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First comparison: Galaxy Note 7 vs. Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge

The Galaxy Note 7 isn't part of the Galaxy S series in name, but it sure is in spirit. The latest Note has a ton of high-end specs and features, but most of them can be found in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge that were announced some six months earlier.

The specs are nearly identical, the cameras are the same and most features are shared — so where are the actual differences between these three phones? Let us explain.

On the inside

We're all pretty familiar with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and so much is shared internally between these three phones that it makes more sense to simply focus on the differences — let's get to it.

The biggest notable differences between the three are screen size, where the Note 7 tops out at 5.7-inches, the Galaxy S7 edge is 5.5-inches and the Galaxy S7 is a relatively small 5.1-inches. They all have the same screen technology and resolution, meaning you're getting an awesome display on each one.

Different screen, battery and storage sizes

Further, you'll find 64GB of storage on the Galaxy Note 7, compared with 32GB in the other phones, though all three have a microSD card slot that can handle up to 2TB cards ... once they become available. The Note 7 has a larger battery than its predecessor at 3500 mAh, but that's a touch smaller than the Galaxy S7 edge's 3600 mAh (remember, you need room for the S Pen) — they both beat the Galaxy S7's 3000 mAh.

You'll also see a USB-C port on the bottom of the Note 7, while the other phones are stuck on last-gen Micro-USB connectors. That doesn't make a difference in terms of charging, though: all three make use of Samsung's Fast Charge tech, which is compatible with Quick Charge 2.0 accessories. You also get both Qi and Powermat wireless charging.

And now, a full breakdown of how the specs line up:

CategoryGalaxy Note 7Galaxy S7 edgeGalaxy S7
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Display5.7-inch 2560x1440
Super AMOLED
Dual edge screen
Gorilla Glass 5
5.5-inch 2560x1440
Super AMOLED
Dual edge screen
Gorilla Glass 4
5.1-inch 2560x1440
Super AMOLED
Gorilla Glass 4
ProcessorQuad-core Snapdragon 820 (U.S)
Octa-core Exynos (international)
Quad-core Snapdragon 820 (U.S)
Octa-core Exynos (international)
Quad-core Snapdragon 820 (U.S)
Octa-core Exynos (international)
Storage64GB32GB32GB
ExpandablemicroSD up to 2TBmicroSD up to 2TBmicroSD up to 2TB
RAM4GB4GB4GB
Rear Camera12MP f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS
12MP f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS
12MP f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS
Front Camera5MP f/1.75MP f/1.75MP f/1.7
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 ac MIMO
Bluetooth v4.2 LE
ANT+, USB 2.0, NFC
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac MIMO
Bluetooth v4.2 LE
ANT+, USB 2.0, NFC
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac MIMO
Bluetooth v4.2 LE
ANT+, USB 2.0, NFC
ChargingUSB-C
Fast Charge
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless
Micro-USB
Fast Charge
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless
Micro-USB
Fast Charge
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless
InputS Pen stylus
4096 pts of pressure sensitivity
TouchscreenTouchscreen
Battery3500 mAh3600 mAh3000 mAh
Water resistanceIP68 ratingIP68 ratingIP68 rating
SecurityOne-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner
Samsung KNOX
Private folder
One-touch fingerprint sensor
Samsung KNOX
One-touch fingerprint sensor
Samsung KNOX
Dimensions153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm
Weight169 g157 g152 g

On the outside

Externally, the similarities are very clear. You're looking at the same glass-and-metal combination across the three, though Samsung has tweaked the formula a bit on the Note 7. You'll find tighter corners around the Note 7, leading into a frame that's symmetrical with the same glass curve on the screen as the back glass. Though the Galaxy Note 7 and S7 edge both have curved "edge screens," the Note 7's curves are much smaller and tightly curved, increasing usability with fewer accidental touches. The Note 7 has the latest Gorilla Glass 5 covering both sides as well, decreasing the chances of cracking from drops.

There are extremely subtle design changes sprinkled all around this hardware

The Note 7 also has a couple new color options to differentiate from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, including an all-black color that anodizes the metal frame a deep black color to match the front and back, and a "blue coral" combo with a bright blue front and back accentuated by a pinkish coral metal.

You'll also notice a couple of extra holes up at the top of the Note 7 flanking the earpiece — they're used for the new iris scanning technology. An infrared light on the left and a secondary camera on the right are capable of reading your irises to give you access to secure data on the phone.

More comparisons coming

As we spend more time with the Galaxy Note 7, we'll be evaluating exactly how it stacks up against the other leading Galaxy phones of the year. In the meantime, you can catch up with our Galaxy note 7 coverage, and get back up to speed with everything we've done with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge!

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

48 Comments
  • I love my S7 Edge! S7 Edge will make America great again!
  • preordered mine Posted via the Android Central App
  • Which one: S7, S7 Edge, or Note7? Enjoy your new phone!
  • Depending on cost, I'm not seeing much reason to not just go with the s7 edge. The edge should have better battery life, should end up being a little cheaper, and at the end of the day, the stylus is nice, but, not absolutely necessary.
  • Exactly my thoughts... Posted via my Note 5 or iPhone 6s Plus
  • Texted a buddy almost the exact same comments before seeing your post. Was hoping there was that one thing significantly distinctive and unique the s7 didn't have. Not sure what that would've been, was just expecting a "wow" feature... I'm not seeing it. The screen size and retaina scanner (rarely used/might never use, respectively) isn't enough when weighted against the cost. Considering I'm coming from a note three the s7 will be a big step up.
  • The pen... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm sure others regularly ues the pen. On my current note I rarely use it. Again, that's not enough for me. Sure others see this as a necessity on their phones.
  • Tmobile has a 200 dollar off thr s7edge Posted via the Android Central App
  • Where can I find this deal? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Stylus...I dun knee no stinkin' stylus! If I get the note I will order pants with big pockets.
  • Still happy with my S7. Didn't need the edge and don't need 5.7 inches of screen Posted via the Android Central App running on my Galaxy S7
  • I hope they don't narrow the devices down. What if the Note series BECOMES the edge next year. We get a flat S series and a Curved Edge that's the size of the Note without a stylus. That would suck. I use my stylus everyday Posted via the Android Central App
  • I really wanted the Note 7. When the S7 Edge came out I jumped on it cause it was just like a Note without the S Pen. I was planning on upgrading to the Note 7, but now it is basically the S7 Edge with a smaller battery So I am staying S7 Edge, but luckily it is still a beast Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm with you there - I was planning on the same thing but seeing there's pretty much not much difference, I'll happily stick with my Edge until S8's come out :)
  • They're identical whaddaya know! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Uh oh - daring to compare these handsets is going to upset some people here who seem to be bothered by such comparison. Posted via Android Central App
  • They most likely aren't reading this then
  • Chuckle! I was just considering deviating from the galaxy series in favour of the bigger screen and here it is! Magic! Might wait for S8....
  • The edges ARE different doe, seems better done and less vulnerable on the Note 7 - is what I gathered from Andrew :)
  • I hate to be a fact checker, but just because I've owned both the S7, have the S7 Edge and considered upgrading to the Note 7 (I kept my Note 4 forever because of the lack of card slot in the Note 5) - I thought the max card size the expanded memory slots could take was 256GB? Not 2TB... It's just one of the biggest features I look for in my phones since I love to store my digital comics and videos to take with me for when I'm bored at work :D
  • It is 2 TB just that most only state 256 GB because that is the highest commercially available. That's why the article said, "when they become available" referencing the 2 TB. Posted from my unlocked S7 Acti