As much as there is competition in smartphones, in the past couple of years we have seen two companies take over: Apple’s iPhones have become the default options for many and Samsung with its Galaxy has grown nearly synonymous with Android.

It’s only natural then to compare Apple’s newest iPhone 8 Plus against its rival, the Samsung Galaxy S8+. After all, both are big phones and both represent the finest from the two companies.

The S8+ is now cheaper as it’s been on the market for nearly half a year, but it’s not outdated by any means. It lacks the dual cameras of the iPhone, but matches it and outdoes it in other aspects. And while both are great phones, they are better at different things and we’re about to learn more about those differences right away.

Design

The iPhone 8 Plus feels like a slight update to an aging design, while the Galaxy looks sleeker, more modern.


Samsung has leaped forward with beautiful, sleek, futuristic glass and metal concoctions, and the Galaxy S8+ is just that: one stylish phone with an immersive display. Apple, you ask? Well, it actually seems to be lagging behind these days: the iPhone 8 Plus has a glass back which adds style points, but the huge bezel up front remind us that we are still looking at the same four-year old design.

There are a few footnotes to all of this. First is color: the iPhone ships in three colors, but while they might sound familiar, the actual tones are different than on earlier iPhones. The silver one looks downright white and very clean, the gold one is a new shade of gold that is a mix between rose gold and the old gold, and both mask fingerprints extremely well. The space grey one actually has a brownish tone and is not even close to the deep hue of say last year’s jet black or even matte black options (it’s the only one where you can see fingerprint smudges easily). The S8+? It ships in four colors: black, blue, silver and gray, and finger smudges are very noticeable on all of those models.

In practical terms, the glass on both is not slippery, but can definitely shatter when you drop the phones, so a case is strongly recommended (yes, a case also admittedly ruins a lot of the design effort that went into those phones...).

The other important thing is to fully understand just how big these phones are. Neither phone fits comfortably in a jeans pocket, but the iPhone is especially uncomfortable. The S8+ is narrower, while the iPhone 8 Plus is very wide and you have to use both of your hands most of the times with these phones.

Here are the actual physical sizes of both:
  • iPhone 8 Plus: 6.24 x 3.07 x 0.30 inches
  • S8+: 6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

The iPhone weighs 7.13 ounces (202g) and is considerably heavier than the S8+ with its 6.10 oz (173g) of weight. We like a phone with a solid feeling in the hand, but if you are used to carrying your phone in your pants pockets, the extra weight of the iPhone adds to the inconvenience of having an already big phone, and can definitely be felt.

Considering they are so big, it is a bit annoying that Samsung continues to put the fingerprint scanner way out of reach and next the camera on the S8+. You get used to it, but it remains a daily inconvenience. In contrast, the front-placed iPhone 8 Plus finger scanner feels much more natural to use.

One last thing to know is that both phones are water-sealed (great news!): the iPhone carries an IP67 rating, while the S8+ has a higher, IP68 certification. What this means is that both are protected from dust ingress, and both can be submerged in water: the iPhone can withstand immersion in up to 3-feet deep water, while the IP68 S8+ can theoretically withstand up to 5-feet water depth, and both are guaranteed to survive in water for as long as 30 minutes.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Dimensions

6.24 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches

158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm

Weight

7.13 oz (202 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Dimensions

6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm

Weight

6.10 oz (173 g)

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Dimensions

6.24 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches

158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm

Weight

7.13 oz (202 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Dimensions

6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm

Weight

6.10 oz (173 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


Display

The S8+ has an immersive, bezel-less AMOLED display with punchy colors that pulls ahead. The iPhone has big bezels from the past, but colors also look great on it.


There are two things that make high-end phones stand out: one is the camera and the other is the display. And these two sure stand out, as they have two of the finest screens out there.

The S8+ sports a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display, while the iPhone 8 Plus features a 5.5-inch LCD. Both default to 1080p resolution, but you can set a higher, Quad HD resolution on the S8+ (this will result in theoretically better sharpness, but will also negatively affect the battery life).

The big difference here, however, is in the form of the screen. Samsung calls its screen the “Infinity Display” because it feels like it flows into the body of the phone and has almost no bezels. The screen-to-body ratio of the S8+ is a whopping 83%, while on the iPhone it is merely 67.5% because of those big bezels on the top and the bottom. This sets the two apart in a big way: the S8+ feels more immersive and it fits more content.

But it’s not just size: it’s the lively colors that impress the most with these two. The S8+ has different color modes where you can tweak its appearance, but the default Adaptive mode shows punchy, saturated colors, with great contrast and deep blacks. The iPhone 8 Plus also has very pleasing colors, but they do not quite reach the lush tones you see on the S8+. Blacks appear slightly more grayish and contrast is a bit lower, but everything also looks a bit better balanced, even if slightly toned down.

Then, the iPhone 8 Plus comes with one neat innovation: True Tone technology. True Tone will adapt the display’s white balance to ambient light, usually making your phone look slightly warmer indoors, for a more natural look. We like this small convenience.

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26 Comments

1. IT-Engineer

Posts: 543; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

"The iPhone 8 Plus has other strong points: it is the faster phone with a buttery smooth performance that the Galaxy cannot match." Same old Victor.

3. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

But this is 100% true. The A11 is the top chip right now and no other chip is coming close. This is factual, and has nothing to do with 'iphonearena' lol.

4. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Top.... in benchmark only. In daily usage Note 6, and oneplus can open apps and game faster than iPhone 8, since they don't need to reopen apps, thanks to their generous RAM size

5. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

In real world use, the iPhone 8 plus should easily have the best performance overall. Best game performance and UI fluidity. Just so we are clear, I'm a Pixel user. Android is my go-to all day long, but iPhones have always led the market with best performance. Phonearena is 100% right.

6. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Game performance? all mobile games have fps cap, and even mid-ranger SoC can hit that fps cap (as reminder, all mobile games use much lower graphic than 3D benchmarking tools) UI fluidity? it's also capped at 60Hz (except 120Hz on the new sharp and sony phone)

7. Hollowmost

Posts: 421; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

Lol we got it apple A11 is so strong even Snapdragon 865 can't even compete with .... If only software experience was based only on brute performance .... Ahhh another thing , I can open two apps and watch video at once Can you do that with apple A11 ??

9. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

So many alt accounts you have.

19. whatev

Posts: 2260; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Well you can do that on the A8, A8X and A9 on some iPads so definitely but theoretically you could do that on the A11 which is a lot more powerful

24. deleon629

Posts: 461; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

Yep...And Super Mario Bros. emulators run much faster on my Core i7HQ equipped laptop than Witcher III does on a Saturday night on the wifi connection in a dorm room... What's the point of heralding a faster phone if the features, screen quality, and UX are bland and/or outdated?

8. ehsanjoon365

Posts: 15; Member since: Oct 02, 2017

Please test Nokia 8. Thanks

10. Balazs.K

Posts: 10; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

I think both smartphones are great! But how can an "independent" site wroite that the "iOS, App Store" are Pros? Because I think then Android and Google Play Store could be alo Pros! Aren't they?

11. igorpro

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 02, 2017

Why PA always says that the iPhone's camera has accurate color reproduction? Images usually have an unnatural yellow tone.

12. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

S8+ vs iPhone 6S is the right comparison.

15. sgodsell

Posts: 7361; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Are you really that dumb? Even if you compare the latest iPhone 8 with the S8 or S8+. The iPhone 8 is only pushing the same low resolution display, compared to the S8's that are pushing more than 4 times the number of pixels. BTW the iPhone 7 A10 GPU is rated at 249 gigaflops compared to the SD 835's 570 gigaflops GPU. The iPhone 6s is rated at 170 gigaflops. If the A11 and iOS are really that fast, then the latest iOS should support real multitasking and split screen multitasking. Instead iOS on iPhones in 2017 is still a task switcher that halts the task you just switched from. Please cnour continue to look like an ignorant person. Just keep drinking that Apple Koolaid.

16. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Sorry but what you call REAL multitasking is on iPad that uses iOS 11 and A10X as chip with 3 GB of RAM and large screen. So please think before writing a comment.

21. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Dear cnour, I can even multitask on my PHONE.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31029; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The way they dissed the S8 Plus here, is laughable. In the vs section, they gave the S8 Plus zero credit, while listing every thing good about the 8 Plus lol. I'm glad I personally owned an S8 Plus, otherwise I'd think it was junk. PA, ya gotta do better man. The S8 Plus is far far better, than what you listed here. It put my 7 Plus to shame in every area, including battery life, and the 8 Plus is nothing more than a 7S Plus. You guys conveniently listed nothing about the S8 features, like you should've. This is why I do my own comparisons.

14. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Better but not far i8 has a better camera,speakers,better soc...

22. ShaikhJGI

Posts: 359; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Exactly.. Also seeing this statement (in fact at the entire article), "The S8+ sports a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display" Why do I have a feeling that, this is a straight pickup from Note 8 article?? :O

17. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

You can use BIXBY from the screen being off. That is even better than using Siri from the lock screen

18. samgsam

Posts: 148; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Dude you literally wrote iOS in pros? Couldn't find a better point?

20. blingblingthing

Posts: 960; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Phonearena, Please re-evaluate your Battery test. Just about every test I see On youtube where the user plays a Video, a Game, run something on Social Media then test the Camera App seeing the iphones dying hours before the ANdroid phones. So why is your test showing different? Clearly if you're looking to simulate all of this via a web browser script it isn't accurate. since a single flaw would not taint the results of such a wide test. Pls fix this.

23. imortel

Posts: 8; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

You are compering a 720p vs a 2k display.... Also a 2017 vs 2015 design... something is wrong here. The performance on the iPhone are no match but it looks like an mid range phone to be honest.

25. jethornton

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 06, 2017

Do any of you actually work with your phone? Or is it all games, videos and photo-taking? I use my phone for work. Phone calls (yes, I actually call people rather than bounce texts), email, calculations, apps specific to what I do, which is engineering and construction. Its a tool, not a toy. I've had iphones since the 3GS, and I'm not happy with Apple's progress regarding technical advances, especially over these past two product cycles. Steve Jobs, you are sorely missed, and I say that with my not being an Apple groupie. Why do I stay with them? In two words: the apps. I've bought samsung products (tablets) and have downloaded a number of apps similar to what I use every day. For the most part, they aren't on the same planet as the iphone apps from a standpoint of usability. The problem I am having with all of these phone reviews I am seeing on the iphone and the android phones is they focus on the fluff like screen resolution and form, and the technical specs, as if the damn things actually perform for real as they did in the lab. Regarding performance in real terms, about something that actually means something to me? Nada. I guess what I want and what everyone else wants to argue over are two different things, but COME ON, APPLE! Is Tim Cook the best you can do? Rant over.

26. Charles997

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 22, 2017

Iphone processor is not powerful in all smartphone.. I hve research for a year.. I test it on hand.. Not like android.. It can run with different type of processor.. Think before talk fools.. In this world.. Android user take all smartphone ..

27. Charles997

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 22, 2017

No ... Iphone is not the 1st.. Old design.. No achievement for that.. So sad.. Processor is not too good.. Snapdragon has take all smartphone for a year.. Dont ask why.. I hve research it for a year.. Make a experiment on my hand.. Think before ask it fools

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