Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is here and it’s packed with top-of-the-line specs we’ve seen in many other flagships this year. While it shares a lot of internals and design cues, such as the dual-edge display, with the Galaxy S7 Edge, the Note 7 stands out by being Samsung’s first flagship smartphone with a USB Type-C charging port and an iris scanner.
We’ve glanced at how it performs against the S7 Edge, so let’s see how it fares against Apple’s largest smartphone, the iPhone 6S Plus. Keep in mind, though, that the iPhone 6S Plus is now almost a year old and everyone’s eagerly anticipating the iPhone 7. This is also a specs comparison — wait for our full review to get the final word on the Note 7.
Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs. S7 Edge: Is scribbling worth the extra scrilla?
It’s hard to compare the specifications of an Android device with an iPhone — many of the iPhone’s internals are optimized for iOS, meaning it doesn’t necessarily require 4GB of RAM, for example. We don’t have our Note 7 review unit yet, so we can’t offer up official benchmark scores. Still, the Note 7 uses the same Snapdragon 820 processor as the Galaxy S7 Edge. When the S7 Edge duked it out with the A9 processor in the iPhone 6S Plus, the Snapdragon 820 chip won. Again, that’s like comparing apples to oranges as the A9 chip is Apple’s self-designed chip for the iPhone, meaning it’s optimized far better for the device than Qualcomm’s 820 is for the Note 7.
In terms of storage, Apple starts out with 16GB — which is abysmal in this day and age — but it progresses with a 64GB and 128GB version. There is no MicroSD card slot, so unless you get a case that can add extra storage, you’re stuck with whichever variant you choose.
Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus 64GB variant is priced at $850, which is the same cost as the 64GB Galaxy Note 7. Samsung’s phablet only has the one storage option, but Samsung wins out here — the Note 7 has a MicroSD card that can support up to an additional 256GB. Even better, the Korean giant is giving away its 256GB MicroSD cards (or a Gear Fit 2) for a limited time when you purchase the device. That’s 320GB of storage for $850.
You can also get 256GB MicroSD cards starting from $80 on Amazon, so even without the deal it’s still cheaper to go that route instead of opting for the 128GB variant of the iPhone 6S Plus at $950. It’s worth mentioning that internal storage is faster and more stable, but you’ll end up paying a lot more money for it.
Spec-wise, Samsung also beats the iPhone out with 4GB of RAM, though Apple optimizes its hardware with its software really well — both devices should be able to handle multiple tasks easily.
The Note 7 comes with the S Pen stylus, but the iPhone 6S Plus has 3D Touch. Still, the Note 7 may beat out the iPhone in features thanks to the iris scanner, IP68 water resistance, wireless charging, and fast charging. Samsung’s phablet also has a bigger battery, though iPhones have always had a better standby time.