THE IPHONE X is here, and it has its sights set firmly on the Samsung Galaxy S8 with its new all-glass design, all-screen front, souped-up internals and added wireless charging support.
Apple is touting the smartphone as the “future of smartphones”, while some would argue that Samsung got there first, with the Galaxy S8 arriving as one of the first smartphones to feature a bezel-less display.
We’ve pitted the iPhone X and Galaxy S8 head to head on paper to see which one comes out on top.
iPhone X: 143.6×70.9×7.7mm, 179g
Galaxy S8: 149x68x8mm, 155g
Looks-wise, the iPhone X has quite a lot in common with the Galaxy S8. Both phones feature a premium all-glass design surrounded by a metal frame, and both are dominated by their respective bezel-less displays. Well, sort of. Unlike the Galaxy S8, which sports a curved ‘Infinity display’, the iPhone X features a small ‘notch’ at the top of the display, where you’ll find the front-facing camera and sensors.
The iPhone X is heavier than the S8 at 179 compared to 155g, but both phones are fairly evenly matched when it comes to skinny-jean-pocket-ability. The iPhone X is slightly wider at 70mm compared to 68mm but is skinnier than the S8 at 7.7mm thick.
Both the iPhone X and Galaxy S8 are pretty rugged too. Apple claims the iPhone 8 is iPhone X is apparently water and dust-resistant to a ‘microscopic’ level, while Samsung’s flagship is IP68 water and dust-resistant, so it will survive a dunk for 30 minutes in depths of up to 1.5 metres.
Both phones also offer face-scanning tech, with the iPhone X debuting ‘Face ID’, which Apple claims is the most accurate and secure face authentication tech available. The S8’s face-scanning tech isn’t quite on par, but Samsung does offer customers a rear-facing fingerprint scanner, while Apple has binned Touch ID altogether.
In terms of colours on offer, the iPhone X will be made available in Space Grey and Silver, while the Galaxy S8 is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold.
iPhone 8: 5.8in Super Retina (2436×1125, 458ppi) OLED edge-to-edge display
Galaxy S8: 5.8in QHD+ (2960×1440, 570ppi), AMOLED HDR-certified Infinity display
We’ve done a few of these comparison pieces, and the Galaxy S8 – with its gorgeous 5.8in QHD curved Super AMOLED display – has so far always come out on top. However, it now has some proper competition in the form of the iPhone X, which is the first Apple smartphone to also pack an edge-to-edge display.
Although not curved like that on the S8, the iPhone X’s 5.8in OLED panel stretched to fill the front of the phone, albeit for its odd-looking ‘notch’. What’s more, the ‘Super Retina’ display on the iPhone X, at 2436×1125 and 458ppi, is the highest-resolution screen to feature on an iPhone yet, and the first to make use of OLED and Apple’s True Tone tech, which adjusts the white balance to suit your environment.
However, the Galaxy S8 comes out on top in terms of sharpness, as its QHD panel serves up an eye-popping 570ppi pixel density.
Hardware and storage
iPhone X: A11 Bionic CPU, 3GB RAM, 64GB or 256GB storage
Galaxy S8: Exynos 8995 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD up to 256GB
The iPhone X, along with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, is the first to debut Apple’s new A11 Bionic CPU, which comes with paired with an Apple-built GPU. This six-core CPU is divided into two low-performance cores and four high-performance cores, with the regular cores being 25 per cent faster than the previous A10 chip, and the high-performance cores being up to 75 per cent faster than the A10 SoC.
The Galaxy S8, in the UK at least, ships with Samsung’s homegrown Exynos 8995 processor, an eight-core CPU that “blows the competition out of the water”, according to our full review.
Elsewhere, the iPhone X packs 3GB RAM, compared to the S8’s 4GB, and a choice of 64GB or 256GB built-in storage. Although the Galaxy S8 is made available with only 64GB, it offers customers the ability to expand via its onboard microSD slot.
iPhone X: iOS 11
Galaxy S8: Android 7.0 Nougat
It’s always difficult pitting iOS against Android, because almost everyone knows which operating system they’d rather use.
The iPhone X, naturally, will ship running iOS 11. This brings with it some features that will only be available on the pricey flagship, including Face ID, animated emoji (or ‘Animoji’), new gestures for navigating home and multitasking, and portrait lighting and selfie modes.
The Galaxy S8 runs Android Nougat, and Samsung’s skin, although scaled back compared to previous efforts, equips the device with a handful of custom features (aka bloatware), including Galaxy Apps, Samsung’s own Gallery app and a tool for pairing your Samsung-branded wearable.
iPhone X: Dual 12MP (f/1.8 and f/2.4) with OIS, 7MP front-facing
Galaxy S8: 12MP with OIS, (F1.7), autofocus; 8MP front-facing
The iPhone X sports a dual camera setup similar to that which debuted on the iPhone 7 Plus. However, the two 12MP sensors have been upgraded, and can now shoot 4K video at up to 60fps and 1080p slo-mo video at 240fps.
The Galaxy S8, on the other hand, sports a single-lens 12MP camera, with an f/1.7 aperture lens, optical image stabilisation and 8x digital zoom. While this doesn’t sound as impressive on paper, we lauded it as one of, if not the best smartphone camera we’ve tested this year in our full review.
iPhone X: 21 hours quoted talk-time, fast charging, wireless charging
Galaxy S8: 3,000mAh, fast charging, wireless charging, USB-C
Apple hasn’t yet coughed on the size of the battery inside the iPhone X, but has said that it’ll last two hours longer than the iPhone 7 and will get you 21 hours of talk time. More interestingly, the iPhone X is the first iPhone to support wireless charging, and in an un-Apple-like move, it supports the widely-used Qi charging standard, which means customers will be able to use third-party accessories.
The Galaxy S8 packs a 3,000mAh battery, but we found it easily breezed through a day and a half of usage. As well as fast charging support via USB-C, the handset also offers wireless charging capabilities.
iPhone X: From £999
Galaxy S8: From £689 SIM-free.
Here comes the kicker. The iPhone X is, as expected, Apple’s most expensive smartphone to date, with pricing starting at £999 for the 64GB model. In comparison, the Galaxy S8 is available from £689, making the iPhone X more than £200 more expensive.
There’s a lot of similarities between the iPhone X and the Galaxy S8. Both sport high-end glass and metal designs, both feature bezel-less(ish) displays and both pack a hell of a lot of power with their hexa-core and octa-core processors, respectively.
There’s also a lot of differences, with the iPhone X coming out on top with its dual camera setup, and the Galaxy S8 trumping the iPhone with its higher resolution display and built-in microSD slot.
We’ll wait until we pit the smartphones head to head in the flesh until we decide which one is better. µ