Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Essential Phone PH-1: Two EPIC Android Phones For 2017

Samsung is launching a new Galaxy Note 8, but should it be worried by the Essential Phone?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has now launched following the firm's Samsung Unpacked event which took place in New York on August 23. The phone is poised to arrive in stores on September 15 but is already up for pre-order in some regions.

The announcement comes, as usual, following a long period of leaks, rumours, speculation, and general excitement. Unsurprisingly, the picture we had of the Galaxy Note 8 just ahead of its launch was pretty much 100% spot on accurate, as all the leaks up until that point had coalesced into giving us a full run-down of what to expect. Such is the rumour mill these days!

As the leaks tipped, for the most part the Galaxy Note 8 is  very similar to the Galaxy S8+, due to the 6.3in screen diagonal being only 0.1in bigger and, typically for the Galaxy Note series, it shares a lot of tech and design features with the Galaxy S8 range from the same year. It's more squared off in design though, and it packs the S-Pen stylus with added multitasking features, as well as the much-hyped dual-sensor camera.

It's not landing in a quiet marketplace, however. A Google Pixel 2 launch is imminent, as is the iPhone 8, and right now we've just seen Nokia unwrap the Nokia 8 Android flagship for a rather spectacular return to the industry, as well as Andy Rubin's Essential Phone (PH-1) debuting as a kind of Nexus/Pixel rival that will also give Samsung a run for its money.

The Essential Phone, aka the Essential PH-1 (its official title), is the brainchild of Andy Rubin, co-founder of the Android OS and considered by many to be the true father of the platform. The Essential Phone is pretty much another crack at the Google Nexus/Pixel concept of a streamlined, stripped-down handset optimised for running pure vanilla Android as it's supposed to be. It packs some interesting features such as a Titanium body and its own dual-camera hardware, it's also got plenty of other flagship level specs such as Qualcomm's S835 processor.

But how do the two compare? Let's look at the raw specs...

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Specs

  • Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.6 x 8.5mm
  • Display: 6.3in Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960x1440 Infinity Display (18.5:9 Aspect Ratio)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (10nm) octa-core CPU OR Samsung Exynos 8995 (10nm) octa-core CPU - region dependent
  • GPU: Adreno 540 (Qualcomm Snapdragon) OR ARM Mali-G71 (Samsung Exynos) - region dependent
  • RAM:6GB
  • Software: Android Nougat
  • Connectivity: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Type-C USB, NFC, GPS, Fingerprint scanner, Iris Scanner, Face Scanner
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB or 256GB - region dependent
  • MicroSD: Yes
  • Primary Camera: Dual-12MP, f/1.7 and f/2.4 apertures, 1/2.3" sensor size, 1.55┬Ám pixel size, Dual-Pixel Phase Detection Autofocus, OIS, 2x optical zoom, touch focus, face/smile detection, Auto HDR, panorama, 2160p video @30fps, 1080p video @60fps
  • Secondary Camera: 8MP with autofocus, f/1.7 aperture, Auto HDR, 1440p video @30fps
  • Battery: 3,300mAh
  • Other: IP68 Certified (Water & Dust Resistant), S-Pen Stylus

Essential Phone PH-1 Specs

  • Dimensions: 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8mm [Titanium Body]
  • Weight: 185g
  • Display: 5.71in IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen 1312 x 2560 pixels (504 ppi)
  • Processor: MSM8998 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-core (4x2.45 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo)
  • GPU: Adreno 540
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Software: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Connectivity: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Type-C USB, NFC, GPS, Fingerprint scanner,
  • Storage: 128GB
  • MicroSD: No
  • Primary Camera: Dual-13MP, f/1.9 aperture, phase detection & laser autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panoramic capture 2160p video @30fps, 1080p video @60fps, 720p video @120fps
  • Secondary Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2 aperture, 2160p video @30fps, 1080pvideo @60fps, 720p video @120fps
  • Battery: 3040mAh