iPhone 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Buy now or wait for Apple?


Between them, Apple and Samsung occupy around 40% of the mobile phone market share. And while Samsung’s flagship smartphone for this year is already delighting its owners, we’re still a little way off the full iPhone 8 (or 7s, depending on how Tim Cook is feeling) unveiling.

But based on what we know, if you’re hankering after an Apple or Samsung flagship, should you buy now or wait for Apple? Here’s everything we know so far on how the iPhone 8 will compare to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

iPhone 8 vs Galaxy S8: Design

Samsung promised they’d make us re-examine what a phone looks like with the Samsung Galaxy S8, before launch. In the end, it wasn’t that far removed from most smartphones, albeit a very pretty example of the genre. The curved glass and infinity display make for a fantastic looking handset, albeit one that’s more than a little fragile.

Likewise, Apple is planning a bit of a redesign of its own, in honour of the iPhone’s tenth anniversary. Like the Galaxy S8, we’re looking at a similar edge-to-edge display according to dummy models sent out to case manufacturers ahead of launch. It looks like it’ll be a little bigger than the iPhone 7 – but smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus.

Rumour has it that this year’s iPhone will be getting wireless charging for the first time. This is a feature that Samsung flagships have had for three generations, but Apple’s arrival should be celebrated: we’ll likely be inundated with quality wireless charging stations.

iPhone 8 vs Galaxy S8: Specifications

It’s always hard to compare iPhones to any other Android handsets before release, in terms of raw power. Why? Because Apple uses its own processors, so there’s nothing out there to compare it with. We fully expect for the iPhone 8 to contain the A11 chip (the iPhone 7 had an A10), but what that means in real terms – other than that it’ll be faster than its predecessor – remains to be seen.

The S8 is easier to assess, because it’s already out there, and we can see how it compares to rivals. And the answer is very well indeed. It’s powered by the top-of-the-range Snapdragon 835 (in the US) or Exynos 8895 here in the UK. And the results are always impressive:

What we can say is that while the Samsung Galaxy S8 overtook the iPhone 7 last time around, it wasn’t by too much. It would be surprising if the iPhone didn’t retake the lead in September before Samsung starts the race off again in 2018.

iPhone 8 vs Galaxy S8: Camera

The iPhone 7 introduced a dual-lens camera to proceedings, and it seems to be a similar deal with the iPhone 8, judging by the leak above. This time, you’ll find a vertical camera layout, instead of the horizontal one, and doubtless, there will be other tricks up Apple’s sleeve when the full specifications of the phone are unveiled.

Samsung hasn’t branched out into dual-lens cameras yet, but that doesn’t seem to have done their cameras any harm. The S8 may have only been a modest improvement on the S7’s (on paper, they were identical: 12 megapixels, f/1.7 aperture) but it’s still the second best in the business to our eyes – just a little shy of the superior snapper on the Google Pixel.

Apple has its work cut out catching up, but if anyone can…

iPhone 8 vs Galaxy S8: Price

The Samsung Galaxy S8 started high – £679 – before coming down quite rapidly. Right now, you can buy a Samsung Galaxy S8 SIM-free for just over £550, and contract prices have come down similarly. Contracts start at around £35 per month with no upfront cost – £38 per month from EE with 10GB data looks pretty good to us (especially when it comes with £84 cashback).

It’ll be a similar story with the iPhone 8 – only it’ll probably take longer to come down in price. The iPhone 7 started life costing £599, which sounds competitive by today’s prices. It would be astonishing if Apple went in that low – I’d guess we’re talking £650 minimum, with price hikes for models with more storage. Which is something of a necessity when, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S8, it can’t be expanded with a microSD card.

iPhone 8 vs Galaxy S8: Verdict

Obviously, this is impossible to call right now: the iPhone 8 is still largely shrouded in mystery, and its advantages over Samsung’s flagship are subsequently theoretical. We’ll update this page when we know more, but in short, it would be very surprising if it wasn’t of a similar quality to the latest and greatest Android handsets on the market. If you prefer iOS, it makes sense to wait.

On the other hand, with prices falling nicely, it’s a good time to buy the S8. It’s the best phone you can buy right now, and you won’t be disappointed – but it’s still one for Android lovers, not iOS enthusiasts.

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