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Apple iPhone XR vs Samsung Galaxy S9: Battle to rule the flagship phones market

20 September 2018 5

Finally, the Cupertino giant's new iPhones are out, as expected the company introduces two new iPhones with OLED displays whereas the entry-level model has IPS LCD display. As expected this year Apple didn't bring a refreshing change in design instead the focus is on internal hardware upgrades. This year new iPhone variants are introduced with S moniker.

The iPhone 8 successor is announced as iPhone XR with a fairly large 6.1-inches display, its a huge upgrade considering the predecessor has 4.7-inches 16:9 display with thick bezels. All the new iPhones this year are based on the 10th anniversary iPhone X. This year even the entry-level iPhone XR has a notch design with ultra-thin bezels. So if you like the iPhone X's design you will find the new iPhones exciting in terms of design. Being the latest premium flagship the new iPhones will face stiff competition in respective niches.


The iPhone XR will target those buyers who are looking for a giant display bezel-less phone with a price tag between $700 to $800. This year Apple increases the price by $50 for the entry-level variant. The iPhone XR will be a direct competitor of Samsung's Galaxy S9. Both the devices are currently the entry-level flagship offering from respective companies. Today we will put the iPhone XR in head-to-head competition against the Galaxy S9. This comparison will certainly help you better understand the real differences and similarities between the two devices.

75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3 mm
6.1 inches - 1792x828 px
68.7 x 147.7 x 8.5 mm
5.8 inches - 2960x1440 px
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Design

Apple is not shy of copying the design of last year's iPhone X. On first look you won't find the latest iPhone XR much different from the iPhone XR except the single snapper on the rear side. Apple brought a number of refreshing colors to make the iPhone XR attractive. You certainly will find iPhone XR exciting if you already own iPhone 8. Apple finally ditched the old traditional thick bezels design in favor of notch design which they introduced last year.

Thanks to notch display and the high screen-to-body ratio you will get a large display in a compact body. The chassis is made up of aluminum with glass covering the front and rear side. On the rear side, you will get a single snapper on the top left corner. With the new design, Apple ditches the physical home button. Like the iPhone X, the Face ID is the only biometric security feature. It is IP67 certified which provides resistance against water up to 1 meter for half an hour.

Samsung also didn't bring a refreshing design change this year instead the company brought iterative design changes with the Galaxy S9. Overall in terms of looks, the Galaxy S9 is quite close to Galaxy S8. Samsung is amongst those OEMs who yet to adopt notch design instead the company trimmed the top and bottom bezels to fit in an 18.5:9 display.

The rear side has single snapper in the center with fingerprint scanner right below it. The Galaxy S8 features a smaller display than the iPhone XR. The Galaxy S9 dimensions are 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm and weigh 163g. On the other hand, the iPhone XR measurements are 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm and weigh 194g. Although the Galaxy S9 is less tall and wider it is slightly thicker than the iPhone XR. The iPhone XR lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack but the Galaxy S9 retains it. The Galaxy S9 is IP68 certified which means it can resist 0.5 meters more than its counterpart.

Display


As far as the display is a concern the Galaxy S9 and iPhone XR are bringing two different kinds of display. The iPhone XR has a 6.1-inches display panel with HD+ screen resolution of 828 x 1792 pixels. The display pixels density is 326 pixels-per-inch. The iPhone XR features a Liquid Retina display. Apple claims the new display is improved despite the fact it is still an LCD panel. Apple reserves the OLED for the premium iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max only.

Samsung is using Super AMOLED display panel for quite long. Samsung further improves their Super AMOLED panels by introducing dual curved display. The Galaxy S9 features a 5.8-inches display panel with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 18.5:9 and the pixels density is 568 pixels-per-inch. The iPhone XR display is protected with Scratch-resistant glass whereas the Galaxy S9's display comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

Hardware

One of the key selling aspects of both the devices is indeed the latest best hardware. The Galaxy S9 was amongst the first flagships with the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 SoC. The US variant has Snapdragon 845 chipset whereas the global variant has the Exynos 9810 chipset. Both these SoCs are built on second gen 10nm FinFet process. Both the variants have 4GB RAM and 64GB native storage. which is further expandable via MicroSD. The device has enough power under the hood to handle all the heavy multi-tasking tasks and Hifi games efficiently.

Apple introduces the new A12 Bionic chipset with the new iPhones. The company claims the new SoC is 15% faster than the predecessor and the latest chipset CPU and GPU is 50% more efficient. The new A12 Bionic SoC is built on the 7nm process. Although the A11 Bionic is a year older SoC still it performs better than the latest chipsets from Qualcomm and Samsung. The new A12 SoC certainly will outclass its Android-running competitors in terms of sheer performance.

The iPhone XR RAM is still in the dark but most likely it will remain 2GB like the predecessor. There are three variants on the basis of native storage including 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. It lacks support for memory expansion via MicroSD card.

Specs iPhone XR Galaxy S9
Display 6.1-inches 5.8-inches
Screen resolution 828 x 1792 pixels 1440 x 2960 pixels
Chipset A12 Bionic Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810
RAM -- 4GB
Storage 64, 128, 256GB Non-Expandable 64GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear camera 12MP 12MP
Front camera 7MP 8MP
Battery --- 3,000mAh
USB Lightning port Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No Yes
OS iOS 12 Android Oreo 8.1

Battery

At the launch event, the Cupertino giant didn't confirm the battery cell instead stated the iPhone XR will last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 8 Plus which means your device will last easily one day on single charge. It supports fast charging but it isn't shipped with a fast charger instead you will have to purchase it as an extra accessory, same is the case with wireless charging.

The Galaxy S9 lights are kept on by a 3,000mAh battery cell. It also supports fast and wireless charging. The fast charger is shipped with the box whereas the charging pad is available as an accessory.

Software

As OS the iPhone XR is shipped with iOS 12 straight out of the box. The Galaxy S9 was announced with Android Oreo 8.0 with Samsung's Grace UI layer over it. We are not starting Android vs iOS comparison here, it is up to you which OS you prefer. No doubt the iOS is well optimized and also it is much easy to use whereas Android provides more customization options.

The iPhone XR front-facing camera also performs 3D facial recognition and also allows the user to create 3D emojis using Animoji feature. Samsung brought somewhat similar features with the Galaxy S9, however, the Samsung's versions are not as good as Apple.

Camera

Unfortunately being the entry level flagships both iPhone XR and Galaxy S9 with single rear snapper. The dual rear cameras are exclusive to the premium variants only. Due to single rear snapper, the S9 lacks Live focus mode AKA portrait mode. However, Samsung uses software to provide depth sensing info. The Galaxy S9 single rear snapper lacks optical zoom capabilities. The primary rear snapper on the Galaxy S9 is a 12MP module with a variable aperture between f/1.5 to f/2.4.

In stable lightning conditions the aperture is f/2.4, however, in low-light scenarios, the aperture automatically turns to f/1.5. It has optical image stabilization. Up front, the selfie snapper is 8MP with f/1.7 aperture.

The single rear snapper on the iPhone XR is also 12MP with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. Both the Galaxy S9 and iPhone XR can record slow-motion videos as well as 4K video recording. The selfie snapper on the iPhone XR is 7MP, it is true depth sensor which provides better facial recognition. Thanks to better aperture the Galaxy S9's camera performs better than iPhone XR in low-light scenarios. However, the front-facing camera on the iPhone XR certainly outperforms Galaxy S9.

Price

The Galaxy S9 was announced at a price tag of $719.99 in the US whereas it cost £739 in the UK. Being six months older it is now available at the much lower price tag on special deals. You can save up to $200 on deals. On the other hand, the iPhone XR is the latest entry-level iPhone which costs $749 in the US. For the UK customers, it will be available for £749.

Conclusion:

Overall the confrontation between the iPhone XR and Galaxy S9 is quite close. Both the devices are equally good in the design department, however now it's up to you whether you prefer a bezel-less design with the dual curved display or notch design with the flat display. The Galaxy S9 certainly takes lead in display department not only because of Super AMOLED panel but also due to Quad HD+ screen resolution.

In the hardware department, the iPhone XR's A12 Bionic chipset is way more powerful than the S9's chipset. The camera setup on both the devices is equally good and can be regarded as one the best sensors on flagship smartphones. As far as the battery is a concern both the devices have enough juice to keep lights on for one day on a single charge. Last but not the least good thing is Galaxy S9 is offering almost everything what you can expect from latest flagship at the significantly lower price tag.

Feel free to share your thoughts regarding the iPhone XR vs Galaxy S9 in the comments section below. Stay tuned.

(last update 09 December 2019 @ 11:53)

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iPhone XR vs Samsung Galaxy S9: Confrontation between two premium flagships
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JohnyD
JohnyD

The upside the iPhone XR gets is the latest iOS 12, whereas the Galaxy S9 is still on the Oreo. I'm not too sure, but still, the A9P has visited the Galaxy S9.

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