iPhone 8 vs. Galaxy S8: Samsung Wins Flagship Phone Battle

The Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 come from different worlds. And I’m not just talking about their operating systems. The Android-powered Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are all about looking sleek with their edge-to-edge Infinity Displays, and Samsung backs up its head-turning designs with a new Bixby assistant, and fast and very capable cameras.

With the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, it’s all about what’s on the inside, including the phones’ blazing A11 Bionic chip, bigger and faster camera sensors, and the overdue addition of wireless charging. iOS 11 offers plenty of handy new features, too. So what should you buy? I put these flagships through seven rounds of competition to declare a winner, and it’s Samsung by a nose.

iPhone 8 vs. Galaxy S8: Specs Compared


iPhone 8

Galaxy S8

iPhone 8 Plus

Galaxy S8+

Price

$700, $850

$725 to $750

$800, $950

$825 to $850

Display

4.7 inches (1334 x 750 LCD)

5.8 inches (2960 x 1440) Super AMOLED

5.5 inches (1920 x 1080 LCD)

6.2 inches (2960 x 1440) Super AMOLED

CPU

A11 Bionic

Snapdragon 835

A11 Bionic

Snapdragon 835

Storage

64GB, 256GB

64GB

64GB, 256GB

64GB

microSD

No

Up to 256GB

No

Up to 256GB

Rear Camera

12 MP (f/1.8)

12 MP (f/1.7)

Dual 12 MP (f/1.8, f/12.8)

12 MP (f/1.7)

Front Camera

7 MP (f/2.2)

8 MP (f/1.7)

7 MP (f/2.2)

8 MP (f/1.7)

Battery Life

9:54

10:39

11:16

11:04

Colors

Gold, Silver, Space Gray

Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver

Gold, Silver, Space Gray

Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver

Dimensions

5.5 x 2.7 x 0.29 inches

5.9 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches

6.2 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches

6.3 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches

Weight

5.22 ounces

5.5 ounces

7.13 ounces

6.1 ounces

Design

Sure, with their glass backs, the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus look a bit different from their predecessors, but they’re identical to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus from the front. And that’s not a good thing, because those thick bezels look downright old-fashioned next to Samsung’s flashier phones.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ boast gorgeous Infinity  Displays that stretch from edge to edge up front, complete with a sexy curve. And because these screens have a narrow 18.5:9 aspect ratio, it’s easy to use even the big-screen, 6.2-inch S8+ with one hand. It’s a real stretch to do so with the iPhone 8 Plus, even though it has a smaller, 5.5-inch display.

The Galaxy S8 weighs nearly the same as the iPhone 8, even though Apple’s regular iPhone 8 has a screen that’s an inch smaller. The Galaxy S8+ weighs a full ounce lighter than the iPhone 8 Plus.

All four of these phones offer water resistance, but the Galaxy S8 and S8+ don’t sacrifice a headphone jack for a sealed design.

Winner: Galaxy S8 and S8+

Display

Everything looks better with an OLED screen, from the perfect black levels and more saturated colors to the wider viewing angles. And both the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and the 6.3-inch S8+ demonstrate those advantages over the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’ 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCDs beautifully.

While the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 deliver anywhere from 119 to 125 percent of the color gamut, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ exceed 180 percent. However, both Apple phones were neck and neck with Samsung’s devices in terms of color accuracy, as all of the handsets registered Delta-E scores below 1 (0 is perfect).

In addition, the S8 and S8+ produce sharper images than the latest iPhones, thanks to their higher resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels. The iPhone 7 is way behind in both size and resolution, at 4.7 inches and 1334 x 750 pixels. At least the iPhone 7 Plus’ 5.5-inch panel is full HD at 1920 x 1080.

Winner: Galaxy S8 and S8+

Performance

Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are among the fastest Android phones available. But the A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is in another league, as we discovered during our in-depth speed tests.

On Geekbench 4, which measures overall performance, the latest iPhones scored over 10,000, while the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus didn’t crack 6,300. The results were similar on 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, which measures graphics performance: Both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus surpassed 62,000, while the S8 and S8+ were in the 36,000 range.

In a real-world video-editing test, in which our lab rendered a 2-minute 4K video using the Adobe Clip app, the iPhone 8 took only 42 seconds, compared with more than 4 minutes for the Galaxy S8.

Winner: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Cameras

This is a close call, as the cameras on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and Galaxy S8 and S8+ excel in different types of conditions, but the iPhone 8 Plus is our new camera phone champ for a reason.

MORE: 30 Great Photos Taken With the iPhone 8

Both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus benefit from a faster and larger sensor than the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but only the Plus model has dual cameras, which enables a 2x optical zoom and a nifty Portrait Mode that blurs out the background. If you want dual cameras from Samsung, you’ll have to step up to the more expensive Galaxy Note 8.

When I compared shots taken by the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 side by side, Apple’s phone had the edge in brighter lighting.

Take the photos of this lantana flower. The Galaxy S8 image looks blown out and less detailed; the shot from the iPhone allows you to make out more of the petals and delivers more vibrant yellow, pink and coral.


Apple’s and Samsung’s phones were more evenly matched when I snapped a photo of the Empire State Building behind a fountain and trees. While both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 faithfully captured the scene, the blue in the sky and green in the potted plant next to the fountain look richer in the iPhone’s shot.

In low light, the Galaxy S8 evens the score, letting in more light with its f/1.7 lens, compared with f/1.8 for the iPhone 8.

Our racoon friend here and the surrounding table look brighter in Samsung’s photo.

When I turned on the flash, though, for both phones, the raccoon looked more white-washed in the S8 image.

Winner: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Special Features

Apple has finally added wireless charging to the iPhone; both handsets work with charging pads that support the Qi standard. Samsung has offered this feature for years, though. Even better, you get fast wired charging out of the box via USB-C with the Galaxy S8 and S8+. With the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, you have to pay extra for a beefier power brick and a USB-C-to-Lightning cable.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ also let you run two applications side by side, thanks to their Multiwindow feature. Other special Samsung features include the Bixby personal assistant, which lets you accomplish all sorts of multistep tasks using your voice; an optional DeX dock, which turns this phone into a mini PC; and the Gear VR accessory, which lets you experience VR apps, movies and games.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus don’t offer many special features, but there are several welcome additions in the latest iOS 11 software. For instance, you can edit Live Photos, enjoy a new breed of immersive augmented-reality apps, and (soon) send money to friends in the Messenger app. Like the S8, the iPhone 8 has its own personal assistant, and Siri is a little more polished.

Winner: Galaxy S8 and S8+

Battery Life

The good news is that none of these phones will let you down on the endurance front.

On the Tom’s Guide Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over 4G LTE on 150 nits of screen brightness, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus lasted 9 hours and 54 minutes and 11 hours and 16 minutes, respectively.

MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ lasted for 10:39 and 11:04, respectively. So the smaller Galaxy S8 lasted a good deal longer than the iPhone 8, but Apple had a slight edge when the two plus-size handsets were compared.

Winner: Draw

Value

All four of these devices command a premium, but Apple’s phones have slightly lower starting prices, of $699 and $799. Samsung’s handsets cost $25 to $50 more to start.

Apple also offers you the option of quadrupling your storage to 256GB for $150 more, which will give you plenty of room for games and 4K video. However, Samsung’s phones have microSD card slots that can accommodate 256GB microSD cards, which run $130 to $145.

Winner: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Overall Winner

Based on our scorecard, the iPhone 8/8 Plus and Galaxy S8/S8+ are tied at 4 points apiece. But we give the Galaxy S8 the win over the iPhone 8. The verdict between the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy S8+, however, is more of a toss-up.


iPhone 8/8 Plus

Galaxy S8/S8+

Design


Display


Performance


Cameras


Special Features


Battery Life

Value


Overall

4

4

The main reason the regular S8 wins over the iPhone 8 is you get a bigger and better 5.8-inch display in a sexier design. The puny 4.7-inch panel on the iPhone now seems antiquated.

The iPhone 8 Plus makes up for its chunky bezels with its better dual cameras and faster performance than those of the S8+ at a lower starting price. But the S8+ is still great, because it gives you a larger, 6.2-inch display in a more attractive and one-hand-friendly device while lasting almost as long on a charge.

Want a Galaxy S8-like design running iOS? You’re better off waiting for the iPhone X — if you can afford a $999 phone — but that will be another face-off.

Credit: Tom's Guide

Create a new thread in the iPhone forum about this subject
7 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • OneTonJoe
    I kind of have to disagree about the location of the fingerprint sensor. On the back (in an appropriate spot) is the ideal location for the millions of users who operate their smart phones with one hand (while holding it in that same one hand). And, keep in mind, not everyone has a choice... I wonder how many iPhones have been dropped (and potentially damaged) by users trying to unlock their phone "single-handedly," or while rotating it, after unlocking it, for the few users clever enough to record their unlock fingerprints upside down...
    -1
  • Daekar3
    Don't forget Samsung Pay. Best damn feature in the world. I can use my phone to pay literally everywhere, not just the places that have implemented tap and pay. And where I live, that makes a huge difference because next-gen payment stuff is rolling out VERY slowly.
    0
  • patrick_153
    Samsung S8 vs a rumour? Seriously what drugs are you guys smoking?
    0
  • mcurrens
    They should be comparing Note 8 to iPhone 8.
    0
  • dwissmar
    Dropping a phone on a nice sheet of plywood is ridiculous, put it in your back pocket, get on a motorcycle.
    Lay the bike down, call the medics, in a foreign country! Try and give the helicopter dispatcher your MGRS location. You may laugh at my old flip phone but the medics wiped the Blood off it and called my wife, and it was a bicycle accident. I have four garmins and I can use MGRS with them. I still carry a paper map and a Mil protractor, I don't need to worry about battery life. If you want to design an app, I want to read usgs maps on my iPad. Give me another app with a grid with one KLIC, kilometer spacing, and when put a pin in I get eastings and northings. Have it talk to my other devices, so when the battery dies I can put two AA batteries in the old garmin and it works fine. When you deal with an old pilot it's not GPS it's a PLGR!
    0
  • dwissmar
    Dropping a phone on a nice clean sheet of plywood is stupid. When I am in a foreign country and I regain consciousness from my Motorcycle accident, I want to call the local hospital, and if it is a NATO country give them my MGRS! Laugh at my old flip phone but the medic wiped the Blood off it and called my wife, when I crashed A bicycle in America.
    0
  • modris.glaznieks7
    Samsung galaxy s8.
    0