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Samsung Galaxy s8 vs. iPhone 8: Welcome To Thunderdome

BY: Jeremy Stephison | Dec 11, 2018

iPhone 8 vs Galaxy 8 The next generation of smartphones are here in the form of the iPhone 8 and the Galaxy s8, and that means one thing: tons and tons of articles about super boring specs. Sure, we could bore you to tears talking about how the iPhone 8's new A11 chip makes it a full 25% faster than the iPhone 7, or how Samsung's Galaxy s8 employs defense-grade security to keep your data safe. But that's not really what gets us excited about new gadgets. That's why we're pitting the phones against each other in a battle royale to determine which phone we'd rather have a beer with... O.k. that's kind of a mixed metaphor, but you get the picture. TWO PHONES ENTER. ONE PHONE LEAVES. Let's get crackin'.

The Weigh-In

During the weeks-long spectacle of high profile boxing matches, the weigh-in is traditionally the time when boxers spout off trading sick burns and, as the Unsung Queen of Insult Comics might say, reading each other to filth. But since Samsung and Apple are Fortune 500 companies, they tend not to give in to their inner Don Rickles during product announcements. Luckily for us, tech reporters refuse to play by those rules.

Galaxy s8 Trash Talk

Pulling a classic Build-and-Burn, Forbes editor touts the Galaxy as "the most beautiful smartphone ever made" bigging up the new s8. That's when CNET steps in to lambaste the iPhone as "pedestrian," calling it "last year's design with this year's technology." Oof. Rough stuff. Let's see if Apple supporters can answer back.

iPhone 8 Trash Talk

Stepping in to defend the iPhone is BGR.com, who faint-praises the Galaxy s8 as a "stunning device" that "definitely won't randomly explode in your hands or destroy your hotel room." Geez. You make one phone that catches fire, and you never hear the end of it. Low blow.

The Day Of

The iPhone 8's in the corner, sipping water and hydrating thanks to its new IP67 water resistant case. But what's this? Almost as if to gloat, the Galaxy s8 is taking a full-on dip in a hot tub where its IP68 case lets it stay submerged for up to 30 entire minutes. The Galaxy is definitely sending a message with this little stunt. Good and hydrated, the iPhone is unpacking its charging cord, ready to power up for the match. It seems to be making a big to-do about the cord for some reason. As far as we know, the lightning cable has been around for years now, so this move's a little confusing. And there it is! iPhone just chucked the cord into the audience and unveiled its brand new wireless charger! This is huge for iPhone. Curiously, Galaxy s8 doesn't seem fazed by this at all. In fact, it's so unconcerned that it's just sitting on its own wireless charger reading a newspaper. Can we zoom in on that paper? Unbelievable. The headline reads "Samsung Introduces Wireless Charger to Galaxy s6" and it's dated September 2015. That's bravado at its finest, folks.

The Big Fight

Round 1: Speed

iPhone 8 and Galaxy s8 move to center ring. The iPhone unlocks itself with a blazing fast fingerprint scan to roaring applause from the crowd. But in yet another display of brazenness, the Galaxy s8 unlocks itself with its own fingerprint scan, looks around the stadium, and locks its screen again. What kind of shenanigans are we dealing with here? Now it's unlocking itself a second time using a front-facing retinal scan that takes milliseconds. You gotta believe Samsung's getting in Apple's head with these mind games. It's almost like watching a bobcat play with a field mouse at this point. The two touch gloves, and we're off. iPhone 8 looks quick on its feet thanks to that new A11 processor. It's dancing around the ring, shooting video in 4K at 60fps and exporting the whole file in 43 seconds. The Galaxy s8 answers back with its own 4K video, but what's this? The Galaxy is really struggling here, taking a full 3+ minutes to export the clip. And the judges have almost definitely noticed that Galaxy's 4K video is only shot in 30fps. That's Round 1 in the history books, and it looks like it goes to iPhone for all-around speed.

Round 2: Work Hard

In this round, the two heavy-hitters will go head to head to see which is the better all-arounder for work. The iPhone 8 lands the first blow with its absolutely massive library of available apps. It brings up Microsoft Outlook and Apple's own Pages and Keynote, all of which work seamlessly on the mobile device. Strong showing from iPhone. But here comes the Galaxy s8, once again showing its characteristic braggadocio. The Galaxy s8 appears to be theatrically searching the ring and turning its pockets out like a man who's wallet has been stolen in a silent film. It's as if he's saying, "Where did all of my cool work apps go?" Something tells me we're about to find out. Oh, boy. Here we go. The Galaxy's bringing a monitor, keyboard, and mouse into the ring along with something called the DeX Dock. It's hopping into the DeX Dock—a portable gadget that weighs about half a pound—and now it's... I can't believe it! It's turning itself into a full-blown computer! This is outrageous. Somehow it's even running Windows. The showmanship of this scrappy phone is staggering. Even iPhone seems to realize that Round 2 goes to Galaxy s8. iPhone's coach is currently struggling to stop iPhone from ending it all by plunging into Galaxy's pre-game hot tub. Things are not looking good for iPhone.

Round 3: Stamina

Thanks to its almost magical standby time, the iPhone 8 used nearly zero battery between rounds. That's going to give it the stamina it needs for this bout. Unfortunately for iPhone though, Galaxy s8 takes about half as long to charge—100 minutes against the iPhone's 187 minutes—meaning the short break was more than enough time to give the Galaxy the competitive advantage. Both phones are firing up full HD streaming video for the next round. We hope you brought your picnic baskets, folks, because this is going to be a long'n. Actually, we'll just flash forward a few hours. After about 8 hours and 22 minutes, the Samsung stumbles and slams face-first onto the mat. iPhone hasn't even broken a sweat. Not only is it still standing, but it has plenty of life left in it—another 32 minutes, to be exact. The winner of Round 3 is iPhone by technical knockout.

Round 4: Bonus Lightning Round

It's the final round and both contenders get a chance to show off their favorite new features. Here we go.

iPhone 8

  • Wirelessly transfer settings from a phone or MacBook to the iPhone 8 just by placing the devices next to each other.
  • Create a WiFi hotspot and share it over Bluetooth, all without having to give out your WiFi password.
  • Find the bathroom at a stadium or the food court at an airport with Apple Maps' new Indoor Maps feature.

Galaxy s8

  • Transform the s8 into a powerful VR headset with the inexpensive Gear attachment, complete with game controller.
  • Create your own virtual reality adventures with the Gear 360 Camera. It captures 360-degree video in crisp 4K, allowing you to relive memories in VR, rather than just looking at a static 2D photo.
  • Total customization lets you change everything from the app button size and navigation bar to EQ levels.
  • The Adapt Sound feature uses biometrics and a quick test to figure out your hearing levels and adjusts music and calls to match.

We're giving Round 4 to Galaxy s8 since VR is universally 500% cooler than sharing WiFi.

Final Decision

The iPhone's new features are great. We love the battery life and we're jazzed that you can finally leave it in the bathroom while you shower without voiding the warranty. But Samsung's Galaxy s8 captures the fun and excitement of smartphones circa 2007, and the new features make us feel like we're living in the future. The iPhone just kind of makes us feel like we're living in a slightly improved version of the past. Looking to make the switch?

Head over to the Groupon Coupons Samsung page for $300 off Galaxy s8, as well as a whole mess of other deals.