The iPhone XS Max was launched and many consider that it is the best premium phone of the year. This makes it the direct competitor of the already well-known Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (which is also quite recent). Both are outlined as the best in their operating system, but in the end, What is the best?

It may seem strange to compare an Android device with an Apple. Especially, considering that, maybe many Android users are not interested in changing to iOS and vice versa. However, what can’t be denied is that both premium mobiles are very strong rivals with each other in the market today.

Both the iPhone XS Max and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 are powerful devices, with advanced cameras and large screens. But the truth is that there are key differences between these two smartphones. Join us in this comparison of Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max, to know which one is the best. Let’s start!

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max, What is the best?

1. Design and Screen

  • iPhone XS Max has a stronger body.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is thicker and heavier.
  • The iPhone XS Max screen is 0.1″ larger.

On the outside, it could be said that the iPhone XS Max is a larger version of the iPhone X. It has a frameless and notch design, with a glass and stainless steel body that gives it a pretty high-end mobile appearance. According to Apple, the glass is reformulated to be the most resistant in the market. At the back, we find the dual cameras (above and to the left) and fingerprint reader.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max, What is the best?
iPhone XS Max

The design of Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is also similar to that of its predecessor, with a less curved rear and softened aluminum edges. Its body is made of aluminum and glass, protected with Gorilla Glass 5. Also, it has the rear cameras centered on the top, with a fingerprint reader underneath.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a thickness of 8.8 mm with a weight of 208g. In contrast, the iPhone XS Max is 7.7 mm thick and weighs 201g. That’s why the iPhone XS Max stands out in ergonomics, being lighter and thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. In the screen size, the iPhone XS Max screen is 6.5″ compared to the 6.4″ of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max, What is the best?
Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 uses SuperAMOLED panel while iPhone XS Max uses OLED technology. Apart, Apple offers its new feature “Truetone display” that allows you to visualize colors more realistically. However, the resolution of Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is higher. Both terminals are classified as IP68 and water resistant. They can withstand being submerged at depth of 2 m for up to 30 minutes.

2. Performance

  • The Apple A12 of the iPhone XS Max is considered excellent to the Snapdragon 845 of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 allows you to expand storage using microSD.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 battery is 4000 mAh.

If there is something that stands out among the Apple mobile is the power of the CPU. In the case of the iPhone XS Max, it has an Apple A12 processor, which is considered to be the best on the market. It is even higher than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845, which is the processor used by the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Which does not mean that the Snapdragon 845 is bad.

In the memory and storage department, the iPhone XS Max has 4 GB of RAM with internal storage of 64/256/512 GB. But, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 offers options of 6/8 GB of RAM with 128/512 GB of internal storage. It is important to note that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 allows storage expansion through microSD, unlike the iPhone XS Max.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max, What is the best?
Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a 4000 mAh battery, the largest in the market. This gives it a considerable autonomy, being able to last up to more than a day of normal use. On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max has a battery of 3174 mAh, which leaves it below the capacity of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 by more than 800 mAh.

3. Cameras

  • The main camera of Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a variable aperture of f / 1.5-2.4
  • iPhone XS Max has a larger sensor and “more realistic” colors.

The rear camera of the iPhone XS Max has 12 + 12 MP with an aperture of f / 1.8 and f / 2.4 respectively. This presents a new sensor with longer pixels, which offers a great depth of color and more realistic images. The sensor, Smart HDR technology, help to obtain better results in terms of lighting. Also, the selfie camera of the iPhone XS Max is 7 MP with an aperture of f / 2.2.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max, What is the best?
iPhone XS Max

The rear camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is also 12 + 12 MP, but with an aperture of f /1.5-2.4. This variable aperture allows the camera to be changed depending on the environment and lighting. In the case of the front camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, it is 8 MP with aperture f / 1.7. Both the selfie camera and the main camera have scene detection, a new feature of Samsung. Both devices have a capacity for 2x zoom and HDR.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max, What is the best?
Samsung Galaxy Note 9

4. Operating System “OS”

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 runs Android 8.1 Oreo but will be updated to Android 9.0 Pie
  • iPhone XS Max runs iOS 12

One of the most obvious differences between the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the iPhone XS Max is its operating system. Comparing Android with iOS is not an easy task since it is usually a matter of preferences. Especially when it comes to flagship devices such as Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XS Max.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 runs Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung Experience software. This results in an operating system well suited to its time. The TouchWiz was improved compared to previous versions and in general, it is an excellent Android firmware. While not running the newest version of Android available, it is reasonable to expect an update to Android 9 Pie in the near future.

On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max comes with iOS 12, which is Apple’s newest operating system . iOS 12 includes small useful improvements like grouping notifications and easy handling of multitasking. Like all iOS, iOS 12 gives a pretty corporate look, which can be the deciding factor for some users.

5. Special features

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has the S-Pen stylus with Bluetooth technology.
  • Samsung DeX allows Note 9 to become a laptop.
  • Apple’s ID Face is the best facial recognition in the market.

Both devices have characteristics that make them unique, and that can be determinant for certain users. One of the unique features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is its S-Pen, which is much more than a stylus. The S-Pen of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 can be used as a conventional graphic pen, for writing and drawing. However, it also serves as a remote control for the terminal thanks to its Bluetooth technology.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max, What is the best?
Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Another important feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the Samsung DeX, which allows you to use the phone as a mini computer by simply connecting it to a monitor. All that is needed is a USB-C to HDMI adapter and a cable to connect the device. The potential of this feature is important since unlike its versions, the Samsung DeX Note 9 does not need a dock to use.

Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the iPhone XS Max have facial recognition options. However, the Apple Face ID is much better in practice thanks to the True Depth feature of your camera. True Depth is also present in the Animoji and Memoji of the iPhone.

Conclusion and Price

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 costs around $ 900.
  • iPhone XS Max has an approximate price of $ 1260.

Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the iPhone XS Max are excellent devices. Both are considered the best premium phones of the moment. Compare both mobiles to find a winner is a complicated task, especially because it will depend on the taste of each user. However, if there is one determining factor that really differentiates them is their price.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 can be found around € 900 depending on where the purchase is made. The iPhone XS Max comes with a price to date of approximately € 1260 and is profiled among the most expensive devices. This means that the difference between both terminals can be of € 360, which is not little money. If the money factor is a limiting factor, it is better that you decide for the not inconsiderable Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

If money is not a problem, there are many features that you should consider. For example the S-Pen and Samsung DeX Note 9 or the best facial recognition and best camera of the iPhone XS Max. There is also the large Samsung Galaxy Note 9 battery on one side and the powerful Apple A12 processor on the XS Max on the other. And of course, the fact that the iPhone XS Max runs iOS 12 while the Galaxy Note 9 runs Android 8.1 Oreo.

Hint: All images credits (Apple & Samsung)

Whatever your decision, we hope that this comparison has been useful. If you acquire one of the two devices (or you already have one) let us know your reasons and experience in the comments. We want to know everything!

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