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Instead of unfairly comparing a late 2016 with a late 2017 flagship smartphone, yesterday’s wholly unsurprising Galaxy Note 8 announcement has opened the door for us to more accurately evaluate Apple’s chances of delivering a fresher feel with the iPhone 8 in just a few weeks.

Definitely fresher and more revolutionary than the iPhone 7 Plus, Cupertino’s first “Infinity Display” hero also has plenty of room to shine compared to its most likely latest-gen arch-nemesis.

Don’t get us wrong, the Note 8 is a beaut and a powerhouse, but its visual impact is substantially weakened by the obvious and numerous similarities to the recent Galaxy S8+. In contrast, the iPhone 8 (or X, or Pro) is widely expected to pretty much toss away the derivative design of its predecessor, feeling completely new and unique to hardcore iFans, even though it’s actually set to follow a bunch of market trends.

Several conservative Samsung decisions both inside and out could also make it relatively easy for Apple to stand out, but as uninspired as the Note 8’s fingerprint scanner placement looks, we’re not so sure the solution is to ditch the sensor altogether.

All in all, the world heavyweight title remains up for grabs this holiday season, and the detail that may ultimately tip the balance in the iPhone 8’s favor is the emotional response prompted by a fair but arguably restrictive Galaxy Note 8 pricing structure. For the time being though, let’s appreciate how far we’ve come since last year.

Pocketnow’s Samsung Galaxy Note 8 coverage is brought to you by dbrand — manufacturer of precision cut skins for smartphones, laptops, tablets and other gadgets. Visit dbrand.com to configure your own Galaxy Note 8 skin, or pick one up for any of their supported devices, including iPhones, the Essential Phone, and even MacBooks.

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