The iPhone 6S bests the Galaxy S7 edge by 17 seconds in this speed test

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 edge may feature a water-resistant design, neat camera tech, and impressive array of internals, but it might not be the fastest smartphone on the block. In a side-by-side comparison between the Galaxy S7 edge and a range of other high-end handsets including the Moto X Pure Edition, the Nexus 6P, and the iPhone 6S Plus, the Galaxy S7 edge took a bit longer on average to open, pause, and resume applications and games.

Prolific YouTuber Jerome Ortega ran the Galaxy S7 through its paces, recording with the handset’s built-in stopwatch the length of time it took to launch a predefined sequence of apps and games. He then did the same with the Nexus 6P, Moto X Pure, and iPhone 6S, quickly opening the same series of apps. The result? The Galaxy S7 edge fared well against the Nexus 6P and Moto X Pure, besting the former by two seconds and the latter by 16, but fell 17 seconds short of the iPhone 6s’s time.

On paper, that last result’s a tad surprising. The Galaxy S6 edge packs Qualcomm’s bleeding-edge quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, a much newer and theoretically better package than the iPhone 6s’s dual-core Apple A9 chip and 2GB of RAM. But Ortega’s findings largely line up with results from cross-platform benchmarking apps: online statistics from GFXBench show the Snapdragon 820 and A9 trading blows in 3D rendering tests.

Thermal issues may be partly at fault. In a detailed rundown of the Galaxy S7 edge, Android enthusiast community XDA Developers recorded mild throttling, or the forced slowing of hardware components due to heat buildup, during more intensive tests. The reviewers noted that the Galaxy S7’s thermal performance seemed improved over handsets packing Qualcomm’s older 810 processor, but that in severe cases, the handset became unresponsive for seconds on end.

Software’s another potential culprit. The Galaxy S7 hasn’t formally hit store shelves (and won’t until March 11). so it’s quite possible that Samsung has a few last-minute tweaks in store. That’d be par for the course: shortly after the launch of the Galaxy S6 last year, the company released a memory management fix that dramatically improved the smartphone’s responsiveness.

Ultimately, speed tests like these need be taken with a grain of salt — it’s tough to account for every variable that might affect performance. Still, if the numbers are any indication, the hardware gulf between Apple’s and Samsung’s flagships may not be as wide as anticipated.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Insect drones and kinetic sculpture robots

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Mobile

Can Apple or Samsung steal the OnePlus 7 Pro's flagship killer title?

OnePlus has long been the go-to for flagship specs under a flagship price. But now Apple and Samsung have challengers in the arena, and they want the Flagship Killer crown for themselves. Who wins? We found out.
Mobile

Motorola One Vision vs. Moto G7: Which phone is a vision of budget perfection?

If you're shopping for a new smartphone and you don't have much to spend, it's always worth checking out Motorola's wares. But which bargain phone is best — the Motorola One Vision or the Moto G7? Find out as we compare them.
Mobile

OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Google Pixel 3a XL: Is there a new flagship killer in town?

OnePlus has released the OnePlus 7 Pro -- a stunner of a phone with a pop-up selfie camera and almost no bezel. But the midrange market has changed while OnePlus has been away, and the Pixel 3a XL is the phone to beat.
Product Review

Oppo's RX17 Pro is a good smartphone up against great competitors

The Oppo RX17 Pro looks great, and has a triple-lens camera on the back; but don’t let these aspects make you rush out and buy one, especially with the masses of excellent devices that are vying for your attention.
Mobile

The best bezel-less phones cut all the right corners without losing space

As the smartphone industry marches toward a bezel-less future, we compare the shrinking bezels on the latest and greatest devices. Find out which manufacturers have the smallest bezels on their smartphone as we compare them side by side.
Wearables

Samsung adds One UI and battery boosts to Galaxy Watch and Gear smartwatches

Samsung has updated software for its Galaxy Watch, Gear Sport, and Gear S3 watches to implement its updated and simplified One UI interface. The update also offers new watch faces, battery life improvements, and health and fitness features.
Mobile

Motorola One Vision vs. Nokia 7.1: Which is the best budget phone for you?

If you're trying to decide whether the Motorola One Vision or the Nokia 7.1 would be a better buy, then we've got you covered with this comparison. Find out exactly what sets these Android phones apart and which is best for you.
Mobile

New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Do you text on your phone while crossing the street? The dangers of stepping out in front of a car or bus are obvious, but in New York, offenders could soon face a fine of as much as $250, too.
Social Media

Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts

The British royal family is looking for a social media expert to help it communicate its role and activities to the masses. So if you like the idea of having the Queen as your boss, why not throw your hat in the ring?
Mobile

Realme starts selling phones in the U.K., and its low prices aren’t fiction

Realme, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer from the same group as OnePlus, Vivo, and Oppo, has launched its first device in the U.K. and Europe. The Realme 3 Pro is a competitively priced phone with an impressive specification.
Mobile

The best OnePlus 7 Pro cases to keep your OnePlus in one piece

The OnePlus 7 Pro is OnePlus's latest flagship killer, and it's an incredible phone. But it's expensive, and it's not going to protect itself. Get solid protection in the style you want with the best OnePlus 7 Pro cases.
Mobile

Huawei fires back against U.S. ban after Google and others sever ties

Google has severed most of its partnerships with Huawei, after its addition to the "Entity List" of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Future Huawei devices will lose access to the Google Play Store, Chrome, and Android updates.
Deals

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, the best Android tablet in the game, is now $152 off

Apple dominates the tablet market, but others are catching up: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, our favorite Android tablet, proves that these devices have what it takes to compete with the iPad Pro -- and it's on sale right now for just $498.