that the iPhone 7 Plus provides 25% more brightness than the 6S Plus but our vote goes to the Super AMOLED of the Note 7 without a millimeter of a doubt.


Now this is where things start to get real. The iPhone 7 Plus was rumored to come in with a dual-lens camera and there we have it. It is indeed a dual-lens sensor which is touted as DSLR quality by many testers which include some of the most famous photographers in the world. It features a 12 megapixel dual-lens primary camera with phase detection auto-focus and optical image stabilization. The Quad-tone LED flash deserves an honorable mention as we simply love the way Apple has built this baby. One of the lenses is a wide angled lens while the other is a telephoto sensor.

Underneath the hood, Apple’s first ever image signal processor or ISP weaves its magic which brings many improvements and new boundaries to the iPhone 7 Plus’s primary camera. The telephoto sensor produces a depth map of the image you’re about to take and creates the sneak peek effect; an effect Apple describes as when you take a photo, the telephoto sensor places the objects you’ve focused on a separate layer.

Then, it applies blurring to the rest of the photo which brings you with a focused image. This may seem like old stuff as we’ve seen that happen previously but Apple says that the telephoto sensor brings real time blurring which isn’t an easy thing to do. Moreover, the two sensors allow 10x zoom which is 4 times more than the iPhone 6S and it shoots images 60% quicker than its predecessor as well.

Its selfie sensor is no slouch either as it features a large 7 megapixel sensor that is sure to provide superb selfies. The screen flash is another lovely feature which thoroughly removes the need for a front facing LED flash.

There goes the revolutionary dual-lens camera. The Note7 on the other hand features an excellent 12 dual-pixel sensor with optical image stabilization and phase detection auto-focus. It allows 4K shooting capabilities and its shooting prowess in the dark has received some excellent reviews. However, we believe that the iPhone 7 Plus’s dual-lens primary camera out-performs the Note7’s camera both in terms of performance and speed. This will be proven when the iPhone 7 is released publicly – mark my words! Apple always stay ahead of the game. Sure, they slipped with the iPhone 6S when Samsung released the S7 and S7 Edge, but they’re back on top in 2016-2017!

We’re in no way implying that it’s bad. We’re just saying that the iPhone 7 Plus’s primary camera is better. While at-least what it seems on paper. The reality will only be revealed once we’ve done some benchmark testing. The Note7 also has a smaller selfie sensor, 5 megapixels, which we believe will also play catch-up to the iPhone 7 Plus’s front sensor.

Performance, hardware and battery life

Performance is the one area where Apple never falters. However, we won’t jump to any conclusions before letting the smartphones present a case for themselves.

The Galaxy Note7 comes in with some of the best Samsung specifications ever with an Octa-Core processor and 4GB of RAM. This is a large amount and we mean it. It’s perfectly designed to run the built-in Android Marshmallow and the planned Nougat will also flow smoothly on these cores. It features a fingerprint sensor, Fast Charge technology and a large non-removable 3500 mAh battery which is said to provide at-least 16.46 hours of battery life.

Its crowning feature is its Iris Scanner. We’re seeing something like this for the very first time in a smartphone. Although it does things the fingerprint sensor was designed to do, its place on the Note7’s upper bezel will likely allow Samsung to create many more exciting features that makes use of the Iris Scanner while some breathtaking games can also base their development on it as well. Oh, we almost forget its new and improved Stylus!

Back to the iPhone 7 Plus now. It features a 2.23 Quad-Core processor with 2GB of RAM. Now this is where we’d like to step in and provide users with a reality check. Larger cores and more RAM doesn’t necessarily mean that the smartphone will absolutely steamroll user experience. It is the software hardware optimizations that matter more which is why we’re very optimistic that the iPhone 7 Plus will perform better compared to the Galaxy Note7.

We’re sure both will provide a lag-free experience but the 7 Plus is likely to be a tad quicker than its competitor. That being said, the iPhone 7 Plus will now feature a pressure sensitive home button which is great news but it has sent the 3.5mm jack packing which is mixed news but more on the negative side. Regarding its battery life, it is said to provide at-least 14 hours worth of usage albeit subject to frequency of use which is a full 2 hours more than its predecessors.

The verdict

The verdict depends on a-lot of factors. We do believe that the iPhone 7 Plus is the better of the two but it comes down to two important things; their two biggest distinguishing features and price. We daringly believe that nothing is worth the amount Apple charges for its products. They may have a nicer finish with more finesse but the emergence of new Chinese manufacturers have shown the world that they’re not as expensive as Apple sells them for. Samsung on the other hand, always keeps its prices relatively reasonable.

Secondly, the distinguishing features between the Note7 and iPhone 7 Plus are the former’s Iris Scanner and the latter’s dual-lens camera. For now, until something really fascinating partners up with the Iris Scanner, we’ll call the dual-lens sensor the bigger feature of the two as what the Iris Scanner does can also be done through the fingerprint sensor.

So, we’ll let you decide which one is better as both are simply going neck and neck with each other. We’d love you to be the referee and separate the two.

Images courtesy PCAdvisor, The Verge, and Tech Radar.

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