Samsung Note 8 and iPhone X: So close yet quite apart


Samsung and Apple are two smartphone giants who have been in the game for quite some time. Apple just celebrated their 10th anniversary by launching the iPhone X, but with minimalistic changes in its design since the gadget’s inception.

Samsung, on the other hand, has been manufacturing and selling smartphones for only seven years. The Korean giant is the prime example of how much a smartphone can change in such little time. The latest offering by Samsung is the Note 8.

The iPhone X and the Note 8 are selling at a similar price point, $999 and $949 respectively. These phones are direct competitors to one another but at the same time, they couldn’t be any more different.

Design and build: The iPhone X has a stainless-steel border, something unheard-of in smartphones nowadays, whereas the Note 8 has an aluminium border, equivalent to aluminium 7,000. The Note 8 has a Gorilla Glass 5 display, which means that 80% of the time from your phone will survive five-foot fall. The iPhone X has a special glass that Silicon Valley icon claims to be ‘the toughest display ever on a smartphone’.

Apple has used the same glass in the iPhone 8 and 8+, yet that failed quite many waist-height drop tests, videos available on YouTube. Water resistance is not the same, the iPhone X has an IP 67 rating (can survive under three feet of water pressure for 30 minutes) while the Note 8 has the better IP 68 rating (raising the bar to five feet for 30 minutes).

Comfort and Usability; The iPhone X can easily fit in your palm, perfect for single-handed usage. Seeing that the iPhone X has a rather large 5.8” display with an all-screen panel apart from the top bar makes it much easier to hold. The Note 8, on the other hand, is meant to be different with its rather larger 6.3” display. Its odd 18.5:9 ratio – odd in the sense that most normal displays are 16:9 –does help the phone to be usable in one hand but to some extent. Thankfully, The Note 8 comes with a stylus called ‘S-pen’, designed to help a lot in making the phone user-friendly. The stylus unlocks a whole new array of features which most phone don’t have. Now believe it or not, the Note 8 beats out the iPhone X in the screen-to-body ration. The Note has an 83.2% STBR while the iPhone X has an 82.9% STBR.

Display: The iPhone X has a True Tone display, meaning that the screen colors will change according to your surroundings. It also has 3D touch all over the display and supports HDR + Dolby Vision. The Note 8, on the other hand, has an Edge display helpful for several shortcuts and can be accessed anytime. It also has the 3D touch technology but only on the bottom of the screen, where the software buttons are. The X has a 1125x2436p display with a 463 PPI (Pixel-Per-Inch) and the Note has a 2960x1440p display with a 522 PPI. Talking about displays, the Note 8’s brightness blows the iPhone X out of the waters, with 1,200 nits of the Note and just a measly 625 nits on the X.

This year, Apple bought displays from Samsung for their iPhone X, thus offering us quite an improvement over its generic HD resolution. Both phones now have AMOLED displays which means darker blacks and brighter and more vivid colors. Samsung calls their display technology ‘Super-AMOLED’ and Apple announced their Samsung-bought displays ‘Super-Retina’.

Cameras: The cameras on these phones are quite similar, both have two 12MP dual lens with Dual OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). The Note 8 has two advantages over the iPhone X, first being that the OIS on the Note 8 is the best on the market and that the aperture is just 0.1 better than the iPhone X. Note 8 has an f/1.7 and f/2.4 while the iPhone f/1.8 and f/2.4.

The iPhone X is more capable here for it is the first phone to do 4k at 60 FPS (frames per second). The Note 8 does 4k at a standard 30 FPS. The X can also do 240 FPS of slow motion in 1080p. The flash has been improved as well, it still has a quad flash, but two times better uniformity of light; thus pictures in dark will be better because the X will place the flash where it needs to be.

Apple of the eye: The mêlée is upon us

Some would say that Note’s dual-LED flash is very bright and better but it doesn’t just match the iPhone X’s advanced flash technology.

As for the front cameras, the Note 8’s 8MP camera is capable of taking 1440p@30 against the iPhone’s 7MP camera capable of 1080p@30. Moreover, the Note camera gets a wider view and performs better in low light, thanks to f/1.7 aperture beating poorer f/2.2 on the iPhone X.

And some more: The Note 8 comes in Grey, Blue, Gold and Black, depending on where you buy them from. Apple gives only two choices: Space Grey and Silver. The iPhone X now has facial recognition, a feature Android has had since 2009. Admittedly, Steve Job’s successors have done an excellent job at it while claiming that the failure rate is one in a million if you don’t count the fact that it did fail twice during the keynote event. The Note seems content with its iris scanning and a fingerprint sensor, neither of which Apple has implemented in their iPhone X.


Saalar Ahmad

Saalar Ahmad

Saalar Ahmad is a student and deeply interested in innovation, renewable technologies and start-ups. He analyzes consumer technologies such as cell phones, TVs and other smart devices like drones and cars etc. He likes to follow biotech, solar, wind power as much as he is curious about space exploration.