Interface

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 220618
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 175439
JetStream Higher is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 224.62
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 67.884
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 59.7
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 60
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 59.3
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 39
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 4103
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3422
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 4243
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 1877
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 10330
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 6552


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90 Comments

1. dubaiboy78

Posts: 446; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Iphone 8 is the best best best best best!!!! - iphonearena

6. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

You did not bother reading, did you?

7. You_Dont_Say

Posts: 431; Member since: Jan 26, 2015

Phonearena haters are like Trump supporters. Claim they will boycott the NFL, yet watch every NFL event to see if players are kneeling. Like Trump supporters, the same people who shout 'iPhonearena' are here on PhoneArena reading content they supposedly hate. Phonearena haters, Apple haters, and Trump Supporters are literally the dumbest people on Earth.

9. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

I guess you spend more than a good portion of your working hours retweeting Donald Trump like a lot of Silicon valley interns?

13. You_Dont_Say

Posts: 431; Member since: Jan 26, 2015

ROFL no. Seems like you don't know what retweeting is.

14. LebronJamesFanboy

Posts: 671; Member since: Mar 23, 2013

You might want to reread his post.

16. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Reading isn't one of their strengths, unfortunately.

81. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Yep. LOL. Busted. Obsessing over others obsessions.

18. Bankz

Posts: 2543; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

lol, exactly

45. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

Iphonearena do some research bixby can unlock your phone it did that like a week after the voice part was activated and it's much better at understanding speech

82. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

The best news is that the button can be natively disabled now. Only one step away from allowing it to be remapped. You can bring this massive breakthrough Samsung. I just know it. Actually, their are a couple of apps that are ahead of Samsung blocking that allow remapping it. But, honestly, the thing is in the way of volume, so I've decided to disable.

12. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

No, your Shamesung is best.

2. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

The Note 8 seems actually practical to hold.

83. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Holds well in hand. It really does. But the length is excessive IMO. Would prefer a Note 8 Mini with same specs and about 20% smaller in size.

3. PhoneBag

Posts: 8; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

518 nits of maximum brightness for note 8? I guess the writer needs to improve his RESEARCHING skills. This is plainly MISINFORMATION iPhoneArena pwe!

5. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

The screen brightness on the Note 8 is 518 nits at 100% white. We have tested two different units multiple times with professional tools and we get these results over and over. So what is your research?

17. jellmoo

Posts: 2588; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Every other online publication saying that it's hitting record brightness of over 1200 nits?

21. IT-Engineer

Posts: 543; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

MKBHD & the verge reported a number around 1200 - 1280 nits on note 8 compared to the 625 nits on Iphone 8 & iphone X.. I mean come on Victor, you guys clearly need to revise your test methods, first your battery tests are different than all the rest of the tech community and now the brightness???? Seriously!!!

22. IT-Engineer

Posts: 543; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Here you go 1200 nits: https://9to5google.com/2017/08/28/samsung-galaxy-note-8-display-test-brightness/ As i said, either your tests are completely wrong, or your intentionally giving misleading information.

24. JK7844

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 20, 2016

My research is from displaymate, which shows 1,200 nits. Go check it out if you haven't.

25. IT-Engineer

Posts: 543; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

26. mrochester

Posts: 997; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

It only reaches those values when auto-brightness is switched on and you are outdoors in bright light. These are unlikely the conditions in which the devices were tested by PhoneArena. The iPhone 7 reaches 705nits in the same conditions. There's no data for the 8 or 8+ yet.

84. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Oh, you mean THAT "maximum brightness".

28. IT-Engineer

Posts: 543; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

By the way, it is your responsibility as an author to correct your article if you have a wrong or misleading information. So please do correct it for you and this site credability!

31. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

You're asking for way too much from victor...

35. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Even though I’m a iOS guy mostly, I would like to see a corrected article on this. Worst thing for a tech site or any business is when you lose credibility. But always look at different sites for comparisons. Android Central is real good site to check out.

43. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

How do you set an AMOLED display too 100% whiteness when OLED displays don't produce a natural white? How is that accomplished? Also, you stated in another article, you all set the brightness to 200NITS using a scientific method. How is this equal to you saying, all devices are tested at default settings? Are you not convoluting the test when you change any variable that swings a device on one direction or another? Forget the auto-settings. DisplayMate states that when you "manually" set the display to 100%, that the display produced 728NITS of brightness. If you manually set the display brightness, how are you achieving 100% white levels on a device that doesn't have white LED's? Also would like to know, if you change the variables on any test, how is your test any different from any test on YouTube?

47. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

Okay, so let's sum it all up: you guys have 1 source that everyone is quoting from and that source is DisplayMate. There is NO other source, neither TheVerge, nor MKBHD, nor anybody else. They all quote from DisplayMate. That's cool. But what does DisplayMate really say? Well, you need to first READ the damn report before going with that 1200 nit number! In other words, don't be like TheVerge or MKBHD who did NOT bother reading and just quote a number they don't understand. Here is what DisplayMate says (look for it towards the end in the Brightness and Contrast table in green): it says that the Note 8 has a brightness of High Auto Brightness 560 – 1,240 cd/m2 It does not say 1,240 nits, it says FROM 560 to 1,240 nits. So how does it get to 1,240 nits? You can ask DisplayMate because they never say in their article, but I can save you the effort and tell you how: by showing 1% white and 99% black. That is the way AMOLED works. How do you do this? Load up a picture with just a single dot of white on a black background and test! So yes, we do NOT get 1,240 nits because we don't do such a test! We think it's not that important to know the brightness of a screen with 1% black because nobody uses their screen like that. What do we do? We have always tested a 100% white, which means that we load up a fully WHITE picture that covers the whole screen. That's it. And we measure. So we get around 518 nits. Look back at DisplayMate's tests: it says "FROM 560 nits" and we have a score that says "518 nits" which is close enough. So yes, our results are not false, they are not fake, they are not made up. But they need context. The same is true of DisplayMate: 1,240 nits is just wrong without a context. It's absurd, nobody uses their phone with 1% black. A perfectly correct measure would be to do something like a 50% white, that would be closer to average use. At 50% white, I guess the Note 8 would have a brightness higher than 520 nits, but much lower than 1,240 nits. And that's it! Hope you guys understand how display testing is done and what it means, and we stop repeating bulls**t numbers over and over again. Hit me up with your questions if you have any, I'll do my best to answer!

53. jellmoo

Posts: 2588; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

To be fair, GSMArena topped out at 850 nits on a single square, but say that you can expect to get 647 nits in real world use, which is a pretty big difference from your findings. Regardless, considering the fanfare that the 1200 nits claim received, it's silly not to acknowledge it in a review or comparison.

64. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

Why acknowledge a meaningless number? We could write an article just to explain that it's a meaningless number, that we could do.

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