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Comparative review of Apple iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8

In this article, we will examine in detail what to expect from the two most expensive smartphones: the Galaxy Note 8, released in the summer, and iPhone X, which went on sale on November 3.



Modern smartphones are available like never before. For $ 100 or less, you can take a new device that can provide you with Internet access from anywhere, access to social networks , even photos of good quality.

These budget devices are well suited for poor consumers, but there is no shortage of more expensive devices, where more functionality is offered on large screens with high resolution, there are advanced cameras, smoother performance and attractive appearance.

At the very top of the price range, we see extremely expensive smartphones that are luxury goods. There are premium materials like leather, gold, even precious stones. Moreover, such devices usually from a technological point of view do not represent anything remarkable.

You are reading a translation of the review from the portal, the original material was published on November 13, 2017.

In 2017, we waited for massive smartphones that crossed the $ 1000 mark. Let them not shimmer with diamonds, like luxurious models of past years, but their appearance is eye-catching, and advanced technologies are located inside.

When you spend such money on a smartphone, you expect perfection, but even at this level there are advantages and disadvantages that can make a smartphone less attractive than its competitor.

In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of the two most popular flagships : Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung and Apple iPhone X.


2017 will go down in the history of smartphones, as their appearance began to change rapidly thanks to elongated screens without frames. This made it possible to increase the size of displays without increasing the size of the cases themselves. In the spring, this trend started after the appearance of the flagship models LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8. After that, Samsung released a new frameless device, Galaxy Note 8. iPhone X can also be ranked as the second wave of frameless flagships.

Of these, Note 8 is larger: longer, wider, thicker and heavier. In terms of appearance, the Apple smartphone is more similar to the Galaxy S8 than the new smartphone of Samsung itself. This may disappoint someone, especially in terms of price. Note 8 is comparable to the iPhone X in its approximate cost, while the S8 costs only 75% of the price of the iPhone X.

If we continue talking about the appearance, it is impossible not to pay attention to the height of Note 8. The wider screen of both smartphones does not interfere with reaching from one edge to the other with your finger, but on Galaxy you need to make more efforts to reach the top. This is necessary to access quick settings and notifications, the size of this device makes this gesture difficult.

On the lower edge of both devices are speakers and a connector for charging and transmitting data, but the Galaxy also has a headphone jack. Here, Samsung engineers were able to find a place to store the S-Pen stylus . On the right edge are the power buttons, which on the iPhone X for some reason has grown in size. The volume control is on the left, on the iPhone there is also a Do Not Disturb button, on Galaxy there is a button for launching the Bixby assistant.

At the back you will see dual cameras, the appearance of which is noticeably different. On the Galaxy, the cameras barely extend beyond the enclosure, while on the iPhone X the protrusion is pretty obvious.

Both smartphones do not have the usual physical Home buttons. On Note 8, the fingerprint scanner has moved to the back to make room for the screen in front. This is not the most convenient place, because the scanner is too high and you need to reach for it. Apple also abandoned the Home button, but did not look for a new location for the fingerprint scanner and removed it completely. Instead, a Face ID facial recognition system is used to enter the device.


It seems that there is much in common between the screens on these two smartphones, but in fact there are even more differences between them. Both are very wide, with an aspect ratio of 18.5: 9 on Samsung and 19.5: 9 on Apple.

In both cases, OLED panels are used, Apple is doing this for the first time. Each screen has rounded corners, which is common for ultra-wide screens.

Despite these similarities, there are many ways to stand out. Samsung provided its screen with curved edges, leaving the frame completely missing. On the iPhone X, minimal frame edges are maintained.

Apple, on the other hand, has a much smaller frame at the top and bottom. This was largely achieved thanks to a cutout at the top of the screen where the front camera, auricle, sensors for Face ID work are located. Even with this neckline, we can say that Apple leads in terms of aesthetics, since the frames on all sides of the screen are approximately the same. The effect is quite impressive: the device does not look like a smartphone with a screen on it, but like a device that is built around the screen. This design has consequences, rounded corners have a larger radius than on Note 8, as a result of which part of the screen area is lost.

Each smartphone provides high color accuracy, Samsung gets extra points for the ability to customize the screen. You can choose not only between predefined profiles, but also manually change the color balance. Apple True Tone is designed to automate color adjustments based on ambient lighting, so the user has less control.

Apple wins in terms of screen brightness, the maximum value is much higher than on the Galaxy Note 8, even with manual settings.

Interface and Functionality

When comparing devices on Android and iOS, it is difficult to avoid disputes about the advantages and disadvantages of these platforms. It can be a fascinating read, but you can skip the unique elements of specific devices. We’d better talk about how these smartphones stand out in terms of user interaction.

A distinctive feature of Note 8 is the presence of a stylus. It is based on the same model that was in the Galaxy Note 7, Air Command commands received new functionality, users can quickly write notes, including on the screen off.

Galaxy Note 8 Interface

There is a button to turn on the Samsung Bixby assistant. The assistant has many interesting features, especially when using the camera to recognize objects through Bixby Vision, but the popularity among users is not too big to buy a smartphone for this. Most of the talk is about how to avoid accidentally clicking on this button, which is now possible after the release of the software update.

On iPhone X, the uniqueness lies in the way of navigation without the Home button. It will take some getting used to: a bottom-up gesture opens the home screen, a gesture up to the middle of the screen launches a list of open applications. Here you need to adapt to make this gesture accurate.

You should also talk about biometric security on these smartphones. Apple has abandoned the Touch ID fingerprint scanner in favor of the Face ID facial recognition system, which uses a TrueDepth camera and an Xbox Kinect-style infrared projector to mark the contours of the user's head. Samsung has its own biometric system, there is also a fingerprint scanner, scanning the iris, even facial recognition , although not as complicated as on the iPhone X.

IPhone X Interface

Face ID works great: the systems are fast, accurate, and seem pretty reliable. The only complaint is that after unlocking the smartphone you need to make a gesture up the lock screen to access the home screen. This seems like an unnecessary extra step, you'll have to get used to it.

Facial recognition on Samsung immediately launches the home screen, but the system is not as high-quality as that of Apple, it is easier to fool. It is slower and less reliable, so it is recommended to avoid it altogether.

Scanning the iris is more reliable, but there are problems. You can configure the work directly on the lock screen, without the need for further interaction, but there are difficulties when wearing glasses. The system also works quite slowly and moody. Fingerprint scanning continues to be the fastest and most reliable method, but this time the scanner is not too conveniently placed at the back, it is not easy to reach it.

CPU and memory

Naturally, at a price of $ 1000, the device runs on the most modern components. This means the Snapdragon 835 processor for Note 8, the international version runs on the Samsung Exynos 8895. iPhone X uses the A11 Bionic.

It seems that these processors are capable of solving any problem that can be posed to a mobile device. They are extremely fast and provide smooth and responsive interaction with your smartphone.

If you look in more detail, Apple has a solid advantage in all tests. Although the victory of the American manufacturer is obvious, it is difficult to find a situation in which Note 8 would be slow.

Samsung is the leader in terms of RAM, which is 6 GB versus 3 GB in iPhone X. Operating systems differ in terms of memory requirements, they perform multitasking in different ways, so direct comparison is impossible. We can say that each smartphone has enough of their volume.

Base models received 64 GB of flash memory, Samsung has support for microSD memory cards .


In Note 8, Samsung introduced the dual camera for the first time, on the iPhone X it is also dual and contains a number of innovative features.

They have a lot in common: they use two sensors of 12 megapixels, one wide-angle, another telephoto, each camera has optical image stabilization . Aperture sizes are also comparable. However, these similarities do not mean that the quality of the photos will be the same, since the process of software image processing also plays a big role.

IPhone X Camera Interface (left) and Note 8 (right)

The front cameras differ more strongly, Samsung uses an 8 megapixel sensor with autofocus, Apple has a TrueDepth camera with a resolution of 7 megapixels. The latter uses Face ID technology to analyze image depth information.

Image quality

The terms “wide-angle” and “telephoto” from different manufacturers may mean different things, but in this case the viewing angle of these lenses is comparable, the frames are similar. This simplifies the comparison process.

In automatic shooting mode, photos on Note 8 have less contrast than the iPhone X, the colors are warmer and more natural. On the iPhone X, the colors are bolder, but the main difference is the contrast, the edges of the image on the Galaxy look more defined. Everything may depend on the taste of a particular user, but in this case we give preference to Note 8.

Automatic HDR on both smartphones also works fine, the iPhone X shows slightly higher detail in bright areas when the Note 8 performs better in the shade.

Pictures from iPhone X (left) and Note 8 (right)

Dual cameras are used to create a bokeh effect. The basic mode works on smartphones the same way, but each has its own methods for improving quality. Apple offers in portrait mode lighting effects, including the ability to remove the background, Samsung allows after shooting to switch between a wide-angle camera and telephoto.

In front, Apple also offers portrait shooting, which is still quite rare. The first attempt was successful, although as on Pixel 2 there is a problem with detecting the edges of the object. If everything works, the quality is at a high level. Samsung has selective focus on the front camera, but the Apple option seems to be the best.

Video recording

Note 8 has many shooting modes, including regular video and a smartphone wide screen optimized. Apple has less choice, but there is support for recording in 4K at 60 frames / s.

Smartphones have similar limitations, they allow you to switch between cameras when shooting at low resolution with a low frame rate, but you can not do this at higher values. Change of focus in the video is easier on Galaxy, at least for close objects. iPhone X favors longer-range shooting. The sound is clear in both cases, but it is louder on the Galaxy.


Great screens have no problems displaying quality color video. As for the sound, there is a lack of balance.

The Note 8 speaker sounds fine, but the iPhone X's stereo speakers outperform it. Here the sound is richer and has a better timbre.

But Galaxy has great flexibility in terms of the use of headphones, since there remained an analog 3.5 mm jack. Many users are satisfied with the supplied headphones; for them, Apple has Lightning EarPods that sound no worse than analog ones and are convenient to use. Samsung makes it easy to use other headphones without having to carry an adapter. This is a slight advantage of her smartphone.

Call quality

Recently, a number of expensive smartphones have had problems with phone calls. In the original review, it was said that there were no problems, but after a couple of days there was news that clicks and buzzing were heard in the dynamics of the iPhone X. This occurs at high volume, including when listening to audio.

On iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, a similar problem was also there and it was closed in the iOS 11 .0.2 update. Since sounds are now heard not only during conversations, the reason may be different. Victims write that Apple replaced their smartphones, so the problem may be hardware.

For long phone calls, the iPhone X is a little easier to use thanks to its narrower body.

Offline work

Optimization of energy consumption has always been a difficult task for smartphone manufacturers, in the case of large powerful devices, this problem becomes even more acute.

Apple has long been able to do with a smaller battery, and it happened this time as well. The battery capacity of the iPhone X is 2700 mAh versus 3300 mAh on Note 8. You also need to take into account the difference in screen sizes, processors and other components in order to understand the reasons for the differences in autonomy.

In tests with the screen on, the iPhone X worked for 8 and a half hours, Note 8 a little less than 8 hours. The difference was 51 minutes, which cannot be called a big discrepancy. In addition, they may differ for different users depending on the brightness of the screen and usage scenarios.

Both smartphones support wireless recharging, which previously was not on the iPhone. However, things are more interesting with conventional wired recharging, since Galaxy fully charges the battery 87 minutes faster than the iPhone X. The latter takes more than three hours to use the supplied adapter. It would seem that after the ignition of Note 7 batteries, Samsung should have been especially careful, the more valuable its advantage in this aspect.


When you spend 70-90 thousand rubles on a smartphone, they should have many advantages, and in this case they are. The devices offer the best gaming performance, the highest quality cameras, attractive appearance and software.

However, in spite of all the external beauty, to call these purchases a good deal does not turn the tongue. You have to overpay for large screens, shiny bends, a stylus and a TrueDepth camera. If you're a fan of Apple or Samsung, the cheaper iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 might be enough.

The models under consideration are devices for the most ardent technology enthusiasts. They are for those who want to be on the cutting edge of technological progress and do not stand for the price.

For many, the deciding factor will be the preference for an operating system based on previous smartphones. Note 8 has an advantage in the form of a stylus, more natural photos, shorter recharging time. The iPhone X is more comfortable to carry and hold in your hand, and it also has better performance.

Perhaps both of these smartphones are not for you and their exclusive features do not justify the high price in your eyes. If this is not the case, either of the two options offers the very best that smartphones have at the moment.

IPhone X Pros

  • Performance
  • Speaker quality
  • Convenience with one hand
  • More advanced software
Pros of Galaxy Note 8
  • Stylus
  • Recharge speed
  • Memory card support
  • Headphone jack



1 comment

  • Ahaha, when he came to the inscription “Apple wins in terms of screen brightness, the maximum value is much higher than on the Galaxy Note 8, even with manual settings.” I immediately realized that everything is not clean here. The iPhone's screen is dimmer than on the Galaxy S8 +, and the Note8's screen is 30% brighter than the S8 +, how did it happen that Apple became brighter than Samsung