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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: it's that time again

The Samsung Galaxy S7 has been reviewed by AndroidPIT. There are some interesting differences from its predecessor, the superb Galaxy S6. Let's take a look at how they match up in our Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6 comparison. 

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: design

The Galaxy S6 polarized many Samsung fans with its fresh design. Its stylish glass and metal construction was clearly more attractive than the Galaxy S5, but it came at a price: a microSD card and removable battery.

It was a double-edged sword. Aesthetically, the S6 design was a step in the right direction, but some of the Galaxy series' biggest fans were unnerved by the removal of these key features.

In terms of looks, the S7 is remarkably similar to the S6. It comes housed in another glass and aluminum body, but the camera sensor bump on the rear has seen a four-fold reduction in size, allowing the device to lie all but flat on a surface, while the heart-rate monitor and fingerprint scanner remain as before. This is a vast improvement over the clunky S6.

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The camera bump of the S7 is far smaller than the S6. / © ANDROIDPIT

The edges of the S7's rear panel now curve towards the frame, just like in the Note 5. This makes the phone less slippery and more ergonomic. The S7 fits more naturally into the palm of the hand than than the S6.

But the crucial difference between the devices is the Galaxy S7 supports microSD cards. It is also waterproof IP68 certified, unlike the Galaxy S6, and is marginally thicker, with good reason: it contains a larger battery, which we will get to later.

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As you can see, the S7 supports MicroSD cards. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: display

The Galaxy S6 introduced a QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) display to the S series and it was a success. It remains one of the best displays of Android. It has deep, rich colors and incredible fidelity. So did the Galaxy S7 beat this?

Not really. The S7 also packs a 5.1-inch QHD screen, so we didn't see it as an improvement in our review. The screen is still sublime, the detail is excellent and has the highest display standard. The device is still readable even in bright sunlight. 

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The S7's screen is just as crisp, bright and clear as the S6's if not a little better. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Galaxy S7 employs an Always On display, like that seen on the LG V10, the LG G5 and newer Nexus devices, but not on the S6. The S7 uses an AMOLED screen, which allows individual pixels to be illuminated. 

This feature allows a small number of pixels to remain illuminated, even when the device is asleep, displaying the time, the date and notifications. The impact on battery life is small but still noticeable. 

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The Always On display in the S7 displays the time, date and notifications. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: camera

The Galaxy S6 has a splendid camera which, despite not ranking on our best Android cameras list, was one of the strongest offerings from a manufacturer last year. It's capable in low light, rarely overexposed in daylight and provides natural colors. 

Galaxy S7 camera has reduced the number of MPs on the main camera from 16 MP to 12 MP. Both devices have a 5 MP camera. While the new camera may produce a lower number of pixels, it makes up for this with dual-pixel technology; a feature that increases image clarity despite the lower pixel numbers.

The camera's aperture is also lower, at f / 1.7, which means better low-light performance. Together, these enhancements mean that the Galaxy S7 focuses up to four times faster in low-light conditions and twice as fast in daylight.

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The S7 camera focuses up to four times faster than the S6. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: battery

Last year, Samsung reduced the battery capacity of its Galaxy devices. Both the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 sported smaller batteries than their predecessors. This wasn't a popular move.

This year, however, Samsung has responded to criticism and packed the S7 with a 3,000 mAh battery, which is bigger than even that of the Galaxy S5. Unfortunately, Samsung still hasn't adopted USB Type-C; the S7 remains on microUSB. 

Head of Technology and Platforms at Samsung, Nacho Nieto, explained to us that the S7 battery is malleable and a 3,000-mAh variant was the only option. The moldable battery can also be customized so that it fills the available space within the phone, which was not possible with the battery used in the S6.

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The Galaxy S6 has won no awards for battery. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung equipped the S7 with software features intended to save battery. These keep us vigilant when the device is being used and put apps into a deep sleep mode when they have been ignored for three days.

This provides extended standby time without limiting functionality. When other manufacturers attempted to include similar features, it meant that sometimes messages or emails arrived late, making the feature more a burden than a boon.

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: software

Samsung made great strides with TouchWiz on the S6. It was the cleanest version of the interface yet and contained the least bloatware. The S7 employs an almost identical version of TouchWiz to that seen on the S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5.

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TouchWiz provided a much-improved experience on the S6 compared to the S5. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Galaxy S7 ran Marshmallow straight out of the box. Since the Galaxy S6 has received the Marshmallow update, the remaining software should be nearly identical. 

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: performance

The Galaxy S7 comes with a Snapdragon 820 processor, while the Galaxy S6 houses an Exynos 7420 processor, comparable to the Snapdragon 810. The new processor is an improvement this generation. This new top-of-the-range processor from Samsung has four plus four CPU cores and Mali-T880 graphics.

With a current generation processor and an extra gigabyte of RAM – 4 GB compared with 3 GB – the S7 is faster than the S6. Having said that, the Galaxy S6 is already a pretty speedy gadget and we suspect the difference between them will be negligible for most users.

You can see the two benchmark tests below. 

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Performance benchmarks for the Galaxy S6. / © ANDROIDPIT
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AnTuTu and Geekbench 3 scores for the Galaxy S7. / © AndroidPIT

As we can see from the results, the S7 has twice the AnTuTu score than the S6, 129,649 to 62,916. This is an impressive improvement from its predecessor. 

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S7 comparison: price and conclusion

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy S6

Best price

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy S7

Best price

Samsung has done a good job of addressing concerns users had with the Galaxy S6. The Galaxy S7 features an increased battery size; improved ergonomics and the return of water and dust resistance, along with the much beloved MicroSD card slot. It's almost as if Samsung wanted to revel in past glories while building towards new ideals.

The S7 is one of the 'in-between' handsets for Samsung. Just as Marshmallow isn’t radically different from Lollipop, the S7 owes more to the S6 than the S6 does to the S5.

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There are some noticeable differences between the Galaxy S7 and the S6./ © ANDROIDPIT

It some respects, that is a good thing. The Galaxy S6 made some crucial progress in its software and design compared with its predecessor, although it slipped back a little in the battery life stakes.

Samsung has made key improvements in areas of contention: the return of microSD card support, subtle but noticeable improvements in the design and a larger battery all make the S7 an improvement over the S6.

But whether these are improvements worth forking over the asking price, which started at US$699, is hard to swallow. However, if you're an S5 owner, there's no doubt that the S7 is a great device to upgrade to.

So what do you think? Let me know in the comments. 

88 comments

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  • Hey all you guys - nice to read all the "+" and "-" about the S6 and S7. I realy want to upgrade my S4 to a ??? yes a Galaxy 6 or 7. But wich one should I choose. Is the "7" that much better than the "s6"?

  • I have just got shot of my s6 edge as the battery would last till lunch time so was always on power save that's after 6 months. Have just got the s7 let's see if this has improved enough as am not happy with being let down so quick with the s6 if the s7 let's me down I'll be jumping ship.

  • now am thinking to buy s7 and am scared about battery life maybe I'll be facing same problems i don't know about battery of s7.
    can anyone kindly inform me about s7 battery

  • i bought a brand new Samsung Galaxy s6 last month and am tired of battery life
    worse battery experience of s6
    i made a mistake after buying s6 . they should do something to making better battery life.
    stupid s6. i waste my money.
    they shouldn't make a phone like this.

  • I was concerned about no SD card on the S6 so I just purchased a used Galaxy S6 with 64gb for about $270US on eBay. No need for the SD card as a result. I love it!!! No way would I pay full price for a new phone. I don't think the improvement is worth paying more than twice as much.

  • VSo 5 months ago Link to comment

    Thanks for the review! I have the S4, so it is time for an upgrade. Prior to reading your article I didn't see much difference in the S6 and S7. And I couldn't understand why the camera MP's decreased. So, I'm really glad I read your review, the choice is easy now. Time for the S7!

  • why S7 does not have infrared for remote control applications ????? it's my best application

  • Here's something that I don't understand: "As you can see, the S7 supports MicroSD cards" (figure text above). But if that picture is correct and I think it is, then S7 does *not* support MicroSD while the S6 does! I have an S6 myself and it indeed has that little "drawer" where you can put in the SD. If all this is true, then your conclusion is wrong, too. Nah, I must have misunderstood something... :-/

    • The "drawer" is at the top of the device. You must insert the ejector tool into the hole and it pops out.

    • The S6 does NOT have an SD card. The S7 DOES have an SD Card slot. So if you go S6 you want to get the 64gb internal version.

  • I absolutely love my S6, especially since the Marshmallow update. I listen to Pandora all day at work connected to external speakers via Bluetooth, talk, text, and surf the net and still have at least 30% battery when I get home, all without using power saving. I don't see enough improvement to justify upgrading to the S7. I'm sticking with my S6 until it craps out.

    • "It also means that the Galaxy S7 is a lot easier to pick up from a flat surface, which is an important attribute."
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Check out 14 best samsung galaxy s7 cases here attractivereview . com/2016/04/13/top-14-samsung-galaxy-s7-cases/

    • how you are saving your battery with s6.
      me am tired of battery life

    • totally agree

  • I just upgraded from the galaxy s4 to the galaxy s6, and so far, I am very happy with the phone....:)

  • S6, S6 Edge, S7 and more is now on sale only at NewSmartphoneDeals:com

  • Katoosha 7 months ago Link to comment

    OK , so now i'm TOTALLY confused as to which phone to upgrade to . I'be been reading reviews and have made comparisons between the S6 and S7. I currently have the S4 and since the updates have been installed ,my phone is even hotter than before and seems to run out of juice before 12 . I am a total freak when it comes to taking photo's ,so a good camera is deffinately the go for me. The S6 sounds ideal because of the 16mp but then the S7 sounds pretty amazing too. I'be also looked into the HTC one M9 which has 20mp to which my daughter says is an amazing phone. She went from Samsung to HTC and hasn't looked back since.
    Mmmmmm .....what to do now ???? Even MORE confused as to which phone to get.

    • Ive had s3 s4 s5 s6 and now s7 im not a samsung only fan im an open mind techie and i go with the strongest hardware. Though i root and flash every phone i get i can still say that the touchwiz in the s6/s7 is quite full featured, clean and yet speedy. The battery in the s7 is fantastic and the camera is good too, remember its not about the pixel density!!!! As other brands are concerned it can often come down to price comparisons. The sony z5 premium and a beautiful 4k screen although rarely uses the 4k res and of course as a sony has a great cam too. Htc has less to offer lately. The nexus6p is a good phone for the money and as far as the cheaper chinese phones go again you wont get top tech for such a low price. Best thing is to look at the top tier brands and their flagship models and then go through the reviews and comparisons and make your decsion.

    • I got the S6 with 64gb internal used on ebay for about $270. If you like to take a bunch of photos you'll want the bigger storage because the S6 can't take an SD card. The s7 can take the SD card. The camera is a bit better on the S7 but i've found the S6 takes great photos. Low light isn't as great but it is far better than my previous phone which was an LG. The screen is AMAZING on both and they are both super fast.

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