Call Quality


We’ve had no issues with call quality on the iPhone 8 Plus and Note 8 we’ve had for this test. Some early users are reporting hearing a lot of static noise on iPhone 8s (and our other review unit also suffers from such problems), and that’s an issue that Apple has admitted exists. A fix is likely coming via software update in the near future, but keep in mind that this issue likely spreads to a limited amount of iPhones. Our 8 Plus does not suffer from it.

Battery Life

The iPhone beats the Note in the battery game, but for heavy users, it will still be a daily trip to the charger.


One area that is resilient to the break-neck pace of phone innovation is battery life. It improves in what seems like baby steps, and the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 are no exception: both phones will last most users a full day on a single charge, but the most demanding users will need a top-up before the end of the day. Lighter users will be able to squeeze a day and a half, and if you barely use your phone you might get to two days.

Comparing the two, we find that the iPhone does better in real-life longevity, was it for the great stand-by time or for other reasons, but we did have a better battery experience than with the Note.

In terms of battery capacity, there is a 2,675mAh battery on the iPhone 8 Plus and a 3,300mAh cell on the Note 8. Those numbers don’t mean much out of the context of the platform and software, so keep that in mind.

The iPhone finally supports fast charging, bringing it on par with most flagship Android phones from the past three years or so. But the iPhone 8 Plus still ships with a slow charger and you need to spend an additional at least $50 for the 29-watt USB-C Apple Power Adapter to actually make use of the fast charging capability. That’s a rip-off in comparison with the free fast chargers that come with most if not all Android phones that support the feature.

If you get that larger and more powerful charger, you will get around 40% charge from zero in just thirty minutes. This is especially nice consider the super slow charging speeds of Plus-sized models in the past.

Also, the iPhone now finally supports Qi wireless charging, another feature present on many top Android phones in the past years. Wireless charging is slower with most chargers delivers only 7.5 watts of power and is limited in use, but it’s a convenience: you don’t need to worry about plugging in a wire. Apple has its own wireless charging in the works, but it will only come out sometime in 2018 and will likely carry a high price tag, so for the moment you can use third-party wireless chargers like the ones from Belkin and Mophie. The Note 8 also supports wireless charging, but it also has support for the twice as fast Qi 1.2 standard and the wireless charger comes free in a bundle for many users. It doubles as a stand and looks stylish as well.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 10h 35 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 7h 50 min (Good)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 178
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 102

Conclusion



So… which one should you get?

Let’s first look at the prices:

iPhone 8 Plus 64GB / 256GB: $800 / $950
Note 8 64GB: $930

So yes, the 64 gig Note 8 is actually more expensive than a 64GB iPhone 8 Plus with a quite pronounced $130 difference.

For all else, it’s a matter of personal preference really. Here are the areas where the two do similarly well: performance (the iPhone has the faster chip, but both feel similarly fast in real life) and camera (in some cases the iPhone takes better pictures, in others – the Note 8 does better).

The Note 8, however, excels in places where the iPhone cannot fully deliver. Here is who we recommend the Note 8 to: those convinced that they will use the S Pen (it’s fun and easy to use!), those who are bombarded with notifications (it’s easier to deal with them on Android), those who like the options on Android including the faster and easier sharing menus, the split-screen multitasking, the customization options; those who value that vibrant AMOLED screen.

But if you think you are the person who: is a video enthusiast (because 4K at 60fps!), who likes to have their phone just work without dealing with complications, who is a gamer (iOS has better games), who is a heavy iMessage user and / or who is a creative (music and video editing apps are better on iOS) than by any means the iPhone will be a better fit.

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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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