New Apple iPhone 8 Review
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 provides tough competition
Written by Darla Palmer-Ellingson in Home Technology for Your Home
In being tasked with reviewing the long-awaited iPhone 8, I read through several trusted tech sites. But the best review came from an in-house Gen-Z techie, my 17 year-old son, Dane.
A faithful iPhone user, he came home recently with the new Samsung Galaxy S8. The reason? iPhone ditched the things he loved and hasn’t made significant improvements, at least not at the pace of the Galaxy.
One complaint is that the headphone jack is still missing from iPhone 8. This is Apple’s attempt to force customers into using wired Apple headsets through their proprietary Lightning port, use a clumsy adapter or go wireless.
As someone who wants the latest and greatest in technology, Dane claimed iPhone hadn’t made any significant design advances in his view. He showed me how much larger the Samsung Galaxy 8’s screen is for viewing, and that the image quality was much better than the iPhone 8. For someone who is looking at their mobile screen constantly, the longer battery life of the Galaxy is crucial.
Well, it seems the kid is right. In sorting through many comparisons, the only aspect where iPhone 8 outshines the competition is in lightning fast processing speed. Apple apparently withheld many of the rumored new features, such as a larger display, face scanner security and faster wireless charging, theoretically to be included in the not-yet-released iPhone X. That means the iPhone 8 hasn’t seen any significant design improvements in four release generations, and some aspects, such as the weight, have gotten worse.
Here is a rundown of the iPhone 8, with a comparison to the Galaxy S8:
Both phones have a similar narrow form that is easy to handle, but otherwise, the design differences are significant.
The iPhone 8 will look and feel familiar to previous generations—with the same home button with Touch ID and a sizable bezel on the top and bottom—especially fitting for those who don’t like change. The iPhone 8 does add a matching pane of glass on the back, with metal sides.
The Galaxy S8 also added glass on the back, but boasts a significantly larger curved display with just a tiny bezel on top and bottom, giving it the best screen to body ratio in the industry. The metal frame includes a headphone jack and a microSD card slot for memory expansion.
Both have wireless charging, but Samsung’s proprietary standard allows faster wireless charging. Both are water and dust resistant, but the Samsung has a higher rating (IP68 vs. Apple’s IP67), meaning the phone would survive a dunk of a slightly deeper and longer duration. Both support Bluetooth 5.0, which improves range and lets you stream to two pairs of headphones simultaneously.
Size and weight are comparable between the two phones:
iPhone 8 dimensions: 5.45 x 2.65 x .29 inches; weight: 5.22 oz.
Galaxy S8 dimensions: 5.87 x 2.68 x .31 inches; weight: 5.47 oz.
The kid was spot on regarding display quality. The iPhone hasn’t increased resolution or pixel density in years. Even with the iPhone 8’s upgrade of its retina display with a wider color gamut and True Tone providing better contrast and warmer colors, iPhone 8’s 326ppi just can’t stack up against the Galaxy 8’s 2,960 x 1,440 resolution with 570ppi. That translates into sharper images and text, with the OLED display providing richer colors and denser blacks.
The screen size of the Galaxy S8, at 5.8 inches is significantly larger than the iPhone 8 at 4.7 inches.
While battery life is highly dependent on how a device is used, Samsung’s OLED saves battery life by only lighting necessary pixels for notifications and control buttons.
The iPhone 8 has a superior A11 Bionic chipset, the most powerful phone processor available. But if videos run flawlessly on an Android, is the extra processing power necessary?
Though the iPhone 8 has a decent 12 megapixel camera, it cannot compare to Samsung’s feature-rich 12 megapixel camera with advanced features such as telephoto zoom, different shooting modes and manual controls to adjust focus, shutter speed, white balance and more. Samsung’s camera also outshines Apple in low light capabilities.
The iPhone 8 ships with Apple’s latest operating system iOS 11, which includes features such as ARKit’s augmented reality support, a file manager and advanced multitasking capabilities.
The Galaxy S8 ships with Android 7.1 Nougat with the TouchWiz skin. An update to Android 8.0 Oreo started rolling out in August 2017, with a release date dependent on your mobile carrier. The S8 will support AR apps with Google’s ARCore, which is available now in beta from Google.
Samsung has a host of other optional add-ons, such as the widely accepted SamsungPay, which works with virtually all credit card readers. With SamsungDex you can hook up the S8 to an external monitor and keyboard. The Samsung VR (virtual reality) headset provides fun gaming experiences, while the Gear 360 camera takes decent 360-degree photos and videos.
Prices at the time of this writing are for unlocked phones with Verizon as the carrier. Prices vary slightly by carrier.
Apple iPhone 8: 64gb: $699 or 256gb: $849
Samsung Galaxy S8: 64gb: $756
If you are sticking with Apple’s product line and a powerful processor is important to you, the iPhone 8 is a good choice. But the iPhone X is due out later this year, so you might want to wait if you don’t mind a four-figure price tag. If you desire an incredible display, premium features and excellent camera performance, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best on the market today.