This year is already shaping up to be a pretty interesting one in the mobile tech space; Apple’s market performance is down for the first time in as long as anyone can remember; pleasingly, everyone seems to have given up on smartwatches and there’s now an awesome focus on Virtual Reality; Samsung is back on form with the Galaxy S7 series; and other Android rivals are on an upward trajectory, coming to market with better flagship devices than ever before (and with a particular emphasis on camera hardware, interestingly).
On this latter point, the likes of LG and even HTC have introduced some pretty impressive kit with the LG G5 and HTC 10, but Chinese firm Huawei is also making waves with the Huawei Mate 8 and the very latest Huawei P9 flagship (and the Huawei P9 Plus phablet variant). And this has been such a welcome change to the western mobile space, which, for the longest time, has kind of been a one horse race with Samsung at the very top and everybody else scrambling for crumbs. Yes, LG has been putting up a good fight, and continues to do so with this year’s G5, but it is very good to see some new blood causing some ripples in the Android space.
The Mate 8 was an exceptional handset in almost every regard. The Huawei P9 upped the ante considerably, and this will give HTC, OnePlus, LG, Sony and Motorola all pause for thought. Huawei has the know-how, resources and brand to really cause a lot of Google’s hardware partners trouble in 2016/17. Also — the Huawei Mate 9 is expected to land in November with Android N aboard, and we cannot wait to see what that handset brings to the fray.
Here we’re going to focus on Samsung’s latest and greatest, the Galaxy S7 edge – this is easily the best smartphone Samsung has produced in a very long while, and the shipping and sales performance shows it; Samsung’s Q1 stats have lifted for the first time in two years and analysts are scrambling to recalculate their predictions for the year. Samsung itself has said that the overwhelming majority of pre-order and sales interest is for the edge model. Consumers like a curvy display, it seems, so expect more from Samsung in this vein in the future.
We’re going to see how the Galaxy S7 edge compares to the Huawei P9 Plus. The Plus model is nearly identical to the regular Huawei P9’s impressive set of specs and features, but it is larger with a bigger display and battery. The standout feature is the innovative dual-sensor camera co-developed and licensed by imaging experts Leica.
Huawei P9 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Specs
Here’s the specs for the Huawei P9 Plus:
- Display: 5.5in display with a 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi, Press Touch support
- Dimensions: 152.3mm x 75.3 mm x 6.98 mm
- Weight: 162 grams
- Storage: 64 GB, plus support for microSD cards up to 128GB
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Processors: Kirin 955 2.5GHz 64-bit ARM-based processor
- Front camera: 8 MP with laser auto focus
- Rear camera: Dual 12 MP with laser auto focus
- Battery: 3400 mAh
- Colors: Haze Gold, Quartz Grey, Rose Gold and Ceramic White
And here’s the specs for the Galaxy S7 Edge:
- Display: 5.5in display with a 2560×1440-pixel resolution at 534ppi, curved edge display
- Dimensions: 150.9mm x 72.6 mm x 7.7 mm
- Weight: 157 grams
- Storage: 32 or 64 GB, plus support for microSD cards up to 200GB
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Processors: Samsung Exynos 8890
- Front camera: 5 MP
- Rear camera: 12 MP, f/1.7 aperture, 4K video
- Battery life: 3600 mAh
- Colors: Dark Grey, Silver, or Gold
Both phones come in 64GB storage options, but only the S7 Edge comes in a smaller 32GB option, good for those that don’t need a lot of space. But space isn’t really an issue since both phones support expandable storage via microSD cards. Though each phone also supports storage expansion via the microSD card slot, however, the S7 Edge accepts cards up to 200GB in size. The P9 Plus only accepts cards up to 128GB. So, technically, the S7 Edge is capable of more storage.
When it comes to RAM, 4GB is what you get with both phones, so it’s a draw there. As for processors, the P9 Plus features Huawei’s new Kirin 64-bit processor, which is 100% faster than the processor in the P8. As for the S7 Edge, you get Samsung’s Exynos 8890 chipset. Which is better? In all the real world tests I’ve seen they’re about equal.
When it comes to battery, the S7 Edge (excuse the pun) edges out the P9 Plus. The P9 Plus features a 3400 mAh battery while the S7 Edge has a slightly larger 3600 mAh battery.
Huawei P9 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Design & Build
Both phones are made of machine crafted aluminum, but the major difference between the two is the Edge has a curved display at on edge of the screen (hence its name), but allows for software-based buttons and shortcuts that make using the phone easier.
But a win for the P9 Plus: it’s actually almost 1mm thinner than the S7 Edge.
Huawei P9 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Display
We come to the first HUGE difference between the two when we talk displays. Both have massive 5.5in displays, however each has features the other doesn’t. For starters, the S7 Edge has a much better display when it comes to resolution. It packs in a 2560×1440 Quad HD Super AMOLED display at 534ppi. The compares to the P9 Plus’ 1920×1080 at 401ppi display.
Yet the P9 Plus offers Press Touch support. That is, like the iPhone 6s’ 3D Touch display, the P9 Plus’ display can sense the amount of pressure applied to the screen, which enables additional interactions with apps. However, though the S7 Edge lacks Press Touch, it does have that curved edge display.
Huawei P9 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Cameras
But when we get to cameras, the P9 Plus destroys the cameras included with the S7 Edge. The P9 Plus features a dual-camera Leica lens in its rear camera. That’s right, there are TWO 12MP cameras on the back, leading to pictures that approach DSLR quality. The S7 edge features a 12MP camera as well, but it’s only a single lens camera. No question about it, you will get MUCH better pics using the P9 Plus’ camera.
As for front facing cameras, the P9 Plus beats the S7 Edge there too. The P9 Plus has an 8MP front lens, while the S7 Edge is stuck with a 5MP front camera.
Huawei P9 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Verdict
This is another tough choice. In many respects the S7 Edge wins, primarily because of its killer display. However, though the P9 Plus’ display is inferior in resolution, the support for Press Touch means it’s a bit more future-proof. Add that to the fact that the P9 Plus has vastly superior cameras…if I had to make a snap decision, I’d opt for the P9 Plus. But that’s only because I take a lot of pics with my smartphone. If watching video, viewing photos, and using your smartphone for more productivity-related tasks is more important, the S7 Edge could be the right Android for you.