The Samsung Galaxy S9 And Apple iPhone X Compared

The Samsung Galaxy S9 And Apple iPhone X Compared
Image: Getty

With the Galaxy S9 just over a week away, Samsung have vaulted to the top of New Phone pile and asking consumers to again decide who gets their bucks in the smartphone future. The S9 is a step up from the S8, but how does it stack up with Apple’s iPhone X?

It’s Apple vs Samsung, flagship vs flagship, who comes out on top?

The Specs

iPhone X Samsung Galaxy S9
OS iOS 11 Android 8.0
Dimensions 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm 147.7mm x 73.8mm x 8.5mm
Weight 174g 189g
CPU A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture Octa-core (2.7GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64bit, 10nm processor
Storage/Memory 64/256 GB 64/128/256 GB
Display 5.8-inch Super Retina HD 5.8-inch Infinity Display, Curved QHD+ AMOLED
Resolution 2436 x 1125 (458 ppi) 2960 x 1440 (570 ppi)
Battery 2716mAh 3000mAh
microSD support No Yes, up to 400GB
3.5mm Headphone Jack No Yes
Camera Dual vertical 12MP rear (f/1.8, 28mm and f/2.4, 56mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS), 7MP (f/2.2) front Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP rear (wide-angle f/1.7, f/2.4, OIS), 8MP front, f/1.7
Colours Silver and Space Grey Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple
Price (64GB model) $1579 $1199

The Differences Between The Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X

Why are people ditching their old phones? They slow down, their battery life decreases dramatically and they are replaced with better, bigger screens and cameras.

When comparing these two phones, there aren’t a lot of differences that aren’t immediately apparent cosmetically. The iPhone X is designed with that top notch that is already going out of style, the Galaxy S9 an almost-full body screen that retains most of the design cues of the S8. They both display excellent crisp images and they both take excellent photos.

The Samsung S9 hasn’t yet received a DxOMark, but the Plus scored 99, compared to the iPhone X’s 97. I’d expect the S9 to be somewhere in that ballpark, but it only features a single lens, as opposed to the iPhone X’s dual, so while the quality of the images are likely not too different, the iPhone X edges it out slightly.

When it comes to tech, the OLED screen on the X and the AMOLED screen are both spectacular displays and the processors are both top of their class. For all intents and purposes, it will be hard to differentiate between the two unless you have them side by side.

So it comes down to things like Apple’s Animoji and their lauded Face ID system. The former has been ‘ripped off’ by Samsung with the AR Emoji feature, which is very similar to Apple’s Animoji, but the latter Samsung still struggles with. If you love the idea that you can unlock your phone with your face, then iPhone edges out the Galaxy again.

Of course, the iPhone X doesn’t have a headphone jack and the S9 does. Deal breaker? Probably not, but it’s a factor.

Value-wise, the Galaxy is stacked for $1199. As a phone with a couple of months extra development time, it competes with the iPhone X on almost all fronts.

Let’s finish by saying that, yes, you could argue the Galaxy S9+ is the more viable direct comparison to make here – a phone that comes in at $1349 (64GB model), has a more specced up camera, better memory and a longer battery life.

If you were going to make that comparison, from a value point of view, the Galaxy is still the better buy – particularly when you factor in the S9+’s wide-angle and telephoto lens (which scored a 99 DxOMark), bigger battery life and storage space options. If you were going to compare the S9+, clearly Samsung has the edge, innovating just enough to outperform Apple’s latest.

Which One Should I Buy?

What do you live for? The sweet embrace of an Apple or the careful, curious touch of a Samsung? Truly, the decision comes down to how and what you use your phone for – as per usual. Are you entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, with a variety of Macs and iPads and iDevices running your home? Do you like how they all talk to each other? Then your next phone may well be the iPhone X (though the 8 is a great value option).

If you bleed fluoro green Android men, then you’re likely going to go a Samsung. There’s nothing in either phone that warrants a complete switch – they both take great photos, load quickly, have excellent displays and security features.


  • These days it really comes down to if you want the privacy-first, walled garden approach of Apple or the consumer-as-a-product, open-ish garden approach of Android. The phones at the top-end all cost a ton of money, and all perform really well, the differences are pretty small for most people.
    The defining thing now seems to be are you okay with being data-mined, many people are and so Android would be the obvious choice, the phones are a little cheaper, and you do get more options. If you want privacy, and are someone who uses duck-duck-go instead of google, and stays off gmail and doesn’t put your life on Facebook, then Apple seems the obvious choice right now. I do wish there was a third, privacy-centric option out there for smartphones.

    • You hit the nail on the head… you get rabid fanboys on both IOS & Android. I honestly don’t like either of them and wish I had more options. I use an iPhone only because I feel my privacy is better protected there. I am not so naïve to believe that Apple doesn’t do the same thing as Samsung to some degree, I just trust them more. (I don’t trust either very much, but I trust samsung a little less)

      • Just a note: Apple recently caved in to Chinese government demands that they hand over encryption keys for Chinese iCloud users, so their commitment to user privacy is… limited at best (and it sets a scary precedent that other privacy-hating governments, like, say, Australia’s, will want to follow).

        • China has their own iCloud server from what I understand, and I’d rather have China have their own server to mess with than giving them the keys to the rest of iCloud.

          The only benefit I can see from Australia having their own server is for court use only (i.e. a constable handling a child rape case where the evidence is in an Apple ID that’s unable to go through account recovery)

      • Dude, Huawei mate 9 and mate 10. Seriously, you wont get better phones. Battery life, camera, speed, ease of use being android phone and they are about 60 -70% of the cost

          • He mentions trust, or no trust, with apple and Samsung which is what i was replying to. Huawei uses android but has their own security measures if im not mistaken… not sure what you’re saying?

    • But you can completely disable Bixby… Not sure how that’s ‘forced.’

      I don’t use Bixby at all because (while I think the AI tech itself us great) it’s useless as it has barely any app integration. Takes 5 minutes to disable it and setup Google Assistant instead though 😛

      • I see now that they’ve added more options to help prevent activating it since I last had my S8+, but Bixby shouldn’t even be there to begin with, and should be an optional install. It’s an awful attempt to duplicate what Google Assistant already does, except Assistant does it much better. Samsung’s awful attempts to duplicate basically everything Google already provides is awful, and I’ve had enough.

        Can you at least launch Google Assistant with the phone’s screen off now?

        • Can you at least launch Google Assistant with the phone’s screen off now?
          On the Note 8 you can at least, Assistant works on it just like any other Android phone. I guess I can’t speak for the S8 but I’d assume it’s the same.

          I still think Bixby’s great at what it can do – control phone functionality. i.e. it does a a much better job (faster and more accurate) than Google at things like taking photos, changing core settings or something silly liking swiping on apps which Google can’t do. But that’s really the problem, it’s completely limited to just those core phone functions with barely any decent app integration or decent online capabilities.
          And trying to use it with Google Assistant (Bixby for phone, GA for everything else) just doesn’t work because Bixby always tries to jump in.

          So yeah, I agree that it’s useless and you’re better off just disabling it but I still think it has potential. Though so did the Gear S watch, Tizen OS, etc, etc. Samsung have a bad habit of making things with potential but little support, then moving on :/

          • When I had my S8+ I couldn’t use Assistant with the phone screen off – quick Google shows this changed with the Note 8.

            Maybe things are better but the S8 is still my last Samsung phone for all of the stuff Samsung pushes on their users. I’ve never found anything Bixby can do to be particularly useful – I can do any of those things faster without talking to the phone. It’s a shame because Samsung make some genuine excellent hardware, but their software seems to find new ways to infuriate me even after fixing some things.

  • Might be off topic, but honestly, for this price I can build a decent-ish gaming PC. I’ll stick with my 29$ Coles phone as I’m not ready to spend that much on a phone.

  • Years ago, I worked at a company that provided a digital music service for Samsung’s phones. Samsung basically made the company provide the service first, in a very broken state (you couldn’t even unsubscribe from within the app, you had to contact me by email!) and not really being concerned with fixing those problems.

    The experience turned me off Samsung phones (and Android, now I think about it) for life. If you must get an Android phone, at least get a HTC or one of those neat Pixel phones that I wish weren’t exclusive to Telstra in Australia.

    Right now I rock an iPhone X and the notch doesn’t bother me at all. I like that it’s thinner than the 6/7/8 Plus models so you can comfortably hold it one handed. The camera on it is amazing, too (I got the phone because of my need to replace my EM10 MkII that’s developed a sticky shutter).

    But honestly I’m generally one of those ‘use what you like’ kind of people. While I personally want to see Android burned to the ground, I don’t actively stop people from using it. I do wish there was a better alternative to iOS out there (Windows Phone’s failure in the market place was a sad day for consumer choice), but this is the reality we live in now.

  • When it comes to tech, the OLED screen on the X and the AMOLED screen are both spectacular… it will be hard to differentiate between the two..

    So it comes down to things like Apple’s Animoji and their lauded Face ID system.
    So the ‘tech’ part of the comparison is going to ignore all specs all features besides animoji that I honestly forgot even existed and the ‘amazing’ Face ID?

  • Oh, Apple! You amuse me so. Comparing spec-by spec, the Samsung is better (or at least just as good) as the iphone /every time/. And then you get to the end… and the iPhone actually costs $400 more. People are literally paying over $500 for that little logo on the back.

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