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Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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iOS 11 excels with apps and features: ARKit is fun and iMessage is addictive. Android on the Note 8 handles notifications, multitasking and sharing better.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8

iOS on the iPhone and Android on the Samsung are two fundamentally different platforms that do mostly the same things, but in different ways.

On the iPhone 8 Plus, we have iOS 11 out of the box, while on the Galaxy Note 8 we find Android 7.1 with the Samsung Experience skin. On a fundamental level, iOS looks better and runs smoother, but Android handles notifications in a much more organized way.

Let’s start with the key advantages of the iPhone 8 Plus and iOS 11. First and foremost, iMessage! The instant messaging service is used by the great majority of iPhone owners in the United States (but not so much outside the US). Since it does not run on Android, it is one key feature that is keeping people in the Apple camp.

iOS 11 on the iPhone 8 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
iOS 11 on the iPhone 8 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
iOS 11 on the iPhone 8 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
iOS 11 on the iPhone 8 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8

iOS 11 on the iPhone 8 Plus


Then the new iPhone does Augmented Reality with Apple’s ARKit. ARKit is a lot of fun: the first apps supporting it are out and they include a stargazing app, an IKEA furniture fitting app, some games and an innovative and accurate way to measure things using just your phone. Android is playing catch-up here.

The App Store is another key advantage: it has apps that are better optimized and games of higher quality arrive there earlier and often exclusively. iOS 11 is visually refined, scales better and features well-balanced fonts and looks. You also have features like 3D Touch as well as annotated screenshots.

What about the Note 8 and its interface? Android excels in customization with themes and icon packs, things that you simply cannot alter on the iPhone. You also have split-screen multitasking – another power-user feature iOS doesn't offer yet. On the Note 8, Samsung lets you save your own app pair presets, which is a nice little convenience if you often find yourself using the same apps in split screen.

Samsung's interface on the Note 8 - Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung's interface on the Note 8 - Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung's interface on the Note 8 - Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung's interface on the Note 8 - Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung's interface on the Note 8


You also have the Edge feature: a tiny panel on the side that allows you to get shortcuts, your favorite contacts, weather and stock information right away from any place in the phone.

The Note 8 also supports an Iris Scanner to securely unlock your phone, and it works fine when the phone is not too far away from your face, but it’s not as reliable as the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 8 Plus.

There is another cool feature the Note 8 supports: DeX. Place your Note 8 on a tiny dock, connect it to a large-screen monitor and it will work a lot like a desktop computer, allowing you to do work the big screen. While Samsung’s PC dock solution is not perfect, it’s still good for doing text work, browsing or going through your photos or videos.

Apple’s Siri vs Samsung Bixby vs Google Assistant


There is one looming battle in the smartphone space: that of voice assistants.

On the iPhone you have Apple’s Siri, while on Android – somewhat typical for its fragmentation – you get both Samsung’s new Bixby and the Google Assistant.

Siri has one key advantage over any of the two assistants on the Note 8: you can use it straight from the lockscreen, without needing to unlock your phone to quickly set an alarm, add a reminder, a calendar event or what not, and this definitely gives it a speed advantage.

But the Google Assistant understands what you say better, understands context better and can just do a bit more.

Samsung’s Bixby is the strangest of the bunch. It has one super-power: it can do things inside apps that the other two cannot. But it requires exact phrasing, it does not understand voices as well as the other two, and would need more work to get at the level of Siri and the Google Assistant.

S Pen


Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Note 8 has one other unique feature among all other phones: the S Pen. The S Pen is a key advantage that the iPhone cannot match in any way. Not everyone needs pen input on their phones, but for those who do, the Note 8 will be a very enjoyable experience.

You can just take off the S Pen and write on the screen right away, a feature called off-screen memos. You can also do things with greater accuracy: photo editing and others. The S Pen is a great tool for artists and creators, those who like to draw and sketch. All of those functionalities the iPhone cannot fully match.

Performance and Storage

The iPhone 8 Plus’ A11 Bionic is significantly faster than the Note 8’s Snapdragon 835, but that does not matter much.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8

These are two of the fastest phone on the market, but in 2017 this really does not mean all that much in terms of practical advantages.

The iPhone 8 Plus has the Apple A11 Bionic chip, while the Note 8 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, and both are build on 10nm manufacturing for better power efficiency.

The A11 Bionic is a hexa-core design with two big CPU cores and four smaller ones, while the Snapdragon 835 has octa-core design with four big and four smaller cores. There is also 3GB of RAM on the iPhone and 6GB RAM on the Note 8, but you have to consider iOS 11 optimization and difference in platforms. The A11 benchmarks blow anything else out of the water, including the Snapdragon 835. The chip even matches Intel Core i-series chips in short-term performance! It beats laptops like the Macbook Pro!

But here is the thing: the iPhone 8 does NOT feel faster than the Galaxy Note 8. Smoother? Yes, the Galaxy Note 8 hickups sometimes, but despite that, it does not feel slower at opening apps in the daily grind.

Where the iPhone 8 excels is truly demanding tasks: you can load up a 4K video project in iMovie and see that it renders multiple times faster than on the Note 8, but this is not your usual daily use. For most users, this huge advance in power would be a reserve for the future, but not an immediate advantage in the present.

For gamers, the iPhone is the better phone than the Note by a long shot. And yes, it is because of its faster performance, but mostly because of the App Store: the fact is that the best games arrive first and often exclusively for iOS.

In terms of storage, the iPhone comes in two versions: 64GB and 256GB with no memory expansion option, while the Note 8 ships with 64GB of native storage, but it has a microSD card for expandable storage.



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