Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Galaxy S7 – Should You Make the Switch?

Samsung Galaxy S4 was born in 2013 and three years down the line we have a new Samsung Galaxy S7. These two smartphones are worlds apart in terms of raw power, but they also happen to be two of the most-loved Samsung Galaxy phones, if the latest stats are anything to go by.

Samsung ditched some features that people loved during the Galaxy S6 season. However, the Galaxy S7 brought them back, but some of these features are nowhere near what the Galaxy S4, despite being old, offers. Many people avoided the Galaxy S5 and even stepped up their game when the Galaxy S6 was released, but it might be hard to stay away from the temptations of updating to the Galaxy S7.

So, how do these two smartphones – Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S7 – really compare against each other?

Design and display

As pointed out earlier, things started going astray for Samsung when it unveiled the Galaxy S5. However, it followed suit with a much better Galaxy S6, but due to the lack of important features such as microSD card support and removable battery, Samsung Galaxy S4 users were not impressed and hence many stayed with the 2013 flagship.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S7

With that in mind, Samsung went back to its roots as far as the Galaxy S7 is concerned, bringing back the microSD card, but still without the removable battery that still makes the S4 such a reliable device. However, you will agree with us that the S7 is one of the best-designed smartphones from Samsung. If at all looks and feel are high on your list, there is no thinking about dumping your Galaxy S4 for the S7.

Samsung ditched the cheap plastic material used on the S4 and instead came in with metal and glass for the S7. There is no doubt that this gives the phone a more premium look than what you get from Samsung Galaxy S4.

As far as the display is concerned, you get a slightly smaller screen size on the Galaxy S4. The phone packs a 5-inch Super AMOLED Full HD panel, something that cannot get near the 5.1-inch Super AMOLED QHD panel used on Samsung Galaxy S7 in terms of quality.

Processing power and storage

These two phones have three years between them. In terms of technological changes, there is a lot that can happen in a year, leave alone three years. With this in mind, you can expect the new Samsung Galaxy S7 to be a monster improvement over the Galaxy S4 when it comes to performance.

The 2016 flagship packs a Snapdragon 820 SoC for the U.S. variant while other regions get an Exynos 8890 SoC. However, both variants are packed with a RAM of 4GB and onboard storage of 32GB, which can be expanded via a microSD card of up to 200GB. Just like the S7, Samsung Galaxy S4 also has two variants with respect to processor configuration. The U.S. variant comes with a Snapdragon 600 SoC whereas other regions get an Exynos 5410 SoC. Either handset has a RAM of 2GB while storage options vary from 16GB, 32GB to 64GB. There is also room to expand the onboard storage via a microSD card, but it can only accommodate up to 64GB of expandable storage.

Battery, camera, and other features

Samsung also stepped up the battery size of the Galaxy S7 to 3000mAh, down from the 2600mAh unit used on the Galaxy S4. However, you get the advantage of being able to swap batteries on the older S4. You will also miss on Quick Charge technology if you stay with the S4, a feature that ensures the Galaxy S7’s battery is charged from 0-60% in less than 30 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S7

There are also some real improvements in the camera segment. Where Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 13MP snapper on the rear with f/2.2 aperture, LED flash and autofocus, the Galaxy S7 has a 12MP DualPixel snapper with f/1.7 aperture, LED flash, PDAF, and OIS, among other features. On the front part, the Galaxy S7 has an even better 5MP sensor as opposed to the 2MP you get on the S4.

Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with IP68 water and dust resistance, something that is not available on the Galaxy S4. You also get a fingerprint scanner on the S7 while the S4 doesn’t have this functionality.

With three years between them, there is no doubt that the S7 is a massive upgrade over the S4. So, will you make the switch?

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25 Comments on this Post

  1. ChrisBC

    My S4 is still working 100%, plenty of custom ROMS to choose from, I can remove both battery & storage, no reason to upgrade for what I use a phone for.
    Since my phone is always in a case, what it is made of has zero impact on me.

    Reply
    • Yeah me too, I use a stable ROM for my s4 and its still kicking completely

      Reply
  2. J Golden

    I am still using my S4, and don’t see me changing up anytime soon. Sealed battery is a deal breaker for me. I carry extra batteries with me. Once my phone is dead, I pop in a new one and my phone is back to 100% in seconds. That is a feature far more important to me than a slightly better camera or fancy material on the back.

    Reply
  3. Same for me. The S4 has the replaceable battery and I have had to do that. With the S7 I assume I am in for a new phone if that happens. The S4 is the best 3 year old phone I could ask for. Absolutely no reason to change. There is nothing it can’t do that I want my smart phone to do. Maybe the S8 will have a replaceable battery.

    Reply
  4. I am a happy camper still running an S4. Everything is still factory, though it is rooted. I’ve traveled abroad with T-Mobile, and the phone has performed well since day one. I’ve swapped out the battery and power button (don’t recommend doing that again!) once and it still runs well. It’s definitely slowing down, but I’m going to hold out until either the s7 drops in price or the s8 comes out.

    Reply
  5. Tintin

    My S4 phone started to not hold a charge as long, so I replaced the battery. With the S7 I’d be out of luck. My phone locked up once. I did a “Hard Boot” by removing the battery temporarily. How do you do that with an S7? And considering the price differential, I think the S4 is a better bargain.

    Reply
  6. No user-replaceable removable battery? <— That's what "deal buster" looks like.
    I'm keeping my S4.

    Reply
  7. SteveG

    I’ve had my S4 for a while now and keep looking at the S6 and S7. Yes, I’d love to have 32GB (or more) of onboard storage space for more apps, but it’s a phone for texting and calls, not editing videos. And with a 64GB microSD I still have more than 42GB of unused space for photos, music, movies, etc., even though I already have more than 10 hours of music and movies on the phone. Maybe if a new phone was dramatically overpriced I’d do it, but it’s hard to beat a phone that still works, has a battery you can replace, and is plenty good enough for what it’s used for.

    Reply
  8. darth clitflex

    when they cost $100 I will make the switch

    Reply
  9. Kerrigan

    I loved my s4, but when i dropped it one too many times and the screen finally spiderwebbed, I decided it was time to put down the cash for an s7. It’s not a huge improvement over the s4, but it’s an improvement nonetheless. I have samsung’s battery case for it and by the end of the day i usually have about 40% battery life left, so no complaints about the non-removable battery. Popping my sd card in was a cinch and the phone read all the data on it fine with no reformatting necessary.
    s7 Camera seems… ok. The front facing camera is not quite as clear as the s4’s but the images come out better because it is better at quickly focusing after you press the shutter button. my s4 would go out of focus as soon as i slightly moved the device to take the pic.
    One weird thing about the s7 is that there’s no stock music player. It was kind of bizarre to look for it and not find anything, but I found a reliable 3rd party player on the play store. Also the phone doesn’t seem to be able to record video while playing music, something that the s4 was more or less able to accomplish.
    I was also really impressed with the lack of bloatware on the s7. all pre-installed apps are easily removed, as opposed to the s4, which would disable them but never permanently purge them from the device.
    my verdict is that if you s4 is working fine stick with it. if it’s scratched up or the battery is starting to get weaker, go for the s7.

    Reply
  10. Edward Dziadowicz

    No S7 for me. S4 does everything extremely well for me. Plastic case is fine and does not dent like metal. It is tough as evidenced by flawless performance despite having had half a doen hard drops. Display is good for what I do. I use Chromecast for all my videos anyway and watch on big HDTV. Lack of removable battery is and always be a deal breaker for me. Goodbye Samsung. Hello LG.

    Reply
  11. MikeInCal

    I had to upgrade since I was on vacation and crushed my S4 after years of happy use. I got the S7, but was surprised at the lack of difference. Obviously, the horsepower and battery are better (I was still on my original S4 battery which forced me to have a charger nearby.). That said, the phone still performed great and I could just swap in a new battery (a feature I’m told went away in S5 and S6 but returned in S7, similar to the SD card option). After a month with the S7, I’m not blown away. It’s supposedly waterproof, but not likely that will get tested much. Not a bad phone at all, but I was a little disappointed there wasn’t something more drastically better after three years. Just my two cents…

    Reply
  12. No removable battery, LOWER resolution camera, heavier, does nothing my S4 can’t do that I care about = no deal. My S4 is still going strong. The screen is a crisp 1080p. The difference between this and the S7 screen will barely be noticeable to the human eye I’m sure. As for having a metal exterior when your phone is permenantly in case… how is that even a point of marketability?

    Reply
  13. I don’t plan to upgrade my S4 to anything right now. No swappable battery, no air view is a deal breaker.

    Reply
  14. Frankie

    Ive been happy with samsung phones up to my s4. The5,6 and now S7 phones are going the wrong way in features. Did samsung get ride of the S4 designer guy? These new features on the 7 are trying to fix what they never needed to change in the first place. As said B4, the camera and the battery are a deal breaker. THe SD capacity is too.

    Reply
  15. I had no reason to upgrade my S4 until the LED display and glass screen broke. The repair costs were as much as the S4 costs. I was happy with it – great battery life, smooth, reliable and stable operating system. Quality camera and feature rich. But since it is DOA, I have reluctantly ordered the S7 and not holding my breath for the same dependability – which is the most important aspect of a phone today.

    Reply
  16. Rick A Hyatt

    Having been issued some hi-tech hearing aids by the VA, I am really disappointed not to be able to take advantage of the Petralex app. It will make one’s phone act as hearing aids, after it gives you hearing test, with the hearing aids, or with just earphones (Bluetooth, too). That’s because, I understand, Marshmallow and its higher grade audio is necessary, otherwise one gets a two second delay in hearing. So, while I have a separate Resound router I wear from my neck, I can’t use the superior microphone to hear, just to make phone calls with. And, even if I rooted, I have the i515, which can’t handle Marshmallow. Any suggestions out there? And I’m with the others, removable battery and card slot does it for me. Besides, who has $700? I sure don’t.

    Reply
  17. Christian

    I’m still rocking an S4. Got it at a good price in 2015 when it was already 2 years old and used it to now with no issues. It’s got Lollipop and likely won’t get any more OS updates after this. Its chipset is older and slower and has only 2G but I don’t play games or have many apps so still have 1G free. The replaceable battery is important to me as I take travel pics with it and carry a backup battery to swap in and do that quite a lot actually. I replaced the main battery with after market 6400 mah ones and I’ve still needed to swap. Admittedly the 6400 mah after market batteries add a huge bulge and it’s no longer a thin sexy phone but hey… I need function over form and need my phone to keep going like the Energizer bunny. And I’m not even a power user. Hahaha…

    Reply
  18. I don’t rely understand the hate for the s5… I had a 4 and the 5 had everything the 4 had except in the cases where it upgraded the screen, battery life, water resistance, camera, cpu and really everything. The os had some differences, but like most people said, custom roms. I have the s7edge now and I’ve never loved my phone more, but i still keep my s5 because for some dumb reason they took the ir scanner and hdmi support out of the s7. My s5 is really just used as a tv remote that can look up things in imdb and a monster of portable retro gaming emulator. But i can’t think of one reason to like the s4 over the 5

    Reply
    • Christian

      Well that’s the problem. There wasn’t a lot of difference between the 4 and 5 and critics and fans wanted more features and better aesthetics because the competition was catching up. The critics lambasted the 5 because it was so much like the 4 while competitors like HTC were releasing metal unibody designs and Apple is the king of aesthetics. So Samsung delivered with a totally revamped 6 and carried the design to the 7. But the tradeoff was loss of the removeable battery. But the 6 and 7 are strikingly beautiful. The edge takes it even further. I think the iPhone 8 will copy the edge design.

      Reply
  19. I’ve had my S4 for over three years, and am still happy with it. Not impressed with the S7 enough to make the switch.

    Reply
  20. Damascus

    Ha ha. I’m still rolling along with my old galaxy s4. I’ve tried out the s5 and s6 both, and… let’s say I decided to stick out 2 years on a phone-less contract, and will later snap up an s5 with lower prices as my next phone. I am… distinctly unimpressed with the s7, as I use removable batteries, but at least there is an sd card slot.

    As for the screen, I barely see any difference between them, even when my eyeball is an inch from the screen.

    Processing power? Please. Everything I do on my phone runs butter smooth, and a better processor would be just overkill for now. The s4 was a powerhouse when it released, and it doesn’t hold up too badly even now.

    The only thing that nags me is the improved battery life of the s5-s7, hence I want an s5. That’s like… the only reason.

    As for the OS… the s4 is Art capable, and I quite frankly hate the colors of new android releases. Please! White and grey and candy on an AMOLED screen? That’s not what I bought it for! I want my blacks for nightime viewing! I have most my apps inverted and google’s cartoonish idiocy is driving me up the wall…

    … rip holo, I miss you.

    Reply
  21. Marijuana_|ocos

    Am using S4 for 3 years+ was looking at S6 and I was not impressed thn waited for the s7 again what is the different nothing much(Catchy),
    even the spec comparison tells you if the s4 is still performing stick with it. Camera at night or low light still not so good with the s7 I tried,
    just the auto focus and snapping speed increased to par with iphone, if u are the person who snaps a lot it would be worth it. on the downside thou 3y+ s4
    are not 4G compatible so bummer….no speed upgrade but anyways the 4G coverage around where I am isn’t well covered …..now
    lets see how S8 going to look, ill recommend buying it after 6 month the phone release just to see if those who bought it earlier
    face any overheating or explosion hehehe

    Reply
  22. Zeeshan Ahmed

    Well, I got S4 in May 2013, About a year + ago I started getting the SIM card removed Error, I tried everything thing, like adding a piece of extra paper etc, and about six months ago, my SD card (Patriot 16GB) started acting up, apps started disappearing because I moved them to the SD Card. Just 2 weeks ago, my phone gave me the SD Card error, I was able to recover most of the stuff, lost some stuff…. But it was the Cheap SD Card from Day 1, replaced with Kingston and haven’t seen that SIM error since then!. last week My phone company offered me S7 for 100, so I said yes ….. Just got it haven’t opened it yet …. can’t wait

    Reply

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