Well, the big 3 have released there Flagships phones for this year, Apple with the iPhone 8, Samsung with the S8 and Google with the Pixel 2. I know Apple will be releasing the iPhone X later in the year but at $999 it is out of most peoples price range so I’ll stick to the main consumer phones, not the fan boys phone. I also go into the security benefits for each phone.
I currently rock a iPhone SE 64Gb so my conclusion will also include this phone. I will not be comparing specs for each phone either, since all the above phones are plenty fast enough for the normal consumer. I will be looking at the camera and storage though as that is important to the average user.
Google Pixel 2
The Google Pixel 2 is a good phone for people who do not want gimmicks. It rocks the highest rated camera on any smartphone, a good fingerprint reader to unlock the phone and use Android Pay with, a pure version of Android that has guaranteed updates to the latest version of Android for 3 years. You also get Google Assistant with this phone front and centre. Personally I never use a personal assistant (I use Alexa on my Echo to turn on Tune In or Timers, that’s it) so this is a mute point for me.
The single camera on the Pixel 2 is the highest rating on any smartphone, and can do Portrait mode with just one camera. This is important as the small Pixel 2 camera can do this mode as well as the larger Pixel 2 XL.
The Pixel 2 comes with 64Gb Of Storage minimum and can go to 128Gb for a price of course. One advantage over all the other phones in this post is that the Pixel 2 comes with unlimited storage of Photos and Videos at the Max resolution with Google Photo’s for any photo or video took with the phone.
The battery should last you through the normal working day.
You dont get wireless charging with this phone but it is waterproof and dust proof. It does not come with a headphone jack.
Samsung Galaxy S8
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the flagship phone for the largest manufacturer of Android phones in the world. It does have a lot of gimmicks in the phone like Iris scanner unlock that is very insecure (can be fooled with a photo of the owner) and Bixby (reason why I have no idea since you also get Google Assistant, probably the best AI personal assistant currently available) but it does come with a very good screen and you get 64Gb of Storage as standard.
Samsung puts its own skin on top of Android, which some people like but personally I hate since it creates more ways for bad guys to hack the phone, and also slows updates going to the phone since Samsung has to modify the updates to work with the phone as well.
As with all Samsung Flagships, you will get the latest version of Android on the phone at time of release, and usually get the next version as well, but after that you will only get security updates, not the latest release of Android. This is one of the main reasons why I will never get a Samsung.
The camera is the second highest rating camera on the market at the time of writing this blog post, tied with the iPhone 8 and behind the Pixel 2. You dont get the portrait mode on the S8 but you do on the S8+.
The battery should last you through a normal working day.
You also get wireless charging and the phone is waterproof and dust proof as well. It does come with a headphone jack.
Apple iPhone 8
The iPhone 8 is the latest phone from Apple, that will be superseded by the iPhone X in a month or 2 at the time of writing. But as the iPhone X starts at $999 I will not be talking about that phone here.
The iPhone 8 is not much different to the iPhone 7 in may ways, but has a few important differences. First of is the brains of the phone, the CPU. This is by far the fastest processor in any phone today. BUT as a normal user you will not notice any difference with this speed as the other processors for the past 2 years have been fast enough for normal users. The only people who will notice the difference is super power users or people who uses the AR capabilities of this phone (AR = Argumented Reality, the so called next big thing but I have not met anyone of of techie circles who know what that means). You do get 64Gb as minimum on the iPhone all the way up to 256Gb if you do desire and pay for.
The camera on the back of the iPhone 8 is the second highest rated camera of the current phones out at time of writing, this is tied with the Samsung S8 and behind the Google Pixel 2. You do not get portrait mode with the iPhone 8 but you do with the iPhone 8+. You also get the most modes for portrait with the iPhone 8+. You do get 5Gb of iCloud storage to backup your photos and backup your phone, but that will not last long.
The iPhone 8 runs iOS, which Apple makes. This means that you will get all updates for at least 4 years. iOS is also significantly different to Android that is on the other 2 phones. I could argue that iOS or Android is better but that’s personal preference.
The battery should easily last you the working day, sometimes 2 days.
You also get wireless charging and the phone is waterproof and dust proof as well. It does not come with a headphone jack.
Security on a mobile phone can not be overstated. Just think what is on your phone. If you do mobile banking then your bank details are on there, your personal information is on there via contacts, your calendar is on there, your social media details are on there as well.
With this in mind here are the ups and downs of each phone for security. Just note that ALL software so ALL phones have security holes. What matters is how fast does a fix become available and how fast does the end user get that fix.
Google Pixel 2
As google makes Android, fixes usually come out fast. Some security holes have taken a few months to fix however.
Depending on where you got your phone is depending on how fast you get the fix. If you got it direct from Google then you are in good shape in that Google ships the update to you. If you got it from your carrier then Google passes it to your carrier who does some tests before shipping it to your phone. Sometimes patches never gets released as well.
Samsung has to wait for Google to create the patch then they have to modify the patch to work with the customisation’s that Samsung has done to Android that comes with the S8. Then it also depends on where you got your phone from like it does with the Pixel. If you got it from the carrier then the carrier has to test the patch before they ship it to your phone. If you got it direct from Samsung then they ship it to your phone.
As Apple controls everything from doing the fix to releasing the fix to end users, they have a very good record of security. Although some security holes have gone unpached for a month or two in the past, they are generally very good on security. This does not matter if you get the phone from Apple or from your carrier.This also applies to all iPhones that are supported (at time of writing this is the iPhone 5s above)
All the above phones work well for any normal user. In fact, if you are currently rocking a very old phone(2-3 years old), and don’t mind the sizes of the phones above (4.7” screen to 6” screen) then I would strongly recommend the Pixel 2 or iPhone 8. I would NOT recommend the S8 due to the updates. I prefer strong security above anything else.
All the phones above are plenty fast enough for the average user, all come with a minimum of 64Gb of storage but the Pixel 2 has a bonus in that you also get the unlimited storage for full res photos and videos on Google Photos as well.
The iPhone 8 has the best battery life of the phones above while the Pixel 2 has the best camera.
Also I don’t like the trend of edge to edge displays, all that does for me is make the display easier to crack so more expense. This is true for ANY manufacture, no matter how tough they say the glass is. The iPhone 8 is extremely hazardous to this due to it has “reinforced” glass on the front and back of the phone.
What am I getting?
As for me, I will not be getting any of the phones above for 1 simple reason. I like small phones. When I am out running or Mountain Biking I like to carry a small phone with me so I have less chance of scratching the screen, also the iPhone SE 64Gb I have does everything I want and has a good enough camera for me (I only use the camera to post on Facebook, Instagram and on this blog post). The only downside to the SE is that it is not waterproof like all the phones on this post.
The fact that it also has a headphone jack doesn’t bother me as I use the Beats Powerbeats 3 Bluetooth headphones anyway.