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iPhone Xs vs Samsung Galaxy S9: Confrontation between two premium flagships

14 September 2018 5

Ahead of Apple's 12th Sept even it was heavily rumored the company will announce three new flagships. As expected the company announced the iPhone XR as a base variant, iPhone XS as a successor of iPhone X and a Max variant of iPhone XS with a giant display. All the devices are certainly one of the best options in their niches. The iPhone XR will target those buyers who are looking for a budget-friendly iPhone with a notch design. The iPhone XS will target those buyers who want a premium flagship smartphone but don't want a phablet and the last but not the least the iPhone XS Max will attract phablet buyers.

Like always we compared the latest iPhones against each other as well as the 10th anniversary iPhone X to know the real differences between all the devices in detail. The iPhone XS Max is already compared against the Galaxy Note 9. Now we will put the latest iPhone XS in confrontation against the Samsung's Galaxy S9. Both the smartphones are currently one of the best options below 6-inches. So if you are looking for a premium flagship smartphone below this range, you will certainly consider the Galaxy S9 and iPhone XS.

Today we will compare the latest iPhone XS against the Galaxy S9 to know all the key differences between the two in detail so that buyers can easily decide which smartphone is better to be their next companion. Undoubtedly the upgrades on the iPhone XS are not modest like the Galaxy S9. Apple iPhone XS brought a number of new features. Without any further delay, let's start with the design differences.

70.9 x 143.6 x 7.7 mm
5.8 inches - 2436x1125 px
68.7 x 147.7 x 8.5 mm
5.8 inches - 2960x1440 px
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Both the iPhone XS and Galaxy S9 are not bringing drastic changes in the design department. Following the latest trend both the devices have glass and metal clad design, however, the finish is different. The iPhone XS comes with a stainless steel frame like the predecessor. The glass is covering the front and rear side. Like the last year iPhone X, it has a notch on the front.

The dual rear snappers are once again on the top left corner. It also has the Face ID as the primary security feature and lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. On the bottom side, you will get bottom firing mono speakers and Lightning port. The iPhone XS measurements are 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm and weigh 177g.

The Galaxy S9 isn't much different from the predecessor. From the front-facing side, you may not find it different from Galaxy S8. The only prominent difference is in the rear design. Unlike the iPhone X, it doesn't have a notch at the display instead it has complete bezels on the top and bottom side.

The single rear snapper is in the center with LED flashlight and heart rate sensor. The fingerprint scanner is now shifted below the camera setup which makes it more easily accessible. It features an aluminum chassis and the glass from the front and rear is gently curved from edges. The Galaxy S9 can be easily grabbed single handily. It retains the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Galaxy S9 measurements are 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm and weigh 163g. Despite the fact, the S9 is taller and thicker than the iPhone XS but it is less wide and lighter. Both the devices are IP68 certified which means both can resist under 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes without any damage.


The display is undoubtedly one of the key areas where both the devices have the best-in-class display panels. The iPhone XS retains the 5.8-inches display panel similar like the predecessor. Its a true tone OLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1125 x 2436 pixels. The display comes with 3D Touch, Dolby Vision, and HDR 10 support. The display pixels density is 458 pixels-per-inch and aspect ratio is 19.5:9.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S9 supports a 5.8-inches Super AMOLED display with dual curved edges. The display has Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. Its aspect ratio is 18.5:9 and the pixels density is 570 pixels-per-inch. The S9 supports Dolby Vision and HDR 10. No matter which smartphone you opt the display panel on both are amongst the best in the market.


Both the devices are amongst the best in the flagships smartphone market with the top-tier hardware. However, the iPhone XS has an advantage of being the latest whereas the next flagship chipset in the Android market is due in six months. The iPhone Xs is running on an hexa-core A12 Bionic chipset built on the 7nm process. The company claims the latest chipset is 15% faster than the predecessor and also its CPU and GPU work 50% more efficiently.

Under the hood, the Exynos 9810/Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset is powering the Galaxy S9. Both the SoCs are max clocking at 2.7Ghz. It is currently the fastest chipset in the Android market. It is built on the 2nd gen 10nm processor. Being the latest SoC, the A12 outclasses the Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810 on both single-core and multi-core tests. If you are looking for the fastest performing device the iPhone XS is certainly a better choice.

The Galaxy S9 has 4GB RAM on board but the exact amount of RAM on the iPhone XS is still in dark. Most likely it will have 3GB RAM like the predecessor. In terms of native storage, the iPhone Xs base variant has 64GB storage, the top-tier variants with either 256GB or 512GB storage. The Galaxy S9 has 64GB native storage and the top of the line model has 128GB storage. The iPhone Xs lacks support for memory expansion whereas the Galaxy S9's native storage is expandable.

Specs iPhone XS Galaxy S9
Display 5.8-inches 5.8-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels 1125 x 2436 pixels
Chipset A12 Bionic Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810
RAM 3GB(Not confirmed) 4GB
Storage 64GB, 256GB, 512GB Non-Expandable 64GB, 128GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear camera Dual 12MP 12MP
Front camera 7MP 8MP
USB Lightning port Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No Yes
OS iOS 12 Android Oreo 8.0
IP68 Yes Yes

On Paper, the camera setup of both the Galaxy S9 and iPhone Xs isn't much different from each other. The iPhone XS has dual 12MP sensors on the rear side, the primary sensor aperture is f/1.8 whereas the secondary telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture. Both the sensors have Optical image stabilization, depth-sensing with portrait mode. The iPhone XS brings Smart HDR feature. Apple cameras usually perform pretty well thanks to the company's powerful ISP and algorithms.

The Galaxy S9 has a single 12MP sensor on the rear side with variable aperture. In stable lightening conditions, the aperture is f/2.4 whereas in low-light scenarios the aperture is f/1.5. This year Samsung's main focus is to provide an optimal solution in low-light conditions. The Galaxy S9 rear sensor has OIS.

The iPhone Xs has a 7MP true depth camera on the front-facing side with f/2.2 aperture. It features Retina Flash for low-light conditions. Up front, the selfie snapper on the Galaxy S9 is an 8MP module with f/1.7 aperture and screen Flash. Despite having single sensors on the front both the devices support portrait mode shots.


The Galaxy S9 was announced with Android Oreo 8.0 straight out of the box with Grace UI. Samsung yet to roll out the Android Oreo 8.1 when the Android Pie is out for quite some time. Now the chances are high the company will directly roll out Android Pie but the exact time is still in the dark. On the other hand, the iPhone XS is pre-installed with the iOS 12. Also, it will receive the latest updates from Apple for the next three years. As a biometric authentication system, the iPhone XS rely on the 3D Facial recognition whereas the Galaxy S9 has a fingerprint scanner, facial recognition, and Iris scanning.


The iPhone XS battery cell is still unknown, however, the company claims it last 30 minutes longer than the predecessor. The iPhone X lights are kept on by a 2,712mAh battery, So the chances are high the iPhone X will have same battery cell. The power-efficient 7nm SoC certainly helps the Apple to enhance the iPhone XS battery life. It supports 18W fast and 7.5W wireless charging. The fast charger and Wireless charging pad are sold as an extra accessory.

The Galaxy S9 has a 3,000mAH battery cell like the predecessor. It is shipped with 15W fast charger straight out of the box. The device supports 10W wireless charging which is available as an extra accessory.


The Galaxy S9 has announced six months ago that's why it is currently available at significantly lower price tag than the official retail price of $699. You can get the device at the lower price tag on special discounts. On the other hand, the Cupertino giant is not known for offering discounts even when the devices are a few months old. The iPhone Xs is the latest offering from Apple at $999 in the US.


Both the Galaxy S9 and iPhone XS are certainly the best flagship smartphones in the market. However, apart from different hardware the change in the software experience certainly plays a vital role here. In terms of looks the Galaxy S9 and iPhone XS are premium flagships, however, the stainless steel gives the iPhone Xs a more premium look.

Under the hood, the iPhone XSA12 SoC is way more powerful than the Galaxy S9's hardware. The battery cell on both the devices has enough juice to last one day on single charge. Last but not the least the significant difference in the price tag will attract buyers to grab Galaxy S9, however, if you don't have a budget problem, the iPhone XS is certainly a better option.

Do share your thoughts regarding the iPhone XS vs Galaxy S9 in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons.

(last update 28 June 2019 @ 01:58)



iPhone Xs vs Samsung Galaxy S9: Confrontation between two premium flagships
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