Home Comparison iPhone Xs Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: What’s the difference?

iPhone Xs Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: What’s the difference?

iPhone Xs Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

iPhone Xs Max has become a worthy competitor to another popular frameless fax – Galaxy Note 9 from Samsung. If last year’s iPhone X did not reach the comparison with Note 8 in terms of size, now Apple is seriously ready to attract an audience for which smartphones are less than 6 inches – a trifle.

For the Samsung 2018 was pretty pass-through: the flagship Galaxy S9 turned out to be extremely average and did not provide the Koreans with huge sales. Nevertheless, the situation was smoothed by the release of Galaxy Note 9 – here they played an extended battery life, a large beautiful display and excellent cameras.

But is Note 9 able to stay afloat after the release of the iPhone Xs Max? Let’s compare and find out who is the best!

iPhone Xs Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: What’s the difference?


  • iPhone Xs Max : 6.5 “OLED display with True Tone | resolution of 2688 x 1242 pixels (458 ppi) | support for 3D Touch, HDR10 and Dolby Vision
  • Galaxy Note 9: 6.4 “curved OLED display | resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels (516 ppi) | support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision

Galaxy Note 9 is massive – both in size and design. It is equipped with a large 6.4-inch QHD + Super AMOLED display, which is bent from both sides and has a very high pixel density with fairly wide black stripes present both above and below. The ratio of the size of the display to the front panel is 83.51%. For comparison, in the iPhone Xs Max, a 0.1 “display has a much lower pixel density, but the display to front panel ratio is slightly better here – 84.4%.

OLED-displays of both smartphones can be safely called one of the best for today. Display Mate has already given the Galaxy Note 9 display the title of the best among smartphones, but the iPhone Xs Max has every chance to take his crown – especially given the extremely positive review of the same source on the iPhone X last year.

Design and dimensions

  • iPhone Xs Max: it has 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm | 208 g | certificate IP68
  • Galaxy Note 9:  it has 161.9 x 76.4 x mm | 201 g | certificate IP68

The Galaxy Note is higher and thicker than the iPhone, but it’s a bit wider. Do not forget that the display is slightly smaller. Because of this, the smartphone from Samsung looks even more massive when compared with an iPhone Xs Max. Also, due to the absence of a recess in the display, it is more difficult to use them with one hand.

Although both smartphones on the back are glass, the side frames in the iPhone Xs Max are made of special surgical stainless steel, which makes them look more premium than aluminium in Note 9. Both smartphones have been certified with IP68 water and dust protection.


  • iPhone Xs Max: 6-core A12 Bionic | 7-nm process technology | 4-core graphics are 50% faster than the previous generation | 8-core Neural Engine
  • Galaxy Note 9: 8-core Exynos 9810 / Snapdragon 845 | 10-nm technical process of the second generation | 2.7 / 2.8 GHz clock speed.

Galaxy Note 9 is equipped with a top 8-core processor: Samsung Exynos 9810 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 – depending on the region. Both of these chipsets are the fastest in the Android ecosystem. Nevertheless, none of them can compare with the newest Apple A12 Bionic, which proved to be a complete monster when it comes to its performance. Performance Samsung Galaxy Note 9 cannot be compared with the iPhone Xs Max, but there is good news here: with a daily workload, both smartphones will fly, so do not think that Note 9 will seem like a break. In terms of gaming experience, all top games were tested, and they delivered top frame rates at highest resolutions.  you want to play some games like Modern Combat 5: Blackout or Asphalt Xtreme, albeit the X Max is more susceptible to overheating, both devices got you cover should you choose to play online casino games or arcade games, the CPU of this device will make you enjoy online games as overheating won’t really happen because these games require a lot less power to be played. But do expect a hotter phone should you choose to play all the newest games.

Main camera

  • iPhone Xs Max: dual camera (12 megapixels + 12 megapixels) with an aperture of f / 1.8 and f / 2.4 | optical image stabilization | New sensors with a pixel size of 1.4 ?m | support for Smart HDR and Focus Pixels | updated portrait mode with manual bokeh adjustment and blur level
  • Galaxy Note 9: dual camera (12 Mp + 12 Mp) with aperture f / 1.5 and f / 2.4 | optical image stabilization | New sensors with a pixel size of 1.4 ?m | support for Auto HDR and SuperSpeed Dual Pixel | Live Focus mode with manual bokeh setting

The main cameras of these smartphones are similar in many respects. In both cases, we see the main 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and an additional telephoto lens. Note 9 offers a wider aperture and the ability to configure it (the only one among smartphones). At the same time, the new Smart HDR mode in the iPhone Xs Max allows you to capture more details and take pictures with an enhanced dynamic range. Both smartphones have functions for adjusting the depth in portrait mode, but only the iPhone Xs Max gives access to this function to third-party photo editing applications.


  • iPhone Xs Max : 7-megapixel TrueDepth with aperture f / 2.2 | flash Retina Flash | support Smart HDR | updated portrait mode with manual bokeh adjustment and blur level
  • Galaxy Note 9 : 8-megapixel with f / 1.7 aperture | autofocus | Flash Flash Flash | portrait mode with manual adjustment

The front camera Galaxy Note 9 has a higher resolution, auto-focus and a faster aperture f / 1.7. However, the camera software in Galaxy Note9 tends to spoil images due to an excessive refinement of sharpness and blurring. Selfies, made on the iPhone Xs Max, are much more natural.

Drive Capacity

  • iPhone Xs Max : 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, no memory card slot
  • Galaxy Note 9 : 128 GB, 512 GB, there is a microSD card slot

If there is one parameter, by which the Galaxy Note 9 uniquely exceeds the new iPhone, then this is the capacity of the drive. Thanks to the microSD slot, you can increase the memory capacity to 1 TB (in total)! To do this, you only need to buy a 512 GB memory card to the maximum modification of Note 9.

In addition, RAM in the Samsung tablet is also larger: 6 GB versus 4 GB at the iPhone – and this is only in the minimum configuration! The premium version of Galaxy Note 9 is equipped with 8 GB of RAM, which is twice that of the iPhone Xs Max. Depending on the numbers, Note 9 would be out of reach – but in fact, before the iPhone Xs Max with the A12 Bionic it is far away both in performance and in energy efficiency.


  • iPhone Xs Max : two SIM cards (standard + eSIM), gigabit LTE | Bluetooth 5.0, VoLTE, NFC
  • Galaxy Note 9 : two SIM-cards, 1,2-gigabit LTE | Bluetooth 5.0, VoLTE, NFC | there is 3.5 jack

And at this point, Note 9 already has a real advantage. It not only has two slots for physical SIM cards, but also supports faster LTE (download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps, while the iPhone’s limit is 1 Gbps). In addition, Note 9 has retained the headphone jack, while in the Xs Max iPhone they connect only through Lightning.

Biometric Scanning

  • iPhone Xs Max : Face ID
  • Galaxy Note 9 : the iris scanner | fingerprint scanner | face recognition

If the iPhone Xs has only one way of biometric user authentication, Note 9 offers three at a time – including the good old fingerprint scanner that Apple refused to use in the iPhone X.


  • iPhone Xs Max: lasts 90 minutes longer than the iPhone X | 13 hours on the Internet | 15 hours of video playback | 25 hours talk time | support wired charging 18 watts
  • Galaxy Note 9: 4,000 mAh battery | 17 hours on the Internet | 20 hours of video playback | support wired charging 15 watts

In general, the energy efficiency of the iPhone Xs Max is expected to be higher due to the A12 Bionic processor. However, Galaxy Note 9 has a larger battery, so the Android flagship lasts longer. And if the iPhone supports a more powerful wired charging (18 W), the adapter is bundled with the phone only for 5 watts. At the same time, Samsung added Note 9 adapter with a maximum power of 15 watts. So you will feel the real charging speed of the iPhone Xs Max, only by purchasing a suitable adapter.


  • iPhone XS Max : from $1,099
  • Galaxy Note 9: from $1000.

In addition, do not forget that in the kit with smartphones Galaxy Note 9 supplied stylus Pen, which is becoming better and more accurate with each generation. As for the iPhone Xs Max, there is no information that it will get support for Apple Pencil – but even if support is added, you will still need to buy the stylus separately.

Thus, each of the Smartphones has its strong and weak points, but Galaxy Note 9 is definitely a more budget option for these two models.


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