Introduction


The flames have been extinguished. The ashes of the past – forgotten. Mistakes – forgiven.

A new Galaxy Note is here. And boy is it a beast. Hungry. Raw. Yet, deep inside, you can see it’s also gentle, humble. It’s the kind of beast you don’t want to mess with.

But then, there’s another one. Older, charismatic, proven – this one, you don’t even compete with; it’s there to inspire you, show you the way. It’s the iPhone 7 Plus.

And yet, here we are in the company of these plus-sized beasts, and it’s obvious this is quickly going to get messy. Also, beautiful! Because what we have here is nothing less than two of the finest personal computing devices ever made. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the comparison you’ve been waiting for: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus!

Design



Samsung and Apple have different approaches when it comes to exterior design. Samsung prefers iterative, year-to-year updates, while Apple usually comes up with a forward-looking design which it then uses for at least a couple of years. Right now, Apple's iPhone 6 / 6s / 7 design is obviously close to running its course, which puts it at a disadvantage against Samsung's current Note 8 styling, for a couple of reasons:

1) Samsung has significantly reduced the bezels around the screen, and in the case of the Note 8, things are pretty symmetrical, so it looks great. Apple's iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, doesn't utilize frontal space too efficiently, by today's standards, keeping considerable top and bottom bezels, making the device larger than it needs to be. It still looks very nice, but is something that's going to be addressed in the next iteration of the iPhone. Not only do thinner bezels look more modern, they also mean the manufacturer can choose to fit a larger display in the same space, which is exactly what we have in this case, with the Note 8 having a significantly taller panel, allowing for more content to be shown at a time.

2) The other major difference is found with the materials in use: Samsung was never into the whole metal game, so back in 2015, it made the switch from plastic straight to glass, using metal only for the side frame of its handsets. Its initial attempts with glass weren't entirely convincing, but it had time to refine its styling, so now the Galaxy Note 8 comes in this nice assortment of mature color tones, with the whole phone surrounded by an equally nice polished metal frame. It's all very glossy, nice and easy to grip, and, of course: way easier to crack or break, compared to the iPhone 7 Plus' metal housing. However, the iPhone 7 Plus' clean, matte metal unibody (except for the Jet Black variant) now looks somewhat dry and not as extravagant as the Note 8's shiny exterior.

Both the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 7 Plus are certified as water- and dust-resistant, with IP68 rating for the Note 8 and IP67 for the iPhone 7 Plus. The actual difference in these certifications isn't considerable. It's great to have the confidence that both handsets should easily survive a spill of a drink (or a few!) on them. Beautiful and tough – these guys seem to have conquered all frontiers!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Dimensions

6.4 x 2.94 x 0.34 inches

162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm

Weight

6.88 oz (195 g)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.63 oz (188 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Dimensions

6.4 x 2.94 x 0.34 inches

162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm

Weight

6.88 oz (195 g)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.63 oz (188 g)

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

Display



At 6.3” and 9:18.5 aspect ratio, the Note 8’s AMOLED display stands tall like the Burj Khalifa. Fun fact: Samsung’s engineering and construction division was among the main contractors who built Burj Khalifa. But let’s get back to the phones.

The iPhone 7 Plus has a comparably massive 5.5” 9:16 LCD display. The main difference is that the Note’s one is taller, allowing for more content to be displayed vertically. The great thing about the Note here is that it manages to fit this expansive screen in a body of similar size to that of the iPhone 7 Plus. The Note 8 also features a higher screen resolution, but it’s mostly overkill, and even Samsung has chosen 1080px resolution to be the default one – same as what you get on the iPhone 7 Plus.

Color balance is great with both smartphones. The Galaxy Note 8 can be either unnaturally vibrant, or very precise, depending on the screen color mode that you choose. The iPhone 7 Plus also has a fantastic screen; perhaps a tad colder than needed, but still lively and accurate. Compared to the Note 8’s OLED technology, the 7 Plus’ LCD doesn’t appear quite as vivid, but it does retain its color accuracy way better when viewed at an angle.


FEATURED VIDEO

27 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

The Note 8 owns this one! #TheNewtGalaxy

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

To expand, the iPhone 7 Plus is of a previous generation, so I suppose it'll be better to wait for the iPhone 8 for this comparison to really matter.

6. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I never understood why they do this every year. All they have to do is wait a week and the new iPhone will be announced. I always feel like they try to sneak in a last minute comparison of the old iPhone to make Samsungs new device look better. It makes no sense at all!!

11. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well, if they compared the S7 to the iPhone 7, the S7 would still be better. I mean, better camera, battery life, design, functionality, features, headphone jack, etc. I mean the only thing the iPhone 7 has going for it is game load times and single core javascript performance.

13. YeahYeah

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Are you aware iPhone do not have a phone to compete with Samsung Note series.

23. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

There will be iPhone7S Plus this year. iPhone8 next year.

8. thxultra

Posts: 473; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

From the leaks of the new iphone X the note 8 owns that one too in my opinion. Will still be interesting to see what apple brings to the table but looks like the note 8 has a much bigger screen then the new iphone X as well as many other things I'm looking forward to.

3. Derekjeter

Posts: 1557; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Why are these phone being compared?? I will never understand why an Android phones need to be compared to the iPhone. It’s a two different operating systems. No android phone should be compared to the iPhone. Just keep it in house, compare the Note 8 to every other Android and just stop there. First you give 8.9 review of the Note and then you post this article...... trying to start a war fan huh?

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"trying to start a war fan huh?" Of course, since it generates alot of traffic and page hits.

5. Derekjeter

Posts: 1557; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Sorry I meant to type “a fan war” but I got a call in between that post. It’s sad, most of them fall for it.

14. disatrousrainbow

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 24, 2015

Why not? The Note series was the original big phone. So popular it forced Apple's hand into creating the Plus lineup. Why wouldn't a phone site that reviews all kinds of phone's NOT compare what are two of the most popular handsets people can buy in this category? In case this is news to you, the world doesn't revolve around tech enthusiasts. In fact, they're a fraction of what makes up the smartphone market. There are millions of people out there will no doubt take advantage of lower prices on previous models versus splurging on the latest and greatest. Articles like this are a nice way to compare what's old, what's new, and whether it's worth saving or spending the extra dollars for people. Plus, it's also a nice way to see how things change between iterations. Nothing wrong with that. If people want to take it as them stoking a "flame war" especially with the atrocity of score they gave the Note 8, which I still can't believe is an issue for some of you, by all means...flame on.

7. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

Sammy is far ahead competitors in design language , not even LG can hold against Sammy ...

9. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

One year old iPhone 7 Plus will still beat this fresh Note 8 in a speed test,,,,LMAO Samsung is all good for flashy show offs... But sadly that;s pretty much it.

24. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

No one iPhone beats Samsung flagship phones in speed test. Except of the game loading, iPhones are slower. Check it out. App by app tests. That's why all the doctored tests that media show you, are sequence tests consist a lot of games.

10. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

I'm looking forward to getting the Note 8, but no way will it be my daily driver, that role will still be left to my iPhone 6S Plus, until the new iPhone comes out.

25. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

If you don't know what S Pen can do, don't even buy Note 8. That's a waste of money. If you know what S Pen can do, you would never even mention iPhone in the same sentence.

12. jacky899

Posts: 431; Member since: May 16, 2017

Comparing Apples and Oranges. But prefer the Note 8 over the Iphone 7+. I just can't stand large bezels. However, in another month when the Iphone 8 comes out with all the rumorred major upgrades, I think the Iphone 8 will be on top again for another few years.

15. Filth

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 05, 2017

I'm confused over the battery life results. Practically every other review and YouTube video test shows the iPhone battery to die well before the S8, S7 edge and now the note 8. Phonearena always has the iPhone as the better lasting battery but don't back it up with anything other than their "special test". Is their any videos or in depth discussion on what this special test involves? I've seen multiple times tests, including tests with 20 different phones, iPhones with no sim cards in and they still dies well before most Galaxies. Most reviews I've read where the iPhone is claimed to have a better battery life, seem to point back to here. Some clarity anyone?

16. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

There are too many false statements and misleading facts in this review. A few examples here:- "Samsung and Apple have different approaches when it comes to exterior design. Samsung prefers iterative, year-to-year updates, while Apple usually comes up with a forward-looking design which it then uses for at least a couple of years. Right now, Apple's iPhone 6 / 6s / 7 design is obviously close to running its course" Apples iPhone 6 was far from forward looking, it was Apples belated attempt to go larger and all we got was a stretched iPhone 5 with an OS not updated to use the extra screen size. Samsungs has been the one bringing in forward looking designs in recent years, Apple has been following. The brightness on the Note goes way beyond the iPhones 1200 vs 625 nits that is a massive difference. The battery life test is completely wrong. Every test on the Note has shown it completely annihilating the iPhone, the results are not even close. In GSMarenas tests the 7+ does not even make it into the top 100, yet PA says it has the best battery life! If you compare the Note and iPhone the former wins on almost every level, yet only gets an 8.9 vs 9.3 on the iPhone. Phone Arena needs to take the bias out of its reviews if they are to be taken seriously.

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

PREACH BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31614; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Mine arrives Thursday, shipped two day air. Note 8 time cometh.

20. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 31614; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lucky ass, congrats. I figure, by the time I leave the gym, mine should be there.

18. Achilis

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 05, 2013

WHAT A TYPICAL I SHEEP COMPARISON. NOTE 8 IS BETTER THAN I PHONE IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY EXCEPT FOR BATTERY ENDURANCE, BUT WHAT ABOUT FAST CHARGING AND WIRELESS CHARGING WHICH MORE THAN MAKE UP THE LESS ENDURANCE. THEIR OWN CAMERA COMPARISON IN ANOTHER ARTICALE PROVES NOTE 8 IS SUPERIOR, BUT HERE IN PHONE COMPARISON THEY SOUND LIKE SIMILAR. LOOK AT THE PROS FOR I PHONE. SUPERB APPS AND SUPPORT...LOL..THE COMPARISON IS BETWEEN IOS AND ANDROID,NOT IOS AND WINDOWS PHONE. BETTER SYSTEM COHERENCE AND PERFORMANCE- VAGUE ARGUMENT, VERY SUBJECTIVE, SOME MIGHT ARGUE OTHERWISE. MORE AFFORDABLE PRICE ?? REALLY...? IN MY COUNTRY(uae) I PHONE 7 PLUS 128GB (32 GB IS A JOCK) COSTS 3499 DHIRHAMS EVEN TODAY, WHERE AS NOTE 8 LAUNCH PRICE IS 3399 DHIRHAMS. MEANS 100DHS LESS FOR A MUCH SUPERIOR PHONE WITH LOTS AND LOTS OF PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES WHICH MAKE MORE SENSE OF ITS SIZE COMPARED TO A HUGE I PHONE 7 PLUS WITH A TINY SCREEN FOR ITS SIZE AND NO ADDED FUNCTIONALITIES TO JUSTIFY ITS SIZE.

26. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Even on battery tests Note 8 is better in most of the videos.

28. Bozzor

Posts: 248; Member since: May 02, 2012

What is always the one thing that gets me is that with the iPhone, the major software generation updates are not for 2 generations but at least 3 years and likely 4 generations. Good example is the Galaxy Note 4, released October 2014 with Kit Kat, and updated to Lollipop and then Marshmallow...and that's it. it never got Nougat and we are up to Oreo now. Now contrast this with the iPhone 5S. That was released a year earlier than the Note 4, in September 2013 with iOS 7...and it has gotten every generation update since: iOS 8,9,10 and is now about to get iOS11 like its successors. Apple do some things that stink, but absolute top marks to them for supporting their devices so consistently.

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