Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds.
Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
ExpertiseContent strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
iPhone X preorders are open, but you might still wonder if you should go all in for Apple's most audacious iPhone or scout something else.
We haven't had a chance to review the iPhone X, but we do know that it'll compete heavily against the Note 8,
Pixel 2 XL
, all Android phone. If you're on the fence about the iPhone X's high price and Face ID feature to unlock the phone -- or worry you might not get one for longer than you want to wait -- take a few minutes to remind yourself of what makes these top-flight handsets both similar and unique. Scroll to the end for the full specs list.
Watch this: Preordering the iPhone X? Good Luck! You'll need it
iPhone X vs. Galaxy Note 8
The Note 8 stands out for its digital S Pen stylus, which you can use to write, draw and navigate the screen. It's bigger, but also has a larger screen with a sharper resolution -- on paper. We haven't compared screen quality in real life. But this is the first time that any iPhone has used an OLED display, the same screen tech you find in the Note 8. Quality should be pretty good.
The Note 8's iris-recognition technology is hit or miss, so the iPhone's Face ID has the chance to pull ahead there. However, there is a fingerprint reader on the Note 8's back, albeit in an awkward location. The iPhone X won't have one at all. Both phones use wireless charging, waterproofing and two rear cameras for taking portrait shots.
iPhone X vs. Pixel 2 XL
There are some major differences here.
Camera: The Pixel 2 XL has "only" one camera, not two, but Google doesn't think that matters. We found that the Pixel 2 XL's photos were excellent, though Apple's other new iPhones took slightly better portraits.
Screen: Both use OLED technology, but the Pixel 2 XL has a plastic variation (instead of glass) called POLED. The real significance is that the Pixel 2 XL screen has caused burn-in. This doesn't happen on all phones and might not disrupt you too much, but it isn't what you want. It's happened to two of CNET's phones, too. Google is looking into the issue and will extend its warranty to protect your Pixel 2 XL if you do go that route.
Software: The Pixel 2 XL isn't just an Android phone, it's the Android phone that Google decided is most representative of its new Android 8 Oreo OS. If slow software updates make you iffy on Android, the Pixel 2 XL will be among the first to get them (Apple simultaneously updates all supported iPhones with the latest iOS version.) The two new Pixel phones are also the first to launch with Google Lens, a new feature for getting more info about the world around you. Read about Google Lens here.
iPhone X vs. LG V30
The V30 throws in a ton of sound and video software that goes above and beyond the typical phone. Like the Pixel 2 XL, it uses a POLED display. It's water resistant, but doesn't support wireless charging. The main draw here is that it has some high-end specs and will save you about $200 over the iPhone X.