There’s a new flagship in town: the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the biggest and best Galaxy yet. But how does it stack up against the Google Nexus 6P, which waves the flag for stock Android? There’s only one way to find out. Let battle commence in our Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Nexus 6P comparison!
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Nexus 6P: design and build quality
Here’s what we said about the Nexus 6P: The Nexus 6P is designed like no other smartphone. Its finely-machined edges and minimal finish give it an understated character. The black glass panel on the back, sitting over the camera lens, looks strange at first. But once you forget what phones should look like and begin to appreciate what Huawei has done here, it all makes sense… the Nexus 6P looks like the future of smartphones.
Good, eh? But the Galaxy looks gorgeous too. It’s sleeker and more curved than before, the camera bulge has been almost completely removed and the combination of aluminum and Gorilla Glass 4 looks and feels fantastic. And of course, there’s that screen with its curved edges.
Do we have a winner? Let’s call this one a tie, because both phones are beautifully designed and built but in very different ways. We think they’re both great.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Nexus 6P: display
The Nexus 6P screen is bright and crisp with QHD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels and 518 ppi). The 5.7-inch AMOLED display is nicely saturated, highly detailed and provides great brightness and contrast. Like the Galaxy it’s covered with Gorilla Glass 4, and its color representation is among the best we’ve ever seen on an AMOLED.
The Galaxy S7 Edge’s display is slightly smaller at 5.5 inches but boasts the same resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. It’s ridiculously bright in low light but that makes it very readable in bright daylight, and you can always turn it down if you think it’s a bit much. It also has Always On to display notifications and the time without waking the screen.
The real difference here, of course, is the Galaxy’s curves: its screen curves at the left and right edges. It’s not just a design flourish: the Edge Screen feature enables you to swipe to access services or to access your favorite contacts. It’s hardly essential but it’s a nice touch.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Nexus 6P: processor and storage
The Galaxy S7 Edge comes with an Exynos 8890 processor. The CPU was developed by Samsung and comes with eight cores, four of them running at a maximum speed of 2.3 GHz and the other four at up to 1.6 GHz. According to Samsung, the CPU and GPU are 30 percent and 64 percent more potent, respectively, than the Galaxy S6. There’s 4 GB of RAM and either 32 or 64 GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD.
The Nexus 6P has an eight-core Snapdragon 810 with cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and 2 GHz respectively. RAM is 3 GB and there are three tiers of non-expandable storage at 32, 64 and 128 GB respectively.
The Samsung clearly has the edge here: its clock speeds are slightly higher and it has an extra gigabyte of RAM. We also found some evidence of processor throttling when benchmarking the Nexus, although in fairness we didn’t notice it in everyday use.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Nexus 6P: camera
The Nexus 6P has an 8 MP camera on the front and a 12.3 MP camera on the back. It doesn’t have optical image stabilization - an odd omission - but it does have laser auto-focus and an improved sensor for better low light shooting. It’s the best camera ever put in a Nexus device.
Is it better than the Galaxy? We don’t think so. The Galaxy’s f/1.7 aperture and dual-12 MP sensor means you get amazing photos in all kinds of conditions, the autofocus is blindingly fast and color representation is superb.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Nexus 6P: software
Both devices run Android 6, aka Marshmallow, but as ever Samsung adds its own TouchWiz software and the aforementioned Edge Screen software. TouchWiz is a much slimmer, more focused beast than the bloated mess of earlier incarnations but it still takes up more than 7 GB of internal memory, which is an issue if you plump for the 32 GB model. This one’s a matter of personal taste: if you prefer your Android untouched, you’ll prefer the Nexus with its stock Android build.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Nexus 6P: battery life
The Nexus 6P has a 3,450 mAh battery that’s more than capable of driving that big display for a full day, and while it isn’t removable it can get up to 7 hours of life from just 10 minutes of charging.
The Samsung battery is a little larger, delivering 3,600 mAh, and it has both wireless and fast charging support. The Galaxy also has Samsung’s power saving modes to throttle performance when you don’t need full speed. We’d expect it to last a bit longer than the Nexus in identical use.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Nexus 6P: early verdict
The Nexus 6P is the best Nexus ever made, and on launch many people reckoned it was the best Android device ever made too. But that was before the Galaxy S7 Edge was launched, and the Samsung has faster processors, a better camera and a bigger battery to boot.
However, it’s also significantly more expensive, with a list price of US$799; the Nexus is currently available for US$599. Would you really pay two hundred bucks more for an extra 0.1 GHz of processing speed, 150 mAh of power and a curved display? That question will matter less when the Samsung starts to be discounted, but right now the Samsung may be the better device but the Nexus is better value for money.
What do you think? Would you pay more for the Samsung? Let us know in the comments below.