Apple officially unveiled their 2017 smartphone product line: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X (10). While the 8 and 8 Plus are smaller iterative releases (they really should have been called the 7S and 7S Plus), it’s the iPhone X getting the most attention and for good reason.

The iPhone X signals a major design shift for Apple. Gone is the home button, replaced by a full-screen display that reaches to all 4 corners of the device. Of course, comparisons to Android are inevitable, almost every new hardware feature showcased on the iPhone X was first introduced on Android.

Everything from (mostly) bezel-less displays, facial recognition, wireless charging, Tap-to-Pay, etc. — have been on Android devices at one point or another. We really could go on and on…

But it’s not who does something first, often time it’s who does it best. With the Galaxy Note 8 being the latest Android device on the block — and the one equipped with the most hardware features — it’s got a big target on their back. We don’t think Samsung has much to be worried about. Let’s look at all the reasons why the newly announced iPhone X still can’t compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Virtual home button in the display

With the iPhone X, we all know Apple made the controversial decision to remove the home button in favor of a big, corner-to-corner display. While the home button has been replaced with a swipe up gesture, it’s not very intuitive and makes the X behave differently from every other iPhone out there. On other iPhones — including the newly announced 8 and 8 Plus — swiping up opens the Control Panel. Samsung has a much better workaround.

On the Galaxy S8/Note 8 you can simply hard press where the home button would be — even if it’s not visible inside full screen apps/games. It’s simple, easy, intuitive. We only wonder why Apple couldn’t figure this out?

Headphone jack is still hanging on

Apple was one of the first smartphone manufacturers courageous enough to do away with the headphone jack knowing full well it would rub even loyalists the wrong way. While many Android manufacturers have also been following suit, Samsung is one of the few brave enough to include it in their latest flagships.

Both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 have a headphone jack and while the quality isn’t necessarily the best, the added utility is certainly appreciated and very much welcomed.

Brighter, higher resolution display

After all these years, Apple is finally jumping on the OLED bandwagon, equipping the iPhone X with a high resolution 5.8-inch 2436×1125 panel instead of a traditional LCD one. Samsung’s AMOLED display panels have been around on Android for years, and when it comes to the Galaxy Note 8 — it’s the best in the biz.

Two areas where the Note 8 still has the upper hand is in resolution — 2960×1440 (521 ppi) vs the iPhone X’s 2436×1125 (458 ppi) — and brightness. The Galaxy Note 8’s display reaches an astounding 1,200 nits, whereas the iPhone X only hits a meager 625 nits. That means when it comes to outdoor viewing, the Galaxy Note 8 is still king.

Fingerprint sensor, facial recognition, or iris scanning

Facial recognition has been around on Android for awhile. It’s nothing too new but the iPhone X’s combination of advanced sensors and processing power promise to make it as easy as unlocking via your fingerprint. At least in theory. Anyone watching the live stream watched in horror as the iPhone X’s Face ID failed multiple attempts to unlock the device in front of millions of viewers.

Even when it works, sometimes reaching for the fingerprint sensor is just more convenient. The problem with the iPhone X? In an unsurprising Apple move, it’s Face ID or nothing at all.

The Galaxy Note 8, however, not only gives you much more flexibility. Not only can you unlock your phone with your face, a more secure iris scanning option is also available, along with a tried-and-true fingerprint sensor located on the back. It’s not the best fingerprint sensor we’ve used, but it gets the job done and that’s all that counts.

Expand your storage using a micro SD card

There was a time when micro SD card slots were going the way of the dinosaur on Android devices. Recently we’ve seen a sort of resurgence of the feature, with smartphone manufacturers not only providing ample storage out of the box, but also adding support for micro SD cards.

The Galaxy Note 8 not only comes with 64GB of internal storage, Samsung does users a solid by including a micro SD card slot in case they need to expand their storage further. It’s a great move, one you wont find on the iPhone X or any iOS device for that matter.

100% more RAM for better multitasking

I can’t possibly emphasize enough how RAM is absolutely crucial to the user experience on our mobile devices. With enough of it, you can instantly return to your apps without them having to reload, wasting valuable time and putting extra strain on your phone’s battery.

The Galaxy Note 8 features a whopping 6GB of RAM — the most you’ll find on a Galaxy device to date. The extra RAM speeds up performance of the phone considerably and it’s noticeably better than the 4GB found in the Galaxy S8/S8 Plus.

The iPhone X on the other hand features only 3GB of RAM (same as last year’s 7). While an argument can be made that iOS handles has better RAM management than Android, the limited amount of RAM is starting to show its age. On my own personal iPhone 7, apps frequently need to reload, something Note 8 users don’t necessarily have to worry about happening too frequently.

Always On Display to see time, notifications at a glance

Samsung’s Always On Display is one of the most handy features to hit smartphones in quite sometime. Being able to see the time, your notifications, calendar, even a picture of a loved one — all completely hands-free where it’s viewable at a glace — is incredibly helpful, I don’t know how I can even live without it.

Unfortunately, even with the battery savings inherent in OLED panels, Apple didn’t think to include this feature in the iPhone X. That means X users will be forced to physically pick up their devices like an animal to check the time or notifications. Lame.

18:9 display that doesn’t get in the way

One of the most defining features of the new iPhone X is that big, beautiful, nearly bezel-less display. Apple did a great job stretching the display to each of the four corners of the phone, but a big black bar at the top — where all the new Face ID sensors are located — sort of ruins the whole aesthetic. It’s a bit of eyesore, one that could trigger your OCD inside of apps, games, or when viewing photos.

The Galaxy Note 8, however, features a big 18.5:9 display, but there’s nothing that gets in the way of that. Sure, you could argue the Note 8 has a little more bezel than the iPhone X, but it could be a worthwhile trade-off for most folks. Especially when viewing 18:9 content on the phone.

Dual Audio to connect multiple Bluetooth devices

One of the most interesting tricks found on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung’s new Dual Audio feature. This allows you to connect your smartphone to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.

Whether you and the Mrs want to watch Netflix with your own set of wireless headphones, or you want to broadcast to a speaker and headphones (or any combination of the two), it’s a nice option to have, whether you use it often or not. The iPhone X? No such feature exists.

S Pen is a big killer feature

Easily the most stand-out feature of the Galaxy Note 8 is the S Pen. It’s literally what separates the device from the S8 and S8 Plus and provides users with additional functionality. Everything from jotting down quick notes, drawing, or executing shortcuts is all possible using the S Pen.

It’s so much more than just a regular (dumb) capacitive stylus you use on any other device and it’s one of the reasons the Note line is so beloved among fans. The iPhone X? It’s completely pen-less, despite carrying a similar $1,000 price tag.

  • roeshak

    To be honest this article misses one critical point. These two devices aren’t in direct competition. Really can’t see people agonising over the choice between these two. A more sensible comparison would be the iPhone x and s8.
    To be honest Apple users stay with Apple for the most part while android users stay android. There’s some movement between the two groups but overall the numbers are insignificant.
    The iPhone x feels very experimental on Apple’s part. Sort of throwing out ideas to what sticks with fans. Apple will sell shed loads as always but I think the iPhone 9 next year which although would borrow some cues from the x, will also be rather different in other ways. More conventional. I think Apple should have gone with a more symmetrical design with tiny bezels than the edge to edge screen with very thick borders which some might argue are bezels in their own right. In fairness to Apple I find the X more interesting than the note 8 which is for all intents and purposes very similar to the s8 plus save a few additions which most people will seldom use. S pen and secondary camera I am looking at you. Samsung had it’s big launch back with the s8 twins. The note just follows on from that with not much else to say or add.