Specs Showdown: iPhone XS Max Vs Samsung Galaxy Note9

Specs Showdown: iPhone XS Max Vs Samsung Galaxy Note9
Image: Supplied

The iPhone XS Max is Apple’s supersized take on the iPhone X model, with a few upgrades under the hood. So how does it stand up to Samsung’s most recent release and plus-sized offering, the Note9?

The iPhone XS Max was announced this morning for a late September release, and Apple is coy as usual on certain specs such as CPU benchmarks and battery size. However we’ve compared the numbers to Samsung’s August release as best as possible, to see how iPhone’s new offering matches up.

iPhone XS Max: Australian Pricing, Specs And Release Date

The iPhone XS Max is being billed as Apple's biggest and best iPhone ever. So when can you get it? And how much will it cost? Here are the Australian specifications, pricing details and availability info!

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Here’s how the specifications compare:

Galaxy Note9 iPhone XS Max
Operating System Android 8.1 (Oreo) iOS 12
Display 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960×1440 (516ppi) 6.5-inch Retina HD Display, 2688×1242 (458 ppi)
Body 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201g, IP68 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7mm, 208g, IP68
Camera Rear: Dual Camera with Dual OIS
– Wide-angle: Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF sensor (F1.5/F2.4)
– Telephoto: 12MP AF (F2.4)
– 2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom
Front: 8MP AF, F1.7
Rear: Dual Camera with Dual OIS
– Wide-angle: 12MP AF sensor (F1.8)
– Telephoto: 12MP AF sensor (F2.4)
Front: 7MP TrueDepth camera (F2.2)
CPU 10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor (Max. 2.7 GHz + 1.7 GHz)
10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor (Max. 2.8 GHz + 1.7 GHz)
7nm A12 Bionic chip, six core CPU and four core GPU
Memory 6GB RAM (LPDDR4), 128GB + MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
8GB RAM (LPDDR4), 512GB + MicroSD slot (up to 512GB)
64/256/512 GB
Sim Card Single SIM: Nano SIM Dual SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM)
Battery 4,000mAh, Fast Charging compatible on wired and wireless
Wired charging compatible with QC2.0 and AFC, Wireless charging compatible with WPC and PMA
Up to 25 hours talk time, up to 13 hours internet use. Fast Charge capable, Qi compatible wireless charging.
Network Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, 5CA, LAA, LTE Cat.18 Gigabit-class LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM,
Bluetooth v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
W802.11ac Wi‑Fi with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, Lightning connector, NFC, Location (Assisted GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS)
Payment NFC, MST NFC
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor Face ID, Barometer, Three‑axis gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
Authentication Lock Type: Pattern, Pin, Password. Biometric Lock Types: Iris Scanner, Fingerprint Scanner, Facial Recognition. Intelligent scan: Combines iris scan and face recognition Lock type: Passcode. Biometric lock type: Face ID
Audio MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF, APE AAC‑LC, HE‑AAC, HE‑AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC‑3), Dolby Digital Plus (E‑AC‑3) and Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX and AAX+)
Video MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM HEVC, H.264, MPEG‑4 Part 2 and Motion JPEG
Headphone Jack Yes No
Price From $1499 From $1799

Neither phone has a distinct advantage over the other, and ultimately a choice will come down to what you value in a phone, whether it’s the iPhone XS Max’s unique Face ID system or the Note9’s cheaper price and inclusion of a headphone jack.

The Note9’s notable point of difference over the iPhone is, of course, the included S-Pen, for all the stylus-lovers out there. Despite numerous rumours to the contrary, the new iPhones still don’t support Apple’s own brand stylus, the Apple Pencil. Some even speculated that the new phones would ship with an Apple Pencil in box to compete with the Note9, but it appears Apple isn’t too keen to bring stylus functionality to its smartphones.


  • spec comparisons are generally useless these days. With such different operating systems and integration between them you can only really rely on bench markings and side by side comparisons.

  • Amazes me that virtually no-one seems to be calling Apple (or other companies) on their claimed screen sizes when big chunks of them aren’t usable due to the notch. Sure, you can lay a ruler corner-to-corner and it’s 6.5 inches, but it’s not all usable screen. At best it’s inaccurate, at worst it’s deliberately misleading. Then there’s also the fact that “Retina HD” seems to be a generic catch-all for every display Apple produce irrespective of the actual screen tech.

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