Samsung has just introduced the sleekest Note device yet. This statement has a certain tone of deja vu. Maybe because it’s the same expression I used upon first seeing the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Of course the resemblance to the Galaxy Note 7 is undeniable, with the two now even sharing the number 7. Now let's take a first look at the most striking differences between these two thoroughbreds.
Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 7: design
The Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy Note 7 are two expressions of the same vision. The Note range usually sees light half a year after the crowning of the new S series flagships, enough time to judge whether the new S series devices have been a success.
With the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge came a turning point in the design of Samsung smartphones that still today, 18 months later, we can see in evidence. Looking a little further into the past, the Galaxy S5 was an innovative device with USB 3.0 (that rather strange plug) and a fingerprint sensor, but let's be honest, it was ugly. After half a year, the Note 4 came and was a success with similar hardware, set apart by nuances and a newfound elegance.
The Note 7 is confirmation that Samsung knows that its users will punish the company if design and looks are not up to scratch. Over the past two generations, the differences between the Note and the S series have diminished. Now, with the Note 7 skipping a number to fall into line with the S7 flagships, the differences between the two device lines grows smaller still.
The Galaxy Note 7 differs from the S7 Edge in two main regards only. The main thing is the S Pen, naturally, as it is the hallmark of the Note series. The other big difference is that the Note 7 is the first Samsung device to feature a USB Type-C port. This makes the device incompatible with pre-existing Gear VR headsets, but rest assured a new one is on the way.
One innovation the Note 7 introduces is an iris scanner. Samsung claims it is much more secure than using fingerprint recognition, but its ease of use and effectiveness is what ultimately makes the difference. This is something we will take a close look at once we have the Note 7 in our offices. At the moment, all we can do is recognize the good intentions of Samsung in bringing greater levels of security to their devices.
Then there is also the size difference. The Galaxy S7 Edges features a 5.5-inch screen, while the Note 7 sits at 5.7 inches. The size difference is not exaggerated, but it shows. We can also see that the Note has a slightly larger upper and lower bezel.
At first glance, the only difference between the two devices, in terms of design, is that the corners of Note 7 are less curved than the S7 Edge.
Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 7: display
The two screens have the same curves, the same technology and the same resolution, but the greater size of the Note 7 reduces its pixel density. The Note 7, however, introduces the new Corning Gorilla Glass 5. This is the first device to feature this type of protective glass, which we expected to see make its debut closer to the end of the year.
Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 7: software and performance
Both the Galaxy Note 7 and S7 Edge contain the same processor and RAM. In the US market the Note 7 will have a Snapdragon 820, and in Europe it will have the Exynos 8890, but both variants come with 4 GB of RAM, just like the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
This hardware arrangement made the S7 Edge the most powerful device of the moment, but six months later this crown has passed through several hands and currently resides with the OnePlus 3, which packs in 6 GB of RAM. The fact that the Note 7 shares its hardware with a six-month-old device means that there is little chance of it standing out in terms of performance.
The version of TouchWiz the Note 7 arrives with is based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This could easily be considered a drawback, since a new version of Android is just around the corner, and Samsung has given no indication of when Android Nougat will make its way to the Galaxy Note 7. The S7 Edge finds itself in the same situation, with the difference being that it was released six months ago and not within weeks of the release of a new Android version.
Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 7: camera
The S7 Edge’s camera is simply spectacular. Some with particular tastes may prefer the qualities of other smartphone cameras, but the S7 Edge undoubtedly meets the needs of most users and offers extremely high quality smartphone photography.
The Note 7 features the exact same camera setup as the S7 Edge, guaranteeing high quality results. We are talking about the dual pixel camera with a 12 MP sensor.
Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 7: battery
Usually, a larger smartphone often uses its extra space for a larger battery. But Samsung here swims against the current. Surprisingly, the Note 7 has less battery power than the Galaxy S7 Edge. It contains a 3,500 mAh battery, 100 mAh less than that in the S7 Edge. It's not much, but the reduction is noteworthy.
Therefore it is not expected to outlast the S7 Edge, rather the opposite. Apparently, the system needed to accommodate the S Pen requires so much space that the battery size had to be reduced to allow room for it.
Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 7: specs
|Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge||Samsung Galaxy Note 7|
|Dimensions:||150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm||153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm|
|Weight:||157 g||169 g|
|Battery size:||3600 mAh||3500 mAh|
|Screen size:||5.5 in||5.7 in|
|Screen:||2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)||2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)|
|Front camera:||5 megapixels||5 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||12 megapixels||12 megapixels|
|Android version:||6.0 - Marshmallow||6.0 - Marshmallow|
|RAM:||4 GB||4 GB|
|Internal storage:||32 GB
|Chipset:||Samsung Exynos 8890||Samsung Exynos 8890|
|Number of cores:||8||8|
|Max. clock speed:||2.3 GHz||2.3 GHz|
|Connectivity:||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2|
Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 7: price and conclusion
On the hardware side, we are talking about the same device. The main differences upon first glance are: increased screen size, USB Type-C, S Pen, iris scanner and a smaller battery.
On the software front, these two devices also share the same version of Android, which will soon be outdated, while the Note 7 is the benefactor of extra features for its edge display and S Pen.
The starting price of the Galaxy S7 Edge was around $800, but you can now find one for about $650. The Note 7 does not have an official price yet, but it will be in the region of $850-900.
These two are practically the same device, but if you're addicted to the S Pen and Note productivity features, then there is no alternative to the Note. If these are not essential to you, the S7 Edge is the better choice.
Are you a Note addict, or do you prefer the curves? Let us know in the comments.