Every year, smartphone manufacturers are at a state of war, wanting to reign over the industry as the Alpha flagship makers, looking to create a bigger fan following and fancying an increase in sales. The most obvious contenders for the top spot are undoubtedly Samsung and Apple. The second quarter of 2017 has seen an amazing inflow of new technology by the big OEM's. Now after the 10th Anniversary of Apple, iPhone X has emerged against the Samsung Note, and it's quite obvious, we'd want to hear more about how the neck-to-neck battle between them fares out. Keep reading and by the end, you'll have a pretty decent understanding of this great war between the primes.
Yes, the first thing that caught our eye at Apple's Keynote was the display sported on iPhone X. For many years, the iPhone has been making phones with IPS LCD screens which worked very well amongst the Apple loyalists. Nobody complained about the display until they laid eyes on the AMOLED screens of the Galaxy line up. Samsung has always held the monopoly in making beautiful AMOLED displays which are power efficient, gives better color accuracy and the vibrancy is simply stunning to look at. The Note 8 features the same Super AMOLED display with a 6.3-inch size. The bezel less curved screen gives a massive appeal to the phone. For people like me, who love big displays, the Note 8 is an absolute gem. With a display resolution of 1440*2960 and a pixel density of 521 ppi, support for HDR10 and an Always on Display, the Note 8 rules the display sector. Or does it? Unleash the iPhone X, where for the first time, Apple has moved to OLED screen with a pixel density of 448 ppi and a resolution of 1125 x 2436. There are obvious drawbacks as compared to the Note 8 as the screen size is smaller and the resolution along with the pixel density is on the lower side. Plus with OLED, we have drawbacks of accurate color reproduction and brightness level, but Apple has incorporated its Truetone technology that optimizes the screen with the help of its advanced sensors. It hosts wide color gamut that takes care of reproducing vibrant colors. iPhone X does show some promising improvements to the display but Samsung has been a pioneer for a while. It would be a tough stand for Apple to stand up to Samsung on this one. But we will see once we lay hands on the iPhone X.
Ideally, there should be no comparison when it comes to performance. The last year's iPhone 7 Plus still beats the Note 8 on performance and multitasking tests. In real world usage, the iPhone always held the upper ground on stability, performance, and optimization. No matter how many apps you open, chances of any app reloading are next to none. Last year's iPhone still stands valid on performance tests against the Note 8 and with this year's improved A11 Bionic Chip which comes with six-cores is bound to blow past any other Android Flagship. So as far as history stands, iPhone X will definitely beat the Note 8, thanks to the strong optimization, quality apps, and a better background task management. The integration of software and hardware at Apple's hands have made them stand miles ahead over any other phone company in terms of performance for as long as the market started. Although, we are hoping background tasks will be better managed with the Oreo update.
iPhone was the first to bring the Portrait mode to the mainstream by intelligently combining images from the telephoto and the wide lens. The Note 8 incorporated the same theme this year and though many would say that this feature is copied from Apple, we can't deny the fact that the Samsung S and Note series houses one of the best smartphone cameras the industry has seen. Also, the elimination of lag and ease of camera app deployment has made the Note 8 and S8 Plus a favorite amongst photography enthusiasts. The iPhone is known for creating realistic photographs but the Note 8 is known for creating vibrant pictures with its beautiful Dual OIS 12 MP rear camera sensor. The iPhone X has an improved camera housing and includes dual OIS too, but the icing on the cake is the Neural Net and AR capabilities that iPhone has brought with this year's iteration. The iPhone X has groundbreaking ARkit API's which are used by an array of powerful sensors to create realistic depth of field and shower different lights on near and far focus. Although this is not a new concept and many others have attempted to implement portrait lighting by using third party apps, but Apple has been known to achieve perfection in their implementation. So far, the Note 8 has the edge as its proven and tested to be the best camera so far and also have a popular vote, but the iPhone X shows a lot of promise by implementing hardware and software additions to make realistic DSLR like images. Oh and did I mention, 4K recording at 60 FPS and 1080p recording at 240 FPS? No smartphone has ever achieved this. There are a handful of professional cameras which can attempt 4K recording with 60 FPS and they cost a fortune. Kudos to Apple to make this a reality. If we consider this fact, then Apple wins this battle any day.
Touch ID has been the mainstream for biometric security for years. Most of the flagships today host the biometric fingerprint as a trusted way to do mobile payments and unlock the phone. Apple has taken a leap of faith by getting rid of the finger print scanner and including a Face ID as its alternative. A combination of face recognition and neural net provides secure access to the phone. Although the tech behind the FaceID seems miles ahead of other OEM's, it's still too premature to determine how this will fare out. The Note 8 does not have a reliable face recognition algorithm and the iris scanner lags a bit but we still have the fingerprint scanner on the Note 8, though it's a drag when reaching out to it. I'm sure we'd get mixed inputs from people using the iPhone X as to how will they accept Face ID. One of the many situations is when you don't want your phone to unlock, but when you're looking at it, it automatically gets unlocked. Many people usually unlock the phones in their pocket as they place the finger on the scanner while taking it out and by the time you look at the phone, you're ready to go. Face ID would not work like that. For now, I still feel that we should at least have an option of a fingerprint scanner but that's just me. So I'd side with the Note 8 as it has many security options for you to choose from.
iPhone is courageously removing more and more ports from its devices. The end goal is to make a minimalistic device, but most people don't see that as a valid progression. The iPhone X lacks a 3.5-mm headphone jack and uses a single lightning port for listening to music and charging the phone. True, that apple is making money off the lightning headphones and they are growing in number, but the removal of headphone jack has met with a lot of gripe from last year, which stands this year too. Though they provide a free adapter, it's always an additional accessory to be carried around. Also, all the Mac Pro's are moving to USB C and getting rid of the USB A port. This is a major conflict. If we'd be having a USB C port on the iPhone X, a USB C to USB C would be enough to connect your new iPhone with the latest MacBook Pro but with the current lightning to USB A, we can't do that. USB C is the standard that every other OEM is moving to except the iPhone. You can take advantage of fast USB transfers on the Note 8 as it is USB C compliant but not with the iPhone. We are not yet ready to be completely wireless, maybe in a couple of years, but for now, this battle is won by the Note 8.
Design and Features
Last but not the least, the design is the main game for the consumer market. Note 8 has taken up the legacy of elegant looking phones. The edge to edge curved display and an 18:9 aspect ratio has blown minds away with its appeal. But for many, it's less practical to hold a huge phone. It offers S-Pen for convenience but apart from content creators and art enthusiasts, very few people use the S-Pen. The Note 8 definitely makes it worth the $900 cost when it comes to design but there's a mixed opinion on holding a huge phone as this. The iPhone X on the other hand, though missing a curved edge, provides glass back and front with total immersion as there are practically no bezels. The 5.3" OLED screen fits well in your palm and is convenient to use. The phone is very beautiful, provided you get the front top sensor line up. The cut out around the top sensor was an improvisation but not necessarily a very subtle one for many. This holds a draw as far as Design goes, but when it comes to features, we have water proofing, wireless charging for both. A huge selling point for iPhone would be AR and similarly, a huge selling point for the Note 8 would be VR. The Note 8 has an additional S-Pen which is at your discretion to use. Battery life is also yet to be tested for both. For now, the Note 8 slightly edges with the feature set, but iPhone X has nailed most of them pretty good.
It would be interesting to see more information in this space as the flagships battle continues in the consumer market. As more people start using the iPhone X, we would see votes swinging on both the sides. At such a high price points for both, it will be interesting to see how they fare against the cheaper phones. Innovation is key for 2017 and we as consumers are enjoying every bit of it. Thanks for reading this far.
Let us know in the comments who you think wins this war.