Apple iPhone SE Vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Which Should You Buy?

Deciding between the SE and the S7 is like comparing, well, apples with marshmallows. Looking at size and price alone you've clearly got two very different smartphones to choose from, but there are some similarities, too. So which one is for you? That depends on what you are looking for.

Image: Apple

Apple iPhone SE Vs Samsung Galaxy S7

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Operating System

The SE is running on iOS 9, while on the S7 it's Android Marshmallow.


The SE has a 4-inch IPS display with 1136x640 resolution and 326 ppi. The S7 has a 5.1-inch AMOLED display with 2560x1440 resolution and 577 ppi -- that's a 77 per cent sharper display.

Size And Style

The SE is 124mm long, 59mm wide and 7.6mm thick weighing in at 113g, while the S7 is 142mm long, 70mm wide and 9.7mm thick at 152g. Overall, the S7 is 15 percent taller and 19 percent wider than the SE.

Style-wise, the SE is a standard-looking iPhone with a full aluminium body. The S7 is both aluminium and glass, harking back to the designs of the S5 era.


The Apple A9 dual core 1.85GHz processor powers the SE -- the same as you'll find in the 6s -- while the S7 features the 2.15GHz Snapdragon 820 quad core processor.

The S7 has double the RAM of the SE, and almost twice the battery life. Although, when you are comparing two phones of such vastly different sizes it's difficult to know how important these differences are.


The SE features the same rear camera as the iPhone 6s, matching the S7 at 12MP. The SE's front-facing camera is 1.2MP and the S7's is 5MP. The S7 also features optical image stabilisation and a wider aperture range for low-light photography.


The SE base model had 16GB of storage, with the option to upgrade for an extra $150. The S7 comes with 32GB of storage, plus a microSD slot which can hold an extra 200GB.

Extra Features

Both handsets have options for tap-and-pay, with the SE having Apple Pay and the S7 with Samsung Pay.

Both have fingerprint access -- Apple is using its last generation Touch ID and Samsung has its upgraded fingerprint sensor.

The S7 is IP68 water resistant, features optimised VR support through Samsung Gear VR and has fast as well as wireless charging. The SE isn't offering any of these features.


If you're not an OS loyalist, this is probably the one point that will make your decision easier. At $679 for the 16GB model and $829 for the 32GB the S7's $1149 price point makes it clear the Samsung is in another category altogether.

Release Date

Don't want to wait? The Samsung Galaxy S7 is available right now, whereas while pre-orders for the Apple iPhone SE open, it won't be released for another couple of days on 31 March.



    What a lazy article - lots of figures, some of them dubious - but not a lot in the way of genuine comparison. I can only assume it's intended as click-bait.

    Some examples:
    "that’s a 77 per cent sharper display" Not a very meaningful comparison, especially given the major difference in screen area.

    "almost twice the battery life" Twice the rated battery capacity, perhaps - real-world duration for the SE is unknown at this stage.

    And then there's this corker: "At $679 for the 16GB model and $829 for the 32GB the S7’s $1149 price point makes it clear the Samsung is in another category altogether"

    Firstly, this sentence is missing words and doesn't make sense. But even if we added in the missing words, it's pretty telling. The Samsung is indeed in another category - it's a substantially larger phone, with a much larger and better screen, which costs a lot more. It's not really a very relevant comparison at all.

      Hey @Klaw! Cheers for the feedback.

      In regards to your comment about battery life, I agree completely, and addressed this here: "Although, when you are comparing two phones of such vastly different sizes it’s difficult to know how important these differences are."

      I think the whole point is, while being as objective as possible, people are going to want to compare these phones - even though they are vastly different and comparing them is relatively pointless as they are indeed in different categories, as I've said. I didn't mean it figuratively :)

      They are both smartphones, they are both new. People will want to see the differences side by side, so that's what I've given them.

    Only a moron would buy a 4" phone for $829.
    I don't even see how the phone is usable at that size. Can't see the tiny things on screen and can't put fingers on tiny keys to type.

      Only a moron would say other people with small hands a moron...
      Get it?
      Just because your hand is as big as a giant, doesnt make others moron.
      Same thing is true for:
      Only a moron would buy a >4.7" phone for >$829.
      I don't even see how the phone is usable at that size. Can't reach the things on the other side of the screen and can't put fingers on big keys to type using one hand.

    A 4" phone is perfect for people who want to use the phone for its primary calls.

    I'm getting one because I believe phones should be getting smaller as it was originally intended.
    I use a tablet for other features.

    Only a moron would buy a table tennis paddle sized phone and then complain it doesnt fit in their pocket.

      Just buy a $40 like a normal person would.

    What a useless article, the Samsung is a top tier flagship phone. There is nothing flagship about the iphone se, just look at that budget 4 inch screen, its pathetic next to a real flagship Qhd amoled.

      Here's the thing, both Rae and I have had people asking us which they should buy. They're not similar phones, but they're out at a similar time and they're *both* being advertised to and targeted at absolutely everyone.

    I could ride my grandson's skate board around those bezels and not touch the screen. The iPhone 5s was released in Australia Sept 2012 at AU$799 for 16Gb up to AU$999 for 64Gb. 3 1/2 years later it's $679 and $829. Apple you are having a lend of us surely. Love the screen to body ratio - is it better than 50% - awesome. 325ppi HIGH resolution screen - WOW. 1.2 Mp selfie camera - fantastic - I can't wait to try it out. Come on iSheep - line up again for another brilliant piece of technology.

    Does seem a bit of a pointless review, why not review a rolls Royce against a Ford fiesta ?

      Although it does seem pointless, the fact remains that people looking for a new smartphone *are* comparing the two. I've been asked numerous times which one people should buy - so this was the best way to highlight they are two very different phones. As I said - like apples and marshmallows - it doesn't stop those with a little less knowledge than the average Giz reader from mistaking them for being in the same league, though :)

        the fact remains that people looking for a new smartphone *are* comparing the two
        These facts are based on what evidence? Seems more like an assumption. If you're an Apple fan I don't understand why you'd be comparing to vastly different mobile phones. They are at different price points, different eco systems, different sizes, and different specs. Yet someone would want to compare these two for consideration to purchase makes no sense to me. This is pure click bait.

          I've had questions from friends, family, and requests on social media. It's important to remember that not everyone who reads these articles has as much knowledge on the topic as yourself. If you understand that the products are different enough that you don't need a comparison, that's totally fine. But some people do - this article is for them :)

            When re-reading the article in that light, I acknowledge that you have directly addressed the fact that they're very different devices in the first paragraph. Sorry for the accusations of laziness earlier - it's pretty hard to compare such different phones.

            The fact that you're getting such questions is truly astounding. Marketing is a powerful influence on the ignorant...

            I've had questions from friends, family, and requests on social media
            Really? You've had that many people asking you that of these two phones which one is better? Most people tend to stick to what they are familiar with so I find it very strange that anyone would be asking this, given my reasons above. Your response doesn't seem honest. More so, there's this thing called the internet, where you can find all the information you want on phones and easily compare specs, watch videos etc, so why a bunch of your tech illiterate friends and family would all be asking this question to you on these two specific phones without already being committed to iOS or Android already seems like a massive stretch of the truth. Just saying.

              @trishool yes, really. I don't quite know how to respond to this, other than to assure you that I greatly value honesty, and to be accused of acting otherwise is actually pretty upsetting.

              This comparison is useful for people like me who prefer Galaxy over iPhone, but also prefer small 4 inch phones over larger 5"+ phones. Samsung does not currently offer a 4inch equivalent to the SE. If I were simply going off specs and performance alone the S7 would be the easy choice, but the size of the SE makes it a major contender for me. I like being able to use my phone with one hand and I can only do that on a 4 inch phone. So I am wondering how much I am compromising on performance by going for the SE? How noticeable are the differences in actual every day usage? Is the S7 great enough it's worth giving up comfort and one hand usage for? Plus at this point price isnt a factor anymore because the S7 is currently on sale for $550 and the 64bg SE is going for $500. If a comparison isn't relevant to you, why are you even wasting your time reading it?

    If you want decent (long life) services get an Apple device regardless. Samsung loves to flaunt things only to close them down a short time later. Take Samsung Milk Music ... It bites the dust in Asutralia mid April.

      Such a silly comment. Samsung Milk was just a re-badged portal for Slacker anyway. It's shutting down because pretty much nobody used it beyond the free trial.

      Of course, you have the choice of any number of other, far better music services on Android, including Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music and even Apple Music.

    I have had found myself spending too much time with one of smart phone's leader with huge screen, doing stuff that I usually did with with laptops... only slowly. I just want to get back all my time spent with the device, and I want the phone to be the PHONE, and nothing else. Yeah, sometime texting, rarely emailing, occasionally shooting pictures, and that is all. So, the 4-inch iPhone SE probably is what I needed, and, I like it for its compact size, and easy way I can take it out of my pants =) ........... p.s: I am currently on a huge Android device, so you do know.

    Thank you for this thoughtful article. I was thinking about getting the SE and my husband wants the 7 so I was checking to see if there were any major differences. Neither my husband nor I are married to either brand so we keep our minds open.

    I recently bought an iPhone SE.
    Looked at S7 before buying.
    There's quite a few conflicting comparisons online but i can say from an owner's perspective I'm happy with my new phone.
    It's fast, battery never goes flat during the day, and it works.
    Wireless charging would have been nice but you have to pay a lot more for that.
    don't worry about all the other stuff
    Battery comparison is important

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