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15 Sep 2018

#SmartphonesFaceoff: Apple iPhone XS Max v/s Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Battle of the $1,000 phablet smartphones

The recently unveiled iPhone XS Max is not only Apple's most advanced iPhone yet, but also the company's largest iPhone to date.

And while it may not 'officially' proclaim Apple's foray into the phablet segment, the iPhone XS Max, coincidentally, takes on Samsung's most advanced smartphone ever, the Galaxy Note 9.

But which one is worth your money?

Here's our specifications-wise comparison.

In context

Battle of the $1,000 phablet smartphones

Pricing: The key factor

The iPhone XS Max starts at Rs. 1,09,900 for the 64GB storage variant. The 256GB and 512GB variants are priced at Rs. 1,24,900 and Rs. 1,44,900, respectively. The Note 9 starts at Rs. 67,900 for 128GB storage model, while the 512GB variant costs Rs. 84,900

At a glance


At a glance

The Note 9 retains the design of Note 8 to offer a curved display with prominent top and bottom bezels. On the back, there is a dual-camera setup and fingerprint sensor housed in a glass panel.

On the other hand, iPhone XS Max sports an edge-to-edge display with a notch that houses the front camera and Face ID module.

Winner: iPhone XS Max.

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All about the screen

The Note 9 sports a 6.4-inch QHD+ (2,960 x 1,440 pixels) Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 516ppi and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9.

The contender, iPhone XS Max features a 6.5-inch Super Retina AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,688 x 1,242 pixels (458ppi) and an aspect ratio of 19.5.9.

Winner: Note 9 for its sharper display and QHD+ resolution.

For the shutterbugs

Primary Camera

For the shutterbugs

Note 9 sports a wide-angle dual pixel 12-megapixel sensor with a variable aperture (f/1.5-f/2.4), coupled with a 12-megapixel (f/2.4) telephoto sensor with 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom.

The iPhone XS Max gets a 12-megapixel (f/1.8) wide-angle lens, paired with a 12-megapixel (f/2.4) telephoto lens, and OIS on both lenses and 2x optical zoom.

Winner: Almost a tie.

Selfie Camera

For the love of Selfies

The iPhone XS Max gets a 7MP front TrueDepth camera with an f/2.2 aperture. Further, on the software front, Apple offers Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting features, Animoji and Memoji.

The Note 9 offers slightly better optics with an 8MP sensor with a wider f/1.7 aperture, AI-based enhancements AR Emojis.

Winner: iPhone XS Max for its better image processing and refined software features.

All the important stuff


All the important stuff

The Note 9 gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810 chipset, paired with 6GB/8GB RAM and 128GB/512GB storage (expandable up to 512GB).

The iPhone XS Max is powered by the 7nm A12 Bionic chip (6-core CPU, 4-core GPU), paired with a powerful Apple-designed Neural Engine.

Notably, Apple's flagship comes in 64GB/256GB/512GB storage options.

Winner: iPhone XS Max for its industry-leading chipset.

Sensors & Software

Lifeblood of your smartphone

Both the phones pack a standard array of sensors. However, the key difference is that iPhone XS Max features an improved Face ID (3D facial scanning) setup while Note 9 has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, Iris Scanning, and camera-supported face unlock.

In terms of software, iPhone XS Max will run iOS12 while Note 9 runs a forked version of Android Oreo.

Winner: You decide.

Staying connected

Battery & Connectivity

Staying connected

While both the phones support fast charging and wireless charging, the 4,000mAh battery on the Note 9 gives it a clear advantage over iPhone XS Max's approximately 3,000 mAh battery.

Moreover, Note 9 comes with a new S Pen that can pair with the phone to offer various shortcuts and inbuilt DeX system whereas the latest iPhone lacks on this front.

Winner: Note 9.

Our result

How things stack up!

Well, without a doubt, both Note 9 and iPhone XS Max are the most-powerful smartphones currently available.

However, while Note 9 has a better display, bigger battery and added connectivity options, the iPhone XS Max packs an industry-leading chipset and flaunts a trendsetting design.

That said, there's a considerable price difference between the two and because of that, Note 9 is the winner.

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