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iPhone XS Max Vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Review

iPhone XS Max Vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9: we’re going to be looking at the key differences between the iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy Note9.

So these are two of the biggest devices of 2018, pun intended.

And they both do feel quite large in the hand as well.

They’re definitely big devices.

The Note9 is slightly thicker as well as slightly taller but the XS Max is slightly wider.

Now they also weigh quite a bit both over 200 grams and they are definitely two-handed devices.

They also have similar-sized displays.

We’ve got 6.4 inches on the Note9 and we’ve got 6.5 inches on the XS Max.

However, on the XS Max, we do have that infamous notch.

On the Note9 there is no notch.

We’ve just got the small top and bottom bezels.

So that is something to bear in mind.

But the quality of displays, we’ve got amazing displays on both devices.

Some of the best out there in the market.

They both have OLED technology which means you’re going to have deep blacks, very high contrast ratios, vibrant colors, and very good viewing angles.

Now the XS Max as with the X does have 3D touch.

That’s the pressure-sensitive display.

You can push down harder on certain items and things.

It’s going to give you more options.

With the Note9, you do not have 3D touch although the home button is pressure sensitive.

And you can push that hard, it’s going to take you back to the home screen.

However, the XS does get the advantage of 3D touch.

Now when it comes to the resolution we’ve got very high-resolution displays on both.

However, the Note9 does have a higher pixel density.

So these are more pixels per inch and that does give it a slight edge when it comes to sharpness.

So the Note9 is going to give you overall sharper details.

It’s not going to be a massive massive difference because we haven’t gone over 400 PPI pixel density.

But there is going to be a slight advantage here on the Note9.

Now let’s talk about the build and design of both devices.

Both are very very premium.

With the Note9 you’ve got a metal frame with curved Gorilla Glass 5 panels on the front and back.

So they do cut in from the front as well.

Quite a unique look and that’s also the reason why it’s not as wide as the XS Max.

The XS Max has a stainless steel frame also with glass panels on the front and back.

iPhone XS Max Vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9

So both devices look and feel very very premium.

And they are both also IP68 water and dust resistant which is great.

Previously we had IP67 on the iPhone X.

So it’s great that this year we have IP68 as well on the iPhone XS Max.

Now moving on to the internals.

Both of these are packing the latest and greatest.

On the Note9, we’ve got either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor or the Samsung Exynos 9810.

Very smooth and fast, one of the fastest devices out there.

The iPhone XS Max comes with the Apple A12 Bionic chip.

Now Apple was saying compared to last year you can have up to 50% better graphics performance which should be really really good.

Of course, we can do some side-by-side tests once we’ve got the retail version of the XS Max in hand.

But regardless, both of these are some of the fastest devices out there.

In terms of the operating systems, for the XS Max, it is going to come out of the box with iOS 12.

With the Note9 we’ve got Android Oreo version 8.1 with the Samsung Experience skin on top.

Now, which one of these is better?

It’s going to come down to your personal preference.

Both are very very strong operating systems of course.

Now, what about the storage?

Well, the Note9 definitely gets the advantage in this category and that’s because it comes with a base of 128 gigabytes.

And there’s also a 512-gigabyte version.

You can also expand this as well with a micro SD card.

So you can get up to a terabyte of storage in total on the Note9 which is absolutely insane.

With the XS Max, you start at 64 gigabytes.

There is also a 256-gigabyte version, as well as a 512-gigabyte version, although the 512-gigabyte version is priced very very high.

We’ll talk about that a little bit later.

And of course, the XS Max as with all other Apple devices does not have expandable memory, unfortunately.

Moving onto the cameras.

Both of these have dual-camera setups.

We have a primary camera as well as a telephoto camera.

On the Note9 we have a dual aperture on the primary lens.

So we’ve got F1.5 and F2.4.

It’s going to switch between these depending on the light in your scene.

And it does do really really well when it comes to low-light images.

The secondary camera on the Note9 has an F2.4 aperture.

And it’s going to give you two times optical zoom.

The XS Max also with the telephoto camera is going to give you two times optical zoom and that also has an F2.4 aperture.

But the primary camera has an F1.8 aperture.

It doesn’t have a dual aperture as we’ve got on the Note9.

Now both devices have a portrait mode.

So this is where it’s going to blur the background and give you a very professional-looking shot.

And this time you can also edit the blur on both devices.

Apple kind of made a big deal about this although it has been available on many devices in the past.

Of course, we can do a style camera comparison between these two as soon as we’ve got the retail device of the XS Max in hand.

If you want to see that first then make sure you have subscribed and switch on your notifications.

Now when it comes to video, both devices do film 4K at 60 frames a second and also 1080p at 240 frames a second for slow motion.

However, the Note9 does get an advantage here for super slo-mo and that is 960 frames a second at 720p.

It is just a small burst but you can get some very interesting results if used well.

Now for the first time, the iPhone XS Max is finally going to be having a stereo audio recording.

This is something that I’ve ranted about many many times in my camera comparisons because of mono audio recording, it did not sound as rich as Samsung devices which have had a stereo audio recording for a very very long time.

And I can’t wait to actually put these side-by-side to see which one of these sounds better.

Now for the front-facing cameras, on the Note9 we’ve got eight megapixels with an F1.7 aperture.

On the iPhone XS Max, we’ve got seven megapixels with an F2.2 aperture.

Now both devices also support a portrait mode from the front-facing camera as well where it’s going to blur the background.

However, on the XS Max, you can edit the blur after the fact like you can do on the rear-facing cameras.

This is something you can’t do on the Note9, so the XS Max does get the advantage here.

Now moving on to security, the XS Max does have Face ID.

It’s improved compared to last year and it’s the most secure facial recognition that’s out there, Apple is claiming.

And in my experience Face ID on the iPhone has worked really really well.

And I expect it to work really well on the XS Max as well.

On the Note9 you do have facial recognition although it’s not as advanced as what you’ve got on Face ID.

However, you also have the iris scanner.

Now you can use facial recognition as well as the iris scanner in combination and that is Intelligent Scan and you’ve also got a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device.

So you’ve got plenty of options here on the Note9.

On the iPhone XS Max, although the facial recognition might be more secure, you do only have one option.

Now moving on to audio, both devices have stereo speakers, one in the earpiece and one at the bottom far end.

So this is great.

You’re going to have a very immersive experience, especially on those larger displays.

However, the iPhone XS Max as previous iPhones does not have a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack.

This is something that the Note9 does have and I know it’s something that’s very very important to a lot of you guys.

So the Note9 does get an advantage here.

Now the Note9 also has one additional feature which pretty much no other device has and that is the S Pen.

This is a stylus that is going to allow you a lot more precision when you’re using the device.

But it’s also going to allow you lots of advanced features.

And this year the S Pen also has Bluetooth connectivity which means you can remotely control the Note9 with the S Pen.

Something you’ve not been able to do before.

This is really useful for taking selfies and things.

You can also connect the Note9 using Samsung Dex which is built-in to a larger display and use the S Pen as a clicker.

So this is quite interesting and may be useful especially if you’re a business user.

Now moving on to batteries, the Note9 does come with a very large 4000 mAh battery.

For the iPhone XS Max, Apple hasn’t specified the size of the battery.

They’ve only said that you’re going to get 1.5 hours more usage compared to the iPhone X.

That is very very difficult to quantify.

However, we should be getting the exact size of the XS Max battery soon when somebody decides to pop it open and see it inside.

In terms of battery life, between these two of course we’re going to have to use these over a longer period of time to tell how well these are.

However the XS Max, Apple is claiming is the biggest battery that they’ve had in an iPhone before.

So it should perform better compared to previous models.

Now both devices do support wireless charging which is great and both also support fast charging.

However on the Note9, you do get the fast charger out of the box, it’s included.

On the XS Max, it is not included in the box like we didn’t have on the iPhone X either which means you’re going to have to go out and buy it separately if you want fast charging.

This is pretty steep as well.

It costs around 75 pounds and that is on top of what the XS Max already comes in at which is a price that’s higher compared to the Note9.

So the Note9, right now you can pick it up starting at 900 pounds in the UK, around a thousand dollars in the US.

That is for the base 128-gigabyte model.

With the XS Max, it’s going to be starting at 1100 pounds or 1100 dollars and that is for the 64 gigabyte base model.

Now if you’re going up to 512 gigabytes, you’re looking at 1450 pounds or dollars.

That’s a lot of money.

Comparing that to the 512-gigabyte version of the Note9, you’ll be paying $200 more for the iPhone XS Max or around 350 pounds more in the UK.

So the Note9 is coming in much cheaper compared to the XS Max.

And of course, that’s going to be a big big factor that’s going to come into play because they have never been so far apart when it comes to price.

There we have it, guys.

Those are the key differences between the Samsung Galaxy Note9 and the iPhone XS Max.

All summed up for you SuperSaf style.

Now in terms of my opinions, I mean both very promising devices.

I think the price difference is a huge huge factor between these two, especially this year and that’s something that you’re definitely going to have to bear in mind especially if you’re thinking of going for the larger storage version.

What do you guys think of the differences between these two?

Which one would you go for?

Definitely drop me a comment below and let me know.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful.


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