Updated: 21st November 2017

iPhone X vs. Samsung Galaxy S8 – Two EPIC Phones Compared

Analysts are positively frothing at the mouth about Apple’s incoming iPhone X, which represents the first, ground-up redesign of the phone since 2014’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone X will be joined by the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and these phones are very similar looking to the current iPhone 7 model.

Essentially, Apple is doing a Pro version of its iPhone, just as it has done inside its iPad lineup. This Pro model, which is called the iPhone X, will feature more advanced technology and cost a lot more.

Samsung, in many ways, has surpassed Apple in the design department in recent years. It’s latest run of Galaxy S and Note releases have been fantastic and have really pushed the boundaries of phone design at the top of the market.

Whereas once it was Apple that set the benchmark for design, now most look to Samsung for ideas about where things are going. The company is investing heavily in R&D and, aside from the Note 8, has new handsets like the Galaxy X and Galaxy S9 already in active development.

Allegedly, Apple has a deal with Samsung for the latter to produce as many as 70 million OLED panels for the iPhone, but some sources believe Apple will only have enough for 3-4 million units at most by launch day.

To put that in some kind of context, for the last few generations of new iPhones Apple has shifted around 13 million units within the first three days of sales opening. So, yeah, four million units is far too few for the expected demand. 

Not every market watcher is convinced by the iPhone X’s impending MEGA SALES. Deutsche Bank, for one, has outlined its concerns multiple times. Market expectations for the iPhone X are high for a couple of reasons: 1) the iPhone X is the first, ground-up redesign of the iPhone since 2014, and 2) because Apple’s potential install base is at its highest for years (around 80% are running old hardware, according to data).

In a note to investors, Deutsche Bank analysts Sherri Scribner, Adrienne Colby, and Jeffrey Rand wrote: “We believe investors will be disappointed by iPhone growth in FY-18 and FY-19.”

The Bank named four key factors that it believes will slow iPhone growth during 2018/19:

  • saturation in mature markets
  • elongating refresh cycles
  • declining share plus increased competition in China
  • and a growing secondary market.

Basically, Apple needs another massive, supercycle of sales for the iPhone X, a feat it hasn’t pulled off since 2014, almost four years ago now.

But I digress, back to the leapfrogging. The point is, there’s as much validity in comparing a current Galaxy S8 launched in April to the forthcoming iPhone X launching in Q4 as there is in comparing the Galaxy S8 to last year’s iPhone 7. Likewise, there will be as much validity in comparing the iPhone X to the Galaxy S9 launch in Q1/Q2 2018.

The iPhone X  was the main event at Apple’s launch on September 12, as it is the first redesigned iPhone since 2014’s iPhone 6. The iPhone X features a brand new design, OLED display, improved imaging, and, importantly, no TouchID.

The iPhone X  will use facial recognition to unlock and pay for items. Apple wanted to add TouchID to the display, but apparently, this was not possible, so the feature has been nixed completely.

Right. Let’s delve into what’s known about these two, very special handsets.

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Major Specs

Rumored iPhone X

  • Display: 5.8in 2436 x 1125 OLED HDR
  • Storage: 64GB and 256GB
  • CPU and RAM: A11 Bionic chip, 3GB RAM
  • Front Camera: 7MP
  • Rear Camera: 12MP dual-lens, dual-OIS, 4K video recording
  • Extras: Face ID, wireless charging

Samsung Galaxy S8

  • Display: 5.8 and 6.2in 2960×1440 Super AMOLED Display
  • Storage: 64GB internal, 256GB expandable
  • CPU and RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Samsung Exynos 8895 Processor, 4GB RAM
  • Front Camera: 8MP with autofocus
  • Rear Camera: 12MP, 4K video recording, optical image stabilization.
  • Extras: Iris scanner

As far as specs go the iPhone X has a new A11 processor and M11 motion-coprocessor. But until the phone actually ships, there’s no way to tell for sure how that compares against the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Samsung Exynos 8895 processor found in the Galaxy S8.

That said, a new leak, which we’d suggest you approach cautiously, shows benchmarking results for the iPhone X’s A11 chip and they are, quite simply, mind-blowing. A little too good to be true, in fact. The iPhone X was allegedy put through Geekbench, according to a screenshot emerging out of China. Thing is, that screenshot is all we have as evidence, and it’s not outside the realms of possiblity that it could have been faked.

Anyway, the Geekbech 4.0 results show phenomenal scores from the iPhone X. 

In single-core testing it scored 4,537, while multi-core racked up 8,975. These are, quite frankly, rather astounding results, making them all the more fishy. Compared, for example, with the Galaxy S8+’s scores of 1,986 and 6,447 respectively – and that phone currently tops the scoreboard against pretty much everything else. The iPhone 8 is apparently twice as fast on the single-core score alone.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt for a moment, these results show a 30% uplift in single-core performance from the iPhone 7 and a 58% improvement on the multi-core. It’s also 41% faster on multi-core than the Galaxy S8.

Apple’s silicon is always impressive. The past two generations of Apple’s A-Series chipsets have been remarkable pieces of technology, improving performance, power consumption, and graphical prowess dramatically each and every year.

TSMC is reportedly making Apple’s 10-nanometer chipset with production reportedly starting as early as Q2 2017.

The transition to 10 nanometers should enable Apple to pack a lot more features and functionality into a given area than it could with the 16-nanometer technology that the A10 Fusion chip is built on,” notes fool.com.

“TSMC previously said that its 10-nanometer technology will see a ’20% speed gain and 40% power reduction’ relative to its 16-nanometer technology.”

Basically, if you’re coming to the iPhone X from the iPhone 6, which a lot of people will be, you will definitely notice the difference.

The Galaxy S8, meanwhile, currently tops the rankings in benchmarking against every other phone. We’ve tested the Galaxy S8+ in our full review, which is the international variant with the firm’s own 10nm Exynos 8895 processor, which it manufactures itself on the FinFET process. Samsung also produces the Snapdragon 835 for the US model using the same architecture – the performance is said to be comparable.

Our time with the S8 showed it to be extremely capable, with amazingly smooth performance in the interface operation, excellent multitasking clout, and a dab hand at high-end gaming too. However, if the above leak regarding the iPhone X is to be believed then Samsung is in serious trouble when the A11 arrives.

As for RAM, the Galaxy wins. The iPhone X’s has 3GB of RAM. But the S8 has 4GB of RAM!

As for storage options, the iPhone X will maxes out at 256GB. It’s the breadth of internal storage that really beats the S8 here. Although, the S8 could actually end up with more storage. While it only offers 64GB internal, it maxes out to over 300GB with its support 256GB SD cards.

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Display

The iPhone X features a 5.8in 2436 x 1125 OLED HDR display, which, quite frankly, looks amazing.

As for the Galaxy S8 phones, Samsung is doing away with flat displays and both Galaxy S8 variants have curved Super AMOLED screens with a resolution of 2960×1440. The handsets do not feature a physical Home button, a first for Samsung, in order to make room for more display in a similar-sized chassis; instead, there’s a capacitive key under the glass and the fingerprint scanner has moved to the rear panel, alongside the camera sensor. The overall look and feel of the Galaxy S8 is stunning, picking up where last year’s model left off, while refining things even further; it’s much curvier and more elegant, with a very seamless look and feel.

The image quality is superb too, with a stunningly sharp resolution, one of the widest colour gamuts available, and excellent brightness and contrast ratings. DisplayMate gave it an A+ rating, it’s highest ever, declaring it the “best” display on the market.

However, some customers in South Korea who got their handsets relatively early reported Galaxy S8 units with a red-tinted display. According to The Korea Herald, Samsung has now acknowledged the problem and is working on a fix, the firm issued a statement as follows:

“Because there are some complaints about the red-tinted screens, we decided to upgrade the software next week for all Galaxy S8 clients.”

Samsung also issued instructions to its Service Centres regarding the issue, saying, “There will be an additional update to make color revisions more minutely at the end of April”

Samsung has now issued another statement regarding the red tint issue during a conference call reported by Korean source The Investor. Samsung revealed it has carried out inspections of Galaxy S8 units and said it is confident about the handset quality and its quality control.

“Due to the nature of Super AMOLED displays, there can be natural differences in color. Users can optimize the color depending on their preferences.” Samsung also added that the software update it has promised to fix the issue will allow better colour optimisation and calibration.

The update designed to fix the red-tint issue is now rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ units. It started in South Korea, but has now progressed to Europe. Galaxy S8 owners will see the update prompt for version G950NKSU1AQDG, while Galaxy S8+ units will have version G955NKSU1AQDG. Handsets in the UK and Germany have now started receiving the software update, which is sized at  426MB.

The update adds new features to the Adaptive Display mode menu which give the user finer control of colour calibration and tuning. The Screen mode menu also has a new EDGE colour balance setting as well.

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Camera

The front S8 camera is only 8MP, but it does feature autofocus making it very easy to use. Quality wise the images snapped on the selfie cam are much better than you might typically expect, owing to the use of a wide f/1.7 aperture alongside the benefits of autofocus. The front iPhone X camera is only 7MP. Of the back lenses the S8 maxes out at a single-lens 12MP with OIS, dual-pixel phase detect autofocus and an f/1.7 aperture, while the iPhone X will have a 12MP dual-lenses.

However the S8 is likely to take better night shots. Indeed, in our time with the Galaxy S8+ the photography is a standout feature of the phone; it takes breathtaking photos in all lighting conditions and has some of the best low-light and night-time performance we’ve seen. It’s also incredibly easy to use and features a  Pro mode for those who want more fine control.

Both Samsung and Apple will push innovation in the imaging department. Apple will refine the dual-lens experience, adding in better sensors, improved image processing and, generally speaking, tighten everything up. 

The iPhone 7 Plus’ camera – like the iPhone 6s Plus’ before it – was pretty exceptional anyway, so we don’t see Apple doing too much the overall setup; this just isn’t the company’s style – it likes to increment slowly, refining things over longer periods of time. 

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy S8: AIs

Samsung’s having another stab at doing a digital assistant, and this one is called Bixby and it debuted inside the Samsung Galaxy S8. Bixby was developed by the original creators of Siri, who are now working under Samsung.

Samsung will bring Bixby to ALL of its products as well; so it won’t just feature inside the Galaxy S8. Expect to see Bixby inside HDTVs, watches, tablets and more. Bixby is basically Samsung’s answer to Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

“The acquisition of Viv Labs would also allow Samsung to reduce its dependence on Google services,” reports The Express. “Samsung has already launched its own contactless payment options – Samsung Pay – which directly competes with Google’s Android Pay solution.”

Viv Labs CEO Dag Kittlaus said: “Samsung is setting its sights on becoming a major player in software and services, and specifically AI.

“Samsung Pay has already proven to be one of the most successful mobile payment platforms in the market and SmartThings is another software acquisition signaling their conviction. And they have installed a new cadre of senior SW-savvy management stretching all the way to the top with a mission.”

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Verdict

Well… 2017 just got A LOT more interesting. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are two of the most impressive handsets we have ever seen. That makes Apple’s job with the iPhone X all the more difficult.

The bar has been raised across the board by Samsung. The company hit the ball out of the park with the Galaxy S8, leaving no stone unturned. Apple’s iPhone X will likely be just as impressive when it ships in November. But where things could get interesting is if Samsung can convert any floating iPhone 7 users in the interim.

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Deals UK and US

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Deals UK

EE – £79.99 upfront @ £45.99pm with 5gb

Vodafone – £100 upfront @ £42pm with 24gb

O2 – £100 upfront @ £44pm with 5gb

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus Deals UK

EE – £149.99 upfront @ £45.99pm with 5gb

Vodafone – £169.99 upfront @ £42pm with 24gb

O2 – £150 upfront @ £44pm with 5gb

Tesco has some VERY good deals for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus and Galaxy S8

O2 Refresh options include:

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus Deals US

ALL PRE-ORDERS start March 30.

AT&T – Click Here For Details

Galaxy S8: $750 full retail
AT&T Next: $25 / mo for 30 months
AT&T Next Every Year: $31.25 / mo for 24 months

Galaxy S8 Plus: $850 full retail
AT&T Next: $28.34 / mo for 30 months
AT&T Next Every Year: $35.42 / mo for 24 months

T-MOBILE – Click Here For Details

Galaxy S8: $750 full retail ($729 at MetroPCS)
Monthly installments: $30 down payment + $30 / mo for 24 months
Jump! On Demand: $0 down +$33 / mo for 24 months

Galaxy S8 Plus: $850 full retail
Monthly installments: $130 down payment + $30 / mo for 24 months
Jump! On Demand: Same as monthly installments

VERIZON – Click Here For Details

Galaxy S8: $720 full retail
Monthly installments: $30 / mo for 24 months

Galaxy S8 Plus: $840 full retail
Monthly installments: $35 / mo for 24 months

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