Specs Showdown: Samsung Note 8 Vs iPhone 7 Plus

Image: Supplied

Samsung has finally unveiled the Note 8, successor to the notoriously-explodable Note 7. We've already taken a look at its specs, pricing and Australian availability, but how does it stack up against Apple's iPhone 7 Plus? Is it better? Worse? Prettier? Faster? More powerful? Let's take a good, hard look.

We should note from the outset that the iPhone 7 Plus was released on September 16 2016, so it's been available for almost a full year, giving the Note 8 the benefit of time. Technology advances at an alarmingly fast rate so it's no surprise that the Note 8's internals are significantly improved over Apple's competing smartphone.

Although Apple is likely to unveil the iPhone 8 in the near future, the Note 8's current competitor remains the iPhone 7 Plus. So what are the major differences?

Here's the pure specs for how the two match up:

Samsung Note 8 iPhone 7 Plus
OS Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) iOS 10
Dimensions 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm 158.2mm x 77.9mm x 7.3mm
Weight 195g 188g
CPU Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64bit, 10nm processor Apple A10 Fusion Quad core with six-core graphics GPU
Storage/Memory 64 GB, 6 GB RAM 32/128/256 GB, 3 GB RAM
Display 6.3-inch WQHD+ AMOLED Display 5.5-inch Retina HD Display
Resolution 2960 x 1440 (521 ppi) 1080 x 1920 (401 ppi)
Battery 3300mAh 2900mAh
microSD support Yes, up to 256GB No
Camera Dual 12MP rear (wide-angle f/1.7mm, telephoto f/2.4mm, optical image stabilisation), 8MP front Dual 12MP rear (f/1.8, 28mm and f/2.8, 56mm, phase detection autofocus), 7MP front
Colours Midnight Black and Maple Gold Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold

What Are The Major Differences Between The Note 8 And The iPhone 7 Plus?

The most obvious thing is, of course, the size of the Note 8, which is just a bigger beast than the iPhone 7 Plus. Samsung are touting this as their best phone ever, and sometimes, the best has to be the biggest.

The Note 8 is heavier, much taller and slightly thicker than Apple's counterpart, but actually comes in slightly slimmer. Samsung's decision to practically remove the bezels from the front of their phone (which we first saw with the Galaxy S8) makes way for a massive 6.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, with a superior resolution and pixels-per-inch over the iPhone 7 Plus.

If you're the kind of person that worries about your phone's battery dying before afternoon tea, then battery life is a key buying criteria. The Note 8 has a 3300mAh battery, edging out the iPhone 7 Plus' 2900mAh battery, but as of yet, Samsung haven't officially revealed how much battery life this will equate to. With such a much larger screen and energy-intense software built into the device, there's a chance that overall battery life will be quite similar between the two models. We'll update this post when we know a little more.

For the first time, Samsung has included a 12MP dual rear camera that uses two different lenses: A wide-angle lens with an f/1.7mm and a telephoto lens with an f/2.4mm and optical image stabilisation, plus a front-facing 8MP camera. The iPhone 7 Plus uses slightly less-bright f/1.8mm and f/2.8mm, so if you're routinely using your phone for photography the Note 8 is the clear winner here.

Lastly, the Note 8 is the most expensive Samsung phone yet and will retail at $1499 for the 64GB model. Samsung did announce 128GB and 256GB models, but these will not be available to purchase in Australia.

Though the iPhone 7 Plus doesn't have a 64GB model, 32GB will set you back $1269, 128GB comes in at $1419 and the 256GB model retails for $1569. One of the key differences, in terms of storage, is the fact the Note 8, like the Galaxy S8 and S8+, has a microSD card slot that is capable of carrying 256GB of extra storage. However, tacking a large SDXC card on top of the retail price starts to really push the price up.

We haven't even discussed the Note 8's stylus, which is a core component of Samsung's Note range. The touch-sensitive stylus comes bundled with every Note 8 and tucks away conveniently in the phone's base, next to the USB-C charging port and the headphone jack. Oh, yeah, there's that too. The Note 8 still has a headphone jack.

Overall, the Note 8 is clearly a superior phone if you look purely at the specifications but with the iPhone 8 just over the horizon, we're likely to see the playing field even right out again.


    To be honest, is there much point in these articles besides dick swinging one way or the other? I don't see anyone being swayed, they are going to stick with the one they already know and like and have already spent money on apps etc in that ecosystem.

    I would never, ever buy an iPhone, I'm deep in the Google ecosystem, I love how it all works etc.
    Some other person would never touch an Android phone because of all the benefits he sees, the money he's spent on apps/services etc.
    Plus you'd have to relearn a bunch of stuff that is muscle memory. Both OS's are about matched now anyway, they just copy each other.

    The biggest problem I see between the two phones is that the iPhone still uses a 1080p display and still only has 3GB RAM. I've got an LG G4 and the 1440p screen is simply gorgeous, I could never go back. As for the low RAM limit it really hinders making games

      Realistically the RAM issue is more than mitigated by the better optimisation iOS games receive. You won't find any Android phone with a game an iPhone 7 Plus won't destroy. But they have really lagged in screens, the last two years of Android screens have been two cuts above.

        Yeah, no. The S8 tops the 7 Plus in synthetic and gaming benchmarks by around 15% on average, see Antutu's chart for example.

        I've developed for both platforms, there's no significant effect RAM has on individual app performance between them. The only significant difference is Android apps are slightly larger than iOS apps in terms of resident size. Both systems have processes for moving inactive or terminated apps out of RAM, so it's always useful to have more of it so background apps can run more efficiently and terminate less often.

          Destroy was the wrong word. Run comfortably is more inline with what I intended. Not necessarily better, but comfortably despite memory differences.

    I'd say the benefit of more RAM just allows more things to live there and be accessed a tad quicker. Mobile games should not be taking up multiple GB of RAM.

      More RAM allows more assets to be loaded in memory, so more complex games benefit. But for the most part, the benefit of RAM is to facilitate better multitasking and less swapping. That's a universal detail that applies to all operating systems, iOS is no different as some people above seem to think.

        Exactly. I guess mobile games are growing bigger and more complex in some genres. I've personally never played those COD type clone ones I've seen advertised, they could be a bit taxing.

        My first smartphone upgrade was memorable for the multiple things I could have open and switch between without it having to load up from scratch again.

    Wow, who'da thunk a year old phone is slightly beaten out by a brand new one?

    Quality reporting here.

    Last edited 29/08/17 12:47 pm

      Condescending sarcasm might work better if the writer hadn't already acknowledged that in the second paragraph.

        so wait a month for a proper 8 vs 8 comparison. Simple.

          I'll put money on them doing exactly that when the iPhone 8 releases, along with another dozen articles on the device, mostly repeating the same things.

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