From LG to HTC, there are plenty of options available in the smartphone market today. However, two of the biggest forces in the market are easily the Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone.
The two have tried to keep pace with each other for years, vying for the top spot in the market. According to latest consumer ratings, there is clearly a favorite between the two.
Galaxy S8 Wins Out
In a report from Consumer Reports, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ topped the list of available smartphones, including the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. This was based on design, battery life, camera, and additional features.
First, the S8 and S8+ earned praise for its design. The S8 is part of a new wave of smartphones that don't use a bezel, the trimming around the edge of older smartphones. This is what held down the glass cover that was present on previous Galaxy phones. Removing the bezel allows for a larger screen since it's smoothed over all the way around. Its tall and narrow design also lends itself to grip, feeling better to hold than some other phones with similar designs. The only knock on design was the placement of the fingerprint scanner which is described as "awkwardly placed" but works extremely well.
Then there was the battery. Samsung hasn't had the best history with its batteries, especially recently with the Note7 recall last fall. It looks like Samsung has addressed these issues with the S8 and has excellent battery life to boot. Talk tests showed the phones could last 23 to 26 hours, data tests were between 14.5 and 17.5 hours, and Wi-Fi tests were between 13 and 14.5 hours.
Next came the camera test. Again, the S8 and S8+ were able to come out on top in this category. The pictures come out sharp, with the camera performing well in low-light environments and able to cut down on halo effect from the software over-sharpening the image. What makes it more impressive is that it tops other phones, like the iPhone 7 Plus that uses dual rear-facing cameras to improve zone and wide-angle pictures.
Lastly was the additional features test. Two tests were run under this category, starting with water resistance. The phones passed this test, able to be submerged in 5-foot-deep water for nearly 30 minutes. The second test was on Bixby, Samsung's new digital assistant. This was the only test where the S8 phones faltered a bit, but that's only because it's still fairly young. Voice command features have only been rolled out in South Korea, but Bixby is definitely a long-term project for Samsung. But for the time being, the report suggests using Google Assistant instead.
iPhone Looking Ahead
With Samsung winning out on this report, it's important to remember that the iPhone 7 is an older phone at this point than the S8, so some of its features may be a little underwhelming compared to the newer phone. It's also fair to assume that Apple's focus at this point is on the iPhone 8, which is rumored to be making improvements in nearly all these categories.
The changes are believed to include no bezels, TouchID under the screen, improved battery life, improved waterproofing, and a re-tooled Siri. This would place the iPhone 8 in the same area as the S8 in terms of the overall design, but like the S8 to the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 could top these ratings after its release since it would be the newer phone. It would just be a matter of waiting for an updated listing later on.