What makes iPhone X better than Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 9? Nothing. Or, everything. Members of the technorati elite politburo will trot out a list of bullet points to compare one model smartphone or PC or tablet to another model.
They do it whenever there’s a new model of almost anything that hits the streets. Most of the time those comparisons are about hardware. Yet, for most of us in the great unwashed masses of smartphone toting humanity, hardware components and comparisons are not in the Top 5 Reasons why we buy a particular smartphone.
Why not? After all, isn’t last year’s iPhone X faster than this year’s Galaxy Note 9? Yeah, Tom’s Guide to all things digital says so.
We tested the 6GB model of the Note 9 with 128GB of storage, and we’ve run a handful of benchmarks so far with more to come. Spoiler alert: the iPhone X is still faster.
Does it matter? Without a benchmark of tests, who could tell? It only matters for bragging rights. And for those who prefer to own the latest and fastest, regardless of what most of the rest of us worry about– usability. I’m willing to bet– and my own unofficial and unscientific polling of family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors tells me it’s so– hardware specifications and their associated benchmarks don’t count for much.
What does? Here’s my Top 5 List of What Counts from the aforementioned friends to neighbors survey.
- Usability – iOS is easier to use than Android
- Camera – Good photos all look, well, good
- Applications – Not all apps are created equal
- Privacy and Security – iOS is clean, Android not so much
- Resale Value – Case closed; iPhones win
See? Not much about hardware specifications from anyone in the survey; from neighbors to geeks. Oh, battery life was #1 on the survey list from everyone, so I kept it off the list because it’s so universal.
Mark Spoonauer in Tom’s Guide.
We’ll be running more tests to see just how well the Note 9 performs in the real world. This will include our video editing test and other tests designed to put the phone’s new water cooling to the test. But, for now, the iPhone X remains in the lead in terms of sheer speed.
What speed? Or, speed in what ways that matter? For most members of smartphone toting humanity, speed of this or that isn’t important. Hell, speed of my internet connection is more important than whether my device scores well on some test that doesn’t matter. Battery life is more important than sheer speed, so why not some noise about battery life? Because everyone’s usage habits vary. The only universal is, “We need better battery life.”
Sill, usability rules over benchmarks.