Apple's iPhone X is boring to many because it has been leaked for months
Apple
This may sound silly but if anyone finds the new iPhone X to be boring then it is simply because it has been leaked for months and almost all details about the device which came out have been proven to be true.

More than this, is the fact about how technology products get leaked months in advance because of the supply chain in China. There's no secret when a product is unveiled because and then when some seemingly competitive products are already out the iPhone is compared to them.

The problem gets exaggerated because an iPhone is very different from a random Android phone as a lot of the hardware and software has been custom designed for the iPhone. For Android, usually, the chipset comes from Qualcomm or MediaTek or Samsung, the screen comes from Samsung/LG/Sharp, the camera module comes from Sony most often and the software is Android on a core level further enhanced by the manufacturer of the phone.

This creates a situation where a lot of the capability on Android phones can be predicted in bits and pieces as phones start to roll out with concerned components.

Super Retina is not the same as Super AMOLED



The iPhone often gets compared head on. In the case of the iPhone -- the bezel-less design is being compared to the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, and Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 or S8, but Apple's phone is using a custom solution with a different resolution as these phones, running a different OS and well has some additional technologies like Truetone, HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Apple's phone arguably also has smaller bezels than the Galaxy Note 8, but most people will still call it boring because it was done first on the Mi Mix 2 or Samsung Galaxy S8.

Apple's processor is only for iOS, while the Snapdragon is for all Android and even Windows

Similarly, on the chipset side it has the A11 bionic chip which is a 6-core processor with custom high performance and low performance cores, an Apple signed GPU and even a neural AI engine, something which we've not seen on any Qualcomm solution or Exynos solution that powers the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. More than the specs we know that Apple designs its processors in house for its set of products. These chips are tuned for ARKit, iOS 11 and the specific hardware of the new iPhones and perceivably for future iPad and Apple TV models the Cupertino based company is working on. The Qualcomm chip is design for all of Android which includes optimisations for countless hardware/software combinations. Heck, Qualcomm's CPU has recently been even adapted to Windows 10. So, no way a single phone can be as optimised as the iPhone 8 or iPhone X which is using a chip that has been designed for it. Now, the leaks wouldn't tell you this.

No cameras are made the same.


Apple's portrait mode was widely copied by smartphone vendors through 2017 and with the upgrades the dual 12-megapixel cameras with dual OIS look great, but then again people will argue that even the Galaxy Note 8 has a similar camera system. Apple's solution was widely praised to be one of the best last year, and that lead in that system could be further enhanced as Samsung is using first generation dual camera system. There are indicators for the same -- like the new ISP on the A11 chip and the new portrait lighting mode.

The way Android is designed, it is hard for OEMs to leverage silicon level granular advantages that Apple can through the control of its hardware and software on the camera. Now, the Note 8 has a great camera, we know that, it is possible that the iPhone will be match for it. Then again it could lag or even blow it away. One wouldn't know without seeing for sure. But the hardware and software synergy of Apple's phones provide an intangible advantage -- and this could be seen in a very palpable way on the portrait mode.

Apple's phones also shoot 4k video at 60 frames per second, something which Samsung's Galaxy can't match. Again, the specs don't say that, nor do they specify if the video quality is any good.

AR and Face ID are a key part of Apple's future


On the front even the Galaxy Note 8 has an iris scanner, but Apple's solution is far more elaborate. Its true depth camera system is far more elaborate. It uses machine learning to implement its Face ID feature which it claims is far more secure than the former Touch ID scanner. It is so confident that it has removed the fingerprint scanner something Samsung hasn't managed.

Even AR has been around on phones for a while. But Apple's implementation is the most expansive and industry defining. AR Kit on iOS 11 will lead to an era of new AR enabled applications. Apple has even calibrated the cameras on all the new iPhones for the AR future something which its competitors haven't done so. With AR KIt Apple is the master of the biggest AR platform on the planet. While Google's Android has dabbled in AR for a couple of years, it hasn't made the amount of noise Apple has made with the announcement of AR Kit in June at WWDC. And now we have flagship iPhones that can harness the power of this capability which will be a transformative experience for a user. Leaked specs will not tell you this.

If Android is behind Apple in this space from a platform point of view, then no matter what kind of hardware an OEM brings to the table, Apple's devices will be the best for AR.

It is about a hardware/software tango, not hardware and software in isolation


Similarly, the responsiveness of the iPhone has always been a notch above Android phones particularly Samsung's Android phones. That is more due to the way Apple tunes the software to the hardware.

While comparisons are obvious -- a feature isn't just a feature, but rather is an interplay between hardware and software. On the face of it things may look similar, but in the case of iPhones comparisons with Android aren't straightforward as different components are being used for customised use cases tuned to specific software for that very hardware. In fact, this isn't restricted to Apple's iPhone. Last year, when Google released its Pixel phone everyone thought it to be a rather boring phone till the time reviewers go their hands on it and found it to be the most performant Android smartphone. They also found something staggering -- its camera was the best, and it even managed to eclipse the iPhone 7 in picture quality.

The devil is always in the details and till you scrape through the details making a judgement on a device on the basis of specs and leaks is not wise.