iPhone 7 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note7 review

It’s September, and that means the biggest fight of the year is about to kick off. Two of the world’s biggest companies are taking the gloves off and wading into a brawl like no other as they launch their flagship products side by side. So let’s take a look at how the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note7 weigh in.

Design

These are probably the two best-looking phones in the world right now. The mixture of metal and glass in both is stunning. But there’s always a winner.

The Galaxy Note7 comes with notable improvements over last year’s model. The back now curves at the edges so it fits more comfortably in your hand – a big bonus for such a massive mobile. That rear panel is now also covered in Gorilla Glass 5, a strengthened glass that’s meant to be almost impossible to crack accidentally.

The iPhone 7 Plus, however, looks like Apple got out the tracing paper again. Aside from a new dual camera (more on that later) and a new jet black colour option, you’d be hard-pressed to spot the difference from last year’s model. That means you get the same flat slab of aluminium with rounded corners and loads of empty space around the screen.

With its more refined shape and slightly smaller size, the Galaxy Note7 is much nicer to hold and much more interesting to look at than the iPhone 7 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 game

Screen

When it comes to turning on the screens on these two phones, it’s clear Samsung is years ahead of Apple.

The Galaxy Note7 has a huge 5.7-inch Quad HD super AMOLED display. What that means for you is incredibly clear images full of colour so you can enjoy games, photos and everything else. The screen even curves at each edge, giving a unique space for handy tools like quick contacts and a ruler.

Again, the iPhone 7 Plus has turned to last year’s iPhone for inspiration. It has the same 5.5-inch Full HD LCD screen. That gives you very good picture quality, but it doesn’t come close to the Note. You do, however, get Apple’s pressure sensitivity, which can be nice sometimes but isn’t overly useful.

Apple’s lack of ingenuity has cost it again.

Camera

Finally, Apple has managed some innovation. The iPhone 7 Plus has an all new camera that will give the Note7’s a run for its money.

The new snapper is actually two new snappers. The setup has 12MP cameras that work together to give real optical zoom (phones normal use digital zoom) so you get much more flexibility with your photos.

On the Galaxy Note7, you get a single 12MP camera. It might not have the uniqueness of the iPhone 7 Plus, but the picture quality is still impressive thanks to an ultra-wide lens that lets in loads of light.

Although both phones take outstanding photos, the new features in the iPhone 7 Plus camera means it takes the win here.

iPhone 7 Plus camera

Performance

Of course, a new top of the line smartphone should do more than look good and take good photos – and these two won’t let you down.

They’re both lightning fast, able to handle the latest games and quick switches between apps. That speed, coupled with the big screens, means both phones work as portable offices.

If you’re looking to work on the move, the Note7 has an advantage in its S Pen stylus. You can use the phone much more accurately, write quick notes and even doodle effortlessly. Of course, the iPhone 7 Plus’ pressure sensitive screen can help you get things done more quickly too, but the S Pen is generally more useful.

In the real world, you can’t split the Note7 and iPhone 7 Plus in terms of performance.

Battery

With both phones able to act as mobile offices and games consoles, battery life is very important. You don’t want to be trying to find a charger in the middle of the afternoon.

And when it comes to battery life, it’s the Note7 that has the stamina. Its rechargeable battery is more than 20% bigger than the one in the iPhone 7 Plus. What’s more, it comes with a fast charger than can give you a day’s worth of power in just 15 minutes.

Of course, there has been lots of concern about the Note7’s battery after some people reported them exploding. But Samsung says it’s now sorted the problems and there shouldn’t be any issues going forward.

If that really is the case, the Galaxy Note7 will be the battery king.

Security

Security has become a big issue for smartphones as we fill them with all our memories and personal details. But it’s not really a problem for the iPhone 7 Plus and Note7.

Samsung has developed an iris scanner, which uses the patterns of blood vessels in your eyes to verify who you are. It’s more secure than a fingerprint scanner, so you shouldn’t have to worry about nosey people looking through your photos.

Apple has stuck with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner for the iPhone 7 Plus so you can quickly unlock the phone by pressing the home button.

With either phone you shouldn’t have to worry about security – but who doesn’t love new tech like the iris scanner in the Note7?

Iris scanner Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Our verdict

With its unbeatable design, magnificent screen and incredible battery, the Samsung Galaxy Note7 is our clear winner. Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus has some great improvements over last year’s phone but it’s just not enough to make it the best phone around.

Which do you prefer? Tell us in the comments below.