Apple vs Samsung

iPhone XS Max vs Samsung Note 9

This year's premium phones are finally here - the 6.5 inch Apple iPhone XS Max and the 6.4 inch Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Both boasting top of the line specs, from processing power to the latest camera technology, but which is right for you?


Both phones come in at similar sizes and weights - the Note weighing in lighter than the iPhone, but the iPhone still the king of slim (0.04 inches thinner!) Both phones have the same water resistance rating which means they can go up to 2 metres deep for up to 30 minutes - however the Note 9 manages to achieve this with a headphone jack. The iPhone is lacking the headphone jack which means you require a dongle, definitely a downside for those looking to charge their phone and listen to music at the same time.

As for the screens, these are both best in class displays. Ultimately it comes down to whether or not your prefer the notch of the iPhone or the 'Infinity Edge' of the Samsung. The Samsung retains the finger print sensor on the back of the device, whereas Apple has doubled-down on their facial recognition software, reducing the time it takes to unlock your device.


Apple already had Samsung beat this year, with last years iPhone X processor boasting faster speeds than the Note 9. It seems Apple will widen that gap with their new A12 Bionic chip, supposedly 15% faster than last year's A11. Performance in apps and games should be better on the Apple XS Max.


Again Apple promises improvements over last year's camera performance, but it remains to be seen if it can beat the Note 9's title of 'Best Camera on a Smartphone'. The XS Max has a new sensor with larger pixels, resulting in 50% more light gathering - this should massively improve low-light photography. The Note 9 is still the most proven of camera phones on the market - but the iPhone XS Max looks to make the race all the more tight. One feature the iPhone definitely can't match is the Note 9's super slow-mo video performance, 960 frames per second, compared to the iPhone's best of 240 frames per second.


The Note 9's battery is a beast, comign in at 4000mAh, much more than most phones on the market. This allows for impressive screen on time and very good standby time - easily lasting a day's use and more. The XS Max comes in pretty close and Apple promises improved battery performance over last year's X. One thing to note is that the Samsung phone comes bundled with a fast charger, however this is sold separately with the XS Max.


One thing that you can't ignore about the Note 9 is the S-Pen. Somehow Samsung found space to fit a pen in to the body of the Note 9 and it is packed with features, including Bluetooth connectivity. You can now control the camera and your music with the S-Pen, remotely. Multitasking is also a lot more robust on the Note 9, almost all apps can be used side by side, whereas Apple's XS Max only offers dual-pane view with a select few apps.

The Note 9 can also be used as a basic PC - able to be plugged in to a monitor making a truly portable computer. One feature that helps with this is the included Micro SD card slot on the Note 9 - allowing you to increase the storage space easily, something that Apple charges an incredible premium for.

On Apple's side, the forward facing camera setup is more advanced than ever, allowing for the most secure facial recognition technology on smartphones currently. It also allows for a little fun and there are now improvements to Apple's 'Animoji' animated avatars gimmick.


Ultimately, if you're a fan of the Apple eco-system the iPhone XS Max is a beast of a phone - however, you'll pay a premium, especially for increased storage space. The Note 9 is not cheap either, but does boast a little more value. There are plusses and minuses to both but overall there is no clear winner - it all comes down to your personal preferences.