Full reviews for both the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are live on ZDNet. I personally own both, and even after spending a couple weeks with both, I can’t give up either one.
Both are fantastic smartphones, and if you have an operating system preference, there is no decision to make. If you are open to either iOS or Android, then here are some things to consider as we look at the two best phones on the market today head-to-head.
Comparing all of the specifications in a table doesn’t tell much about the devices since each run a different operating system with different performance needs. Let’s take a look at some specs that can be compared in an apples-to-apples matchup:
|Apple iPhone 7 Plus||Samsung Galaxy Note 7|
|Screen size/type||5.5-inch LCD||5.7-inch Super AMOLED|
|Dimensions||158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm188g||153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm169g|
|Rear camera resolution||12 megapixels||12 megapixels|
|Advertised internet battery life||13 hours on LTE||11 hours on LTE|
|Price||$769(32GB)/$869(128GB)/$969(256GB)||$849(64GB with microSD)|
In my testing, the iPhone 7 Plus is more responsive than the Note 7, but both are extremely fast and will satisfy most users. We’ve seen many videos online with people testing performance side-by-side that confirm the same experiences I had.
What makes the iPhone 7 Plus good for business?
When you purchase an Apple iPhone, you can trust that it will get updates on a timely basis and for a couple of years. Samsung doesn’t have the best record for timely operating system updates, but it does very well at rolling out the monthly Android security updates.
The iPhone 7 Plus nearly matches the Note 7 with dust and water resistance, but it also has a metal back and sides that should result in a bit more likelihood of survival when it is dropped. The glass back and front of the Note 7 may scare away some field workers.
While the stated battery life is similar, and I can personally get through a full, busy day with both phones, there is something about the way Apple handles standby mode that is impressive. I am able to go nearly two days with the iPhone 7 Plus.
While Android is a powerful OS and has decent multi-tasking, I find the enhancements to the lock screen, notifications, and even 3D Touch make the iPhone 7 Plus a more efficient device for my needs. You can quickly perform application specific tasks with 3D Touch without having to open an app and then take the action. Apple has made significant improvements in usability with iOS 10.
Apple has always had the loudest mono speaker on a phone, and with stereo speakers on the iPhone 7 Plus, it is easy to hold up your phone and show videos to clients with loud and clear volume being played. The water resistance of the Note 7 seems to muffle the audio out of the speaker a bit.
Both phones have amazing cameras, but the iPhone 7 Plus has an additional feature that may make it better for business. With the secondary 12-megapixel telephoto lens on the back, you can perform 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom to capture objects further away from you. This could be helpful for workers in the field.
What makes the Galaxy Note 7 good for business?
The S Pen is one of the most unique aspects of the Note 7, and Note buyers tend to be stylus users. The S Pen functionality continues to improve each year, and the Note 7 is fantastic for taking notes on the display, selecting things on your phone to share, and even manipulating items on the display.
The Galaxy Note 7 provides you with a larger display in a smaller form factor than the iPhone 7 Plus with a higher resolution. You can change the display settings to see even more on the screen, so if you want the biggest screen possible in a reasonable form factor, then the Note 7 is the one for you.
The Note 7 comes with plenty of internal storage, 64GB, but also gives you the ability to expand that storage capacity with a microSD card. If you have large capacity storage needs, then you could buy the largest capacity iPhone or a much less expensive microSD card to use with the Note 7.
The Note 7 adds an iris scanner for enhanced security, which may be appealing to enterprise customers who want more than a fingerprint scanner. It works very well, even when wearing glasses.
I am experiencing longer battery life with the iPhone 7 Plus, but with fast charging and wireless charging, I am able to keep the Note 7 topped off easier and faster than I can recharge the iPhone 7 Plus.