Video: iPhone X vs S9 Plus - Which should you buy?

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 6
Last year we compared the iPhone X to Samsung's Note 8, and the iPhone was hands-down the flagship phone of choice. With the new Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung appears to have improved on nearly every aspect of its smartphone hardware, at least on paper, but has it caught up to Apple's flagship mobile device?





The iPhone X is priced at $999 for the 64GB model and $1,149 for the 256GB version, compared to the S9 Plus which comes in at $840 for a 64GB model with a microSD slot that supports up to 256GB. You can buy a suitable memory card for around $100, which equates to a total storage capacity of 320GB for approximately $50 less than a 64GB iPhone X.

That being said, microSD storage speed is still extremely limited when compared to the X's internal data bus, so while it is nice to have that extra capacity, it's still going to be slower to access compared to the built-in storage.

Both phones have a really premium feel thanks to the all metal and glass construction but the build quality of the iPhone X is more preferable. The screen is really nice on the S9 Plus with a higher resolution that provides a sharper image and less color shift when viewing at off angles, but while we prefer the larger size of the display for watching videos, the phone is uncomfortable in your hand.

The iPhone 8 Plus is similar in this regard, while the iPhone X's smaller form factor is perfect for most people. Honestly, the notch on the iPhone X is pretty distracting and annoying when watching full-screen videos.

The S9 Plus definitely takes the cake with its infinity display. The always-on feature of the S9 Plus' screen is quite handy, giving the handset one desirable feature that the OLED-toting iPhone X could've implemented.

The S9 Plus has a USB-C charging port, which is much more functional compared to Lightning.

Samsung also decided to keep the 3.5mm headphone jack around in the S9 Plus. This may be a big deal for some people, but after using Apple's AirPods for months, there is little desire to return to wired headphones.




In terms of performance, the iPhone X completely blew the Note 8 out of the water, but this year, the S9 Plus has caught up. There isn't that much improvement in terms of processing performance, but graphics is around 50% more powerful.

The iPhone X is still ahead overall, but the S9 Plus is right behind. The saving grace for the Samsung is that it has twice as much RAM as the iPhone X, allowing apps to stay open in the background for longer periods of time.

The S9 Plus now has stereo speakers, just like the iPhone X, and they sound really clear. It's a tough comparison between both phones, but the iPhone seems to have clearer mids and sharper highs, though it's all up to user preference anyway.

Next up, Samsung relocated the fingerprint scanner below the rear cameras. It used to be on the right-hand side of the cameras, and was extremely inconvenient as users had to stretch their hand behind the phone to reach it, making the new placement very natural and comfortable by comparison. .

In comparing Face ID to Samsung's Face Unlock and Iris Scanning, Face ID won that battle in terms of reliability, security and convenience. Note 8's Face Unlock could be fooled by a simple photo and wouldn't work in the dark, while Iris Scanning ran into reliability issues and would sometimes require the phone to be extremely close to our face.

The S9 Plus has Samsung's new Intelligent Scan feature which combines both Face Unlock and Iris scanning for more secure and reliable authentication. It'll work in the dark and is no longer fooled by photos, but unfortunately you can't use Samsung Pay with the feature.

Samsung's mobile payment solution is only available when using Iris Scanning or the fingerprint scanner. Face ID on the other hand, can be used for basically everything on your phone, including third party apps.

Samsung has introduced AR Emoji to combat Apple's Animoji, but it was found to be extremely lacking when put against Apple's face-based feature.

The S9 and S9 Plus have a new dual aperture camera on the back that works by automatically switching between two f-stop modes to adapt to different lighting conditions. The F1.5 aperture mode lets in more light for cleaner lowlight images, and the F2.4 mode results in sharper photos.

Both phones were extremely similar in terms of photo detail. The X definitely had better colors overall in tests, but it didn't perform as well at blurring backgrounds in Portrait Mode.

The S9 Plus has less noise in low-light while retaining more detail in shots. The X however has a slow-sync flash, helping make nighttime flash photos look a lot more natural compared to photos taken on the S9 Plus.

Overall, both phones are around even in terms of camera quality.




The S9 Plus now sports 4K video recording at 60 frames per second, but a few issues were experienced when using the mode. Recording of 4K 60 video is limited to just 5 minutes per clip, while a 10-minute limit is applied for recordings in regular 4K, Quad-HD, and 1080P 60 modes.

There are no such limitations for video length on the iPhone X.

Comparing the Samsung's 4K video at both 30 and 60 frames per second revealed a substantial loss in detail when recording in 4K 60.

The S9 and S9 Plus also have a new High Efficiency mode, just like the one on the iPhone 8 and X, but there's currently a huge issue with it. Video clips shot in High Efficiency 4K get corrupted when you transfer them to a Mac or PC, regardless of how you do it, so it is ill advised to use High Efficiency mode in this manner until Samsung fixes the problem.

As expected from an Android phone, Samsung's S9 Plus is definitely more customizable than an iPhone, with modification options offered for everything from settings to home screen widgets. For example, you can view your full calendar on one of your home screen pages, without having to tap into the widget like you have to do on iPhone X.

There's substantially more settings you can customize on the S9 Plus, whereas on the iPhone X, Apple limits the list to changes most people can understand.

Looking broadly at Apple and Samsung, it's obvious that Apple focuses on making their devices and features easy to setup and use, so they can broaden their market and satisfy more customers. Samsung, on the other hand, gives users freedom of customization and as many features as they can pack into a device, rarely getting rid of old functionality.

That's why the S9 Plus still has the headphone jack and various biometric authentication methods like the fingerprint scanner. Apple, on the other hand, got rid of the headphone jack and fingerprint scanner without flinching.

At the end of the day, both the iPhone X and Galaxy S9 Plus are great phones. They're more than powerful enough for most consumers, pack top-of-the-line mobile camera systems and come with the best displays you can get your hands on.

Your purchasing decision should actually rely on which user interface you enjoy the most, and which features are more useful for you.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 222member
    Face ID was a revelation to me. Never going back and lose that tremendous convenience. 

    Bare faced, my usual glasses to very dark prescription Oakley’s and it works every time. 
    lostkiwiMuntzwatto_cobraCyborgKungFu
  • Reply 2 of 27
    I had to make this choice a couple of weeks ago...


    Had an iPhone 7plus and have had iPhones for the last few years. Several models and have a mac book pro too. 

    I chose the S9Plus after much debate and comparison! 

    Android has come a long way since I last used it and I must say, very happy with the switch so far especially the level of customisation I can do now. 

    I'm still an apple fan but I appreciate the choices we have. 

    The reasons I didn't go for the X were -

    1. Small screen  with less visible space then my old iPhone 7 plus. X Plus will fix that but it's not here yet sadly. 

    2. Bad interface with lots of wasted space top and bottom when using safari on the X. Makes the screen feel even smaller. I also found the gestures for app closing a bit clunky.  

    3. Cost. It was a fair chunk more than the S9Plus. 

    4. No finger print reader .. yes some people still want to use it  rather than face id.

    5. The notch annoyed me.I could probably get used to it quickly but not sure I want to . 

    6. My iPhone 7 battery sucked and it randomly froze. Kinda put me off going down the Apple rabbit hole again. I thought the quality of iOS 11 had been poor since it was released. Throttlegate also put me off Apple for being deceptive. 

    7. The screen on the S9 Plus is beautiful and expansive. X felt cramped in comparison when I used both side by side.


    I was going to wait for the X Plus,  but in the end decided to try something new now (impatient). Both phones are awesome at the end of the day but I think Apple needs to try a bit harder.

    The S9 has been rock solid so far and migrating my apps, settings, media was a breeze.    

    Still love Apple and look forward to see what they do next. In the interim , happy with the decision. 
  • Reply 3 of 27
    78Bandit78Bandit Posts: 196member
    Good comparison, thanks.  If I were forced to buy a new phone right now it would have to be the Galaxy S9+ as the real-life performance difference is negligible and it is $160 cheaper than the smaller iPhone X.  Fortunately I'm good until this fall when Apple's new lineup is available so we'll see what they can come up with.  I love the plus sized phones so it will be interesting to see how the upcoming iPhone X Plus compares to the S9+ in features for the money.
  • Reply 4 of 27

    THere are numerous ecosystem trade-off. Any article that gushes for a screen that bends AWAY from the eyes of the user, but says that the notch is a problem watching movies...is a paid shill...paid to fluff and article, paid to turn a blind eye to ecosystem. In 2018 there should be no ignoring an ecosystem.  
    You make some good points but to counter some of them ..

    1. All updates did to my iPhone 7 plus was make it worse when I moved to iOS 11. Slower and made the battery drain quicker . I wish I'd stuck with iOS10 like the wife did on her regular iPhone 7. She hasn't had any issues. 

    You are right that Samsung is very slow to roll out new Android versions but in return you get stability (or predictability) plus monthly security patches. Pick up the next Android version when all the kinks are ironed out (for me that's better having being burned by by an early adopter of the iOS 11 release)

    2. The edge curving of the new S9 range is much much less curvy than the old S7 edge range. So much so that I barely even notice it in day to day use. It's a personal thing though,  much like the notch. 

    3. The app eco system was a non issue for me. During the switch over the S9 Plus (connected to my iPhone 7 Plus with the USBC to USB adapter provided ) downloaded Android versions of all my apps. Every one... And they all feel just like they did on the iPhone but with one exception .... on the iPhone many apps were STILL not optimised for plus sized screens so looked awful. On Android, apps scale to make more use of the varying resolutions by default. 

    But you have a point about apps generally  coming to iOS first. 

    I doubt the article authors are Samsung shills lol. Both are great phones,  but you have to accept that some will have different value points and the iPhone X is a long way from perfection. 

    Oh.. and on the cost thing yep I agree that resale values are better on iPhones so the money saved upfront with S9 plus will likely be cancelled out upon resale (and then some) . 
  • Reply 5 of 27
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,064member
    78Bandit said:
    Good comparison, thanks.  If I were forced to buy a new phone right now it would have to be the Galaxy S9+ as the real-life performance difference is negligible and it is $160 cheaper than the smaller iPhone X.  Fortunately I'm good until this fall when Apple's new lineup is available so we'll see what they can come up with.  I love the plus sized phones so it will be interesting to see how the upcoming iPhone X Plus compares to the S9+ in features for the money.
    So you would go with an Android POS over the comparable iPhone 8+, which is about the same amount cheaper?

    That has no logic to it...
    lordjohnwhorfinacejax805pscooter63DAalsethStrangeDaysbonobobericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 27
    lewchenko said:
    I had to make this choice a couple of weeks ago...


    Had an iPhone 7plus and have had iPhones for the last few years. Several models and have a mac book pro too. 

    I chose the S9Plus after much debate and comparison! 

    Android has come a long way since I last used it and I must say, very happy with the switch so far especially the level of customisation I can do now. 

    I'm still an apple fan but I appreciate the choices we have. 

    The reasons I didn't go for the X were -

    1. Small screen  with less visible space then my old iPhone 7 plus. X Plus will fix that but it's not here yet sadly. 

    2. Bad interface with lots of wasted space top and bottom when using safari on the X. Makes the screen feel even smaller. I also found the gestures for app closing a bit clunky.  

    3. Cost. It was a fair chunk more than the S9Plus. 

    4. No finger print reader .. yes some people still want to use it  rather than face id.

    5. The notch annoyed me.I could probably get used to it quickly but not sure I want to . 

    6. My iPhone 7 battery sucked and it randomly froze. Kinda put me off going down the Apple rabbit hole again. I thought the quality of iOS 11 had been poor since it was released. Throttlegate also put me off Apple for being deceptive. 

    7. The screen on the S9 Plus is beautiful and expansive. X felt cramped in comparison when I used both side by side.


    I was going to wait for the X Plus,  but in the end decided to try something new now (impatient). Both phones are awesome at the end of the day but I think Apple needs to try a bit harder.

    The S9 has been rock solid so far and migrating my apps, settings, media was a breeze.    

    Still love Apple and look forward to see what they do next. In the interim , happy with the decision. 
    It's good to know everyone can have a unique experience. I have used Android since Eclaire (2.1) and switched to Apple this year. Got the 7 Plus and really enjoy how consistent iOS is. For me, software will always trump hardware and Android is tremendously inconsistent with its software experience, and this is coming from a Pixel 2 XL user, the best and cleanest Android experience bar none. The app quality on iOS is 10x better than Android, gaming is unbelievably better (I participate in several eSports tourneys so this is a priority for me), and I don't have to worry about a UX/UI capability/feature being dropped every year because Apple, again, is very consistent. I didn't buy the iPhone X because I knew the 2nd gen version would be cheaper. Tired of being Google's lifetime BETA tester. The issue with Android as a whole and will continually remain an issue for the foreseeable future is OS and Security updates. I'd be curious to see your opinion of Android after using it a year or more (this is typically when the novelty of customizing your home-screen wears off). Either way, I hope you enjoy your device and your Android experience.
    edited April 6 MuntzGG1StevenSterkwatto_cobraCyborgKungFu
  • Reply 7 of 27
    At the end of the day, both the iPhone X and Galaxy S9 Plus are great phones. They're more than powerful enough for most consumers, pack top-of-the-line mobile camera systems and come with the best displays you can get your hands on.

    Your purchasing decision should actually rely on which user interface you enjoy the most, and which features are more useful for you.
    Your purchasing decision should also take into account the availability of OS updates, including timely security updates; reliability and security of your personal information. Both Apple and Samsung have a long and rather different track record on both accounts.
    pscooter63bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    FolioFolio Posts: 389member
    ATT store certainly giving (selling?) prime space to Samsung. Apple X relegated to tiny display in corner. I toyed with latest in Sammy S9 phone (and watch) as I killed time. Knee jerk verdict? Phone lively and premium feel. A formidable rival if just into device. I’m very happy w my iPhone X, but may upgrade to larger screen in fall if Apple does not improve aforementioned safari scaling on the X. On a larger issue it makes you wonder if leapfrog premium phone so readily duplicated, is it near a commodity? Or rather is rivalry looking more like automakers, say Lexus and Toyota vs Audi and VW? I don’t pretend to know. But have hunch various flora and fauna of ecosystems more important than devices if rivals are such fast followers.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    FolioFolio Posts: 389member
    ATT store certainly giving (selling?) prime space to Samsung. Apple X relegated to tiny display in corner. I toyed with latest in Sammy S9 phone (and watch) as I killed time. Knee jerk verdict? Phone lively and premium feel. A formidable rival if just into device. I’m very happy w my iPhone X, but may upgrade to larger screen in fall if Apple does not improve aforementioned safari scaling on the X. On a larger issue it makes you wonder if leapfrog premium phone so readily duplicated, is it near a commodity? Or rather is rivalry looking more like automakers, say Lexus and Toyota vs Audi and VW? I don’t pretend to know. But have hunch various flora and fauna of ecosystems more important than devices if rivals are such fast followers.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 400member
    Does the S9 still run Android? It’s does? Ok, we’ll then get an iPhone X. Easy as that. 
    MuntzDAalsethdarren mccoyStrangeDayschasmbonobobhummerchinewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 27
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 217member
    S9 are now 50% off at verizon, Apple can you match that? Maybe not so i will stick w my X
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    vadimyuryevvadimyuryev Posts: 150member, editor
    Kuyangkoh said:
    S9 are now 50% off at verizon, Apple can you match that? Maybe not so i will stick w my X
    There's a reason it's 50% off.

    The devices that are quickest to go on sale are usually the ones that aren't selling as well as they should be.

    That's why Apple's AirPods still cost $159. 
    pscooter63MuntzKuyangkohDAalsethacejax805watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    At the end of the day, both the iPhone X and Galaxy S9 Plus are great phones. They're more than powerful enough for most consumers, pack top-of-the-line mobile camera systems and come with the best displays you can get your hands on.

    Your purchasing decision should actually rely on which user interface you enjoy the most, and which features are more useful for you.
    Your purchasing decision should also take into account the availability of OS updates, including timely security updates; reliability and security of your personal information. Both Apple and Samsung have a long and rather different track record on both accounts.
    I don't think they can include that in the comparison because Android would always lose.
    bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 27
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    No iOS, no sale. 


    :)
    darren mccoyStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 27
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 292member
    supadav03 said:
    Does the S9 still run Android? It’s does? Ok, we’ll then get an iPhone X. Easy as that. 
    Pretty much my view. I don't trust Google, and avoid Google products whenever possible. Android is Google. Therefore as long as Apple or others are available any Android phone is a non starter. Add to that I detest Samsung's slimy business practices so even among Android phones, I would not get a Samsung.
    nunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 217member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    S9 are now 50% off at verizon, Apple can you match that? Maybe not so i will stick w my X
    There's a reason it's 50% off.

    The devices that are quickest to go on sale are usually the ones that aren't selling as well as they should be.

    That's why Apple's AirPods still cost $159. 
    Yes. Agreed AirPods really ricks, just stick it in and good to go. Sound and bettery are up there as well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 27
    Neither! I hate the notch and I don't care for Android! iPhone 8+ for me!
    acejax805
  • Reply 18 of 27
    Having been stuck with the samsung for work and iphone for personal. id go with the apple x phone hands down, plus prefer lightning. 

    Plus Samsung keeps forking Android writing their OS Tizen more and more causing bad software and malware. ill stick with the safer of the two
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    The only answer that matters is in the last line of the article. Buy the one that runs the OS you like, because they are not interchangeable. Are there really people jumping back and forth between iOS and Android to gain tiny improvements in hardware from one cycle to the next? At nearly $1k per phone, there can’t be many of them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 27
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 222member
    Cost? My iPhone X meant an $8 per month bump in my Apple lease. 

    Versus my monthly/annual service costs? Unremarkable. 

    And display area?

    X

    2436-by-1125-pixel resolution at 458 ppi

    5.31

    2.45

    13.06


    8 Plus

    1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi

    4.78

    2.69

    12.89

    The shape is different but the X is larger (albeit very slightly) in area. 

    edited April 6 watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.