Samsung Galaxy S25 vs. iPhone 17 - predicting the intense smartphone battle of 2025

If there’s a smartphone matchup that figures to define 2024, it’s the inevitable Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16 face-off. These two upcoming models represent the most affordable flagships from the two biggest phone makers. What Samsung and Apple do tends to set the tone for the rest of the smartphone world.

We’re not that far off from finding out just what Samsung has in store for us with the Galaxy S24. Rumors suggest a mid-January product launch at Samsung Unpacked 2024, and at this point, rumors have already painted a pretty extensive picture of what the Galaxy S24 figures to offer. While it may not be one of Samsung’s more significant upgrades, major improvements to the display’s brightness and the system-on-chip powering the phone figure to be front and center.

The iPhone 16 launch is a little bit further off. Barring any surprises, we’re not going to see Apple’s new phones until the fall of 2024. Even so, details about the next version of Apple’s flagship devices are trickling out, with many iPhone 15 Pro features finding their way to the standard model.

This Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16 comparison looks at the upcoming battle between the two entry-level models. (For what’s happening on the high end of the product lines, check out our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. iPhone 16 Pro Max face-off.) It may be early to compare these two phones, but it’s already shaping up to be quite an interesting showdown.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16: Specs

  • Price: $799 for both
  • Screen size: 6.2 inches for Galaxy S24, 6.1 inches for iPhone 16
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz for Galaxy S24, 60Hz for iPhone 16
  • Brightness: 2,600 nits for Galaxy S24, unknown for iPhone 16
  • CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy S24, A18 for iPhone 16
  • RAM: 8GB for both
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB for Galaxy S24; 128GB, 256GB, 512GB for iPhone 16
  • Rear cameras: 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto for Galaxy S24; 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide for iPhone 16
  • Front camera: 12MP for both
  • Battery size: 4,000 mAh for Galaxy S24, unknown for iPhone 16

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16: Price and availability We won’t know how much either phone costs until Samsung and Apple make their respective announcements. But there’s potentially good news on the pricing front for Samsung — the latest rumors suggest there will be no change from the Galaxy S23’s starting price of $799.

A lot can change between now and September 2024, but we’d have a hard time believing Apple would make a change to its pricing for the iPhone 16, especially since the entry-level model currently matches the S23’s $799 cost. Apple has held the line on iPhone pricing for the last few years, only increasing the cost of the iPhone 15 Pro Max by $100 over its predecessor.

We’ve been used to seeing a Galaxy S model debut in the early part of each year, but rumors suggest Samsung doesn’t intend to wait around in 2024 to show off the Galaxy S24. Rumors point to a January 17 date for the next Galaxy Unpacked, which would likely mean the S24 ships before the end of January. That would give it an eight month head start on the iPhone 16, which we’re not expecting to see until September at the earliest.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16: Design and display Leaked Galaxy S24 renders have given us a pretty clear idea of what to expect from Samsung’s new flagship, and the answer is a device that looks a lot like the Galaxy S23. While the Galaxy S24 Ultra is tipped to follow the lead of the iPhone 15 Pro and adopt titanium for its casing, leaked Galaxy S24 specs indicate the standard S24 will still use an aluminum frame.

Likewise, the iPhone 16 is likely to retain the iPhone 15’s basic look with one key difference. Early design prototypes show the rear camera array of the iPhone 16 with vertically stacked lenses; on the iPhone 15, those lenses are arranged diagonally.

While the Galaxy S24’s display size is unlikely to change from its current 6.2-inch panel, Samsung is apparently planning a big improvement. The new phone is tipped to feature a display that claims a maximum brightness of 2,600 nits. The pressure will be on Apple to make its own display brighter with the iPhone 16.

Speaking of pressure, you’d think Apple might finally upgrade the refresh rate on the display of its entry-level flagship, but the iPhone 15 remains stuck at a fixed 60Hz rate, compared to the 120Hz variable rate that the Galaxy S23 offers.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16: Cameras Big changes could be in store for the Galaxy S24 Ultra, such as a larger main camera sensor and a higher resolution telephoto lens. But those features aren’t apparently going to impact the standard Galaxy S24, as the rumored spec sheet shows a camera setup very similar to what the Galaxy S23 offers.

Right now, iPhone 16 camera rumors are pretty thin, with the most of the rumored changes targeting the iPhone 16 Pro models. Since Apple seems to understand the importance of cameras to smartphone buyers, we expect more iPhone 16-specific rumors to surface between now and the fall.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16: Performance iPhones usually smoke Samsung’s flagships in speed competitions, but things could get interesting with the arrival of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. That’s expected to power the Galaxy S24. While that could position the Galaxy S24 to close the gap with Apple’s current phones, the iPhone 16 is almost certain to run on an entirely different chipset. Specifically, rumors suggest that every iPhone 16 model will feature some version of the A18 silicon currently in development, built on a 3nm process. That generally translates to better performance and greater power efficiency.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16: Battery life and charging Leaked Galaxy S24 specs indicate that Samsung’s using a bigger battery than what kept the Galaxy S23 powered up. Specifically, Samsung is set to turn to 4,000 mAh cell after using a 3,900 mAh battery in the Galaxy S23. That, coupled with the improved power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 silicon, could help the Galaxy S24 last longer on a charge.

There’s very little in the way of battery rumors about the iPhone 16 at this point. We have heard reports that Apple may use a frosted metal shell and new connector for the iPhone 16’s battery, with an eye toward better dispersing heat.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16: Software and special features The Galaxy S24 will debut with Android 14 while the iPhone 16’s later ship date means it will run on the still-unannounced iOS 18 update. Samsung has already indicated that AI is going to be a major focus of the phones it releases in 2024, the Galaxy S24 included. Apple may be developing its own equivalent of ChatGPT for the iPhone.

We’ve got a long way ahead of us before a Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. iPhone 16 clash gets underway, even with a mid-January release for Samsung’s phone likely to happen. While the Galaxy S24’s arrival will give us a full picture of what that phone can do, we’ll still be waiting for Apple’s answer in the form of the iPhone 16.