Apple has taken to the stage to announce the 4-inch iPhone SE, an affordable entry into the company's lineup that's three times faster than the iPhone 5s. How does Apple's hot arrival stack up against Android's new kid on the block, the Samsung Galaxy S7? Read on for our comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Apple iPhone SE.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone SE comparison: design and build quality
The Samsung Galaxy S7 may look rather similar to the Galaxy S6 before it, but Samsung's latest release has plenty more to offer under the hood when it comes to power and speed.
A sleek metallic finish and aluminium sides help cement the Samsung Galaxy S7's position as a premium device, and the smartphone is easy to protect thanks to an IP68 certification. Few would argue that this is a gorgeous smartphone, comfortable to hold with a state-of-the-art feel.
Gadget owners prone to dropping their smartphone will be pleased to hear that the Samsung Galaxy S7 can handle a while underwater, and it's also well equipped to fight against dust gremlins.
In terms of size, the Samsung Galaxy S7 comes in at 142.4 x 69,6 x 7.9mm. Subtle changes made to the back of the handset mean that the rear snapper now only protrudes by 0.46 mm, which means there's no rocking motion when you place the Galaxy S7 on a flat surface.
When it comes to looks, it's rather tricky to tell the difference between the iPhone SE (Special Edition) and the earlier iPhone 5 and 5s. Look closely, however, and there's some subtle tweaks between Apple's devices.
First of all, Apple's fresh iPhone SE comes in a rose gold color option, something that's not on offer with the other iPhone models. Whilst we note that the iPhone SE looks like iPhone's before it, that's not really a negative point when it comes to looks.
The iPhone SE is an elegant smartphone, arriving in a smaller form factor that somehow seems unusual in the new world of chunky handsets. It's a welcome change and the iPhone SE looks simple yet sophisticated as a result.
On the back of the device, the rear camera no longer protrudes out of the body of the smartphone. The result is a lovely, flush rear that means you can place the gadget down and not have to worry about the camera taking a battering.
Touch ID technology lives inside the home button on the front of the iPhone SE, which can be used for speedy unlocking and Apple Pay.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone SE comparison: display
A 5.1-inch QHD display is spotted on the front of the Samsung Galaxy S7, boasting a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels that powers a truly crisp, vibrant screen.
Color quality and depth is fantastic on the Galaxy S7's display and from our time with the mobile we've come to realize that this is one of the brightest screens in the Android world.
Meanwhile, contrast and saturation are strong, and viewing angles are of top quality even on those sunny days when the light is beaming down on the smartphone.
The last 'big name' 4-inch devices unveiled to the world were Apple's own iPhone 5s and 5c back in 2013, and the iPhone SE is arriving during a year where big smartphones seem to be taking over.
Apple's iPhone SE doesn't feature 3D Touch technology, unfortunately, although the simple fact that Apple has released a smartphone that's smaller in size compared to its recent predecessors will put smiles on plenty of faces.
Speaking at the recent smartphone unveiling, Apple has promised a small phone that 'lives large', and the gadget's smaller Retina display ensures costs are kept lower for consumers.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone SE comparison: processor and storage
A Snapdragon 820 or Exynos 8890 chipset powers the Samsung Galaxy S7, and the result is a lightning-fast user experience that showcases Android at its finest.
The Galaxy S7 brushes aside high-intensity apps and games with ease, and multitasking is a lag-free task. If you're upgrading from the Galaxy S6 then the speed improvements inside the latest edition will be even more noticeable.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy S7 has around a 30 percent more powerful CPU and 64 percent more powerful GPU than the Galaxy S6. The Samsung Galaxy S7's two models offer 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage and 4 GB of RAM, and the fact that microSD support is on offer means it's easy to go beyond that if you need to.
Whilst Apple's iPhone SE doesn't boast the same features as the current generation iPhone 6s, it still serves as a worthy upgrade to older Apple smartphones.
Performance on the iPhone SE is said to be around three times faster than that of the iPhone 5s, so gaming fanatics can rest assured that the smartphone can take on the challenge.
The iPhone SE rocks the same 64-bit A9 chip that's found within the iPhone 6s, and recent speed enhancements arriving in the form of iOS 9.3 also play their part in keeping the stutter demons at bay.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone SE comparison: camera
The Samsung Galaxy S7 features a 12 MP rear camera backed up by OIS and dual-pixel technology, and we believe that this is one of the best smartphone cameras we've ever tested.
Our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S7 complimented the handset on its snappy focus speeds, along with the handset's top, functional quick launch feature.
The front of the Samsung Galaxy S7 features a 5 MP shooter with wide-angle selfie performance and an f/1.7 lens. From what we've seen thus far, performance on the front-facing camera is strong, with the lens performing well even in low light.
The Main camera found on the Apple iPhone SE is a 12 MP iSight camera featuring focus pixels, true tone flash and panorama support 'up to 63 MP'.
Apple has a history of bringing fantastic cameras to its smartphones and the chances are high that the iPhone SE will deliver in this area too. The latest smartphone from the tech giant features the same camera as the iPhone 6s and so it's easy to shoot in 4K.
The Apple iPhone SE can film in 1080p up to 60 fps and in slo-mo up to 240 fps, making it ideal for folk that like getting creative with their shots.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone SE comparison: software
Samsung's Galaxy S7 runs on Android 6.0.1 partnered with TouchWiz UI, which happens to be the best version of the skin we've seen. Bloatware is kept at a minimum and regular software updates keep things running smoothly.
Apple's iPhone SE runs on the newly-released iOS 9.3, which brings multiple changes and improvements to some much-used applications including Notes, News and Health. Meanwhile, Apple's new Night Shift feature uses the device's clock and location to adjust screen colors to protect the user's eyes.
Other changes include some new 3D Touch shortcuts for Weather, Settings and Health, along with the ability to password protect individual notes on the smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone SE comparison: battery
A 3,000 mAh battery keeps the Samsung Galaxy S7 powered up, which is an improvement on the 2,550 mAh offering found inside the Galaxy S6.
Battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S7 is helped along by the smartphone's Always On display, which saves power by displaying only useful information to users and powering on fewer pixels to show it. The Galaxy S7 will last most people the full day on a single charge, and the charger in the box can have the handset hitting 100% in around 90 minutes.
Apple claims that battery life has been significantly improved inside the iPhone SE compared to the experience offered by the iPhone 5s.
Whilst the iPhone 5s can handle around 40 hours of audio playback on a single charge, the iPhone SE takes that up to 50. In terms of Wi-Fi browsing, the iPhone SE lasts three hours longer than the iPhone 5s at a total of 13 hours approximately.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone SE comparison: verdict
The iPhone SE looks to be a top upgrade option for folk currently running on the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s. On top of that, the smaller 4-inch display comes as a breath of fresh air when other new releases from rivals are rocking far bigger displays.
The question is whether or not the newest iPhone does enough to convince people to stay within Apple's ecosystem, or if it's too little to keep people away from the fantastic Samsung Galaxy S7.
Let us know your thoughts on Apple's newest release in the comments section below.