The Smartphone Dilemma: Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy Note 8 or iPhone X?

iPhone X - Pixabay

If you are on the verge of upgrading or getting a new smartphone, do you do it now or do you wait until the “latest and greatest” are available? This is a hard decision since there always seems to be something “greater” coming soon. To help you resolve this dilemma, consider the latest offerings from Google, Samsung and Apple—the Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X. Because of the release dates for the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X, CNET and other reviewers have found it difficult to test them against the fully-reviewed Galaxy Note 8. Nonetheless, here are some key factors to think about regarding each phone based on information gathered to date.

Screen Size

Consumer preferences and behavior are changing as content and connectivity stretch the size of screens. Mobile subscribers are streaming entertainment and using wireless data at an accelerating pace. Content is virtually unlimited and data bundles keep growing. These elements helped to drive the increase in screen size.

Slim bezels and screens that take up almost the entire face of the phone are in, and the combination is giving large-screen handsets a smaller footprint overall.

CNET used a screen-to-body-ratio calculator to find out which of the three phones gives you the most screen in the smallest package. The calculator uses the screen size, screen resolution, height and width to determine the percent of the phone face that makes up the display.

Pixel 2 XL

  • 76.71 percent

Galaxy Note 8

  • 82.76 percent

iPhone X

  • 81.51 percent

Camera Technology

Camera quality is one of the main reasons people buy one phone over another. While CNET couldn’t  compare image quality among these phones yet, it did dig into the camera specs.

Notably, the Pixel 2 phones have one rear camera, not two. Google claims its tech is so good on the single 12.2-megapixel shooter it doesn’t need a second lens. It can achieve the same depth-effect portrait mode with one camera. Photography test site DxOMark gave the Pixel 2 camera its highest rating ever, at 98. The Galaxy Note 8 scored 94. DxOMark hasn’t rated the iPhone X yet.

Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone X stands out because its camera adds a dramatic portrait lighting effect to enhance depth-effect photos. This is a beta feature on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

The Galaxy Note 8, the first Samsung phone with dual cameras and portrait mode, has an effect that saves a wide-angle version of the image along with the telephoto portrait shot. As a result, you get both with the snap of a lens. The iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL will also save two versions of the image, but the exact format is yet to be tested.

Battery Life and Storage

The following battery life information for the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X are figures from their respective companies. Galaxy Note 8 battery life information is based on CNET testing. As for storage, all three phones start at the 64GB level.

Pixel 2 XL

  • Battery: 3520 mAh battery, up to 7 hours with a mix of talk, data and standby use
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB

Galaxy Note 8

  • Battery: 3300mAh, 17 hours, 30 minutes (based on CNET testing)
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB (may vary by country and carrier)

iPhone X

  • Battery: 2716 mAh, 21 hours talk time, 12 hours Internet use and 13 hours video
  • Storage: 64GB or 256GB

Bonus Extras

Each phone has some unique qualities that could play a part in your decision.

Pixel 2 XL

  • Squeezable frame launches Google Assistant and silences incoming calls
  • Blends optical image stabilization and digital image stabilization to produce smooth video
  • Auto-hotspot with Pixelbook laptop

Galaxy Note 8

  • S Pen stylus comes bundled with the phone
  • Curved screens with specialized shortcut software
  • Headphone jack

iPhone X

  • Face ID to unlock the phone*
  • Portrait lighting mode
  • Slow-sync camera flash

*According to Forbes, Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo says Apple has run into significant problems mass producing the ‘TrueDepth’ camera sensor the iPhone X uses for its Face ID facial recognition system. As a result, iPhone X availability will be extremely limited until 2018.

Cost

These phones start at the mid-$800 range and peak above the $1000 mark. Here are the full retail prices of the phones at launch:

Pixel 2 XL

  • $849 (64GB) and $949 (128GB)

Galaxy Note 8

  • AT&T: $950, Verizon: $960, T-Mobile: $930, Sprint: $960 (64GB)

iPhone X

  • $999 (64GB) and $1149 (256GB)

If you are determined to get one of these new smartphones ASAP, you now at least have key information for making this decision. If you are a little more cautious, it might be worth waiting a couple months until the early-adopters have had a chance to use and share their experiences with the devices.

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Ryan Lahti is the founder and managing principal of OrgLeader. Stay up to date on Ryan’s STEM organization tweets here: @ryanlahti

(Photo: iPhone X, Pixabay)

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