iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Which phablet should you buy in 2017?
It’s late September, which means Apple has just unveiled the latest iPhone Plus, and Samsung has only recently released the Galaxy Note 8. If there’s a perfect time to pick up a great phone it’s now, because both Samsung and Apple aren’t updating their flagship devices any time soon, and the technology couldn’t be more cutting-edge.
We think the Galaxy Note 8 is great –
We think the Galaxy Note 8 is great –you can read our review here, and Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus certainly has a tough act to follow. The specs of the new Apple phablet are out now, and although it might not be as powerfu on paperl, it has a cheaper price and classic design on its side.
Both phablets are evenly matched, then, but which one should you buy in 2017? The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, or the iPhone 8 Plus? Keep reading to find out. We will update this page again when we’ve had the iPhone 8 Plus in for review.
iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 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.
The iPhone 8 Plus does have an improved set of features from the iPhone 7 Plus, but it still doesn’t sit toe to toe with the Note 8. Apple has kept the same Retina HD Display of the iPhone 7 Plus, but now it has the same TrueTone tech found in the iPad Pro. It also has stereo speakers that are 25% louder than those of the iPhone 7.
Alongside the addition of the Qi wireless charging, Apple has also improved its dual-camera setup of the iPhone 8 Plus. Now it has two 12-megapixel cameras, one with an f/1.8 aperture and the other at f/2.8. Both images have optical image stabilisation and sapphire crystal lens covers to stop them becoming scratched. On the front, Apple has included a 7-megapixel f/2.2 front-facing camera.
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 (which we dubbed the best smartphone of 2017).
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.
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When it comes to the iPhone 8 Plus, however, it’s business as usual for iPhone. It has none of the bells and whistles of the iPhone X’s infinity-edge display, and therefore lacks any of the immediate beauty of the Note 8.
It still has the 5.5in screen of the iPhone 7 and 6S along with its curved “aerospace-grade” aluminium body. This time, however, Apple has seen fit to bring back a glass back to iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Those worried about it shattering, like it used to do on the iPhone 4, Apple claims this is the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone. We’ll see how long that lasts.
iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Specifications
Inside the Galaxy Note 8, the specs are all as you’d hope – or rather expect, at its hefty price tag. It comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which can expandable up to 256GB via the microSD slot. The US model sports Snapdragon 835, and European users get Samsung’s own-brand Exynos 8835 chip. Not bad.
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Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 Plus is – in theory – little more than a renamed iPhone 7s Plus, a small bump in power on what came before. Despite its announcement at the Apple September conference, little is really known about what’s powering the iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple doesn’t divulge how much RAM it packs into its phones, but we do know it’ll run off Apple’s new A11 Bionic chipset, which contains the first Apple-developed GPU too. This apparently translates to 25% more speed in two of its cores, and 70% more on four of them. It’s new GPU is supposedly 30% faster than previous models too. We’ll, obviously, be testing those claims in our full review.
Alongside the new chip, Apple has included Qi wireless charging as standard along with upgrading internal storage to a minimum of 64GB. There’s still no microSD card slot, but you can pick up a more expensive 256GB model.
iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Price
We already know the Note 8 is Samsung’s most expensive smartphone yet, with a price point set at a whopping £869. Comparatively, the iPhone 8 Plus will start at £799 for its 64GB version.
This may make the iPhone 8 Plus appear cheaper than the Galaxy Note 8, but there are a lot of differences. Not only is the 256GB model of the iPhone 8 Plus nearly £100 more than the Galaxy Note 8, but Samsung’s phone can expand its storage with microSD cards that can be bought for as little as £30 for 128GB more space. Add this up alongside the bigger Note 8 screen and shaper display, you get a lot more for your money from the Note 8 than the iPhone 8 Plus.
iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Verdict
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, the iPhone 8 Plus isn’t really in the same league as the Galaxy Note 8. In terms of raw power, the A11 Bionic could well be a good enough match against the Note 8. However, its feature set doesn’t blaze ahead of the iPhone 7 in enough meaningful ways for the iPhone 8 Plus to be a real competitor for Samsung’s device.
If you’re looking for a more worthwhile comparison, you’d be better off tackling the iPhone X.