BACKGROUND: I frequently switch between Android and iOS, and there are things about each OS that I favor. For the past few months, the Galaxy S7 Edge has been my daily driver, and as of last Monday, the iPhone 7 Plus is now my daily driver (but I still have the S7 Edge). I didn't want to post my comparison until after I've spent a little time with the new iPhone. But the time has come to summarize what I like and dislike about each phone. Overall, these are two top performing phones that take different approaches to many things, but a winner can only be declared when weighing ones personal preferences. COMPARISON: 1) BUILD QUALITY & FORM FACTOR. It goes without saying that both phones have premium build quality, using premium materials and crafted with great precision. I like the design of both phones, but there are some clear differences. While neither is a one-handed device, the S7 Edge is more compact when comparing the screen to body size ratio. However, I like the feel of the iPhone 7 Plus in jet black much better in the hand. The jet black, in particular, stands out with its unibody look even though it will need to be handled with care (not using a case and don't plan to except when I'm outdoors taking photos and videos). While I think Apple's devices still feel a bit more premium, I think Samsung has exceeded them in terms of design. WINNER: Galaxy S7 Edge 2) SCREENS. While the curved screen of the S7 is an eye catcher, I personally don't like it because I find myself trying to avoid touching the sides (even with Samsung's touch cancellation, you still end up with false touches). However, it does lend itself to more immersive viewing of video content when it wraps around the screen. The iPhone's color balance and auto brightness have both been flawless for me as I have not had to make any adjustments. On the Galaxy, however, I found myself frequently having to switch between auto and manual controls. And even though it has an overall brighter and more contrasty screen, I found the iPhone screen to be more responsive (this may be due more to the OS than the actual screen, but it just "feels" better to the touch). I also like the force touch capability on the iPhone, and I went from rarely using it a year ago when I first got the 6s Plus to using it a great deal on the 7 Plus. WINNER: Tie 3) AUDIO. Apple has definitely upped its game with the dual speakers on the iPhone 7 Plus. Even though it's a bit strange having a speaker in the same place as the earpiece, it actually works quite well. Having only one down-facing speaker on previous iPhones was a big drawback for me, and this new iPhone is significantly better. Sound is not only louder, but also sounds richer. The Galaxy speaker is not great at all, BUT it has a better microphone (stereo mics and higher gain, which results in louder, but noisier audio in video recording). WINNER: iPhone 7 Plus 4) CAMERAS. Probably the biggest competitive area between both of these phones, and I think they are both just fantastic. The Galaxy still has a competitive edge in terms of sensor size and aperture, but the new iPhone brings a LOT to the table. The dual cameras on the Plus is much more than a gimmick. having a 2x optical zoom is a boon in itself (even with its low-light limitations), but the new Portrait mode is pretty awesome (no it's not the first to do it, but it does it well and does it very easily). I also like the more natural colors of the iPhone's photos, the less aggressive sharpening, and the superior optical image stabilization for video recording. In low light, the Galaxy still has an edge (pun intended) due to its superior light-gathering capabilities, but it still struggles with white balance. On the other hand, it still focuses faster, despite Apple's improvement in this area as well. One area of contention for me on the Galaxy as I've used it extensively during photos shoots is that it frequently overheats, stutters, and glitches when using the camera app. I would frequently get that overheat message when shooting outdoors in the summer where the phone just wouldn't let me record video at all. And when shooting 4k, there's also a second or two of stuttering at the beginning of every video. The iPhone is much more consistent and performs better, but the Galaxy offers a more substantial camera app with tons of features and pro modes (the iPhone requires a 3rd party app for most of that). WINNER: Tie 5) BATTERY LIFE. Despite its bigger battery, I am getting significantly better battery life out of the iPhone 7 Plus. This is especially true in terms of standby time and low-medium usage. When both phones are used intensively (for camera recording or playing games, for examples), the battery life is similar. But for every day use, the iPhone is much better. And I use a lot of background location and data apps on the iPhone, as well as quite a few widgets. Same for the Galaxy, but the standby time is a lot less. The Galaxy does charge faster, but I would rather have a phone that lasts all day and just charge it overnight, which I've been able to do with the iPhone. Though I have the wireless charger for the S7 Edge, I rarely use it because I normally continue using my phone while it's plugged in, which is difficult to do while it's sitting on a wireless charger. WINNER: iPhone 7 Plus 6) OPERATING SYSTEMS. This is really a personal preference more than anything else, but they both have their strengths. The main things I like about iOS is the clean interface, bloat-ware free and updates from Apple, more responsive touch screen (except when comparing to Nexus phones, which are very similar to iPhone), better memory management, and in my opinion, better eco-system. The main things I like about Android are the customization, 3rd party launchers, better actionable notifications, better Google integration, and diverse phone selection. Regarding apps, in most cases I prefer the iOS version to Android, though Android has come a long way. Perhaps the clincher for me is having the best of both worlds in iOS: with the iPhone, you have almost all of Google's services (sometimes better Google apps on iPhone than on Android itself) plus Apple's services and apps, whereas on Android, you are pretty much all Google-only. WINNER: iOS with the disclaimer that I frequently get bored with iOS and find myself longing to go back to Android for a while just for the kicks. 7) APPLE PAY vs SAMSUNG PAY. Samsung pay is nice because it works with almost all magnetic card readers, whereas Apple Pay (and Android Pay) only work on NFC terminals. However, Apple Pay is still easier to use and faster at checkout. I frequently had trouble with Samsung pay, having to hold it longer and getting error messages asking to try again. Once more business upgrade their terminals, I think the Samsung Pay advantage will disappear and the ease of use of Apple Pay will shine. None of these are really mainstream yet and the biggest obstacle has nothing to do with the phones but with the businesses which still insist on taking your credit card to pay for things. WINNER: Neither 8) PROCESSING POWER. I normally don't care for benchmarks, so what matters to me is how fast the phones feel performing everyday tasks. There is no question that the iPhone nails is here, as the Galaxy S7 Edge feels sluggish in comparison. Part of this is because i have the AT&T branded version of the S7 Edge, but even after disabling the bloatware and carrier apps, it frequently lags and takes much longer to open applications. The iPhone, by comparison, is lightning quick doing just about everything you throw at it. And while I don't play games frequently, what matters most to me is interface smoothness, app performance, and camera performance... and the iPhone is better in every regard. WINNER: iPhone 7 Plus OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: 8) HEADPHONE JACK. Much has been said about Apple's decision to remove the headphone jack. So while having a jack is always preferable to not having a jack, I haven't used a headphone jack on a phone for years. I use Bluetooth for everything, having Bluetooth in my car and listening to Bluetooth headphones for everything else. So this doesn't affect me at all, and I understand Apple's decision to move technology forward. Some will argue that isn't the case and that having to use a dongle is a stop-gap (which it is). 9) FORCE TOUCH / HOME BUTTON. I really like force touch and I find that it makes using the phone less tedious, even though most of it is just shortcuts to things. The new haptic feedback on the iPhone 7 Plus is great though, much more prominent for certain tasks (like setting an alarm, for example, that is pretty nifty). I'm a big fan of the new home button too, which is probably understandable since I've used Android phones with capacitive buttons quite a bit before. I like having adjustable haptic feedback, and I like knowing I don't have to worry about the home button failing mechanically. I don't use my phone with gloves, so there is no issue for me with the capacitive nature of it. Samsung's home button has also felt cheap to me, and I wish they would move away from a physical button as well (they probably will now that Apple has done it). 10) STORAGE. Different approaches here too where Apple has increased storage capacity significantly this year and Samsung has the SD card slot for expandable storage. I like the flexibility of expandable storage, but I bought the 256gb iPhone and should never have a problem. So while Apple gives you more storage per dollar this year, it's also nice being able to use your own memory card on the Galaxy. 11) WATER RESISTANCE. Even thought the iPhone isn't rated quite as well for water resistance, real-world tests show that they are pretty much on par. Which is a good thing for Apple because customers have been asking for this for years. I actually used my S7 Edge two times in a pool earlier this summer, but I don't think I'd ever do it again. The first time I did it, all that happened is that I had to wait a couple of hours to charge and the speakers were muffled until they dried out. The second time I did it, though, the home button took several hours to work right (it kept on registering double-clicks non-stop) and it freaked me out. I would feel comfortable using either one in a bit of rain, but these aren't underwater cameras by any stretch. SUMMARY: I really like both of these phones, but I'm sticking with the iPhone for the foreseeable future (at least until a more exciting Android phone comes out, LOL). Overall, the iPhone is just a lot faster to use and is a better fit for me personally. I will definitely miss some things about the Galaxy S7 Edge (fully featured camera app interface, for example, and better mic audio), but there are just so many more things I like about the iPhone. I'm sure Samsung will race to release their next phone (especially with the Note 7 debacle), so who knows what I'll think 3-6 months from now. Now I'm off to play around with the Portrait mode on the iPhone because that's a killer feature, in my opinion.