With the Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 and Note 7 now official, choosing a new smartphone could be tougher than ever before. As usual, each device comes with its own new features, as well as new problems.
Jesse Walling, a seasoned Android developer and student at Seattle Academy, is very familiar with smartphones.
“I feel as though the devices mentioned each have their own advantages and disadvantages,” said Walling. “For the iPhone, this advantage would be the fact that it is slightly faster than its predecessor, with other minute improvements like dual cameras.”
Apple has seemingly stuck with what they know, and kept their familiar aluminum unibody design, but added an anodized Gold finish and a glossy finish, aptly named Jet Black.
“The iPhone offers an undeniably solid build,” said Walling.
Samsung has also kept their successful features like their fingerprint scanner, adding minor improvements in different aspects of the phone, mainly performance, battery life, camera, and build quality.
“Switching over to the Samsung side, it’s a different story,” said Walling. “They tend to fall slightly behind in the build quality aspect but are bounds ahead in terms of the battery life and performance category.”
Vlad Nazarov, an RAHS senior, has been using the new Galaxy S7 Edge for some time now.
“The new Samsung phones are the hottest phones on the market right now,” said Nazarov, “quite literally.”
In terms of features, Nazarov is very happy with his Samsung device.
“All the innovation that Samsung brings is really where they blow Apple out of the water,” said Nazarov, “in terms of waterproofing, innovation, IR scanner, all the features, hardware, [and] software.”
Samsung’s Note 7 has developed a widespread issue of exploding while charging, leading to a massive recall. Nazarov was forced to exchange his device.
“I’ve had to return my Note 7 because of the recall issue and I’m on a loaner phone right now, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge,” said Nazarov. “I’d still like to get my Note 7 as long as it’s safe.”
Will Austin, an early adopter of the iPhone 7, and student at Lakeside feels differently, having recently switched from an aging Android phone himself.
“I really like the iPhone 7, just because I really like iOS 10,” said Austin. “I’ve been on Android for a while, and it’s really nice to make the switch.”
When it comes to the iPhone, one has to mention the 3.5mm headphone jack (or the lack of one). The matter can be very polarizing, and for good reason, as it is undoubtedly the biggest change from previous generations.
“I don’t like it,” said Austin, “but I see why they did it. I mean I think they’re just trying to lock more people into their ecosystem.”
Many people feel the removal of the analog jack was a calculated attempt to bring in more revenue.
“I think they removed it [the 3.5mm jack] to reduce production costs,” said Nazarov, “as well as to sell their new AirPods.”
Either way, the big change has certainly made headlines.
“They’re trying to be trendsetters,” said Austin. “They weren’t going to make a huge change for the iPhone 7, so they removed the headphone jack.”
Walling, on the other hand, feels differently about the matter.
“I think the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack was a beneficial choice for Apple,” said Walling, “but not for many other people.”
Above qualms aside, these two devices have come a long way from their predecessors of years past.
“These are two good devices,” said Walling, “but it is really a toss up in terms of which is better.”
Seemingly, the overarching question is the pros and cons of the iPhone vs. Android ecosystem in general.
“I think you can do more with Android, you can change more things,” said Austin, “but iOS I think is a little more intuitive.”
Editorial note: In response to replacement phones also catching fire, as of 10 Oct. 2016, Samsung has announced that they are suspending production of the flammable Galaxy Note 7. The company urges owners to shut off and return their devices.
“Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place,” according to Samsung.