If you're in the market for a large-screen phone that can handle your extensive usage then there are two names that you must have come across - the iPhone XS Max and Galaxy Note 9. Both giants offer magnificent super-sized screens, powerful processing and beefed-up specifications.
But when it comes down to it, which one do you actually choose? We bring you an iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9 comparison that might help you make a decision.
iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9: Design
The iPhone X, with its all-new bold and attractive design, changed the smartphone game when it came out in 2017. And the iPhone XS Max, which is Apple's largest phone to date, just makes it bigger and better. The new handset retains the all-glass look of its predecessor with an edge-to-edge display, surrounded by negligible bezels and a small notch on the top, and a beautiful glass-covered back. The device is bordered by a stainless steel frame that adds to the appeal.
The Galaxy Note 9 by no means looks any less elegant. The bezel on each side of the screen remains thin, although the top and bottom chin are a bit wider than the iPhone XS Max, with Samsung still not choosing to adopt the controversial 'notched'-design. The screen merges smoothly with the glass back, giving the phone a curved feel as compared to XS Max's boxed look.
The iPhone XS Max houses a dual-camera on the top left of its rear side while the camera on the Galaxy Note 9 is placed centrally. Below it is the fingerprint sensor, something which is missing from the iPhone XS Max altogether. Another differentiating design factor is the presence of a headphone jack on the Galaxy Note 9.
Just to give you an idea of the actual dimensions, the iPhone XS Max measures at 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm and weighs 208 grams while the Galaxy Note 9 has dimensions of 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm and weighs 201 grams. Both phones are also IP68 water resistant.
One thing to note is that both the phones' heavy reliance on glass do leave them vulnerable to damage and it only makes sense that you invest in a good phone case to help prevent that.
iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9: Display
It would be fair to say that both smartphones sport a magnificent display and it would be tough to pick one over the other. Despite being smaller in size, the iPhone XS Max packs in a larger display size of 6.5-inches. The AMOLED screen has a resolution of 2688 x 1242 pixels and a density of 458 ppi. It has True Tone colour output and supports HDR 10 as well as 3D touch.
The Galaxy Note 9 has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen but offers a better resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels and density of 516 ppi. Boasting of 16 million colours and HDR 10 support, the display is sharp, bright and accurate.
iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9: Camera
The iPhone XS Max comes equipped with a dual-lens rear camera comprising of a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with ƒ/2.4 aperture and a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with ƒ/1.8 aperture. Both feature optical image stabilisation while supporting 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.
Apple's new A12 processor has made the camera system smarter with standout features like Smart HDR, that lets the system capture multiple shots and merge them into one to give better highlights and shadows, and depth control, that lets you change the depth of the field after you've taken the shot.
The Galaxy Note 9 also sports a 12-megapixel dual lens system with one snapper having a fixed aperture of ƒ/2.4 while the other one has a variable aperture between ƒ/1.5 and ƒ/2.4. Similar to XS Max, both lenses support optical image stabilisation as well as 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.
The Note 9 camera is especially adept at shooting in low-light conditions while the company claims that the AI-enabled features such as the noise reduction algorithm make it impossible to take a bad picture.
On the front, the iPhone XS Max has a 7.7-megapixel camera with TrueDepth capabilities used for the Face ID unlocking and Animoji. The Note 9 comes with an 8-megapixel front camera with ƒ/1.5 aperture.
iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9: Hardware and Software
Battery life is a bone of contention in any smartphone comparison and its imperative we touch on that. The Galaxy Note 9 has the larger battery of the two, measuring at 4,000 mAh, as compared to the 3,400 mAh battery of iPhone XS Max. Both phones should easily last a day of regular usage. Wireless charging and fast charge are supported on each phone.
The iPhone XS Max is powered by the Apple A12 processor, one of the first 7nm chips. Processing capabilities have been Apple's strong point and it carries over to the XS Max which runs as smooth as silk. The Galaxy Note 9 will come with the Snapdragon 845 processor if you're in the US or China while it will run on the Exynos 9810 if you buy it outside of the two countries. To make the performance better, Samsung has included a special water carbon cooling system in Note 9.
Talking about RAM, the iPhone XS Max features a 4 GB one while the Note 9 offers two options of 6 GB and 8 GB. But this doesn't necessarily translate to faster speed in the Note 9 since iOS and Android devices manage memory differently.
The Galaxy Note 9 comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box and you'll have to wait till January 2019 to update the OS to Android 9 Pie. The device also supports the S Pen. The iPhone XS Max operates on the iOS 12, which features improved notifications and battery management as well as augmented reality support.
iPhone XS Max vs Galaxy Note 9: Price
Both smartphones are one of the most expensive ones. The iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099 (£1,099) for the 64 GB model and goes up to $1,449 (£1,499) for the 512 GB model. The Galaxy Note 9 is comparatively cheaper - $1,000 (£899) for 128 GB model and $1,249 (£1,099) for the 512 GB model.
As we can see, it can be really hard to choose between the phones with each device offering excellent specs. It will eventually boil down to what features you prefer and how much you're willing to pay for them.