Apple iPhone 8 review: A size smaller

When the latest batch of new iPhones was presented, the iPhone X stole the show. But, the iPhone 8 is worth a closer look. While the successor to the iPhone 7 might not look all that different, it’s packing some new features on the inside.

Good

  • Excellent performance
  • Wireless charging
  • Great camera
  • Compact size

Bad

  • No headphone jack
  • Thick bezels
  • Battery life fluctuates

Lowest price: Apple iPhone 8

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Apple iPhone 8 release date and price

Purchasing an iPhone has always put a strain on the wallet, even with the very first Apple smartphone. Things haven’t changed in 2017. At the Apple Store, the iPhone 8 will set you back $ 699 for 64 GB of storage, or $ 849 for 256 GB. The optional but sometimes recommended AppleCare+ is an additional $ 129. For that, you get two years of tech support and accidental damage coverage.

Lowest price: Apple iPhone 8

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Apple iPhone 8 design and build quality

For a long time, the iPhone set the bar for smartphone design. These times are long gone. If you put the iPhone 8 next to its predecessors, one thing stands out above all else: nothing changes. The front, with the thick bezels around the display, looks stale and has remained the same since the iPhone 6S. It’s the boring truth that the dimensions haven’t changed from the models of yesteryear.

The iPhone 8 couldn’t be further away from the current trend of larger displays. For example, placing the current iPhone next to a Galaxy S8 with its Infinity Display, you have to admit that the competition looks much more modern and elegant. The iconic Apple home button now just seems to take up needless space, making the bottom bezel necessary. The bezels above and below the display maintain symmetry, which the front camera next to the call speaker then detracts from. This is less noticeable on the black iPhone 8 than the white version.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0040 The glass back is the only thing new in the design of the iPhone 8. / © AndroidPIT

The glass back of the iPhone 8 has a smooth surface and looks beautiful. Although glass is not as robust as aluminum, it offers the advantage of generally better reception and the possibility of wireless charging. It is incomprehensible to me that Apple can’t manage to integrate a camera flush into the body without it protruding. The build quality of the iPhone 8, shown in the transition from glass to aluminum frame, the fit of the SIM drawer and the stability of the buttons, is completely impeccable.

Apple iPhone 8 display

With a diagonal of 4.7 inches, the LCD screen of the iPhone 8 is rather small for a 2017 smartphone. But that’s not necessarily bad thing, after all, many people are still looking for compact phones that you don’t need two hands to use. With a resolution of 1,334 x 750 pixels, the screen of the iPhone 8 reaches a pixel density of 326 ppi. Both values ​​are ridiculously low for a smartphone in the price range of the iPhone.

What is important is not the numbers on the data sheet, but the impression it leaves in reality, and the iPhone 8’s display leaves an outstanding one. The IPS panel is probably the best one currently found in a smartphone. The colors are appealing, the viewing angles absolutely perfect and the brightness very high – or optionally very low, which protects the eyes in a dark environment. Good OLED displays are superior to LCD technology in certain ways though, such as  black level and depth. But, with the screen of the iPhone 8, you’ll be happy with it for a long time.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0071 The iPhone 8 has an excellent display. / © AndroidPIT

As with its predecessor, the touch screen of the iPhone 8 supports 3D Touch and the detection of different levels of pressure. Apple uses this especially for context menus when tapping on an app icon. This works well, but could also be done with a long press. The Taptic Engine on the iPhone 8, which provides haptic feedback when pressing firmly on the screen, does a good job. The technology works even more impressively with the home button, which feels like pressing down a real button thanks to the feedback, but is actually just a touch button.

Apple iPhone 8 special features

The iPhone 8 is missing exciting extras like the Face ID of the iPhone X or the portrait mode of the iPhone 8 Plus. But with ARKit, even the smallest new Apple smartphone has something to offer that you won’t find anywhere else. This toolbox for developers has already borne some beautiful fruits that make AR easy to experience without needing additional hardware like bulky, expensive glasses. These are mainly games, but also artistically inspired apps, with which 3D objects can be freely painted in space. The iPhone display allows you to explore the starry sky, walk through a forest with dinosaurs or look at human organs. Apple has a lot to offer with AR.

ios 11 2 Playing around with AR is a lot of fun. / © AndroidPIT

Apple iPhone 8 software

The iPhone 8 comes with iOS 11. The latest version of Apple’s software looks like the old one. Thus, the software contributes to the same impression of the hardware – it was once totally fresh and hip, but we’ve seen it all before and we’re bored of it. So, you might be really tired of the fixed icon grid look by now.

The quick menu that you can pull out from below, called the Control Center, is convenient. Here you can get to the most important, frequently used settings. Strangely, however, you can’t turn off Bluetooth and WiFi here. You can only disconnect from the network or device you’re currently connected to, meaning the radio module itself is still on.

A swipe top to bottom, brings up the system-wide search on Apple. It’s annoying that when you swipe, it leads you to the lock screen rather than notifications. To get back to the home screen, you have to swipe from the bottom up; trying it in the middle of the display does not work.

ios 11 1 iOS could use more of a refresh by now. / © AndroidPIT

Die-hard Android users will, of course, be annoyed with and disappointed by iOS. The back button is so far away from the home button that you’ll almost always overlook it in the top left corner. App settings are found not in the app itself, but in a long list buried in the system settings.

Always worth a positive mention is the update timeline from Apple. These iPhones will be provided with up-to-date software for five years; not in waves like Android, but all at the same time. This is a plus that you cannot forget in 2017. Fragmentation of different versions of iOS is hardly an issue for Apple.

Apple iPhone 8 performance

The iPhone 8 has brought a new chip on board, the Apple A11 with more power than its predecessor, the A10. The 6-core processor with the new Bionic engine, which is used primarily in photo applications, drives the iPhone 8 powerfully, ensuring a fast user experience in all situations. It can get noticeably warm, but it cools down quickly afterwards. Android users only know fluid and unwaveringly fast performance like this from the Pixel smartphones. For more about the performance of the new iPhones, you can check out our review of the iPhone 8 Plus, which is identical in this respect.

Apple iPhone 8 audio

The audio performance of the iPhone 8 is, as far as the internal speakers are concerned, not very impressive. The sound is decent and the volume is sufficient, but nothing more than that. Some people find the hard plastic headphones that come with the phone as comfortable and sonically good as others, while some complain about bad fit and a too thin sound. Both are related, because if the shape of the headphone does not match the ear, it won’t be sitting properly and thus can’t produce good sound.

The headphone jack is nowhere left to be found at Apple, and as is the trend, audio is handled via the single port. In this case, it’s not USB Type-C, but Apple’s Lightning connector. Apple provides an adapter at no extra charge, but if you want to charge your phone while listening to wired headphones, then it’s tough luck. That’s just how things are in the smartphone world now.

Apple iPhone 8 camera

Unlike the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, the smaller iPhone 8 does not have a dual camera. It packs just a single 12 MP lens on the back. In the front, selfies are snapped with an 8 MP lens. With the single camera, there is no double optical zoom or the new portrait mode, but that can be overlooked. The camera app from Apple works fast, but has just the basics and little else.

The photos that the iPhone took in our in-depth review were consistently good. No matter if there was too little or too much light, the shots have beautiful and lifelike colors, show many details and are sharp throughout. Even novices can take great pictures and video with the iPhone 8 without any effort. Although the Live Photo mini-videos don’t have much added value, they’re pretty cool to look at. And, 4K is supported for proper videos, up to 60 frames per second. The image format settings are found in the system settings rather than the camera app. The reason for this will likely remain a secret of the Apple developers for years to come.

IMG 0049 The image dynamics and richness of detail certainly don’t disappoint. / © AndroidPIT

Actually, it is a shame that Apple still won’t give its users a manual mode in the camera app. You could certainly tickle out a little more from the photos. Even the fact that the Apple smartphones still can’t take RAW shots is lost potential. As long as the cameras still perform well, these considerations don’t seem to be a high priority for the Cupertino company.

IMG 0025 A little lensflare can look pretty chic. / © AndroidPIT

Using the front camera is just as much fun as the back with the iPhone 8. Selfies show many details, have great color representation and almost never blur in good light. If the environment gets darker, of course, the image noise increases, which is hard to avoid.

IMG 0055 2 Selfies also work really well with the iPhone 8. / © AndroidPIT

More photos taken with Apple iPhone 8 from our review can be found in this gallery on Google Drive.

Apple iPhone 8 battery

As usual, Apple conceals the exact capacity of the battery in the iPhone 8 and only indicates that the running time is about on par with the iPhone 7. But of course, such details can’t remain hidden for long, and so it is now clear that the battery in the new iPhone has a capacity of 1,821 mAh. This is nothing more than a bad joke on paper compared to Android smartphones, even the smaller models. But here, Apple’s trump card comes to fruition: The hardware and software are coming from one source and are perfectly matched, so long battery life can be achieved with such a low capacity.

In fact, in our review, the iPhone 8 always lasted until evening, and even through the night without a charge since the standby consumption when idle all night is so low. That means it’s possible to hit the two day mark without charging, even with quite active use. However, it depends on the iPhone 8, which apps are installed and what you do with the smartphone. Therefore, a clear determination of the duration is difficult. In the test, the battery life wavered between one and two days. For pure video streaming, a full five hours are possible with the display at full brightness, and just under eight hours at half-light.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0295 The iPhone 8 has a small battery but can still last a long time. / © AndroidPIT

Fast charging costs extra with Apple

Annoying and incomprehensible: While the iPhone 8 technically supports particularly fast charging, Apple does not supply the appropriate charger in the box. Apple fans have to buy it themselves. With the standard charger, it takes more than two hours until the small battery is full again. That’s half an eternity in Quick Charge time. After all, Apple supports the Qi standard for wireless charging. This will actually take much longer, but the need for fiddling with a cord is eliminated.

One can not imagine how long the iPhone 8 would run if Apple finally managed to build a battery with a capacity that is on the level of the Android competition. Even with 2,500 mAh, the iPhone 8 would certainly be a true endurance artist. Strange that the iPhone is still not very thin or light despite the small battery. For comparison, the Motorola Moto Z, which has a 2,600 mAh battery capacity, is 2 mm slimmer and 12 g lighter.

Apple iPhone 8 technical specifications

Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
Weight: 148 g
Screen size: 4.7 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi)
Front camera: 7 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Chipset: Apple A11 Bionic
Number of cores: 6
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0

Final verdict

If you own an iPhone 7, or maybe even an iPhone 6S, then the jump to the iPhone 8 is not a big one. Sure, the performance is a bit better and there is wireless charging, but that’s about it. The jumps in the remaining features are not very big. If you own an even older iPhone and aren’t excited to splurge on the iPhone 8 Plus model or the iPhone X, this could be the best option for you.

And for the Android owners? The iPhone 8 is quite compact and such small smartphones are hard to find in the luxury class of the Android world. The exceptions are the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact and the Google Pixel 2, which has a few drawbacks. The camera of the new iPhone, despite its single lens, provides great results, and the performance is fluid. If you’re prepared to drop $ 700, the choice is yours.

Apple iPhone 8

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Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Rival schools

In Samsung’s corner, we have that formidable heavyweight, the Galaxy Note 8 phablet. Representing Apple, we’ve got the iPhone 8 Plus, the latest form of the classic iPhone style. Let’s get rrrready to rumble!

Design and build

Apple and Samsung have often been accused of copying each other’s designs. Initially, Samsung would have been the one playing catch-up, but nowadays it’s harder to tell as both manufacturers make progress by inches in different directions.

None one can accuse the devices in this particularly contest as looking or feeling the same however. The iPhone 8 Plus is an iPhone in the classic style, packed with high-end hardware, but it looks exactly like you’d expect an iPhone to look—bezels, home button at the bottom, protruding camera at the back. We’ll have to check out the iPhone X to see the more adventurous side of Apple, but the iPhone 8 Plus feels comfortable and familiar, albeit somewhat conservative. It’s undoubtedly beautiful, with an attractive rose gold finish around the pleasantly rounded edges. The iPhone 8 Plus isn’t exactly compact, but it fits in the hand well, feels secure and handles easily.

AndroidPIT iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3363 The iPhone’s rosy edges are appealing, even to a fan of dark colors. / © AndroidPIT

The Note 8 is also, from a design standpoint, unmistakably a Samsung Galaxy range phone. However its sheer size, made in order to accommodate its large screen, makes it stand out from its smaller brethren. My midnight black model looks somewhat dull and monochrome compared to the iPhone 8 Plus, and furthermore, its size makes it feel somewhat ungainly compared to the iPhone 8 Plus. When handling the Note 8, it always feels like there’s a little too much poking out of my hand, not to mention poking out of the pocket. When it comes to handling, the Note 8 only has one advantage in my opinion, which is the incorporation of the home button into the display, which feels more modern and responsive than the iPhone 8 Plus’ old-school home “button” (not exactly a real button, but thanks to Apple’s Taptic Engine, it still feels like one).

Even though it’s not exactly ground-breaking, I have to give it to the iPhone 8 Plus when it comes to design. Everything is accessible and it’s easier to use with just one hand despite being actually slightly heavier than the Note 8. I’m always shuffling the latter up and down my palm, or resorting to two-handed use. The Note 8 is truly a hand-and-a-half phone, and that’s not exactly convenient for day-to-day frequent use.

Display

While both phones feature an attractive display, it’s in this field that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 really shows its strength. The Note 8 has a display measuring a record-breaking 6.3 inches compared to the iPhone 8 Plus’s 5.5. inches. The Note 8’s bezels have shrunk away to near non-existence accommodate the big screen. The Super AMOLED panel display in the new Galaxy Note has a 2960 x 1440-pixel resolution, and blew me away when it came to watching movies fullscreen, playing games or scrolling through websites. Even the default starry black ‘sky’ on the always-on display is a joy to look at. The only downside is that the curved edges, while serving to make the overall shape of the phone sleeker, don’t do the display any favors, with some noticeable color distortion along the edges.

AndroidPIT iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3346 Size isn’t everything, but the Note 8 display still wins out. / © AndroidPIT

The iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5-inch Retina HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels that is easily among best displays of its size on the market, but isn’t anything special either. Colors and natural-looking and well balanced, brightness is good and even adjusts to the ambient light of the environment. It’s a great display but isn’t as impressive as the one on the Note 8, which is really a game-changer. In daily use, I found that I always preferred to watch media on the Note 8, even not bothering to fire up my PC in favor of Samsung’s phablet.

Features

The key special features of the two phones are very different, but personally, I found one more useful. Something that makes the iPhone 8 Plus stand out from the Android flagships is iOS 11’s support for ARKit – Apple’s augmented reality platform. Right now this is basically a toy, but it’s a seriously cool toy. Point your phone at the stars to see it draw constellations for you, summon dinosaurs into your living room, or write in 3D to customize your photos. The AR apps can still feel somewhat wonky to get to work though, but the App Store currently offers a better selection for iOS users than what you can get on Android.

AndroidPIT iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3348 Worthy opponents, but the Note 8 has a secret weapon in the form of the S-Pen. / © AndroidPIT

The Galaxy Note 8 has a more practical special feature in the form of the S-Pen. I have to admit that I was initially skeptical about it, but after embracing two-handed use, I found myself really appreciating the stylus. Great for writing and pinning notes, drawing and even, to my surprise, fast typing. And that’s before getting into the more esoteric functions, like creating GIFs. The S-Pen has the additional bonus of helping to keep the impressive display free of fingerprint smudges. Ultimately, it remains one of the best things about the Galaxy Note 8.

Speaking of fingerprints, it’s worth mentioning, for the security minded, that the Note 8 technically provides three unlocking options using biometrics: iris scan, face recognition, and fingerprints, whereas the iPhone 8 Plus only provides fingerprint ID. In practice, however, none of them are particularly reliable or convenient and I can’t honestly count the Note 8’s wonky face recognition as a real advantage.

Opinion by Nicholas Montegriffo

Biometric ID tech still has a way to go before I start to rely on it.

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The iPhone 8 Plus does have a better voice assistant in the form of Siri, which, even though I must admit fails to be helpful on many occasions, still ends up being more responsive and knowledgeable than Samsung’s Bixby. Ultimately, I don’t find either so useful as to swing me one way or the other, but if you’re really into voice assistants, you’d be better of with Siri.

AndroidPIT iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3322 You stay classy, Siri. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (US-version) vs. Apple iPhone 8 Plus technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (US-version) Apple iPhone 8 Plus
Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm
Weight: 195 g 202 g
Battery size: 3300 mAh Sorry, not yet available!
Screen size: 6.3 in 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED LCD
Screen: 2960 x 1440 pixels (522 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels 7 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED LED
Android version: 7.1.1 – Nougat Sorry, not yet available!
User interface: TouchWiz Sorry, not yet available!
RAM: 6 GB Sorry, not yet available!
Internal storage: 64 GB 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD Sorry, not yet available!
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Sorry, not yet available!
Number of cores: 8 6
Max. clock speed: 2.45 GHz Sorry, not yet available!
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth

Camera

Both phones actually feature great cameras, but crucially, they have different strengths and weaknesses. The Note 8 has several advantages over the iPhone 8 Plus, chiefly by way of its secondary camera, relatively noiseless low-light photography and fast autofocus. This makes it excellent for portraits, zoom shots, or capturing a subject in fast motion. The contender from Apple, on the other hand, excels at high dynamic range performance and accurate face exposure. It also performs better when it comes to video.

AndroidPIT iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3376 Each camera can excel in different situations. / © AndroidPIT

Both phones are actually tied for the same score of 94 from industry experts DxOMark, although they were unseated from the top spot by Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, they remain among the top cameras in the market.

Battery

The iPhone 8 Plus’s battery is only 2675 mAh, smaller than the one on the iPhone 7 Plus. Despite this, due to Apple’s expertise when it comes to hardware and software optimization, power consumption is minimal, even while maintaining peak performance.

Samsung may have been overly cautious with the battery in the Note 8 after the tragedy of the exploding Note 7. The 3300 mAh keeps it running all day, but the Apple’s champion is still more efficient in this case, still taking, at roughly the same level of use, hours longer to run down.

Verdict: different advantages to each, but the Note 8 displays its strength

It’s a tough battle between these two impressive contenders. It seems that looking from every angle, the Galaxy Note 8 excels in one field that the iPhone 9 Plus lags behind in, and vice versa. Though in the end, even though the iPhone 8 Plus felt more comfortable on the first day, I found myself gravitating more and more towards the Galaxy Note 8 as I got used to it.

The fantastic display of the Note 8 meant it became my first choice when it came to playing media, and also eliminated any lingering frustrations I felt when surfing the web on a mobile device. The S-Pen was also another clincher for me, as it made the whole experience both much more fun and much more practical. 

AndroidPIT iPhone 8 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3396 Different phones for different users, but the Note 8 won this one for me. / © AndroidPIT

The iPhone 8 Plus, is, well, the latest iPhone. A great phone, but conservative and predictable. Maybe the iPhone X will be able to wow me, but right now it feels like nothing special compared other top-of-the-range flagships. On the other hand, its long battery life and Apple’s great optimization still makes it a very handy and practical phone.

While they Note 8 won be over, in a contest of devices with very different strengths and weaknesses you’ll want to examine your own use habits closely before buying. You’ll want to check out DxOMark’s camera comparison carefully and check your preferences. Will the superior display and stylus also win you over to side of Samsung? Or is it not worth the pocket space and battery drain?

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Apple iPhone 8 Plus review: Cassic look, future tech

Well, here we are. This year the time has come once more to cross to the dark side of the force, at least for a few days. All of us are anxiously waiting to try the brand new and (in its own way) revolutionary iPhone X, but we must not forget that Cupertino’s company has also presented two other devices. But first, we will be analyzing the powerful iPhone 8 Plus.

Good

  • Long battery life
  • Perfect performance
  • High quality apps in the App Store
  • Best AR platform in the mobile world
  • Wireless Recharge
  • Telephoto lens
  • Video 4K 60 fps and 1080p 240fps 4K 60 fps and 1080p 240fps

Bad

  • Screen/front panel ratio
  • No audio jack
  • Somewhat heavy
  • Lack of manual mode in the camera
  • Heats up a lot under stress

Apple iPhone 8 Plus release date and price

iPhone 8 Plus is available for purchase in three colors and two memory sizes. Silver, Gold and Space Grey colors are all available in 64GB and 256GB versions at a price of $ 799 and $ 949 respectively, not just change.

The model I’m testing is the 256GB Gold, and I have to admit that the new coloring has impressed me a lot, but I’ll get back to that. The price is really high considering that a few years ago at the same price you could buy a new MacBook, but we are used to the premium prices set by Apple and whoever chooses this type of product accepts it without protesting.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0277 Both light colours are very elegant. / © AndroidPIT

Apple iPhone 8 Plus design and build quality

At first glance, we don’t quite have the impression of using a new smartphone. The front is perfectly identical to the previous generation and in my case it’s white colored. It is on the back that we find the biggest differences. The old unibody aluminium shell has been replaced by glass.

We find again the pair of protruding cameras that featured were featured on the iPhone 7 Plus. These cameras are now surrounded by a thin band of the same color and material as the phone’s frame. Everything else (logo, etc.) is under the glass. Obviously, the smartphone tends to incline on a flat surface because of the bump that contains the cameras.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0238 Even the smallest iPhone 8 has the protruding camera. / © AndroidPIT

What I liked most about the Gold coloring of iPhone 8 Plus is the light cream-colored tint that we find under the rear glass, which matches very well with the red-copper color of the metal frame and Apple logo. The frame blends almost imperceptibly with the two glass panels present. In a certain light it is reminiscent of the Rose Gold coloring made famous by Apple and I find it the most pleasing of the three available colors. This creamy color closely resembles the Slickwraps retro skins and gives this iPhone an elegant, almost 1970’s vintage look.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0170 A rosy retro look. / © AndroidPIT

The glass panel on the back helps grip, at least in my humble opinion glass smartphones slide less than aluminum smartphones in hand, but the opposite holds true on any other surface. It’s impossible to place your smartphone on the bed, sofa, pillow or any other point not perfectly parallel to the ground without your smartphone sliding quickly in any direction. Too much attention must be paid to where the phone is placed, but this does not only apply to the iPhone 8 Plus. Apple has been working hard on the rear panel for a long time, making it the most durable back panel ever. We’ll see what happens when the first iPhone 8 Plus hits the ground due to user carelessness.

The smartphone is very awkward to handle and, although the 5.5-inch display is no longer considered huge today, the iPhone 8 Plus is very difficult to use with one hand. The weight of 202 grams makes this feeling of discomfort even worse. I find lighter smartphones with a larger display but smaller frames are much more comfortable to use in everyday life.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0206 The red-gold frame made me fall in love with the iPhone 8 Plus. / © AndroidPIT

In addition, I find that the power button on the right side is slightly too high to be easily reachable, but considering that you will be obliged to use the front home button to unlock your smartphone even if you don’t use the TouchID, this isn’t much of an issue.

Small note: the Taptic Engine that replaces the vibration in iPhone’s latest years is phenomenal and will make you forget that the Home button is “fake” by simulating the pressure click so precisely.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus display

The iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5-inch Retina HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and 401 ppi. The technology used is IPS type and guarantees natural colors, fairly high brightness and sublime overall quality. It’s hard to find full HD 5.5 inch panels that are so pleasant to look at. Unfortunately, there is no HDR mode, no 120Hz update frequency like iPad Pro and the ratio remains the classic 16:9. 

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0193 The iPhone 8 Plus’s IPS screen has a high quality but lacks support for HDR content. / © AndroidPIT

Nothing exceptional, therefore, but despite everything, it is one of the best IPS displays you can find on the market. Personally I prefer AMOLED panels but I can’t complain about this screen because of the wonderful rendering and the really nice calibration Apple has done with the colors. The display covers the entire DCI-P3 color range and has a True Tone function that adjusts the display temperature according to the ambient lighting and situation. For example: in a room with warm white light (yellow tendencies), the display will also tend slightly to yellow to balance the colors shown on the display with the surrounding environment.

Blacks are not absolute and direct sunlight sometimes makes the display less visible but does not make it unusable. Apple’s official website shows a contrast of 1300:1, which is far removed from the contrast values of OLED displays.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus special features

With iOS 11, support for ARKit – Apple’s virtual reality platform – was introduced. The company has provided developers with all the tools and APIs needed to develop applications that, with the help of the camera, can transform reality as we know it.

Aim your smartphone at the sky and you’ll see the constellations overlapping the camera images even in full daylight. Study the various organs of the human body walking around us as you observe them in three-dimensional interactive models. Build or destroy entire virtual worlds on the kitchen table with full freedom of movement to find the best viewing angle. Walk alongside extinct beasts thanks to DinosAR (which deserves a prize for the name at least). All this without the need for additional hardware.

IMG 0112 Thanks to LightSpace AR, you can draw in 3D. / © AndroidPIT

The applications that developers have been able to create are great and the iPhone 8 Plus is able to handle them effortlessly, even if a slight overheating can be detected. For now Apple, thanks to the large number of apps and their quality, confirms its leadership in virtual reality on mobile devices.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus software

iOS 11 powers the iPhone 8 Plus and as every year the new iPhone is the best way to see what the latest version can do. There aren’t many novelties but some important components of the OS have been improved. The control center can be customized and allows the use of Force Touch on some buttons to access advanced functions.

Force Touch has also been integrated into notifications and you can now respond or interact with some notifications by simply pressing them forcefully on the display (don’t get carried away, though). Screenshots have also been improved: now after capturing a screenshot, it will remain on the screen as a thumbnail for a few seconds allowing you to touch it and go directly to the editor where you can color, crop or rotate it.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0074 The new iOS 11 control center is as complete as the quick toggles on Android. / © AndroidPIT

For the first time in iPhone’s history we also find a File Manager even if not in the true sense of the word. You’ll have access to an area where you can create folders, manage files, copy and paste various items and even integrate with the main online hosting services. The problem is that it’s not a real file manager and doesn’t give us access to the real file system of the smartphone. This means that we can create our own folder structure within the application, but we will never really know where these folders are placed inside the iPhone memory. Nerd problems, I know…

During the test for most of the time I used iOS 11.0.2 but on Wednesday evening I received the update to iOS 11.0.3. No news or bugfixes beyond those declared by Apple affect this smartphone and I have not noticed any difference between the two versions.

For detailed information on iOS 11, please refer to this article written by my colleague Eric, who goes into more detail.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus performance

As with every iPhone, the pure technical specifications aren’t much to rave about. We don’t find a 10 core processor or even 8GB of RAM. But often high specifications only serve to impress the audience with nice numbers on paper. It’s true that the specifications count, but often (as happens with Mediatek processors) having so many cores and high frequencies doesn’t mean anything if the resulting performance is bad.

iPhone 8 Plus: benchmark results

 Smartphone  3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1 3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0
OnePlus 5 3736 4441 40819
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 2527 2787 31829
iPhone 8 Plus 2675 3663 63361

On the other hand, on the iPhone 8 Plus we find an Apple A11 Bionic CPU that in some tests has proved to be the fastest on the mobile market. And by no small amount. However, this only applies to pure power benchmarks such as Geekbench. In other tests carried out by myself with the help of Futuremark software, the results are not so far removed from the competition, except in a specific case, but in some cases the scores fall below some Android competitors. But as we know, benchmarks have to be taken with some salt and they are not the only yardstick of comparison between two devices.

IMG 0093 Good but not great in Futuremark’s 3D benchmarks. / © AndroidPIT

The iPhone 8 Plus runs flawlessly (no surprise) and performance in even the most complex 3D games is excellent. Never a drop in frames and never delays caused by the slowness of the hardware platform. Even AR functions have minimal latency, which is quite remarkable. Only once did I see the animation after unlocking the device slow down and lose frames but I think it was simply a small software bug as it didn’t repeat in the hundreds of daily unlockings during the course of my review.

If you are interested in technical data, the Apple A11 Bionic CPU, the same as iPhone X, is equipped with 6 cores: two high-performance and four high-efficiency CPUs as well as an NPU dedicated to performing artificial intelligence functions. This co-processor is what makes a real difference in performance and allows iPhone 8 Plus to perform complex tasks such as processing photo data in the shortest possible time. Other competitors are going down this road such as Huawei with the Kirin 970.

Screenshot 20171012 145722 Temperature before (l) and after (r) a fast 10-minute session with AR apps captured with FLIR One. / © AndroidPIT

All this power is clearly not exploited on this iPhone at present. As we well know, Apple continues to sell its smartphones for years after releasing them, which means that the power of the A11 could come back comfortably in the coming years and with future updates. AR modes and using ARKit are the only things that can stress the device a little and make it warm up. But despite the fact that your smartphone heats up easily under stress, it cools at the same speed. Apple has done a great job with heat dissipation.

iPhone 8 Plus also features the new Bluetooth 5.0 which allows us to control two different devices at the same time, as well as improving the range of data transmission.
 

Apple iPhone 8 Plus audio

The audio hasn’t changed much on these iPhones, but there are some noteworthy additions. The audio jack is still missing and you can rest assured that you will never see it again Apple is not famous for retracting its footsteps. In the box you can find the usual EarPods with lightning cable and a lightning adapter – 3.5 mm jack.

The main novelty is the system speakers. Like iPhone 7 Plus, this new device also has two stereo speakers: one facing downwards next to the charging port and the other is nothing more than the headset for calls. The system works as in some competitors’ solutions, i. e. the bass speaker acts as a woofer, while the speaker acts as a tweeter while holding the smartphone vertically. True stereocan only be achieved by using the iPhone 8 Plus in landscape. What’s new? This year’s speakers are up to 25% more powerful without loss of quality.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0203 The microphone for calls (left), the lightning port (center) and the main speaker (right). / © AndroidPIT

As for the rest, I can say that I was amazed by the maximum power and I think the sound is rich enough to ensure an excellent experience when watching videos, playing games and using AR applications. The lower speaker position is always a shame in my opinion because you’re likely to cover it easily, but few smartphones keep front stereo speakers nowadays.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus camera

The photographic hardware on iPhone 8 Plus is no different from its predecessor. We find the main wide-angle lens equivalent to 28mm focal length and aperture f/1.8 and the secondary telephoto lens with focal length equivalent to 56mm and f/2.8. Only the main camera is stabilized with OIS optical stabilization. Both sensors are 12MP in size, and reading these specifications would be expected to change nothing compared to iPhone 7 Plus in terms of results quality.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0104 Nothing has changed on paper but the iPhone 8 Plus’s camera has improved a lot compared to iPhone 7 Plus. / © AndroidPIT

It’s here that the capabilities of iPhone 8 Plus and its new bionic A11 processor come into play. Despite the fact that the photographic hardware has not changed, image processing using artificial intelligence and the finished ISP software provides far better results.

It is no coincidence that the company DxOMark, which takes charge of testing and evaluating the photographic qualities of smartphones (and other devices) has awarded him an astonishing 94 score equal to Note 8. The top spot for best smartphone camera never seems to be held by one device for long, and right now the Note 8 seems to have lost the throne. The two new Google Pixels with their score of 98 should guarantee even better photographic results.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0066 Telephoto lens without ISO. / © AndroidPIT

Speaking of concrete facts, my experience with the iPhone 8 Plus camera has been more than positive. The photos captured by the sensors are rich in colors and never overly saturated like those taken with my Galaxy S8 Plus. Contrasts are good and the dynamic contrast range is sufficient. The only thing I have to make is the quality of the photos in the dark.

It’s really difficult to get a good result not because of the lack of brightness but because of the few possible settings in Apple’s software. Photos taken in automatic mode can be under-exposed or sometimes overexposed as you can see from my picture gallery. There is a picture of the Berlin TV tower where you can see the clouds. At night. At first impression I was amazed but then I noticed that actually in reality the scene was totally different and the photo completely overexposed (which at night had never happened to me before).

Without various features such as exposure time, focal aperture, ISO and others, Apple severely limits the experience of the more demanding users. Despite everything, Apple has one of the best mobile cameras in the market, and for most users that’s fine. It’s easy to get magnificent photos by simply framing the scene and pressing the shutter release button.

iphone 8 gif loop Stage Lighting is the new feature introduced in Portrait mode. / © AndroidPIT

The portrait mode that can create the now mandatory bokeh effect has been improved by adding the stage lighting mode. In this mode, we can set various light conditions added to the face of the subject and background. Unfortunately, it does not always work as it should and the results must be taken for what they are. Good on certain occasions and forgotten in others.

The iPhone 8 Plus (together with iPhone 8 and iPhone X) is the first smartphone in the world to record 4K resolution video at 60 frames per second and the results are amazing. Just think that some professional mirrorless cameras, even though they have better sensors, do not possess this capability, even if obviously at lower resolutions the results are of higher quality. Also present is the 240fps slow-motion mode which jumped from 720p to 1080p. Videos recorded with this iPhone will amaze even Apple skeptics.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus battery

The iPhone 8 Plus’s battery is only 2675 mAh, smaller than iPhone 7 Plus. Despite this, Apple has, as every year, done a great job of hardware and software optimization. Although it maintains iPhone performance at the top of the ranking, consumption is minimal. The level of use that usually sees my Android smartphones needing to be charged in the evening doesn’t bother iPhone 8 Plus until late the next day.

Same two synchronized Gmail accounts as well as the iCloud account. Same social use: Facebook, Twitter with two profiles, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+. Same messaging apps as Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Slack and Hangouts. All notifications enabled in push. No energy saving and use of 4G/LTE at all times except at home and in the office where I use Wi-Fi. All Google apps (which I normally use) installed, localization allowed to all apps. If you can think of any other bad habit that causes a high power consumption I certainly have it. I’ve never wanted to change my habits to save battery power because I think I should be free to use my smartphone without giving up any features.

iphone 8 plus battery Numbers I’ve never managed to beat with Android competitors. / © AndroidPIT

Despite this with the iPhone 8 Plus I have managed to stay 37 hours away from the charger with more than 9h of heavy use and still 8% of battery remaining. For me, this is more than a success since I usually reach about 15 hours away from the charger with 4-5 hours of use on Android smartphones with the same apps running.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any data to compare this result with previous iPhone models as the devices I’ve tried in recent years didn’t have all these apps and accounts set up. In addition, I have never held an iPhone for more than a month to verify the consistency of these results over time. But just know that in my trial period of a couple of weeks with the iPhone 8 Plus the results have always been constant.

It is also true, however, that using augmented reality applications and ARKit will drain the battery very quickly. However, since that is not part of the daily routine of most users, it’s no big deal to me.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0071 Despite my reckless use, the battery life of iPhone 8 Plus is incredible! / © AndroidPIT

The newest wireless charging feature on all three 2017 iPhone versions is welcome. It’s not fast but is better than nothing. Yes, yes, it’s true, we Android users have had wireless charging for years but now that Apple has adopted it using an existing standard (i. e. Qi) we’ll all benefit from it.

Like all smartphones with wireless charging we’ll have to be very careful about how we place iPhone 8 Plus on the charging base to make it work properly. An inch too much out of the center and your smartphone will not charge. This is a problem that you notice more with large phones like this one. Wireless charging makes the back of the device much warmer than conventional charging.

There is a wired recharging option but the charger included in the box remains the classic 5W. Of course you can take your 12W charger from the Apple Retail Store to your home, which will save you about an hour on charging from 0% to 100%. It has to be said that considering the price of your smartphone, I expected to find one in the box.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus technical specifications

Dimensions: 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm
Weight: 202 g
Screen size: 5.5 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 7 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Internal storage: 64 GB
Number of cores: 6
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth

Final verdict

iPhone lovers have nothing to complain about with regard to design. It has to be said that compared to other top-range 2017 phones one realizes that this smartphone has been left behind. Take the Galaxy S8 Plus for example: it is almost the same size but has a much larger screen and does not have a protruding camera.

Ok, Apple has the iPhone X as an ace in its sleeve, but despite this it claims that the iPhone 8 Plus is still a top-of-the-range iPhone and therefore deserves the same treatment. As you complain about the “exaggerated” frames (as some say) of competitors like the Xperia XZ1, you can’t let this detail run on your iPhone. Apple has put all its efforts into the design on iPhone X and this means that Phone 8 Plus doesn’t look like a big leap for users, at least in terms of aesthetics. It is so similar to the previous model that it fits perfectly into the covers of the iPhone 7 Plus.

If you fall in love with the Apple ecosystem and don’t want to quit it, other phones may not exist for you and so any comparison is superfluous. But before spending your money, keep in mind that the iPhone 8 Plus doesn’t have the latest and most exciting technology from Apple. For that you’ll have to wait for the iPhone X.

The smartphone targets all users who want to update their older models such as 6S or earlier. Anyone who has an iPhone 7 Plus should not even consider this model. Another very important section of Apple’s users are those upon which the existence of iPhone itself is based, i. e. who consider this smartphone a status symbol. Many people only care about having the latest iPhone and are not interested in any new features or futuristic technology such as a bezel-less display or unlocking with facial recognition.

As a phone it’s great and works really well. It does everything it promises without any problems but if you’re thinking about spending nearly $ 1000 and you’re looking for a phone with the latest technology, you’d do better to look elsewhere or wait for iPhone X.
 

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

To device database

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Microsoft Launcher Review: an Apple by any other name?

Microsoft’s Arrow launcher has a small but dedicated fan community. Now Microsoft has significantly reworked the Android interface and re-positioned it as the “Microsoft Launcher”, and here’s our review.

Opinion by Steffen Herget

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The Microsoft Launcher was quick to download and install, and Android requests the necessary permissions both at launch and when selecting certain functions. The launcher’s surface seems modern and non-intrusive. App folders are displayed as squares and you can view up to four of the included icons at a glance without opening the folder. Android’s notifications remain untouched by the Microsoft Launcher. Briefly swiping your finger from top to bottom opens a system-wide content search like on the iPhone or current Huawei smartphones.

The feed is strangely familiar.

Two of the launcher’s most essential functions are the feed to the left of the homescreen and the quick menu that can be pulled from the bottom. The feed, which is nearly identical and located in the same place as iOS, displays numerous information, news, frequently used apps, and similar things in a bundle, and users themselves can determine what content is displayed.

Just as on the iPhone, the quick menu is pulled up from below. It contains a second row with five freely arrangeable app shortcuts, five important system settings, and a slider for controlling screen brightness. Unfortunately, the swipe-up feature only works on the homescreen, not across the entire system like with Apple.

Microsoft Launcher Test 1 The feed and the quick menu are well-designed. / © AndroidPIT

Here’s a nifty little feature: if desired, you can furnish the Microsoft Launcher with sleek background pictures from Bing. Tapping on the wallpaper icon on the homescreen loads a new one whenever you’re tired of seeing the current background. Now for the less rosy part: Bing is, of course, the default search engine in the Microsoft Launcher and its search bar, which is the reason it may quickly disappear from many homescreens.

Many options, fluid performance

The Microsoft Launcher can be configured in a myriad of ways and adjusted to your own preferences. There are options for the notification and menu bar, the notification dots, default applications and much more.

Microsoft Launcher Test 2 The Microsoft Launcher has extensive configuration options. / © AndroidPIT

Performance is quite good on the Asus ZenFone 4, the only hitch is that sometimes when you return to the homescreen from an app, it takes a moment until the symbols show up again. Otherwise, the launcher runs smoothly on the Asus smartphone, even without activating high-performance mode.

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It’s a bit strange how Microsoft is blatantly conjuring up some of that Apple feel on Android smartphones. But the appearance—even though it’s a matter of taste—is pleasant, the performance is good and there are assorted options, so there’s nothing wrong with trying the Microsoft Launcher once to see if it matches your sensibilities.

Arrow Launcher Install on Google Play

What is your favorite launcher for Android? Or do you prefer it pure and unadulterated?

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Can you use an Apple Watch with an Android smartphone?

Despite its late arrival to the smartwatch market, the Apple Watch is currently the best-selling smartwatch in the world. What’s even better is that Apple could even become the top watch manufacturer in the world according to Tim Cook, CEO of the company. It’s not unusual for many Android users to be interested in this product. But can you use an Apple Watch with an Android smartphone? The answer is in our article.

Does the Apple Watch work with an Android smartphone?

In theory, no. Apple didn’t plan for any official compatibility between their smartwatch and an Android smartphone. To use the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + 4G), you need an iPhone 6 or a more recent model with the latest version of iOS. To use the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) or the older models of the Apple Watch, you need an iPhone 5s or a more recent model, with the latest version of iOS.

Apple didn’t plan for any official compatibility between their smartwatch and an Android smartphone

Why isn’t this possible?

No official Watch application is available on the Google Play Store for Android users. It’s not possible to synchronize your Android phone with the Apple Watch. To reinforce the incompatibility, Apple encrypts information shared between the iPhone and the Apple Watch, which can be achieved through a simple Bluetooth connection.

Why doesn’t the latest Apple Watch Series 3 with 4G LTE work with an Android smartphone?

Unfortunately, the launch of the Apple Watch Series 3 with a GSM modem/4G LTE still hasn’t resolved the compatibility issue between the Apple smartwatch and Android phones. Apple doesn’t offer a nano-SIM slot on the new smartwatch. It’s up to the operators to offer services allowing the watch’s integrated SIM to link to your smartphone.

AndroidPIT iPhone X 15 Apple Watch Series 3 © AndroidPIT

So, of course, there’s a possibility that you could sync your Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular with an Android smartphone but this solution is reserved for tinkerers. Be aware that you must have an iPhone (or that someone you know must have one) to insert your SIM card to set up the Apple Watch and then connect it to your Android smartphone. The compatibility isn’t perfect and seriously harms the battery of the connected watch. If you’re determined, you can follow the tutorial by iMore.

Will there always be incompatibility between the Apple Watch and Android smartphones?

The race of the connected watches is in full swing. While Apple is in the lead, it won’t be long until the Cupertino firm faces competition from Samsung, Garmin, Fitbit or even Fossil. One of the reasons for this is, in fact, the inability to correctly use an Android smartphone with an Apple Watch. Apple would have everything to gain by offering compatibility with Android in order to gain more users. However, nothing is to be won when the brand is only focused on encouraging more users to buy an iPhone and an Apple Watch.

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The Apple Watch will face real competition soon due to its incompatibility with Android phones

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What are the alternatives?

Finally, if you’re really interested in buying a smartwatch, know that there are other smartwatches available from brands other than Apple. There is a vast range available nowadays. I advise you to take a look at our list of the best Android smartwatches.

What smartwatch is your favorite of the moment? Do you want the Apple Watch? Discuss with us in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Facial recognition: Android manufacturers are chasing after Apple

The iPhone X has yet to hit the market, so nobody knows how well Face ID actually works. However, buzz around 3D facial recognition is making the vast majority of Android manufacturers nervous. This is only to be expected, given what we know about how the industry works.

As the experts at KGI have found out, face recognition using special 3D sensors is the current hot topic of the smartphone industry. According to the survey, since the presentation of the iPhone X, the search queries for the new 3D sensors used for face recognition have tripled. At the same time, interest in the “traditional” fingerprint sensor – which has only been used in smartphones for four years – is also declining rapidly.

It was obvious at the time of the presentation how this would go. It’s the same old story. The face recognition technology that – remember – has been available on smartphones for years, is presented by Apple and will then be adopted by the Android manufacturers. Like the fingerprint sensor, face recognition will be seen on an increasing number of Android smartphones in the coming months. That’s not very creative, but companies feel that their hands are forced by Apple’s market power and popularity.

Technology has got to be fun

By the way, Face ID is not just about facial recognition. The Animojis introduced by Apple with the new iPhones may seem silly at first, but they show that the technology can also be used for a lot of other things, even if it’s something silly-sounding like animated animal faces with their own facial expressions. Let’s face it: if a technology does not promise the masses a bit of fun, then it won’t make a splash in the market.

apple iphone x 07 The technology should also be fun, like with Animojis. / © Apple

However, there is another side to this story: the unfulfilled hope of a breakthrough in some technologies, such as the “under-display” optical fingerprint sensor. The Galaxy S8 was already supposed have a sensor like this, but the engineers couldn’t implement it in time for release. As a result, Samsung users have to contort their fingers in search of the poorly placed sensor on the back – a lazy compromise. Similarly, Apple wanted to include a under-display fingerprint sensor in the iPhone X in order to offer an alternative to Face ID, but also ran out of time before their release deadline.

You won’t get anywhere without OLEDs

Such newfangled fingerprint sensors would probably not be available for the mass of consumers anyway, as the technology can only be used with OLED panels. This makes it difficult to provide mass-produced solutions outside of expensive, high-end smartphones, especially as Samsung enjoys a very dominant position in this area.

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But fingerprint authentication, OLEDs displays, only serve to demonstrate once again what has always been reliable in the past: Apple doesn’t set any technical records on paper, but it sets the actual market trends. No matter what the Android competition does, if Apple starts off in one direction, then the others are compelled to follow.

Apple is technically ahead this time

This will not necessarily change if Samsung succeeds in actually getting the under-display fingerprint sensor to debut on Galaxy Note 9 for the first time, as a report by Business Insider suggests. It seems that facial recognition in the Samsung devices is much less advanced and less secure than in Apple. Business Insider states that Apple has an advantage of 18 to 30 months over Samsung when it comes to facial authentication. The new fingerprint sensor would thus only be a transitional solution until Samsung can catch up to Apple’s solution – which was also the case with the introduction of Touch ID.

It’s going to work like this: Samsung does it first, then Apple will make it better later, and only then does everyone else have to have it.

What do you think? Does the Android competition really have to follow every Apple trend? Or would a little more self-confidence do good here?
 

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 may come with feature Apple left out

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be next in the popular premium phablet range, and according to industry insiders, it may come with a key feature that Apple was forced to drop from the iPhone X during the anniversary phone’s troubled production.

The feature in question would be an “under-display optical fingerprint” sensor. Although fingerprint sensors are fast becoming the norm on smartphones, the next generation of high-end phones might not have any visible sensor at all. Instead of having the sensor as a separate hardware piece, future flagships could feature the “under-display” model, where the fingerprint reader comes built into the screen. And Samsung could be the first to bring this new feature to consumers, beating their main rivals to the punch.

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This news comes from a note sent to clients by respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, known for his understanding of the Asian electronics market. Kuo’s note, originally seen and reported on by Business Insider, mentions that Samsung may put an under-display fingerprint reader on 2018’s Galaxy Note 9. 

This would enable Galaxy Note 9 users to unlock their phone by simply placing their finger on the screen. It seems unlikely that the upcoming S9 would have the same feature though.

AndroidPIT Samsung NOTE 8 GOLD 4379 The latest Galaxy Note has the fingerprint sensor on the back, but this could be about to change / © AndroidPIT

Interestingly for those who follow the close rivalry (and increasing similarity) between Samsung and Apple, Apple tried to include an under-display optical fingerprint sensor in the iPhone X. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple ended up ditching the feature as the summer deadline approached. The iPhone X instead came with FaceID, taking advantage of its custom 3D sensors. In contrast, Samsung’s facial recognition technology can’t quite keep up with Apple’s.

According to Kuo’s note, Korean companies BeyondEyes and the Samsung subsidiary Samsung LSI are the favorites to win the contract for the fingerprint sensor. Egis, Samsung’s current supplier, might also be in the running. 

For what it’s worth, Kuo gives the advantage to Apple, preferring 3D facial recognition over fingerprint sensors when it comes to biometric identification.

How would you rather your phone recognize you? Fingerprint or facial ID?

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Shrinking edges: Has Apple created the design trend for 2017?

New iPhones are always a hot topic of discussion, and this holds particularly true this year, for Apple has added a radical, newly designed iPhone – the iPhone X – to its minor refreshes, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. This is the iPhone that Apple has always wanted to introduce. In addition to a few other features, one thing is apparent: There is hardly any bezel around the display. has Apple pushed other manufacturers in a tight spot?

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There have long been rumors and renders that showed the iPhone X with its basic features: a notch could be seen on the top edge of the nearly bezel-less display. Anyone can come up with the superlatives in Apple’s show, and people who have watched it live may still hear it as a quiet echo in their heads.

apple keynote iphone x 10 The greatest iPhone of all time – at least, according to Apple / © Apple

Now, this is where people like to interject and say that Apple was not particularly innovative: Sharp, Xiaomi, LG, Samsung and, lately, Essential have already introduced smartphones with next-to-no bezels. Xiaomi and Essential were the biggest contenders: The former positioned the selfie camera below the display and, to compensate, reduced the upper bezel to one or two millimeters. On the other hand, Essential left the selfie camera at the top, but settled for a small bezel in exchange. Curiously, it remains below the display, but in an unused area.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy S8 vs xiaomi mi mix comparison 5602 Xiaomi Mi Mix and the Galaxy S8 / © AndroidPIT

Apple has opted to follow the Essential route: A small notch above the display provides room for a selfie cam and sensors; otherwise the display stretches to the edges – even on the bottom. It looks great and may not look big in many apps – for example, you could hardly guess that the small notch would lead to problems when surfing and messaging. On the other hand, there may be some unpleasant surprises in landscape mode – The Verge published some interesting screenshots regarding this. For instance, the Safari browser shows two white areas on the side so that the website does not disappear behind the selfie cam area (ostensibly, it does not protect the scroll bar from disappearing).

However, this neglect is already gone in videos: Videos in Apple’s presentation always ran in full-screen mode. One thing was apparent, however: The videos were always very dark on the left near the selfie cam. Was this intentional? I would lean toward a yes, because in a half-second, you would recognize how the video looks when you see a bright background – in this case, a sunset; not very sleek.

Of course, there are always two opinions for such matters.

Samsung and LG have found another solution to remove the small edges. The display edges are reduced by approximately two millimeters on the side and a few more at the bottom. These efforts resulted in displays without a bezel and yet, smartphones that are easy to handle.

AndroidPIT glaxy note 8 vs lg v 30 vs s8 9994 LG V30, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 / © AndroidPIT

The intention to fully remove bezels around the display actually seems questionable. On the one hand, one or two millimeters always remain; on the other hand, the practical use seems doubtful. Either it disfigures the display geometry (Essential, Apple) or questionably moves the position of the components (Xiaomi). Perhaps this would have been the best method:

Of course, pictures of these bezel-less smartphones look great – especially when they show pictures of the camera and virtually coalesce with the environment. Lately, such pictures have also turned out well with classic smartphones. And what about Samsung’s S8 advertising campaigns? They also showed that the smartphone was supposed to be “invisible”.

Apple has finally made bezel-less displays a design trend of 2017 with the iPhone X. It’s hardly imaginable that future high-end smartphones will return to large bezels, but at least this was already the case before for LG and Samsung. It doesn’t look like we’ll be going back to small display borders. Apple’s notch solution may not be the best, but it does hint at one sign: the days of bezels are numbered.

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But manufacturers must still find out which solution is the best: Is it a small bezel on the display? Should there be small bezels on top and/or the bottom? What do you think? Share your thoughts below!

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Apple has presented its new Samsung!

In 2015, I read a hilarious spoof article: “Samsung presents its new iPhone”; that had me on the floor with: “The feeling that it is the actual iPhone lasts about 4 minutes longer than it used to”. At that time the iPhone 6 was the leader of the pack and the satire site was poking fun at the Galaxy S6 as an obvious attempt to imitate Apple’s design.

More than two years later, it looks like Apple has lost its place as the design icon and the competition is starting to come into its own. The new iPhone X is a good indicator that Apple has stopped being innovative and has begun looking to its competition for inspiration, and I’m not just talking about Samsung.

Apple isn’t what it used to be

For the tenth anniversary of the first iPhone, Apple couldn’t come to the table empty-handed, and so it launched a new device. It’s the first time that Apple has presented two different models at the same time, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. The iPhone 8 could have been named iPhone 7s, but Apple decided to go up a number. Maybe it’s good for marketing.

OLED display like on Samsung

The iPhone X is the most innovative phone in the Apple ecosystem, but it actually doesn’t look all that new. It comes with a new OLED display, something that has been the calling card of Samsung Galaxy phones for generations. The name is also kind of funny since Apple has inaugurated it as their Super Retina Display and Samsung has always called their display technology Super AMOLED. Super coincidence?

samsung galaxy note 8 s8 plus front The new iPhone X has a display just like Samsung’s/ © AndroidPIT

Borderless display like on Xiaomi

Another display update on the iPhone X joins the new fashion of borderless displays or rather, displays that use up the maximum amount of front surface possible. The first launch this year with the new format and a display that took up more than 78% was the LG G6, next came the S8 (~83.6%), Essential Phone (~84.9%), Note 8 (~83.2), V30 (~81.2%), Mi MIX 2 (~80.8%) and lastly the iPhone X (~82.9%).
 

Lowest price: Xiaomi Mi MIX

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However, this feature of lengthening the screen to the edge of the frame became relevant for the first time in a modest range of smartphones, the Aquos Crystal from Sharp (2014). In 2016, Xiaomi took up the baton with its first Mi MIX, which improved on but kept the lines of Aquos Crystal. I still think it’s the best ambassador for this trend after seeing the second edition. It looks like Apple has also been inspired by the competition and discovered that it’s the best thing for their customers.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi Mi Mix 2123 Mi MIX: this is what borderless means / © ANDROIDPIT

Facial recognition from Android

The biggest gamble on the iPhone X is how it’s unlocked. In the past, iPhone has always been unlocked with a PIN and starting with the iPhone 5s, a fingerprint reader. On the iPhone X, forget about your finger, because they’ve joined the facial recognition game, or Face ID. Facial recognition has been on Android devices for a while now and since the failed Galaxy Note 7, the iris scanner is becoming increasingly important. Apple was the last to sign on to this tech, gambling hard on it even as it applies its own twist on the format.

Back covered in glass just like the rest

From the iPhone 6 to the new iPhone 8 and 8 plus, Apple has repeated the same design. The last two have a glass back just like the Galaxy S line has had since the S6. The excuse seems to be the new wireless charger that the latest generation of iPhone comes with. We all know that neither the iPhone 8 nor the iPhone X are the first to have a glass back. They’re not even the first ones from Apple. At this point, the construction seems less like an update and more like an adaptation based on the market’s needs. A way to put themselves on the same field as the competition.

u11 xzp s8 g6 Who doesn’t have a glass back nowadays? / © AndroidPIT

Intuitive system gestures like in Sailfish OS

Throughout the entire presentation for the new iPhone X, I felt like I had seen it all before. When it got to the part about software and new gestures for iOS 11, I thought “they copied this.” Apart from swiping on the status bar to bring up quick settings, which is taken from Android, opening multitasking and going back to the start is a copy of Sailfish OS. Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane. Sailfish OS, developed by the independent Finnish company Jolla, and derived from the old Nokia Maemo project, is soon to be available on Sony Xperia X. Honestly, I think all mobile operating systems should copy Sailfish OS.

AndroidPIT sailfish os 3256 Sailfish OS: move through the system with gestures, without a back button or having to break your fingers. / © ANDROIDPIT

The recipe for success: improve on what you imitate

All these new features on the iPhone seem like a logical evolution, but it’s also unavoidable to think that the iPhone looks more than ever like a Galaxy. But Apple has a huge ace up its sleeve: Apple doesn’t test things, they sell them.

Anything that Apple releases is usually very finely tuned. Honestly, if one of the most profitable tech companies in the world can’t do the R+D, nobody can. Apple has always grabbed ideas that were around floating around and made them a reality. Facial recognition is a perfect example of that.

apple keynote iphone x price 5 Despite the price of the iPhone X, I’m sure they’ll sell a ton. / © Apple

With an S8, if you’re completely in the dark neither the iris scanner nor the facial recognition work very well. The iPhone X still needs to be tested in the dark, but it looks like there’s hope for it.

Opinion by Luis Ortega

Google tests and plays with the tech, Apple sells it

What do you think?

5 participants

At the end of the day, it’s all a question of trust and fulfilling promises. Apple can sell, and it knows how to market. But when it comes to design, at least where smartphones are concerned, it looks like Apple has hit a wall.

Do you think that the new iPhone X looks a lot like a Samsung? Do you think that next year every smartphone will have that notch in it?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Poll: Did Apple or Samsung have the best flagships of 2017?

Apple just revealed its new smartphones, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X (“Ten”). How do they compare to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, the cream of the crop in the Android world? We want to know what you think!

Samsung vs Apple: battle of the top manufacturers

Samsung’s high end offerings are the most coveted among Android users, and this year’s additions to the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series have left a very good impression on us so far. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ introduced a modern, luxurious design with all glass and curves. The Note 8 follows suit with the same style and top of the line hardware, plus a few tricks of its own like the S-Pen.

Just days ago, Apple had its big unveiling of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. These devices seem to have taken some inspiration from cutting edge Android smartphones. The tenth iPhone takes a big step forward in terms of design, ditching its iconic bezels and home button for a trendy bezel-less design with a notch at the top of the display for the sensors. The iPhone 8, on the other hand, probably should have just been called the iPhone 7S, as it wasn’t so revolutionary. The finer points of the devices are the new A11 Bionic chip, facial recognition, wireless charging thanks to glass backs and augmented reality capabilities.

With their latest smartphones, both Samsung and Apple offer top shelf hardware, design and high prices to match. To refresh your memory, here’s how much each is going for in the US right now:

  • Samsung Galaxy S8: $ 724
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+: $ 824
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8: $ 929
  • iPhone 8: $ 699
  • iPhone 8 Plus: $ 799
  • iPhone X: $ 999

Which manufacturer’s offerings excite you most? Which has the best value for your money? Vote below for the device you’d choose, and we’ll see which side wins!

Let us know what your deciding factors were in the comments!

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