Put to the Test: Samsung Galaxy S8+ Versus Apple iPhone 7 Plus

The smartphones go head to head and a clear winner emerges

A view of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 at its launch event in New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

I love my iPhone 7 Plus. I purchased it on T-Mobile’s JUMP plan, thinking I would replace it with the large version of the iPhone 8. However, I saw the Galaxy S8+ in person and immediately thought it brought back the adventure in smartphones. So, instead of waiting for the iPhone 8, I decided to trade in my iPhone 7 Plus for the Galaxy S8+—even though I haven’t actually returned my iPhone yet. I have one more week to change my mind, return the S8+, and stay with Apple’s smartphone.

It’s a tough choice. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is the most beautiful smartphone ever produced. The Super AMOLED screen is so beautiful that it looks like a living, breathing entity. Samsung’s smartphone also has a premium glass feeling that makes you not want to let go. And Android Nougat is the best Android operating system yet. However, it’s still Android. iOS 10, despite some of its flaws, makes the iPhone 7 Plus easier to use, even if Samsung’s has, for the most part, more advanced hardware. That’s just one of the reasons to keep my iPhone and return the Galaxy S8+.

The Camera

While early prototypes of the S8+ had a dual-lens camera, Samsung left it off the final version to leave space for the fingerprint reader, which is in an incredibly awkward position. Apparently, Samsung tried to make an under-the-screen fingerprint scanner but couldn’t perfect it in time. Although the camera is very good, it’s not great like the dual-lens camera on the iPhone 7 Plus.

The best thing about a dual-lens camera is that it allows you to optically zoom in (2x) for your photos. Regular photos always make things look further away than they really are, but the iPhone 7 Plus dual-lens camera corrects this. In turn, the 7 Plus camera replaced the need for a DSLR digital camera in some situations. The same can’t be said about the Galaxy S8+ camera.

Stereo Speakers 

Samsung included everything but the kitchen sink in their latest smartphone. Why they decided to leave off stereo speakers is a mystery—it really enhances the multimedia experience. I found the addition of stereo speakers on the iPhone 7 Plus to be a major upgrade from the iPhone 6s Plus, although most didn’t list it as one. While one can always pair their smartphone with a stereo Bluetooth speaker, it’s still a bit of an inconvenience.

Typing

As anyone who needs to type documents, emails, or instant messages right away can tell you, there is nothing as accurate and smooth as the touchscreen keyboard on the iPhone. It works so well that you almost have to try to make a mistake. The same can’t be said about Android smartphones, and even though Nougat makes the typing experience more tolerable on the Galaxy S8+, you can’t depend on the cramped touchscreen keyboard.

Performance

The Galaxy S8+ is smooth, but not buttery smooth like the iPhone 7 Plus. Take, for example, the Google Chrome browser. On the S8+, you can see things go from line to line when scrolling, but not on the iPhone 7 Plus, where you can’t see any jittery moves. The same thing goes with the stock email app. Android makes you feel like you are walking steps to get places, but iOS makes you feel like you are floating to your next destination.

The Galaxy S8+ may have better specs of paper, but the iPhone 7 Plus still runs faster and more efficiently in the real world. Once again, this is due to the more efficient iOS operating system. You hardly have to do a soft reset on the iPhone. This certainly can’t be said about the Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphone.

Conclusion

The Galaxy S8+ is a wonderful smartphone, but I will be returning mine. I fell in love with it at first, but Samsung’s latest can’t replace my iPhone 7 Plus. My iPhone may not be as good looking, but gets the job done more efficiently. I may change my mind with the Galaxy Note 8, but I will not be divorcing my iPhone 7 Plus—at least for the next five months.

Daryl Deino is a writer, actor and civil rights activist who has appeared on shows such as The Untouchables, Parks and Recreation and Two Broke Girls. Besides writing for Observer, he has also written extensively about technology, entertainment and social issues for sites such as the Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Inquisitr and IreTron. Follow him on Twitter: @ddeino.