iPhone 7 Plus vs Google Pixel vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge TESTED and RATED

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Google Pixel represents the crème de la crème of flagship smartphones in 2016. But which of these phones should be your go-to choice when you need to upgrade?
It has been a phenomenal year for smartphones.

Manufacturers have pushed the boundaries of design and innovation – sometimes with explosive results.

There have been pioneering camera set-ups, new modular designs, as well as the death of an industry-standard headphone port.

It was also the year Google went head-to-head against Apple in its most direct confrontation yet – the Pixel.

Tempting iPhone owners away from Apple was one of the goals behind this cutting-edge phone, Google has admitted.

Express.co.uk has spent the year publishing reviews of the latest and greatest smartphones, including the OnePlus 3, LG G5, Google Pixel, ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy S7 Edge, iPhone 7, Apple iPhone 7 Plus, and more.
And of those, we have highlighted the iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Google Pixel as the crème de la crème of flagship devices released this year.

Best For Photography

iPhone 7 Plus sports a number of upgrades over its predecessor, but none are as exciting as the rear camera, which is easily Apple’s best camera to date.

Positioned on the rear of the iPhone 7 Plus are two separate 12MP cameras.

One of the lens is a 12MP telephoto lens, the other is wide-angle with Optical Image Stabilisation.

Both of these lens work in unison to allow the smartphone to fake two-times optical zoom.

That’s not something we’ve seen on a smartphone before. At least, it’s not something we’ve seen on a device with the svelte profile of the iPhone 7 Plus.

As you’d expect, the zoom is beautifully executed, with Apple’s software seamlessly switching from the standard wide-angle and telephoto lens behind-the-scenes as users spin the intuitive on-screen dial to zoom in and out.

It’s one of those rare user-facing features that seems so simple – yet requires an unbelievable amount of engineering behind-the-scenes.

In terms of picture quality, the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel are pretty much on an even keel, with the latter’s HDR+ mode providing some stellar results in tough, low-light situations.

However the true optical zoom – not to mention the clever Profile Mode, which analyses the scene and paints a bokeh-style blur around your subject, like those usually only achieved with a DSLR – tip the balance for the iPhone 7 Plus.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Best For Apps

There is very little to differentiate iOS 10 and Android 7.0 Nougat.

Both are mature, stable and feature-laden mobile operating systems. However, when it comes to launching a brand-new app, many developers still prioritise Apple’s App Store.

There are a number of reasons for this – namely, iOS apps tend to make more money for developers than their Play Store equivalent.

Research by independent design and development agency Infinium also revealed the average Android app takes 28 per cent longer to develop than its iOS counterpart.

That’s because, on average, the Android version of an app contains around 38 per cent more code to achieve the same functionality.

As a result, most of the latest and greatest smartphone games and utilities will debut on iOS ahead of Android.

For example, Prisma – the hugely-popular app that leverages artificial intelligence to transform your photos into works of art – premiered on iPhone almost two months before it arrived on the Google Play Store.

And Nintendo’s highly-anticipated Super Mario Run debuted on iPhone this week, with only a nebulous 2017 launch date announced to tide over Android users desperate to play the first mobile outing of the moustachioed plumber.

Whether you’re using an Android-powered device, like the Google Pixel or Galaxy S7 Edge, or an Apple iPhone, you’ll still have access to the most popular mobile apps – like Facebook, WhatsApp, Uber, SnapChat, Instagram.

But even these tend to debut new features and software updates on iOS ahead of Android. For example, WhatsApp recently made its voicemail feature live on iPhone – a week before it appeared on Android.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Best For Value

This is an easy one.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel both hold excruciatingly high price tags when bought from a high street mobile carrier. And the SIM-free price online isn’t any better value either.

iPhone 7 Plus starts at £719 for 32GB of internal storage, and rises up to £919 for the 256GB model.

Meanwhile, Google sells the Pixel for £599 for 32GB of storage, which spirals up to £819 for the 5.5inch Pixel XL with 128GB of internal storage.

Fortunately, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has been around a little bit longer, and as a result, has been included in a number of good deals.

Carphone Warehouse is currently offering £40 off the Galaxy S7 Edge SIM-free with promo code EDGE40, dropping the price to £589.99.

It’s also available on a reasonable Vodafone Pay Monthly deal with 3GB of 4G mobile data, unlimited calls and texts, and 500MB of data to use throughout the EU – for £37.00 a month with a £79.99 upfront cost.

Granted, it’s still not the cheapest handset around. But these are tier-one devices, with matching price tags.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge


Best For Future Proofing

Unfortunately, Samsung does not have a chance in this particular category.

The South Korean company is known for taking its time rolling out the latest operating system updates to its device portfolio, thanks in part to the heavily-customised skin it layers on-top of the stock Android experience.

Google Pixel and Apple iPhones both receive software update direct from the hardware manufacturers themselves, so there’s no delay there.

Pixel also boasts a number of exclusive software features purposefully designed for the hardware and unavailable on any other Android device.

Google has made timely software updates one of the biggest selling points of its first hardware efforts.

According to the US search firm’s support pages, the Pixel and Pixel XL will get up-to-date software updates through at least October of 2018.

Once that date has passed, Google will no longer be obligated to push-out updates to the Google Pixel. That said, it might still choose to do so.

There is precedent for this, Google has kept Nexus devices up-to-date past what it initialled promised. For example, Google has promised to update the Nexus 9 tablet to Android 7.0 at some point – even though it is now almost two years old.

However, when it comes to supporting older hardware models, it appears Google will not be challenging Apple for its record.

The Cupertino company pushed-out software updates to iPhones and iPads long after they have stopped selling the products in their online and brick-and-mortar retail stores.

iOS 10 – the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system – is compatible with the iPhone 5, which was first released back in September 2012.

That means the Cupertino company is still actively supporting four year-old hardware with its latest software efforts.

For comparison, the Nexus 4 – a flagship smartphone co-developed by Google and released the same year as the iPhone 5 – did not even get an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow last year. As for Android 7.0 Nougat, those running four-year-old Google hardware will have to cough-up for a Google Pixel.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Best For Design, Build

We’re huge fans of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus design.

But that’s predominantly because we were fans of the iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6 industrial design before it.

Yes, Apple decided to keep the same look and feel as the previous two entries in the series. And while the glossy new Jet Black finish and refined new antenna lines certainly make the iPhone 7 look more appealing than the iPhone 6S, it’s a shame there’s not more innovation with this two-year-old design.

As for the Pixel, well, what can we say?

For a Google phone designed to “more opinionated” about design, the Pixel is remarkably bland.

Google Pixel boasts a sleek, aluminium unibody with gently curved edges.

This small pane of glass adds a welcome stylistic flourish to an otherwise monotonous design. It looks good, but make no mistake – the Pixel and Pixel XL pale in comparison to the stunning Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

With the Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung created a beautiful, curvaceous phone that blends metal with the glass of the eye-wateringly sharp 5.5inch Quad HD display. These smooth lines ensure the phablet-sized smartphone never feels uncomfortable and it usable one-handed, even when typing.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Best For Battery Life

Express.co.uk has meticulously reviewed the latest and greatest smartphones over the last year, including battery life.

For the Star Wars trilogy battery life test, we crank the brightness up to 11, and switch the device into Aeroplane Mode – to see which of these flagship phones would be best suited to keep you entertained during long-haul travel.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comfortably outperformed the Google Pixel, which came in second plane, and Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

And in day-to-day usage, juggling emails, social media, some causal games and messaging, the three flagship phones held the same podium places, too.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Best Overall

Little surprise here. Although each phone has its own particular strengths and weaknesses, there is only one of these devices that perfectly balances performance, with price – as well as having its own WOW-factor.

Unsurprisingly, our favourite of the three is also our Smartphone of the Year.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

With the Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung systematically addressed every criticism levelled at its predecessor, the Galaxy S6 Edge.

The redesigned, curvaceous back smoothly blends with the eye-wateringly sharp 5.5inch Quad HD display and ensures the phablet-sized smartphone feels comfortable and compact in your hand, even when typing one-handed.

And not only does it look stunning – and feel great in the hand, the new design is also water resistant design, which brings added peace of mind to owners of this pricey £639 smartphone.

And expandable storage and support for Android Pay and Samsung Pay help to future-proof the smartphone. As a result, the Galaxy S7 Edge is easily the most impressive smartphone the South Korean firm has ever produced.

Even if Samsung’s somewhat clunky TouchWiz OS can’t hold a candle to the stock Android experience that ships on the Google Pixel – the jaw-dropping rear camera, beautiful curved industrial design, water resistant case, fingerprint reader and expandable storage options ensure the Galaxy S7 Edge is the must-have smartphone of the year.

With its Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung threw down the gauntlet. And this year, the competition just couldn’t keep up.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Source: www.express.co.uk

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