iPhone 7 vs. Note 7: See how the specs compare

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The battle of the best smartphones is officially underway. Apple's iPhone 7 and Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 are now both available and causing a bit of a dilemma for prospective smartphone buyers. The age-old iOS vs. Android debate will always wage on, and you'll need to consider each device's individual features. So, which smartphone is for you? 

iPhone 7 vs. Note 7: Design

Both phones are quite attractive, with the iPhone 7 sporting a sleek jet black option and the Note 7 featuring a dual-curved screen. Neither is a true reinvention, particularly since the iPhone 7's design is extremely similar to the iPhone 6s. The biggest differences lie in the features that have been eliminated rather than what's been added. With the iPhone 7, there is the glaring omission of a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. Regardless of whether or not Lightning and/or wireless technology is the future, it's going to cause a headache for some consumers. The iPhone 7 does make up for it with a second stereo speaker, while the Note 7 remains stuck with one mono output. The iPhone 7 also now has water resistance, though the Note 7 beats out Apple's product with a slightly better IP68 certification. 

iPhone 7 vs. Note 7: Display

Apple has boosted its new device's display with a retina HD screen that is 25% brighter and boasts a wider color gamut. The result is a vibrant visual spectrum that's quite impressive and useful when used in collaboration with the iPhone 7's improved camera (more on that later). That being said, Samsung has set the bar high with a stunning 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display. It's truly outstanding and beats Apple purely on visual capability. Apple still may retain the edge though with 3-D touch, which has been further improved with the release of iOS 10. It offers more access than Samsung's operating system, but at the end of the day it comes down to what you value more — functionality or visual display.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 also comes equipped with a stylus.
Source: 
Richard Drew/AP

iPhone 7 vs. Note 7: Performance

Samsung has always had a reputation for designing powerful phones, but Apple may have snatched back the crown with the introduction of its A10 Fusion chip. Apple is claiming it's the most powerful smartphone chip ever created, and it's right. The iPhone 7 outperformed every notable Android phone in multiple benchmark tests. While the Note 7 certainly isn't a slouch, the iPhone 7 is currently the fastest smartphone in the world — period. 

iPhone 7 vs. Note 7: Camera

This one's a toss-up. Both phones are about level with 12-megapixel cameras, optical image stabilization and basically the same apertures: The Note 7's is f/1.7; the iPhone 7's is f/1.8. But if we factor in the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple definitely takes the cake. The inclusion of a second, telephoto-esque lens in addition to a wide-angle lens along with optical zoom allows the iPhone 7 Plus to rival DSLR camera quality. Until Samsung adds a second lens, the iPhone 7 Plus will continue to rule the world of mobile photography. 

The iPhone 7 Plus' dual-lens camera
Source: 
Josh Edelson/Getty Images

iPhone 7 vs. Note 7: Software

Android is great for tech heads who want detailed control over customization, but for the average consumer, you won't find a cleaner, simpler and more efficient operating system than Apple's software. The recently released iOS 10 ups the ante even further with a number of new features that increase the iPhone 7's functionality. The Galaxy Note's Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow is also a fine system, but simply isn't as smooth and effortless as Apple's iOS 10. 

iPhone 7 vs. Note 7: Verdict

This smartphone battle is too close to name an outright winner — it all depends on what you're looking for. The Galaxy Note 7 is an outstanding phone (when it's not exploding) and, as mentioned above, is perfect for people who want high-level customization. The iPhone 7 runs slightly better thanks to its powerful A10 chip and efficient iOS 10 software, but pales in comparison to the Note 7's design and display. Those who opt for the iPhone 7 Plus may consider it a winner thanks to its terrific dual-lens camera, but then must suffer (along with regular iPhone 7 users) without a universal headphone jack. As it seems to be each year, this face-off is just about even and a matter of personal preference. Android or iPhone — the choice is yours.

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Aric Suber-Jenkins

Aric is a writer covering technology. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Maxim and Brooklyn Magazine. He is based in New York and can be reached at aric@mic.com.

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