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Here’s how the Galaxy Note 8 stacks up against the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8

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Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

It’s been a long road for fans of Samsung’s Galaxy Note phones, but the Note 8 is finally here. Combining the stunning design of the S8 with the iconic S Pen and the biggest screen Samsung has ever put on a phone, the Note 8 looks like it could be the ultimate phablet-style device.

But it’s also true that it’s harder than ever to stand out in the smartphone industry. Looking at the lineup of the Note 8’s contemporaries, it’s hard to find things that are wholly unique to the Note. Nearly every flagship has a comparable Snapdragon 835 processor and tons of RAM, the Note 8 is by no means the first to have a dual-camera setup, and Samsung already makes a huge phone with a nearly edge-to-edge display in the form of the S8 Plus.

But while the various pieces of the Note may exist in other phones, the Note line’s best entries have always combined those elements into something more than the sum of its parts. Things like software, performance, and battery life play just as big a role in how good a phone is as the raw specifications. (One only need look at Apple’s relatively underpowered iPhones to see how big an advantage optimization can be.)

It’s too early to say whether the Note 8 is the best option for you, especially with the oncoming rush of phones expected in the next few months, as both Apple and Google gear up for new iterations of the iPhone and Pixel. But if you’re deciding things today, here’s how the specifications of the best smartphones around look when going head-to-head.

Galaxy Note 8 Spec Comparison

Specification Galaxy Note 8 Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8 Plus Essential Phone iPhone 7 iPhone 7 Plus Pixel Pixel XL HTC U11
Specification Galaxy Note 8 Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8 Plus Essential Phone iPhone 7 iPhone 7 Plus Pixel Pixel XL HTC U11
Display 6.3 inches 5.8 inches 6.2 inches 5.71 inches 4.7 inches 5.5 inches 5 inches 5.5 inches 5.5 inches
Resolution 2960 x 1440 2960 x 1440 2960 x 1440 2560 x 1312 1334 x 750 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1440
Processor Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz and 1.9GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz and 1.9GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz and 1.9GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 835 (2.45GHz and 1.9GHz, octa-core) A10 Fusion A10 Fusion Snapdragon 821 (quad-core) Snapdragon 821 (quad-core) Snapdragon 835 (2.45GHz, octa-core)
RAM 6GB 4GB 4GB 4GB 2GB 3GB 4GB 4GB 4GB, 6GB
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB 64GB 128GB 32GB, 128GB, 256GB 32GB, 128GB, 256GB 32GB, 128GB 32GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB
Rear camera 12 megapixel, 12 megapixel (wide) 12 megapixel 12 megapixel 13 megapixel, 13 megapixel (monochrome) 12 megapixel 12 megapixel, 12 megapixel (wide) 12.3 megapixel 12.3 megapixel 12 megapixel
Front camera 8 megapixel 8 megapixel 8 megapixel 8 megapixel 7 megapixel 7 megapixel 8 megapixel 8 megapixel 16 megapixel
Battery 3,300mAh 3,000mAh 3,500mAh 3,040mAh 1,960mAh 2,900mAh 2,770mAH 3,450mAh 3,000mAh
Water protection IP68 IP68 IP68 N/A IP67 IP67 N/A N/A IP67
Weight 0.43 pounds 0.34 pounds 0.38 pounds 0.41 pounds 0.30 pounds 0.41 pounds 0.31 pounds 0.37 pounds 0.37 pounds
Dimensions (in.) 6.40 x 2.94 x 0.34 5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 6.28 x 2.88 x 0.31 5.57 x 2.80 x 0.31 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 5.66 x 2.74 x 0.29 6.09 x 2.98 x 0.29 6.06 x 2.99 x 0.31
Starting price $930 $749.00 $849.00 $699.00 $649.00 $769.00 $649.00 $769.00 $649.00
Misc. S Pen, Iris scanner, USB-C Iris scanner, USB-C Iris scanner, USB-C Modular attachement system "Force Touch" home button, no headphone jack "Force Touch" home button, no headphone jack Google Assistant, fast charging Google Assistant, fast charging Squeezable side function