Wednesday saw the long-awaited release of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, the handset brought in to revive the hitherto ill-fated Note range. Big, bold and most certainly beautiful, the Note 8 has been collecting glowing reviews, including ours, which you can read here. However, given the Note line’s history of astronomical prices (the Note 7 retailed at £739), it’s likely to be a hefty investment.
Given the high price point, it’s worth putting some serious thought into which high-end smartphone you’re going to invest in. That’s why we’ve pitted the Galaxy Note 8 against the iPhone 8 (Plus) based on what we know so far, to see whether you should snap up Samsung’s flagship while you can, or wait it out for Apple’s latest.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8 (Plus): Design
The Galaxy Note 8 is certainly aesthetically pleasing, with its chamfered edges, slim build, tapered edges on either side and, of course, the lusted-after bezel-less Infinity Display, à la the Galaxy S8.
As a phablet, the Note 8’s screen is predictably huge, coming in at 6.3in. But given the proportion of the device’s face which is pure, unadulterated screen, you don’t see us complaining.
When it comes to the iPhone 8, rumours have abounded about a purportedly edge-to-edge screen, putting it hot on the heels of the Note 8’s Infinity Display. The iPhone 8 will therefore reportedly remain at 4.7in (which seems titchy in comparison to the gargantuan Note 8), while its screen size will rival the current screen size of the 5.5in model.
And while the iPhone Plus range has always had 5.5in screens, the popular demand for bigger screen sizes may have encouraged Apple to maximise its assets. One analyst predicts the iPhone 8 Plus will measure up at an unheard-of (for Apple, anyway) 5.8in.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8 (Plus): Specifications
Inside the gorgeous handset, the specs are all as you’d hope – or rather expect, at that price tag – them to be. There’s 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which can expand by up to 256GB via the microSD slot. The US model sports Snapdragon 835, and European users get Samsung’s own-brand Exynos 8835 chip – both octo-core chips, but with slightly different specs. We’re waiting to confirm which version is available here in Australia, which Samsung’s so far not revealed.
Meanwhile, as the iPhone 8 isn’t due to emerge from Apple’s top-secret lair for another month or so, we don’t yet have any concrete information on its specifications. As Apple’s latest flagship phone, however, we can expect them to at least parallel the Galaxy Note 8’s roster of impressive specs.
And while iPhones don’t typically feature microSD cards – to the chagrin of many – it’s possible to use one with the aid of an adapter. In the meantime, don’t hold your breath for Apple to forego major profit margins on higher storage capacity phones.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8 (Plus): Features
As was to be expected, the Galaxy Note 8 comes replete with a range of snazzy new features, such as its updated version of the S Pen. The camera setup is also outstanding; while dual-sensor cameras aren’t novel per se, Samsung is pioneering the twin-camera arrangement in the Note 8. One is wide-angle 12-megapixel f/1.7 camera, the other a f/2.4 telephoto camera with 10x optical zoom. Both cameras come equipped with optical image stabilisation (OIS) for clean-rendered snaps.
Not to be outdone, Apple will no doubt be unveiling some seriously futuristic features in the iPhone 8. We’ve heard rumours of superfast facial recognition (think a few hundred milliseconds; glance, and you’re in) superseding the phone’s Touch ID.
Wireless charging is also rumoured to be the feature du jour over at Apple HQ, with technology expert John Gruber suggesting that the iPhone 8 will have wireless charging capability, although such a charger will be sold as an optional, separate accessory.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8 (Plus): Verdict
It’s a tough call. The Galaxy Note 8 is an outstanding smartphone that goes above and beyond in rehabilitating the Note line’s image after its early – not to mention explosive – end. Despite its gargantuan size, it still manages to look sleek and elegant, while delivering top-of-the-line features and an outstanding camera setup. All the better to Instagram with. Although, it’s so beautiful, the only thing you’ll want to post is the phone itself.
Meanwhile, although the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus aren’t due out until September at the earliest, we can vouch that they’ll be worthy opponents to the Galaxy Note 8. Although it won’t feature the Note 8’s S Pen, nor will it rival the latter’s size (although this amounts to a matter of preference), it will no doubt sport a range of appealing features, such as its uber-fast, uber-secure facial-recognition system. And with rumours of a bezel-less screen abounding, the iPhone 8 Plus could just give the Note 8’s seamless aesthetic a run for its money.