We all can agree that the iPhone XS and the Samsung Galaxy S9 represent the very best that Apple and Samsung, respectively, have to offer in 2018. Obviously, we wanted to make a head-to-head comparison between the two. Our verdict: The Samsung S9 offers better connectivity, longer battery life, and best audio quality, while the iPhone XS is more powerful and takes better photos. Aside from that, it’s all a matter of taste. Our comparison guide is here to help you choose.
Winner in the power category: iPhone XS
The Samsung S9 boasts excellent performance, but the Samsung S9 is the most powerful smartphone on the market in 2018. It’s just that simple. Even so, the difference is barely noticeable from a user perspective. So don’t worry: Whichever one you choose, the experience will be smooth.
Winner in the endurance category: Samsung Galaxy S9
Despite a year-over-year improvement in the iPhone, whose battery life is perfectly respectable as of 2018, Android still does better. It is worth noting, however, that the iPhone XS has better battery life than the iPhone XS, while the Samsung S9 does not do as well as the iPhone XS.
Winner in the appearance category: a matter of taste, for a change
The competitors have a design element in common: Both (strongly) resemble their predecessors, the iPhone X and the Samsung S8. There is one small difference: The S9’s fingerprint sensor is more accessible than the S8’s. Otherwise, both phones offer first-rate finishes and a stylish glass back. The iPhone X is longer, with curved edges, giving it a more modern look and a more immersive experience. As for the iPhone XS, it has the same notch at the top of the screen.
A small but noteworthy difference between the two models: Unlike the iPhone XS, the Galaxy S9 offers a headphone jack and a MicroSD port.
Regardless, these two smartphones remain among the most visually appealing on the market. No worries on that point!
Winner in the display category: It’s a tie!
The screens have the same format and approximately the same proportion of the surface area (85% for the Galaxy S9, 83% for the iPhone XS), and both boast an OLED display. It’s tough to differentiate between them in terms of display category with the naked eye. The only truly noteworthy difference here has to do with color processing: Apple, as always, tries to present colors as close as possible to reality, while Samsung makes them bolder. You’ll have to see which you prefer.
Again, both screens are among the best on the market.
Winner in the photo category: iPhone XS
Here, as in performance, the iPhone XS is the clear winner. The Galaxy S9 has just one image sensor, while the iPhone XS has two. The second sensor allows the iPhone XS to achieve a 2x optical zoom, which works very well. We are also appreciative of the Smart HDR mode, which combines several snapshots to produce better-quality photos.
Winner in the music category: Samsung Galaxy S9
The S9, which has a headphone jack, offers a more enjoyable, higher-quality headphone listening experience. It also has a more powerful speaker.
iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy S9: What’s the verdict?
The iPhone XS is for you if:
- You want a true luxury phone.
- Power and photo quality are your top priorities in purchasing a smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is for you if:
- You are looking for an efficient, durable, high-end phone.
- Your budget is more limited.
In either case, though, rest assured: You won’t be disappointed. And if you want additionnal information on other smartphones, you can check out this smartphone comparison.