Call quality


We didn’t experience any issues worth reporting while having calls with either smartphone. The iPhone 7 Plus tended to be loud and clear, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was just fine. We noticed the tall form factor worked well for phone calls.

Battery life



Ah, here’s the interesting part, eh? So Samsung decided to play it safe with the Note 8, that much is obvious. It gave it a smaller battery than before, and it also made the phone bigger than its predecessor – all measures that would ensure last year’s disaster won’t happen again. But with the smaller capacity, fans of the series are now understandably nervous, wondering whether the 3300 mAh capacity would be enough to power this extremely decked out handset for a long enough period. Well, let’s see!

We’ve run both the Note 8 and iPhone 7 Plus through our special battery benchmark, and here are the results we got:

  • Galaxy Note 8: 7 hours 50 minutes
  • iPhone 7 Plus: 9 hours 5 minutes

Now, what do these results mean? First off, they mean the iPhone 7 Plus offers superb battery life that can easily stretch up to two days with moderate usage, and that’s despite its smaller, 2900 mAh battery. As for the Galaxy Note 8, its result is by no means bad, but it means that you’ll hardly get much more than a full day. With modest use, you might be able to get into the second day, but the juice levels will be so low, you’ll still more than likely need to charge in the morning. The reason why the iPhone 7 Plus can extend its running time on a single charge so considerably is partly thanks to its lower consumption while on stand-by.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note8 7h 50 min (Average)
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 9h 5 min (Good)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note8 102
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 197

Conclusion



Between the Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 7 Plus, it's the Note 8 that currently has the 'wow!' advantage. This is exclusively due to its modern, almost-bezelless design, as well as smooth, glossy finishes and fresh color options. When you pick up a Note 8, even the boring all-black one, it strikes you as an intensely powerful and cutting-edge device; an extremely expensive, $930 high-end smarpthone that can do it all, and then some. And it really delivers. Right now, it's the culmination of Samsung's expertise and effort in mobile. This is the ultimate Galaxy.

Apple's current design language has aged rather gracefully. It's currently at the end of its third year, and yet it still looks precise, classy and stylish. However, it's aged nonetheless. The thick frame surrounding the screen is a big problem on the big-screen iPhone 7 Plus, much more so than on the smaller iPhone 7. It's a limiting factor. Yet, even a year after its debut, the 7 Plus has remained powerful and capable enough so it can easily go up against the Note 8, and occasionally best it in some areas.

Determining a “better” phone in this comparison would be impossible, because both handsets manage to hold their own grounds. Neither would budge. It's impressive how capable and polished both platforms have become: iOS, and the Android-based Samsung Experience. Now, more than ever, we have two big-screen flagships that are equally magnificent.


Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Pros

  • Modern, striking look with thin bezels
  • Impressively versatile and capable
  • S Pen drawing instrument

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Pros

  • Superb apps & software support
  • Better system coherence and performance
  • More affordable price


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