In the race for mobile phone supremacy, both Apple and Android have been at each other’s throats. As of 2017, two of their flagship designs have been going head to head, namely the desirable iPhone X (release date: Nov 3, 2017), and the delicious Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (release date: Sept 15, 2017). They shall be interchangeably referred to as i-X and SGN-8 in this article.

Is one technically, nerd-approved, better than the other? Or does it all come down to a matter of preference? Let’s find out.

Most tech-conscious customers can recognize SGN-8 simply by glimpsing the screen’s ‘infinite’ display, S Pen stylus, and glassy body.

Several of these features and others are reflected in the i-X’s design as well – with the exception of its depth-sensing camera (more on this soon).

Display – The ‘eyes’ have it

The iPhone X has made exceptional use of every available space for its display screen – only a small spot at the top is left for the camera and speaker (not that these needed too much space anyway).

On the other hand, Samsung Note 8’s round-cornered rectangular display is a class apart and the screen also curves over a bit at the edges. You will see narrow bezels (non-display areas) at the top and bottom areas on Note 8. Both phones have a whopping screen-to-body ratio of 83 percent. Don’t get your brain cells in a twist.

This is tech-talk for when the screen spans 83 percent of the phone’s frontal display area.

Touted to be better than LED displays, the OLED screens on both mobiles are an outstanding design addition. There is no more need for back-lighting – in fact, individual pixels light up as and when required, to provide overall illumination.

This is precisely why such state-of-the-art phones are capable of displaying deep blacks and intense whites. Additionally, your battery is not overly stressed out and finger-touch response times are greatly improved.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Quad HD+ 1440x2960 (around 521ppi) display

iPhone X: Super Retina 1125x2436 (458ppi) display

Design – Lookin’ good

Both beauties are made of glass and are bound around the edges with slim metal bands.

They’re not as delicate as they sound, and they look remarkable. Here’s the wow-point: They’re both dust and water resistant. This in itself makes them worth admiring. However, the same level of resistance does not extend to the screen – if you crack it, it’s cracked.

You also have wireless charging capabilities for both the i-X and SGN-8. These are sold separately as wireless charging pads.

There’s no more Home button to fret over. It’s been replaced with a digi-bar (for Apple) and a pressure-pad (for Samsung). If you’re wondering about the fingerprint reader, Samsung has one installed on the back of its Note 8, but Apple has shrugged off that feature entirely (it’s all about face-ID for them).

Colours for Samsung’s Note 8 comprise Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, and Deepsea Blue. iPhone X is keeping it simple with Space Grey and Silver.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 162.5x74.8x8.6mm, 195g

iPhone X: 143.6x70.9x7.7mm, 174g

Power – A matter of efficiency

Reading about iPhone X’s unique six-core A11 “Bionic” chip can result in goosebumps – Apple has declared this to be their best power-chip in a smartphone, ever. Aside from the standard 3GB RAM, you can choose between 64 and 256 GB internal storage; there are no expansion options via microSD card.

On the other hand, Samsung’s exceptional octa-core Exynos processor is to die for – you can play, stream, browse, and perform multi-tasking like never before.

In addition to the standard 6GB RAM, you can choose between 128 and 256 GB internal storage, which is expandable up to 512GB via microSD card.

On the surface, it seems Samsung’s Note 8 is the better choice. But less is often more, as iPhone X seems to be proving. It comes down to your personal preferences.

Battery life – the horse that endures, wins

With Samsung Galaxy Note 8, you get a 3300 mAh battery (non-removable), which grants you an average 74 hours of media playtime and 22 hours talk time before recharging.

With iPhone X’s signature battery, you get 60 hours of media playtime and 21 hours talk time before needing to recharge.

Camera – soul-windows to the smart-matrix

The dual cameras are practically revolutionary on these two smartphones.

You can enjoy Bokeh (more on this in just a bit) or depth-of-field capture effects via both cameras. They are also designed to provide 2x optical zoom.

What is Bokeh? It’s a stylistic tool used by fashion photographers. If you have seen high-end photos where the model looks like they pop out of the picture, you have seen the Bokeh technique at work. This method can also blur the backdrop a tad, so the model stands out in a special light. Both the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 can work marvels in your hands.

The dual cameras on both mobiles have the following capabilities in common: LED dual-tone flash, 12-megapixel sensors, optical image stabilization, and auto-focus. Major differences are determined by each phone’s software.

For instance, you can take advantage of Apple’s studio-lighting effects via the ‘Portrait Lighting’ option.

Let’s talk selfies. The Galaxy Note 8 brings a much-desired 8-megapixel front-camera sensor, making it an outstanding crisp-and-clear selfie-taker. Apple (though it boasts only a 7-megapixel sensor) seems to have gone ‘back to the future’ with their TrueDepth design. To precisely recognize and map your face, this feature relies on three main software-components – flood illumination, infrared, and dot projection.

Software – the brains behind the screens

Running on the noteworthy iOS 11 operating system, Apple’s multimedia and interactive features seem to have received an enviable boost in performance quality.

You can make full use of features like augmenting reality apps and looping live videos.

Samsung Note 8’s Android 8.0 Oreo operating system is just as efficient. Like the i-X, it too allows you to access and run two apps at the same time – side by side on-screen. The leisure and business applications are self-explanatory. Imagine watching a movie and simultaneously recording your own commentary, or playing a high-graphics game while listening to your ex rattle on about how you forgot their birthday.

With the Oreo, the main focus has been on smooth performance for varied Note 8 applications. No unnecessary apps will run amok eating up phone resources; you can set background limits as you see fit.

iPhone X: iOS 11

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Android 8.0 Oreo

Special Features – Some yummy extras

Buying the right mobile phone is not always easy. You are often left to choose between practicality and aesthetics. With the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, you get both, which might leave you wondering, ‘What other value am I getting for my money?’

With the Note 8, a classy S Pen stylus lets you work more easily with document mark-ups, note-taking, signing, and drawing – the almighty finger is not always a reliable tool. To further promote the use of their stylus, Samsung’s Note 8 contains a ‘live message’ feature through which you can convert a hand-written note into a GIF (background designs available).

Do you want to instantly highlight and translate select text in a document, blog, or social media site? The stylus is also quite accurate and handy for such things.

Much like WhatsappWeb, you can access your Note 8’s multifarious features on your computer screen. Thanks to its compatibility with Samsung DeX, you can dock your phone on this external device and link up to your computer. You can rely on Android’s Google Assistant or Samsung’s very own Bixby (an AIPA; artificial intelligence personal assistant) to help you stay organized on the Note 8.

With the iPhone X, its TrueDepth camera feature stands apart from the crowd. As security goes, this feature is rock-solid. Only you can unlock your i-X using its facial recognition software – it almost feels military-grade.

Even though Note 8 has similar features (i.e., facial ID and fingerprint reading), it cannot scan your face in the dark – the iPhone X can. Using this ingenious Apple feature, you can also make Animojis. Imagine being able to track your own expressions and live-render them into 3D emojis for use in chats, emails, and social media. And, of course, you have Siri to help you out on the i-X.

The bill – how much each phone currently costs

The final price depends on your choice of internal storage and seller. According to Tech Radar, the price range for each phone (in the United States) is as follows.

iPhone X: US$ 999.00 to US$ 1,149.00

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: US$ 930.00 to US$ 960.00

According to Macworld, the price range for each phone (in the United Kingdom) is as follows.

iPhone X: £999 to £1,149

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: £869

The verdict

It boils down to what you are looking for in a mobile phone. Sure, you want the latest and best. But when two tech giants like Apple and Samsung are vying for first place, it is up to you to pick and play with either the iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Both have a lot in common, and the handful of features that distinguish them are genuinely superb.