Specs Showdown: Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Apple iPhone X

Specs Showdown: Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Apple iPhone X
Image: Getty

With the Galaxy S9, Samsung has vaulted to the top of ‘New Phone’ pile with consumers once again asked to decide which manufacturer gets their hard-earned bucks. 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.


  • Remember the good old days when a 64 bit CPU was just a PR stunt by Apple?
    I miss the good old days.

    Once again, Android is every bit as walled as iOS. Try buying an Android branded phone made without Google’s blessing, or their software.

  • The only reasons I would have pause for buying the S9 are the price, which is still better than the X and the screen issues that I’m sure will be sorted, otherwise, the S9 is superior to the X in almost every way.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!