Galaxy Note 8 users have options galore. iPhone X users? Not so much

After watching the Apple keynote yesterday and seeing what is provided in the iPhone X, I couldn't get past the limited options users have when compared to the Galaxy Note 8.


Josh Miller/CNET

Watching Apple's keynote yesterday confirmed that Apple knows best and provides users with limited ways of doing things on the iPhone X.

As I was thinking more about the iPhone X and how Apple completely changed how people will be required to navigate iOS, it struck me that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in my hand is the anti-Apple iPhone X with a number of choices provided to the user.

  • Interaction with the phone: To use the iPhone X, you use your finger. The Galaxy Note 8 provides an extremely capable S Pen that is siloed in the device. Navigation and text entry with the S Pen is a pleasure while the S Pen also offers a ton of custom functionality. If you want, you can choose to never use the S Pen as well.
  • Listening to music: Samsung continues to support the industry standard 3.5mm headset port so you can use your favorite headphones without worrying about battery life or a dongle. You can also use Bluetooth if you like, but the choice is up to you.
  • Storage: You can buy a $1000 64GB iPhone X or pay $1,150 for 256GB. With a Samsung Note 8 you get 64GB internal with the ability to expand storage inexpensively with microSD cards. You can swap out multiple cards and have virtually unlimited storage on the Note 8.
  • Fast charging: After years of Android fast charging capability, Apple finally enables fast charging via the Lightning port. With the Note 8, you can also choose to use a fast wireless charger so topping off on a dock is convenient and quick. The Note 8 also supports the WPC (Qi) and PMA standards so you even get choices in wireless charging devices while the iPhone X is limited to Qi at slower speeds.
  • Display resolution: Samsung's Note 8 has the best smartphone display ever and Samsung gives you the option to toggle between three resolutions so you can choose brilliant quality or longer battery life. The choice is yours to make and by default the mid-level 1080p resolution is set. It's a simple setting toggle to change it.
  • Biometric security: The iris scanner on the Note 8 is fast and accurate, but you can also choose to use the (admittedly) awkwardly positioned fingerprint scanner, lower security facial recognition, PIN, password, or even Google Smart Lock. The new iPhone X has no ability for fingerprint recognition.
  • Navigation buttons: While Apple is changing the way you access key features through gestures, Samsung lets you customize the back and recents buttons. You do not have to stick to the Samsung default with back on the right. You can use the more standard Google position of back on the left side.
  • Virtual reality: With the Galaxy Note 8, Samsung lets you use its Gear VR headset or Google Daydream. You can set up your Note 8 and use both as you desire.
  • Integrated voice assistant: Samsung Bixby and Google Assistant are both installed by default on the Note 8 and it is up to you which assistant you want to call up. I regularly use Bixby to control my phone and Google Assistant to look up information online. You can install Google Assistant on an iPhone too, but it won't launch with your voice and must be manually launched each time.
  • Mobile payment: Thanks to DrunkenBrewer for bringing this one up. On the Note 8 you can use Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is the best with support for MST so you can use it at nearly any terminal with a card swipe setup and Samsung also has benefits tied to using Samsung Pay. Android Pay is convenient too and with the Note 8 you get to choose. iPhone users only have Apple Pay support.

Can you think of any other ways the Samsung Note 8 provides choice?


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Apple revealed the iPhone X with many specifications and features found in the Note 8. However, the Note 8 does more and is less expensive than the $1,000 iPhone.