I’ve spent almost a week with the iPhone X. And my initial impressions stay the same — it’s great, but it doesn’t blow my socks off. In other words, it’s a four-star (or even four-and-a-half-star) phone, but it’s not a five-star revelation. In fact, if the choice was based solely on the hardware, I would use the Galaxy Note 8 as my main smartphone instead.
Samsung recently did a very clever commercial that gets to the point on why the Note 8 may be a better phone for a lot of people.
One of the main advantages of the Galaxy Note 8 is the stylus, which is just about the best digital pen on the market today. (Only the Apple Pencil outperforms it.) You won’t know how convenient it is to jot down notes, write journals, and do other things you normally do with a pen until you own the Note 8 for at least a week. This is the Note 8′s biggest selling point over the iPhone. I’m still surprised that Apple didn’t make the iPhone X compatible with the Apple Pencil.
The commercial shows the star using an annoying dongle to listen to his music while his girlfriend is flawlessly listening to her Galaxy Note device with her wired headphones. As much as wireless headphones have gone mainstream, wired headphones are still popular. And yes, it’s incredibly annoying to not have a headphone jack on the iPhone.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 screen is 6.3-inches compared to the iPhone X’s 5.8-inches. But the iPhone creates a better multimedia experience because of the stereo speakers, which are absolutely outstanding. The sound they produce is full of bass and you feel almost like you are listening to a pair of (very) small high-quality Bluetooth speakers.
Samsung has yet to put stereo speakers on one of their phones, but they have a stereo mic for recording videos — something the iPhone has always lacked. And if you ever watched videos taken with a Samsung smartphone, you know the sound is outstanding. Of course, the 4K video quality is good too, and it’s on par with Apple’s 4K video camera capabilities.
In terms of still shots, the Galaxy Note 8 is right up there with the iPhone X. I found that the Note 8 shoots slightly better pictures in lower light, but a colleague of mind begs to differ and believes that the Samsung pictures look way too unnaturally lit. In terms of the front-facing camera, both take very good pictures.
In terms of phone call quality, listeners say I sound slightly more clear on the Galaxy Note 8 than the iPhone X. But I can obviously hear the person on the other end much better on the iPhone’s two speakers than the Note 8′s bottom speaker, which sounds a little muffled.
It all comes down to the fact that the Note 8 feels more useful. The S Pen capabilities continue to advance Samsung’s phablet, and apps such as OneNote have been updated to work better with the S Pen. Receiving a phone call and being able to instantly jot down important information on the phone while still taking on it is extremely helpful. Yeah, you can type notes with your fingers on the iPhone while talking on it, but there are many reasons why the benefits of writing by hand outdo typing.
Yet, the Note 8 still runs Android. No matter how much the mobile operating system has improved over the years, Apple’s iOS is smoother, more consumer friendly, and more reliable. The iPhone X is a great smartphone that mostly lives up to the hype surrounding it. However, business-oriented smartphone users may find there are greater benefits with the Galaxy Note 8.