Smartphone showdown: iPhone SE v Samsung S7 Edge, HTC 10 and Huawei P9 Plus

When it comes to the latest crop of smartphones, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that the they’re all brilliant. The not so good news is that choosing one is an even tougher than it was last year.

Feeling the pain of confused smartphone buyers, I got my hands on the latest crop of phones to test them out. These included an iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, HTC 10 and Huawei’s P9 Plus.

All the smartphone manufacturers are upping the ante. This means no matter which you choose, you’re almost guaranteed to get a great device. This also makes choosing which device to buy a tricky undertaking.

Each device is scored using the scale of 1 (poor) through to 5 (excellent) for design, display, camera and operating system.

IPHONE SE ($749)

Design and build

Its sharp edges and squarish design stand out against the curvy smartphones in this roundup. It might not be original, but the build quality is hard to fault.

Score 3/5

Display

The SE sports what Apple call a retina display. This is marketing speak for resolutions so high that pixels are unnoticeable at typical viewing distances. Its 4-inch display is small and the 800:1 contrast ratio is also lower than that of the other phones in this roundup.

Score 3/5

Camera

The iPhone SE packs the same 12MP camera as the iPhone 6s. It has received a lot of favourable reviews. This is thanks to features such as Focus Pixels, and 4K video at 30fps. The sensor has increased resolution, improved autofocus speed, and better noise reduction.

Score 3/5

OS

iOS is a strong point with any iDevice. Apple is fanatical about design and usability. Lots of subtle yet clever features are built into IOS 9.3. It’s attractive and is a delight to use long.

Score 4/5

SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 EDGE ($1399)

Design and build

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is waterproof.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is waterproof.

 When it comes to design, Samsung is one of the few device makers still innovating. Where most smartphones are rectangular slabs with screens, the S7 Edge stands thanks to its curved screen.

Score 4/5

Display

Given Samsung’s history of making screens, it is little wonder that the S7’s display is a benchmark for most other phones. Its standout feature is the curved screen edges. Unfortunately, few apps utilise the edge screen aside from Samsung’s own apps.

Score 4/5

Camera

The S7 Edge’s camera has received a lot of praise. This due to its low-light performance. Samsung also incorporated a “Dual Pixel Sensor” for phase detection autofocus. This means that out-of-focus shots occur far less often.

Score 4/5

OS

If there is one weak point with the S7 Edge it is TouchWiz, Samsung’s Android skin. Although there’s less bloat than with earlier Galaxy devices, some lag is still noticeable. This is most evident when it is pushed hard with demanding apps and/or games.

Score 4/5

HTC 10 ($999)

Design and Build

The HTC the 10 feels solid. It doesn’t bring much new to the design table, looking a lot like HTC’s earlier A9. An all-metal body sports a comfy, curved design, but it is a bit thicker compared to the svelte Huawei P9 Plus.

The HTC 10 has one of the best LCD displays.

REUTERS

The HTC 10 has one of the best LCD displays.

 Score 3/5

Display

The 5.2-inch display is nice but it lacks the vibrancy of the S7 Edge. On its own merits, the HTC 10 has one of the best LCD displays I’ve seen.

Score 4/5

Camera

As with its recent siblings, the HTC 10 packs an UltraPixel sensor. This is marketing speak for larger pixels in the image sensor. The theory being that these bigger pixels capture more light for stronger low-light performance.

Score 3/5

OS

HTC worked with Google to craft the interface. It’s about as close to stock Android as it is possible to get. Application duplication and bloat were almost non-existent.

Score 4/5

HUAWEI P9 PLUS ($1299)

Design and build

The Huawei P9 Plus has dual rear cameras.

The Huawei P9 Plus has dual rear cameras.

 Huawei used to be synonymous with cheap smartphones. Not anymore. The P9 Plus is the larger sibling to the P9 and sports the same high-end design as the P8 with several subtle tweaks. These include a 7mm alloy chassis, chamfered edges and curved gorilla glass front.

Score 4/5

Display

The display on the P9 Plus is a definite step up. It has a bigger 5.5-inch screen and offers vibrant colours and solid contrast levels. It is excellent but isn’t quite as crisp as the S7 Edge.

Score 3/5

Camera

If there’s a killer feature with the P9 Plus, it is the cameras (the P9 Plus has dual rear shooters). A near complete lack of artefacts, accurate colour and plenty of detail make the P9 Plus’s camera the best in this roundup.

Score 5/5

OS

Huawei has overlaid Android Marshmallow with their own custom EMUI skin. The lack of an app drawer might deter some but will appeal to IOS users making the leap across to Android. EMUI by default has a cartoony look, but there are other themes available.

Score 3/5

VERDICT

The competition was tight. This is best summarised by the fact that there was only a four-point spread across all the devices tested.

Samsung’s S7 Edge is the winner. It might not have earned a 5 anywhere, but it scored 4’s across the board, giving it a score of 16 out of 20

An excellent camera and design saw Huawei’s P9 Plus claim the second spot, rating 15 out of 20.

HTCs 10 scooped the third place thanks to its clean Android UI and gorgeous display, scoring 14 out of 20.

Considering it’s a budget iDevice going up against flagship phones, the iPhone SE did well. It might’ve placed at the bottom of the devices tested, but it is still a solid choice for iOS fans wanting an affordable upgrade.

Source By stuff…

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