Samsung Galaxy S9+ vs Apple iPhone X: The Superbowl of smartphones

The battle of the best.

By Vishal Kawadkar

    Samsung unveiled its much-anticipated flagships at the MWC 2018 in Barcelona. Oh boy! Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Although the new Galaxy S series smartphones don't bring a new design to the table, they sure have some new tricks under their sleeve which are capable enough to give any other flagship a run for its money. But is it enough to beat Apple's super-flagship? We have a managed to do a detailed comparison between the two. Let's see how the Galaxy S9+ stacks up against the iPhone X. 

    Samsung Galaxy S9+ vs Apple iPhone X: The Superbowl of smartphones

    Design

    As mentioned, the Galaxy S9+ doesn't have a completely new design and follow closely to its predecessor's form factor. The only noticeable change is the relocation of the fingerprint sensor and the inclusion of a dual camera setup. But choosing between the iPhone X and the S9+ would surely be a preference thing. Both devices are sleek but iPhone X is a tad slimmer than the latter. The iPhone X is 7.7mm while the S9+ is 8.5mm thick. Material wise also the iPhone X has an edge over the S9+. It has a stainless steel border and uses a special material in the paint making it look shimmery, something which the Galaxy S9+ lacks.

    The Galaxy S9 doesn't have the same display that goes right to the edge to prevent users from accidental touches and ghosting. This also offers a better in-hand experience compared to the previous generation. Unlike other Android OEMs, Samsung didn't blatantly copy the iPhone X's notch. Samsung chose to stick to its Galaxy S8's winning formula. Also, it's hard to completely iterate a smartphone like the S8 which offered one of the most satisfying mobile experience.

    The iPhone X, on the other hand, looks something more futuristic. It might take some time for you to get used to the notch and can a little annoying at times. Honestly, the iPhone X might look different from the previous flagships, but it feels exactly the same as an iPhone. I personally believe that the iPhone X has a better design and accommodates all the essentials easily without having to increase the real estate.

    Winner: iPhone X

    Display

    Talking of displays, Samsung's new flagship has an advantage over the iPhone X - the brightness. The OLED panel on the new smartphones have improved and is brighter compared to the S8/S8+ which were already one of the best displays around.

    The iPhone X also has a bright display and is enough for any lighting condition. But it isn't as bright as the Galaxy S9 Plus. The iPhone X offers 1125 x 2436 pixel resolution with 459ppi, while the Galaxy S9+ offers 1440 x 2960 pixel at 529ppi. The iPhone X's is surely better than the Galaxy S8/S8+ but isn't enough to take down the display on Galaxy S9+. Both the displays are great but Samsung has a slight edge over Apple in the display department.

    Winner: Galaxy S9+

    Biometrics

    The most noticeable factor that sets apart both the smartphones is their approach to the mobile security. The Galaxy S9+ introduced a new feature dubbed Intelligent Scan that combines the Iris Scanner and the Face Unlock features seen on the Galaxy S8/S8+. But the company still doesn't use an external hardware for the feature.

    Apple in order to accommodate the full screen, had to cut ties with the TouchID in favor of the FaceID. The new facial recognition tech is not just a face unlock feature, it uses two modules to project 30,000 infrared dots onto a user's face and then read the pattern. It also learns and memorizes the changes of the user's face over time.

    Although it is not a foolproof solution as many hackers have challenged and fooled the tech, it is still much better compared to other face unlock-enabled devices. Apple might also bring back the fingerprint scanning once the in-screen sensors become flawless.

    Winner: iPhone X

    AR war

    The FaceID on the iPhone X also has an additional feature called Animoji. This feature allows users to express themselves with a touch of augmented reality. The company managed to offer cool and flawless animations but sadly offers a limited set. These AR emojis are also restricted to a single app like iMessage with Animoji.

    It seems Samsung was closely keeping an eye on Apple's AR activity and came up with its own AR emojis. The feature will allow users to animate their own face and create different characters and emotions. Samsung also offers you the ability to customize and save the animoji for future use and allows you to use them as a GIF on any platform.

    Winner: Galaxy S9+

    Optics front

    We have to agree on one thing that both the smartphones offer an insanely good set of cameras. Samsung also followed Apple's philosophy to bring the dual camera setup on the bigger variants. It is hard to challenge iPhone X's portrait mode, but Samsung, in turn, has the live focus mode which enables the users to adjust the bokeh effect before and after the picture is taken.

    Samsung also introduced the industry first variable aperture feature that lets you take photos between a f/2.4 aperture to f/1.5 aperture, which is also the lowest on any smartphone camera. Besides, the multi-frame image processing uses the DRAM to capture the images at four times the speed.

    Both iPhone X and Galaxy S9+ offer a silky smooth 1080p slow-motion videos at 260 frames per second. But Samsung takes it to a whole new level by offering 960 frames per second at 720p quality. The camera automatically detects when to enable the slow-motion part making video shooting a breeze with the Galaxy S9+. You can also save the slo-mo video as your desktop wallpaper, something we have already seen with Apple's live image.

    Winner: Galaxy S9+

    Performance

    Last but the most imperative front - the performance. When we talk about the performance both these smartphones are an absolute beast and neatly handle every task without any sign of lag and stutter.

    The iPhone X comes with Apple's proprietary hexa core A11 Bionic chip paired with 3GB RAM, while the Galaxy S9+ uses the octa-core Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM. When it comes to raw performance, the iPhone X easily outshines the Samsung's flagship by a thick margin. But the biggest question is - how often do you utilize this mammoth amount of power in your daily lives. The iPhone X is pretty smooth for your everyday tasks and the Galaxy S9+ is expected to do the same with its new zippy SoC.

    On paper, the iPhone X (2176mAh) might have a smaller battery compared to the Galaxy S9+(3500mAh), but Apple integrates both hardware and software offering similar battery life as the latter.

    Winner: iPhone X

    Samsung Galaxy S9+ unboxing and quick look
    Verdict

    Verdict

    As you know Apple is a closed garden has its limitations, unlike Samsung that makes these new features accessible to a bigger audience. With the Samsung Galaxy S9+, the company surely brought some shinning features to the table.

    Despite having a close encounter at all front, at the end of the day it all boils down to the pricing of the smartphones. The Apple iPhone X starts at a price of Rs 79,999, while to get your hands on the Galaxy S9+, you'll have to shell out Rs 64,900. That's actually a great bargain if compared to the price tag on the iPhone X.

    The iPhone X, despite being six months old still has an edge over a lot of devices and still one of the best smartphones out there. The only thing that doesn't go Apple's way in the budget conscious Indian market is the pricing, which makes the Galaxy S9+ a better choice for many.

    Overall winner: Galaxy S9+

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