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Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max: Confrontation to win the 'best phablet' crown

28 February 2019 5

After a long streak of rumors and leaks, the South Korean giant Samsung unveiled the 10th anniversary Galaxy S-series phones at the Unpacked event on February 20th. This year instead of releasing two variants, Samsung launched four variants of S10 series including Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e, and S10 5G. All phones have different selling aspects to lure customers. The Galaxy S10e is a toned down variant of latest flagships with the flat display, dual rear cameras, and single selfie snapper. The Galaxy S10 is the standard flagship with triple rear cameras, latest best chipset, Dynamic OLED display and much more.

The Galaxy S10 5G comes with 5G connectivity, quad rear cameras, and whopping 12GB RAM. The Galaxy S10 Plus is the direct successor Galaxy S9 Plus with slightly better hardware than the standard version. It features 6.4-inches Dynamic AMOLED display with dual punch-hole cameras and much more to attract buyers. Being the Plus variants the Galaxy S10 Plus will have to face stiff competition from other large display phones including the Apple's iPhone XS Max. Both the phones are packed with the premium hardware, top-notch cameras, long-lasting battery cell, the latest version of OS and number of special features to attract buyers.

Today we will put both the Galaxy S10 Plus and iPhone XS Max in a head-to-head comparison to know the differences between the two premium flagships. This comparison will certainly help out our readers to easily decide which smartphone is better amongst the two and whether they should go for S10 Plus or iPhone XS Max as their next flagship companion. Without any further ado, let's start with the design.

74.1 x 157.6 x 7.8 mm
6.4 inches - 3040x1440 px
77.4 x 157.5 x 7.9 mm
6.5 inches - 2688x1242 px
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The Galaxy S10 Plus brings completely overhauled design as opposed to its predecessor. Although once again Samsung opted glass and metal sandwich design the finish is completely different. Samsung opted the punch-hole camera design with the S10 Plus. On the front-facing side, you will get a full display with only significant bezel at the bottom. On the rear side, you will get triple cameras aligned horizontally in the center. It lacks rear fingerprint scanner instead it has an under-glass optical fingerprint scanner.

The top of the line variants with 512GB and 1TB storage comes with ceramic rear instead of glass. On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max is also quite stylish but it keeps the design Apple introduced last year with the iPhone X Max. The chassis is made up of stainless steel with glass covering the front and rear side. It has Apple's traditional notch and edge-to-edge display. It has dual cameras on the rear side with a single LED flashlight. It comes with facial ID as the only biometric option.

Both the devices are IP68 certified which means both can resist under 1.5 meters deep water. Due to glass rear both the phones are prone to damage in case of an accidental drop. The Galaxy S10 Plus retains the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack whereas the iPhone XS Max lacks the headphone jack. In terms of dimensions the Galaxy S10 Plus measures at 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm whereas the iPhone XS Max is almost similar at 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm. The S10 Plus weighs 175g whereas the iPhone XS Max is significantly heavier at 208g.

The Galaxy S10 Plus is available in Flamingo Pink, Prism Blue, Black and White colors whereas the Ceramic model can be purchased in Black and white options. The iPhone XS Max can be grabbed in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray colors.


The Galaxy S10 Plus sports a 6.4-inches Dynamic AMOLED display with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 3040 pixels. The display is protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and the pixels density is 522 pixels-per-inch. It is one of its kind display with HDR10+ support.

On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max sports a 6.5-inches OLED display with a screen resolution of 1242 x 2688 pixels. The scratch-resistant glass is protecting the display. Apple claims its the toughest resistant glass on any phone in the market. The display pixels density is 456 pixels-per-inch. The iPhone XS Max comes with Dolby Vision and HDR10 support. Both the phones have superb displays with vibrant colors, deep blacks, and awesome colors saturation. The iPhone XS Max display is amongst the best but with the S10 Plus, Samsung took the display to a new level with around 1200 nits brightness.


Both are the latest best phones that's why both are packed with the latest best hardware. No matter which smartphone you choose both the phones are ultra powerful in handling tasks, 3D games, AR and VR content. The iPhone XS Max is running on the 7nm A12 Bionic chipset whereas the Galaxy S10 Plus is powered up by the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 855 chipset/ Exynos 9820 SoC.

The Galaxy S10 Plus comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage for the base model. The top of the line model comes with 12GB RAM and 512GB/1TB storage. It also allows further memory expansion via hybrid MicroSD card. The iPhone XS Max base model comes with 4GB RAM with 64GB storage whereas the top-tier model comes with 512GB storage. Unfortunately, it lacks support for memory expansion, So you have to choose the memory variant wisely.

The difference in RAM won't affect the performance as both the phones are differently optimized. As a daily driver and future proof flagships, both are pretty great options.

Specs Galaxy S10 Plus iPhone XS Max
Display 6.4-inches 6.5-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 3040 pixels 1242 x 2688 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 855/ Exynos 9820 A12 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 512GB, 1TB Expandable via MicroSD 64GB, 128GB, 512GB Non-Expandable
Rear cameras 16MP+12MP+12MP Dual 12MP
Front camera 10MP+8MP 7MP
USB Type-C Lightning
IP68 Yes Yes
3.5mm headphone jack Yes No
Battery 4,100mAh 3,174mAh
OS Android Pie iOS 12

The battery cell on the Galaxy S10 Plus is 4,100mAH whereas the iPhone XS Max comes with a significantly smaller 3,174mAh battery. The iPhone XS Max last one day on single charge whereas the S10 Plus is expected to last little longer. By default it has Full HD+ display, on normal usage, it may last more than one day.

Surprisingly Samsung sticks to the older QuickCharge 2.0 when OEMs are switching to the fast chargers. The fast charging on the iPhone XS Max is better but you have to spend the extra amount for the fast charger as it isn't shipped with a fast charger. Both devices have Qi wireless charging support.


The iPhone XS Max has dual snappers on the rear side, the primary 12MP sensor is a normal lens with f/1.8 aperture whereas the secondary 12MP sensor is a telephoto module with f/2.4 aperture. It supports 4K video recording at 60 fps. Up front, the selfie snapper is 7MP depth-sensing module. The Smart HDR feature allows the user to capture a number of shots simultaneously and then merge to produce the final results.

The Galaxy S10 Plus has triple rear cameras, the primary 12MP sensor is a wide-angle module with a variable aperture between f/1.5 to f/2.4. In low-light conditions, the aperture automatically turns to f/1.5 whereas the in stable lighting conditions the aperture is f/2.4. The secondary sensor is 16MP Ultra-wide angle module with f/2.2 aperture. Last but not the least we have the 12MP telephoto module with f/2.4 aperture and optical zoom up to 2x.

Up front it comes with dual selfie snappers, the primary sensor is 10MP with f/1.9 aperture whereas the secondary sensor is 8MP with f/2.2 aperture. The Galaxy S10 Plus also supports 4K video recording. As per the DxoMark, the Galaxy S10 Plus is currently on top with an s which makes it on par with the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro.

The cameras setup on both the phones is pretty awesome, no matter which smartphone you opt both have amazing cameras. However DxoMark ratings make the S10 Plus a better phone.


As OS the Galaxy S10 Plus is pre-installed with Android Pie straight out of the box with One UI skin over it. The new UI is specially optimized to use the giant display phone single handidly. The iPhone XS Max is running on the iOS 12. Both the phones will be receiving the new software updates for a longer period but the S10 Plus owners will have wait for the new major OS updates whereas XS Max will be receiving updates a lot faster. Now it's up to you whether you like the iOS or go for the Android OS.

Special goodies

The iPhone XS Max brings Memojis and AR Emojis on board as special features. The Galaxy S10 Plus support Dex desktop mode, reverse wireless charging, VR and AR support. Both have different unlocking technology, the Galaxy S10 Plus comes with under-glass optical fingerprint scanner whereas the iPhone XS Max relies on the Face ID. Apple utilizes the TrueDepth front-facing snapper to 3D map the face. It is still one of the most reliable and secure facial recognition.


Being almost six months older the iPhone XS Max is widely available across the globe in locked and unlocked variants. The base model with 64GB storage was announced at $1,100. The Galaxy S10 Plus is the Samsung's latest offering currently up for pre-orders from March 8. The base model with 128GB storage costs $1,100. It will take a few weeks before reaching out in all regions.


The battle between the two phones is quite intense, the Galaxy S10 Plus takes lead in the display section with a brighter display and also the pixels density on Samsung's phone is significantly higher. In terms of design, the S10 Plus looks more futuristic and stylish than the iPhone XS Max which is retaining the same design as its predecessor.

Both are packed with solid hardware, no matter which smartphone you opt the performance won't disappoint you. However, having more storage and hybrid SD slot will certainly give the S10 Plus an upper hand. If we consider the DxoMark ratings the S10 Plus has better cameras setup than the iPhone XS Max on paper. Both the devices last one day on a single charge. The iPhone XS Max has better fast charging tech but on the other hand, the S10 Plus supports reverse wireless charging.

Do share your thoughts regarding the Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons.

  • The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The Apple iPhone XS isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.



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