The iPhone 8 Plus is the top dog in Apple’s lineup… For now. Of course, that will change when Apple finally releases the much anticipated iPhone X on November 3rd. With that launch, you can almost make the argument that we are entering an era of smartphones where there is a new “super-premium” tier. Until now, we have basically referred to devices as “budget,” “mid-range,” and “flagship.” The Galaxy Note 8, Google Pixel 2 XL, and iPhone X almost feel like they have created a new space for themselves atop the heap of devices available. I’m hesitant to stop calling devices like the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy S8+ “flagships” because that’s exactly what they are. They have up-to-date hardware and design. The only thing that separates them from “super-premium” devices is a few small features and a design update. Oh, and of course; the price tag.
So, for this article, I want to compare two of the top flagships on the market. It’s the plus sized, flagship showdown: iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy S8+.
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Both devices are works of art, in my opinion. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ introduced a new design for this release cycle and embraced the bezel-less design that we have been longing for. On the other side of things; the iPhone 8 Plus has largely stuck with the traditional iPhone design. The iPhone X is where Apple is taking a hard right turn, design-wise. The iPhone 8 Plus is the design you know and love. Holding them side-by-side, you feel like the iPhone 8 Plus may be a little dated in the design department. The bezel-less design of the Galaxy S8+ is beautiful. The curved glass edges fit perfectly in your hand and the minimalist design with no home button is refreshing. That’s not to say that the iPhone 8 Plus is ugly. It’s not. It’s a premium device with smooth curves. The iPhone 8 Plus retains the fingerprint sensor which was dropped in the iPhone X. The Galaxy S8+ has a fingerprint sensor but it’s placement has been a point of complaint for many owners. It’s one of the only faults I can find with the design of the device.
When it comes to overall design and appearance, this part of the iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy S8+ showdown goes to Samsung. Its modern design is a step above.
The iPhone 8 Plus uses the same blazing fast A11 Bionic chip found in the iPhone X. This is pretty impressive. Even if you don’t want to drop $999 or more on an iPhone X, you can still get the latest chip technology from Apple. The Galaxy S8+ uses the Snapdragon 835 chipset which is found in most Android flagships these days. Benchmarking tests aren’t everything… With that said, the A11 chip is an absolute beast. In benchmarking tests, we have seen the A11 chipset outperform the Snapdragon 835 by a wide margin. Apple has a distinct advantage in this area. They develop their own hardware and software so they tend to have much better optimization than other manufacturers. That’s not to say that the Snapdragon 835 is any slouch. It’s an amazing chipset that should be more than enough for most users. However, if we’re looking for future-proofing; I would trust the A11 chip in the iPhone 8 Plus to give me years of great performance.
Some people may point to the big difference in RAM between the devices as a major point of difference. Again, the optimization that Apple does makes it unnecessary to pack in a ton of RAM. For this section of the iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy S8+ battle, I give the edge to Apple.
The iPhone 7 Plus was known as one of the best – if not the best – smartphone camera on the market. The iPhone 8 Plus continues that legacy with a very good dual sensor camera on the back of the device. This dual sensor allows the iPhone 8 Plus to snap great photos and use the popular Portrait Mode. The Galaxy S8+ also has a great camera but it is only a single sensor. For most shots you take, the difference between the devices won’t make much difference. Where you will notice the gap between single and dual sensor cameras is in the aforementioned Portrait Mode shots and in low-light shots. More sensors can simply take in more light to help brighten shots in low-light situations.
I’m hesitant to name a winner here because, as I said, for most shots you will not notice a difference. Both devices have amazing cameras. However, if you twist my arm and make me name a winner in the camera portion of the iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy S8+ showdown then I will tip my cap to the iPhone 8 Plus.
We use our smartphones for so much multimedia these days. Streaming video, watching movies, catching up on Twitch streams… You name it! So it makes sense that the display would be one of the most important aspects of the device you purchase. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ has a 6.3-inch super AMOLED display while the iPhone 8 Plus sports a 5.5-inch LCD. Both devices have great displays but Samsung edges out the iPhone 8 Plus in a lot of areas. First of all, an AMOLED display is much nicer than an LCD display. Black colors are truly black on an AMOLED display while on LCD displays they are more of a dark, washed out grey. The other major difference between these two displays is the size. The Galaxy S8+ has a much larger display; almost a full inch larger than the iPhone 8 Plus. However, because of the bezel-less design, the two devices have a very similar size in your hand. Basically, you get much more display real estate with the Galaxy S8+ but you don’t have to deal with hauling around a much larger device.
Better display, more screen space to work with… This section goes to the Galaxy S8+, hands down. That’s not a knock on the iPhone 8 Plus. It’s simply a testament to the quality of the Galaxy S8+ display.
Realistically, the differences between these devices are pretty minor. The biggest difference is the operating system and I’m not about to dive into the Android vs iOS debate that has been done a thousand times already. They both feature top of the line hardware and beautiful designs. Either way, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong. Want the better camera? Choose the iPhone 8 Plus. Want the best display? Go with the Galaxy S8+. Each device has its strengths but it’s almost impossible to name a clear winner in the iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy S8+ showdown. Test them out for yourself and see which one fits your own personal preferences the best.