Essential Phone vs. Galaxy S8: Top-of-the-Line Android Phones Face Off

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Essential Phone vs. Galaxy S8: Top-of-the-Line Android Phones Face Off

Android creator Andy Rubin’s latest hardware startup, Essential, is now shipping its first smartphone, the Essential Phone. Now, customers have to decide whether the Essential Phone, which comes with features similar to those of the Galaxy S8, is better than Samsung's handset. In today's highly competitive smartphone market, the Essential Phone and the Galaxy S8 seem to deliver the best slate of features on the Android side. From next-generation designs to high-end performance, both devices are outstanding options for consumers and enterprise users alike. In this slide show, eWEEK compares the Essential Phone with the Galaxy S8 to help folks decide which smartphone works better for them. Read on to see the comparison.

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Similar Designs Allow for Larger Displays

The Galaxy S8 and Essential Phone have strikingly similar designs that many industry watchers say deliver a next-generation feel. Both devices have screens that nearly entirely cover the faces, and neither device has a physical home button, so their fingerprint sensors are on the rear panels. The design concept also is expected to be on Apple's next big iPhone, the iPhone 8.

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Each Offers a Different Android Experience

The Essential Phone and Samsung's Galaxy S8 both run on Android Nougat, but they offer different software experiences. The Essential Phone comes with the stock Android without any tweaks or bloatware, while Samsung's smartphone has an Android skin that delivers a decidedly different experience.

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Which Handset Is More Powerful?

It’s tough to decide which smartphone is more powerful. Both devices run on Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 835 processor and have ample memory to handle most tasks. They also have high-end graphics performance, thanks to the Adreno GPU. Users will find top-of-the-line performance in both the Essential Phone and Galaxy S8.

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Virtual Assistants Aid Both Phones

A suitable virtual assistant experience can be found in both the Galaxy S8 and Essential Phone. The Galaxy S8 features Bixby, which performs traditional virtual assistant tasks such as setting appointments and provide relevant information about what it’s pointed at. Essential Phone should support Google Assistant, like the Galaxy S8, and users can download third-party options from Google Play.

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Essential Phone Has a Modularity Focus

Samsung's Galaxy S8 offers a simple, what-you-see-is-what-you-get experience: All the features of the device are included out of the box. The Essential Phone, meanwhile, has a modular design that allows users to clip on accessories, such as a high-powered camera, for better performance.

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Each Device Has a Different Display Option

The Essential Phone has a 5.7-inch display with a 19:10 aspect ratio. According to Essential, the device has a quad-HD resolution and can deliver up to 500 nits of brightness. It also has a contrast ratio of 1,000 to 1. The Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch quad-HD display, which complements the 6.2-inch screen of its larger cousin, the Galaxy S8+. Both Samsung displays have an 18.5:9 aspect ratio.

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Essential and Galaxy S8 Deliver on Battery Life

Battery life is critical to the smartphone experience, and the Essential Phone and Galaxy S8 both deliver. The Essential Phone has a 3,040mAh battery that has "fast charging" capabilities. Essential didn’t say how long the battery will last, but suggests it will last a long time. The Galaxy S8 has a 3,000mAh battery that can last up to 20 hours of continuous talk time, while the Galaxy S8+’s 3,500mAh battery offers up to 24 hours of continuous talk time, according to Samsung.

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Which Has the Better Camera?

The Galaxy S8 comes with a single-lens rear-facing camera featuring a 12-megapixel shooter, and its dual-pixel design provides additional zoom features. On the front is a "wide selfie" 8-megapixel shooter. The Essential Phone has a 13-megapixel rear-facing color camera with a 13-megapixel monochrome lens and is bolstered by an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.

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Pick a Carrier, Any Carrier

Both the Galaxy S8 and the Essential Phone are available unlocked. The Essential Phone can run on any major U.S. carrier’s network. Those who want to buy the smartphones from specific carriers can do that as well, although Essential Phone is only available from Sprint.

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Pricing Matters Greatly

The Essential Phone is available unlocked for $749, and pricing on the Galaxy S8 varies based on where customers buy the device. Some stores sell the Galaxy S8 unlocked for as little as $625, while others charge upward of $750. The Galaxy S8+ costs $100 more than its smaller counterpart. Customers also can buy the Galaxy S8 line through carriers and pay monthly installments.

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