The Galaxy S7 and the Nexus 6P couldn't be more different, really. One's the marriage of hardware and software, as Google sees it. (And with some love from Huawei, of course.) The other, well, the other is Samsung's. And both are excellent in their own way. While both the GS7 and N6P are running Android 6.x Marshmallow — similar codebase, similar features — the experience of using either one of these phones is considered by many to be on opposite ends of the Android spectrum.
We've taken a brief look at the Galaxy S7 — and the larger, more curvy Galaxy S7 edge — ahead of their announcement at Mobile World Congress, and alongside the Nexus 6P.
Here's what stood out to me the most between the Nexus 6P and the Galaxy S7 — both of them, for sure, but specifically the GS7 edge: the Nexus 6P is a beast. It's never really hidden its size — it's a big, svelte phone. But it's a head taller than the GS7. Literally. You see daylight between that rear glass visor (or a chin, to continue that metaphor) when you put then two together. The GS7 edge creeps up a little more, but the Nexus still towers over it. (The Galaxy Note 5 doesn't quite even things out either.) And that's really saying something given that the GS7 edge comes close in display size (5.5 inches versus 5.7 inches), but manages beats it for battery capacity, albeit by a small margin (3,600 mAh vs. 3,450 mAh).
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Beyond that is the difference in feel. The Nexus 6P has that sort of big, metal feeling that so many phones today have, accented by the chamfered edges. The Galaxy S7, well, it feels a whole lot like the Galaxy S6 or the Note 5. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's gotten better, having borrowed a little bit from the back-end of the Note 5 and gained a little bit of curve there as well. But it's also the feeling of glass over metal. And there's also, sadly, the matter of the GS7 again being a bit of a fingerprint magnet, versus the much more matte Nexus 6P. That's a thing you'll know going into it, though.
Another pretty big difference is that — as many of us predicted — the Galaxy S7 is using a microUSB connector for charging and data, while the Nexus 6P has the newer USB-C. The advantage to this is that all of your existing accessories will continue to work just fine, as will the current generation of the Gear VR virtual reality visor. (It also means Samsung's going to avoid all of the headaches that currently come with USB-C.)
There are more obvious differences of course. Waterproofing. (The GS7 wins that round.) Front-facing speakers. (That one goes to Nexus.) Software updates. (We'll go out on a limb here and say Nexus.) Huge marketing blitz. (Hi, Samsung.)
Different strokes for different folks, really. Both are very good phones. And we'll be giving the Nexus 6P and Galaxy S7 a more in-depth look once we've gotten more time with the latter. Stay tuned.