The end of the year is nigh so we thought we’d have a little fun and compare the speed and agility of the iPhone X against the Pixel 2 XL and the Galaxy Note 8. These are some of the biggest and the most powerful smartphones of 2017. This is by no means a foolproof, scientific test but it should paint a picture as to which device is faster and which phone may be best for you, depending on the scenario.
Before we start, let’s run over the specifications. That’s rather important. The iPhone X features the Apple A11 Bionic processor with 3GB of RAM and powers a 5.8-inch 2436x1125 resolution AMOLED display. The Google Pixel 2 XL features the Snapdragon 835 octa-core chipset with 4GB of RAM that powers a 6-inch 2880x1440 resolution P-OLED display. Last but not least, we have the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 that features a Snapdragon 835 octa-core chipset with 6GB of RAM and powers a 6.3-inch 2960x1440 resolution AMOLED display.
To determine which device is faster, we timed how fast each device opened up a series of applications. The first round time represents just how fast each device opened up the series of applications for the very first time while the second round time represents how the apps were opened after previously being opened for the first time. The reason why we are recording both times is to determine whether or not the apps running in the background need to be loaded when they are opened up for a second time. Basically to see how well each device handles multi-tasking.
The applications we selected range from photography apps to social media apps to games and entertainment apps. We used the native gallery, camera, and app store apps on each device to the exception of Chrome, which was used on Android devices. The web browser did have to load up the mobile version of Reddit before I proceeded to the next app. I just wanted to load up a very simple website.
Specifically, we opened up the Camera app, Gallery app, Calendar app, Settings app, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, the Subway Surfers game, Temple Run 2 game, Asphalt 8 game, Chrome browser, Spotify, Amazon Shopping, Netflix, and App Store or Play Store (in the case of the Android phones). Now there’s a lot of factors that influence the times. We tried to make sure each app loaded at the same time and that we hit the home button at the same exact time. But in the case of the iPhone X, there is no home button. So to go home, you have to swipe up. That motion also, of course, influences the results a little bit. The Note 8 has a hidden home force touch button but for the sake of this video, we made it so the navigation buttons were always visible on the screen.
So we’ll see some really close scores, some of which could be a margin of error. What really is killing the Pixel 2 XL’s time is the second round. It reloads every app in a similar fashion as the first round. Meanwhile, the other two devices were able to quickly open up the apps running in the background. The Pixel 2 XL received a time of 1 minute and 10 seconds for its first round while the iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8 finished the first round with the same exact time of 1 minute and 17 seconds. The second round scores are where things got interesting. The Note 8 received a time of 33 seconds with a total time of 1 minute and 50 seconds. The iPhone X received a time of 40 seconds with a total time of 1 minute and 57 seconds. And the Pixel 2 XL received a time of 1 minute and 9 seconds with a total time of 2 minutes and 19 seconds. Once again, the second round really hurt the performance of the Pixel 2 XL.
This test goes to show you how similarly matched the high-end flagships are. If you find yourself multi-tasking a lot, the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X are probably your best bets. The Pixel 2 XL is quick right off the bat but not so much when quickly jumping back to graphic intensive games, for example.