With Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 already in the pipeline for an August 23 debut date (based on press invites and leaked images), and Apple’s iPhone 8 speculated for another early September unveiling (as tradition would have it), it’s about time that we do a pre-emptive head-to-head battle between the two flagship juggernauts – if not for curiosity’s sake, then as a rough guide for flagship smartphone connoisseurs out there.
Note that we’re basing this on what we know so far – from official statements, “reliable” leaks and renders, and of course, the good ol’ rumor mill. A bucket of salt at best, readers. Here what we have so far.
Premium Pricing: Record-breaking expensive.
Both handsets have long been rumored to sport a $1,000-ish price tag, making this generation of Note and iPhone flagships the most expensive yet.
According to an anonymous Samsung official, the Galaxy Note 8 will be the “most expensive Samsung smartphone ever” with a price tag that could break the $1k mark.
As for the iPhone 8, several industry analysts estimate that the premium handset might also hover around the $1k mark due to a rumored design overhaul, additional biometrics features, and improved camera technology.
Apple iPhone 8: Pulling out the big guns
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, Apple is reportedly planning a radical overhaul of the iPhone 8’s design. Gone will be the clunky bezels and, supposedly, an edge-to-edge display will be its replacement.
The Apple iPhone 8’s display is speculated to be flexible plastic OLED with 2.5D curved glass. This allows Apple to bake a thinner, more power efficient device, along with better color fidelity as well. The flagship’s frame, according to a Chinese industry analyst, will be going the way of glass, similar to the iPhone 4.
According to industry gossip, Apple is also doing away with the physical home button and will be implanting Touch ID into the display. Some rumors even have the iPhone 8 completely ditching Touch ID in favor of facial recognition technology.
A new 10nm Apple A11 chipset will be joining the iPhone 8 and should boost the handset’s performance and battery life by a decent margin. The handset’s RAM will be pegged at 3GB, similar to the iPhone 7 Plus. Storage, as always, is expected to be variable and non-expandable.
As for the series’ cameras, the iPhone 8 will be following the same setup from the previous generation. A single selfie camera on the front, a single rear camera for the basic iPhone 8, and dual rear cameras for the iPhone 8 Plus model. Several schematics leaks and a report from Bloomberg have confirmed that the iPhone 8 Plus will be shipping with vertically-oriented rear cameras.
The iPhone 8’s front camera is said to be packing facial recognition technology, which may or may not replace the company’s Touch ID sensor.
The next generation iPhone’s batteries are rumored to be larger in capacity than the existing ones, and possibly L-shaped in design as well. Wireless charging and USB Type-C power delivery technology are expected as well.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Trusted fundamentals
Based on what we’ve collated on the Galaxy Note 8, it’s evident that Samsung is opting for more stable, incremental upgrades for the next-gen Note over groundbreaking design and newfangled features. The strategy is not surprising, as the Note 8’s predecessor, the failed Note 7, pushed the innovation envelope to unsafe limits and caused the handset to literally become explosive.
For the Note 8’s display, tech outlets are expecting it to bear the Galaxy S8’s edge-to-edge Infinity Display, albeit on a larger, QHD+ 6.3-inch display. The Note 8 is also expected to undergo a redesign, with rumors pointing to a look similar to the existing S8 series.
Samsung will still be packing a traditional fingerprint sensor, which is expected to be at the back of the handset, as the company has not yet unraveled the technology for under-display fingerprint scanning. The Note 7’s Iris Scanner and S-Pen stylus are both in for the new ride as well, presumably with upgrades.
The Note 8’s chipset is still up in the air, even in the rumor mill. Most are expecting the phablet to beat with the standard flagship tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, or its Exynos counterpart, but some are speculating an incremental upgrade in the form of the still-under-wraps Snapdragon 836. 6GB RAM will be packed inside Samsung’s upcoming Note 8, with 64GB and 128GB storage models in the pipeline. Also, there’s news of an 8GB RAM and 256GB storage version dubbed the “Emperor Edition”, which, given the moniker, might be a special edition available only in China and South Korea.
Camera-wise, plenty of leaks have already shown the Note 8, or its prototypes, with dual rear cameras.
Samsung guarantees that the Note 7 battery debacle will not be repeating with the Note 8. In order to ensure this, the company instituted an “8-Point Battery Safety Check” procedure as “their commitment to safer devices now and in the future.” Wireless charging is also on the menu for the Note 8, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Samsung foregoes that innovation for now.