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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus: Battle of the palm-stretchers

We've pitted the gargantuan Samsung Galaxy Note 8 against Apple's fresh-faced iPhone 8, and it's a battle of the titans

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is here, and it’s brilliant. But, Apple has finally lifted the lid on its own plans for the iPhone 8 – and a large version is here, as expected. So how will the iPhone 8 Plus stack up against the Samsung Galaxy Note 8?

You can read all about Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X announcements here. In the meantime, we’ve pitted the iPhone 8 Plus against Samsung’s newly released Galaxy Note 8. We take a look at every aspect, from design, display, performance and most importantly; price, so you know which phone is right for you. Let’s get started.

Buy the iPhone 8 for £32 a month and £160 upfront from O2

Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus: Design and screen

Samsung has excelled in the aesthetics department for the past couple of years, and the Galaxy Note 8 is no exception. The “infinity display” design of the Galaxy S8; peeling back the side bezels with a screen that fills almost the entire face of the phone, is used to even stronger effect in the Note 8. The result is a 6.3in QHD+ display, with image quality like no other thanks to Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology.

The iPhone 8 opted for a different route with the screen. And by different, I mean the same display Apple has incorporated for the last few years, albeit with one crucial difference. While the iPhone X went for the all-display route akin to the Note 8, the iPhone 8 Plus adopts a 5.5in Full HD LCD display. This time around, however, the iPhone 8 Plus takes advantage of Apple’s True Tone technology – the same tech used in the firm’s recent iPads.

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While we’re yet to do any proper testing with the iPhone 8 Plus, the Note 8 – given its display utilised Super AMOLED – is likely to be the sharper option.

Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus: Specs and camera

The Note 8’s innards are similar to the Galaxy S8, with a 10nm CPU, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, expandable by up to 256GB via microSD. Depending on what region you’re in, the Note 8 will either come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835) or Samsung’s own Exynos 8835 chip.

The iPhone 8 ships with Apple’s A11 Bionic, although we don’t know too much about performance. Apple did say the A11 would provide a 70% bump in multi-core performance over last year’s iPhone 7, but I remain sceptical until I get an iPhone 8 Plus in the office. Samsung’s flagship is certainly no slouch, though.

Buy the iPhone 8 for £32 a month and £160 upfront with O2

In terms of camera, the Note 8 boasts a dual-sensor arrangement, with a wide-angle 12-megapixel f/1.7 camera, and a f/2.4 telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. Both of these come with optical image stabilisation (OIS) for seriously stable shots. For comparison, the iPhone 8 Plus also adopts a dual-camera setup – but arranged vertically instead of horizontally on the rear of the device with a wide-angle 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera, and a f/2.8 telephoto lens. Camera quality has been one of Apple’s big advertising drives in the past, so expect it to make much of image quality in the iPhone 8.

Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus: Verdict

The main question you’ll have is: should I opt for a Samsung Note 8, or hold off for Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus launch? Given that the latter device’s release is imminent – 22 September to be exact – it wouldn’t hurt to hold on for a few more weeks if Apple is usually your go-to smartphone choice.

On the other hand, our experience with the Note 8 so far has been stupendous, and the iPhone 8 Plus will have a serious struggle to compete in terms of performance and aesthetics. With a stellar design, outstanding screen and industry-leading performance, the Note 8 is a very strong handset indeed. Apple’s plus-sized handset could very well be special, but for now the crown sits firmly on Samsung’s head.

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