Apple's latest iOS smartphone, the iPhone 7, has now officially broken cover and has sparked the usual heated debate that surrounds any device originating from the Cupertino giant.

It certainly classes as a step up from the specification, design and feature list from its predecessor – the iPhone 6S – but how does it compare to its biggest industry rival, the Samsung Galaxy S7.

iOS or Android? Apple or Samsung? Here's our comparison and early verdict on which flagship mobile device is the best companion for your pocket.

iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: The specifications

.iPhone 7Samsung Galaxy S7
Screen size4.7in5.1in
Screen resolution and pixel density750 x 1334, 326 per inch1440 x 2560, 557 per inch
Size138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm
Storage options32, 128, 256GB32, 64GB internal (expandable up to 256GB via microSD)
Cameras7MP front, 12MP rear5MP front, 12MP rear
ProcessorApple A10 Fusion quad-coreExynos 8890 octa-core
BatteryUp to 14 hours 3G talktimeUp to 22 hours 3G talktime
PortsLightningMicro USB
Colour optionsBlack, Jet Black, Silver, Gold, Rose GoldBlack, White, Gold, Silver, Pink Gold
Price from£599£569

iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Display

As with most of the specification comparisons between Samsung and Apple's premium handsets, on paper, the Korean manufacturer wipes the floor with its iOS nemesis.

The vibrant 5.1in AMOLED display on the Galaxy S7 is easily one of the best in the business right now though, and Apple's decision to stick with the same dimensions and resolution as the iPhone 6S (and indeed the iPhone 6) does not bode well even the colour gamut has been widened this time around.

The iPhone 7's retina screen may offer the benefit of 3D-Touch technology for additional screen commands, but popping brightness of Samsung's Quad HD is tough to deny – especially if you spend a little more and go for the Galaxy S7 Edge with its luscious 5.5in curved display instead.

iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Cameras

While it is the iPhone 7 Plus that gets the real camera upgrade with its two rear lenses and optical zoom, the vanilla iPhone 7 gets a bump too. 60% faster, 30% more energy efficient and capable of letting in 50% more light than the iPhone 6S (not to mention the new quad-LED flash), the iPhone 7 rear shooter improves upon an already impressive mobile photography experience.

As for the Galaxy S7, what is there left to say? With incredible low-light performance, optical image stabilisation and a comprehensive manual mode suite, the Galaxy S7 has a quite phenomenal main camera module.

While there are feature nuances between the two, both Apple and Samsung have built the two leading smartphones when it comes down to taking snaps on the move – although it will be interesting to see how the iPhone 7's 7 megapixel front camera holds up against the Galaxy S7's 5 megapixel selfie shooter.

iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Processor, storage and colour options

In the UK, the Samsung Galaxy S7 arrived with an Exynos 8890 octa-core chipset, complemented with 4GB of RAM (other regions enjoyed the Snapdragon 820 later included in the Note 7). The iPhone 7 meanwhile has sports Apple's new quad-core A10 Fusion processor, which it claims is 40% faster than before.

On the storage side, Apple has finally ditched the 16GB base model and started proceedings at 32GB – a long, long awaited and very welcome decision. The internal storage can be bumped up to 128GB or even a whopping 256GB, but that comes with quite a price hike. The Galaxy S7 on the other hand begins at 32GB as standard, but supports expandable storage via its microSD card slot.

Both devices come in four different colours, but while the iPhone 7 still doesn't come in an out-and-out white variant unlike Samsung's flagship, it does come in the eye-catchingly glossy jet-black finish. Just be careful of scratches.

iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Price

The iPhone 7 (and the larger 7 Plus) go on sale worldwide from 16 September, with pre-orders in the UK opening on 9 September. Cost-wise, the iPhone 7 starts at £599 for the 32GB version, £699 for the 128GB and £799 for the massive 256GB edition.

Samsung's Galaxy S7 is available now with an RRP of £569 (for the 32GB version), although if you shop around you can get one for a little less nowadays.

iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Anything else and early verdict

With both Apple and Samsung's flagship smartphones offering an impressive camera experience, pacey under-the-finger performance and even waterproofing, there is less difference between the two than ever before.

The key difference, as it has always been, lies in the OS. Apple's iOS 10 is set to enhance the sleek, fuss-free and distinctly user-friendly interface that many iPhone users would never dream of abandoning.

With TouchWiz now ditching a lot of the bloatware it had become infamously known for (and with the Android 7.0 Nougat update just around the corner), the Galaxy S7 has edged closer and closer to the kind of simplicity offered by the iPhone without sacrificing the wider array of customisation options.

If you are tired of iPhone, the iPhone 7 is not going to change your mind, especially if you have a lovely pair of wired headphones and are not keen on using an adapter with its Lightning port. In the same breath, the Samsung Galaxy S7 retains some of the software niggles found on any Android device and the Google Play Store cannot compare to the iOS App Store. However, it definitely offers some clear hardware advantages - most notably with its beautiful screen and cheaper cost.

In truth, you cannot really go wrong with either, but if Apple has improved on the mediocre battery life found on the iPhone 6S (as it claims it has), then the iOS brand could have chalked up a photo-finish victory this time around... that is until the Samsung Galaxy S8 comes around.