iPhone Xs/Xs Max VS Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 edge Latest Review

P By Rico Rodriguez to iPhone, Apple Resources | Last Updated on Dec 18, 2023

With Samsung Galaxy S9 hogging the spotlight, the biggest war in smartphone market of the year again kicks off. Like most people, you may wonder if you should buy Galaxy S9 or iPhone XS/XS Max or XR. Samsung Galaxy S9 boasts a range of premium features into its sleek body, and 2018 new iPhone XS also packs plenty of upgrades and new features. So how to choose? Let's check the iPhone Xs/Xs Max vs Samsung Galaxy S9 differences & similarities.

iphone XS versus Galaxy S9


iPhone Xs/Xs Max: 5.8/6.5-inch and 6.1-inch bezel-free design with no Home Button
Samsung Galaxy S9: 5.8/6.2-inch glass front and black and curved full screen

The 2018 new iPhone features a bezel-free design with Face ID and no Home Button. There are three sizes: 5.8-inch iPhone XS and 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max both with an OLED display. There is also 6.1-inch LCD iPhone XR. The iPhone models all have the eSIM functionality to offer dual SIM support exclusively to China. Besides, iPhone XS/XS Max have a new gold color in adddition to silver and space gray.

Compared to iPhone Xs/Xs Max, Samsung Galaxy 9 hasn't changed much. The 5.8-in S9 and 6.2-in S9 Plus have glass front and black, and curved full screen. The biggest change is that the location of the fingertip scanner is now moved to a place below the camera on the rear. Galaxy S9 has more colors: Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Coral Blue, Titanium Gray and Sunrise Gold.

Also see: iPhone X vs Galaxy S9

Which is better, new iPhone XS or Galaxy S9?


iPhone XS: OLED display, 458ppi density/LCD display, 326ppi
Samsung Galaxy S9: Super AMOLED display, 1440 x 2960 pixels, 568ppi density.

Samsung Galaxy S9 has a Super AMOLED screen with 2960 x 1440 pixel resolutions. Though running at the same resolution as S8, Galaxy S9 screen a lot of improvements on screens to offer better picture quality and color accuracy. It's a screen that can give users a better experience than 4K ultra HD TV.

2018 iPhone XS has the OLED and iPhone XR has LCD screen, with the OLED model for high-end market, and LCD model for lower markets. 5.8-in iPhone XS and 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max have 458 ppi. One big advantage of Samsung Galaxy S9 over iPhone XS is its notchless display, since iPhone XS still has the notch.

iPhone XS  vs Samsung Galaxy S9


iPhone XS: 12MP, f/1.8 with OIS dual rear camera, 7MP front camera, Smart HDR
Samsung Galaxy S9: 12MP, f/1.5-f/2.4 variable aperture, OIS rear camera, 7MP front camera

Samsung Galaxy S9 features a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front with the ability to automatically switch aperture in different lighting and improve low-light shots. Namely, the camera will switch to the wide f/1.5 in low-light condition to capture more of the background, and switch back to f/2.4 in daylight. Another unique feature is the Super Slow-mo. The camera is able to record video up to 960 fps in 720P.

iPhone XS models have red eye reduction, improved portrait mode, 2x faster sensor, 2x zoom, ability to adjust the depth of field after users take photos, etc. The new Smart HDR, in together with the Neural Engine, can take more details. iPhone XR features single camera lens.

Also see: iPhone 9 vs iPhone 8

Differences between iphone XS or Galaxy S9


iPhone XS: 7nm A12 chip, 4GB RAM, iOS 17
Samsung Galaxy S9: 10nm Octa-core, 2800 MHz, Kryo 385, 64-bit, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SDM845 chip, 4GB RAM, Android v8.0

Samsung Galaxy S9 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 is the fastest Android phone, but how fast is that compared to iPhone 9 or iPhone XS/Xs Max? Galaxy S9+ had better scores than iPhone X in 3DMark's Sling Shot test (5,793 vs 3,998), but iPhone X is much faster converting 4K video to 1080P. A bunch of benchmark results have shown that Galaxy S9 is fast, but no where near as fast as iPhone X.

Compared to Samsung Galaxy S9, the iPhone Xs comes no doubt far faster. iPhone XS pairs an A12 processor which contains a 6-core CPU and a 4-core GPU, delivering 15% and 50% faster performance than A11 respectively. Overall, iPhone XS can open apps 30% faster than A11. Therefore, iPhone XS/XS Max is much faster than Galaxy S9.

Compare iPhone XS and Galaxy S9/Plus

Face ID

iPhone XS: most secure Face ID
Samsung Galaxy S9: Face recognization, and iris scanner

There are many differences between Galaxy S9 and iPhone Xs Max/Xs, and also some similarities, including the way they unlock. Galaxy S9 introduces the Intelligent Scan to unlock via iris and face scanning. This requires no unnecessary delay when unlock the phone and thus is faster. But that doesn't mean it's more secure. As the face recognition in oder models can be easily tricked by photos and videos, S9 is unlikely to be more secure using a 2D face recognition system.

iPhone all feature the same Face ID. Now the FaceID has a faster secure enclave and faster algorithms, which makes FaceID in iPhones the most secure facial authentication ever. We can say iPhone XS is more secure than Galaxy S9.

How to set up Face ID on iPhone 9/Xs/Xs Max >>

which to buy, iphone XS or Samsung Galaxy S9?


iPhone XS: 2,900mAh and 3,000mAh capacity with 10 percent increase in battery life
Samsung Galaxy S9: 3000 mAh capacity

Galaxy S9 and S9+ have battery capacities of 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh respectively. However, large numbers don't mean longer battery life. Several tests indicate that Galaxy S9 won't survive longer than iPhone X or iPhone 8, even when Apple phones have smaller battery.

iPhone is not famous for its battery, but it always rolls out battery improvements with autumn release. iPhone XS/XS Max come with an impressively large battery, lasting 30 minutes and 90 minutes longer than iPhone X respectively. Even the iPhone XR is able to offer 90-minute longer battery life than iPhone 8 Plus. So if we have iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S9 compared in battery life, iPhone XS is more power-efficient.

new iphone XS and Galaxy S9 comparison

Price Tag

iPhone XS Max/XS/XC: $1099, $999, $749
Samsung Galaxy S9: $720

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are priced at $719.99 and $839.99. Both phones are 64GB models, but they can be expanded to up to 400GB with MicroSD cards.

The new iPhone are more expensive. The lower-end models has the lowest price, with a price tag starting from $749. However, the prices for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are much higher, starting from $999 and $1099 respectively.

One-click Backup Tool for New iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, XR

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