The iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are the latest flagship smartphones from Apple and Samsung, respectively. Both are available from Telstra, Optus, Virgin on a range of 24-month plans. But which provides the best value? To find out, we compared the cheapest mobile contracts from each telco with 3GB or more of data per month. The results may surprise you.
First off, here's a quick recap of each phone.
Apple iPhone 7
The iPhone 7 shares a similar design to the iPhone 6 but with a few notable changes. It has a sleeker looking antenna line and the home button has been updated to a Force Touch pressure-sensitive input.
Apple has also changed the way its CPUs work. It now uses two high performance cores and two high efficiency cores, known as the ‘big little’ design used by ARM and Qualcomm. It means that you can rely on the two efficient cores for smaller tasks without having to wake up the high performance cores. This makes the devices more power efficient.
Another major change is the lack of a headphone jack. In its place is Apple's patented Lightning jack which is also used for charging. (You can still use your old headphones with an adaptor.) The iPhone 7 is also finally water-resistant. Read our complete product teardown here.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge remains Samsung's current flagship smartphone. (The newer Note7 is technically a "phablet" like the iPhone 7 Plus and is still in the midst of a product safety recall.)
Despite coming out at the beginning of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S7 boasts many of the iPhone 7's debut features, including (superior) water resistance and improved low light photography. It comes with a 5.1-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 820 processor a 3000 mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and runs on Android Marshmallow with a TouchWiz skin over the top.
Other noteworthy features include IP68 water resistance (up to 30 minutes submerged in fresh water), inbuilt NFC, Samsung Pay, wireless charging functionality and a MicroSD slot for added storage.
Here are the specs, side by side:
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 7:
|iPhone 7||Samsung Galaxy S7|
|OS||iOS 10||Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow)|
|CPU||Apple A10 Fusion Quad core with six-core graphics GPU||Snapdragon 820 Octa Core (2.3 GHz Quad + 1.6Ghz Quad)|
|Storage||32GB/128GB/256GB||32GB (+ MicroSD card slot)|
|Display||4.7-inch Retina HD Display||5.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen|
|Resolution||750 x 1334 pixels (326 ppi)||1440 x 2560 pixels (518 ppi)|
|Camera||12MP rear (f/1.8, phase detection autofocus), 7MP front||12MP rear camera / 5MP front camera|
|Water resistance||IP67 (up to 30 minutes at one metre depth)||IP68 (up to 30 minutes at 1.5 metre depth)|
|Dimensions||138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1mm||142.4mm x 69.6mm x 7.9mm|
We're not going to claim that either of these phones is "better" than the other. It really depends on which OS you're most at home with and the features that most appeal to you. For example, the iPhone 7 would likely beat the S7 Edge in most photography situations, but the S7 Edge comes with a MicroSD card slot for external storage. So it really all depends on your individual needs.
If you're undecided though, it's going to come down to price. While the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is significantly cheaper than the iPhone 7 to buy outright, the same is not necessarily true if you're purchasing the device on a mobile contract. Telcos are currently vying for iPhone 7 customers with competitive pricing, whereas the hype has dried up for the older S7 Edge. Sometimes, this results in a cheaper deal. But not always.
Below are the best deals that are currently available for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and iPhone 7 on Telstra, Optus, Virgin and Vodafone. We've concentrated on plans that provide 3GB or more of data per month, which is the minimum most users will be able to get away with.
Here's how they stack up:
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (32GB)
iPhone 7 (32GB)
As you can see, the iPhone 7 actually represents a better deal from some vendors — Telstra, Vodafone and Optus all provide cheaper iPhone 7 plans than the equivalent plan for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
With that said, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has the cheapest 3GB+ plan overall, courtesy of Virgin Mobile ($65 per month). So it's not a clear-cut victory.
In other words, when comparing mobile contracts between telcos it definitely pays to check how much their phone repayments are; particularly if you're not sold on a particular phone model. With a little research you could end up with a significantly better deal.