Apple announced the new iPhone 7 Plus Wednesday, and although I will buy one since it’s my job to cover all devices on ZDNet, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will likely remain the device to beat.
Last year I posted my 10 reasons to pick the Note 5 over Apple’s best iPhone. The Note 7 improves on the Note 5 with water resistance, microSD expansion capability, and a refined dual-edge curved glass design. However, Apple also improved the iPhone with a new camera design, water resistance, stereo speakers, and improved internal specs.
Here are 10 reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 instead of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus.
- Fast charging: I still cannot believe Apple hasn’t developed the technology to charge up the iPhone at a fast rate. Most new Android phones, even those in the $400 range, have the ability to charge up in a short period of time.
- Display: The iPhone display resolution (1920×1080) has always been less than the high-end Samsung phones, but it still looks great, and I have no real complaints. However, the Note 7 currently has the best smartphone display, and it doesn’t look like the new iPhone will match it. You also get a better screen to phone ratio with the Note 7, and it’s tough to beat the experience of having sides with no screen bezel.
- S Pen: Samsung continues to improve the S Pen experience. It’s awesome to write directly on the display with the screen powered down when you have a quick thought, and I’m using the S Pen more than ever.
- Water resistance: We finally see Apple adopting some things that set Samsung apart, and with the iPhone 7 Plus, it adds IP67 water resistance. However, with an IP68 rating, the Note 7 beats the iPhone with the ability for extended immersion in deeper water.
- Wireless charging: Samsung not only includes wireless charging, but the Note 7 includes fast wireless charging technology that speeds up charging by a reported 30 percent. Wireless charging isn’t essential, but it’s tough to beat the convenience of just setting your phone down without fumbling for cables.
- Headphone jack: Apple called its strategy to remove the headphone jack courageous, but that’s a bold statement for cutting out a universal accessory port. Millions have spent a lot of money on high-end headphones with 3.5mm cables and want to continue using them. Wireless headphones have to be charged and still don’t offer the volume and clarity of wired headphones. You will get an adapter in the box, but you can’t charge up your iPhone and use your headphones at the same time.
- microSD expansion card: It’s great to see Apple continue to increase the available internal storage options on the iPhone models and do away with the lame 16GB entry level. However, increasing the internal storage beyond the lowest-priced model comes at a high price. The Note 7 is offered with an ample 64GB of internal storage — with the capability to easily expand the storage capability via inexpensive microSD cards.
- Virtual reality: Samsung’s Gear VR headset provides an enjoyable virtual reality experience for just $99. We’ve seen continued development of new providers offering content, and you can easily spend hours enjoying the virtual world with a Note 7 and a Gear VR headset.
- Samsung Pay: Apple Pay is a great wireless payment system that continues to see new financial institutions added regularly, but Samsung Pay works in almost every location where a magnetic strip reader is used.
- Gorgeous design: This last reason is highly subjective, but I absolutely love what Samsung has done with these new Galaxy Note 7 phones with the metal edges, dual-curved edge screens, glass back, and glass front. The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is a nice piece of hardware as well, but it’s a big phone, and I’m not sure I want something bigger than the Note 7 in my pocket. iPhone owners also tend to wrap their phones in a case, making the package even bigger.
Samsung went with the same successful camera that it launched with on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which isn’t a bad thing. However, Apple added a second camera on the iPhone 7 Plus so that you get more options for creativity. The dual camera is something we’ve seen from LG, but Samsung has yet to employ such hardware in its devices.
I’m also looking forward to hearing those dual stereo speakers on the iPhone 7 Plus. Samsung hasn’t spent much time investing in the speakers on its devices.
Apple will sell millions of new iPhones, while Samsung will also sell millions of new Galaxy Notes. Every individual has different needs and desires, so there isn’t one phone that is best for all of us. At this time, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 may be the best for me. However, stay tuned for my thoughts on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus when my pre-order arrives.
Related ZDNet Galaxy Note 7 coverage
- Galaxy Note 7 review: Samsung nearly achieves smartphone perfection
- Report: Galaxy S7 outsells iPhone 6s as Samsung prepares to launch Galaxy Note 7
- Seven reasons to pay double for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7
- DisplayMate analysis: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 continues Samsung’s dominance in display technology