Samsung and Apple are the two titans of the mobile phone industry. After Apple deployed the iPhone X in November, Samsung had three months to brood until Mobile World Congress, where they unveiled the Galaxy S9. Now that both phones are out, it's time to put them head-to-head.
The iPhone X wowed consumers with its display, but they actually buy theirs from Samsung directly. Furthermore, the Galaxy S9 has a higher screen-to-body ratio than the iPhone X — making this battle between edge-to-edge displays a lot closer than some might think. So let's settle it once and for all.
The spec war between Apple and Android isn't exactly cut and dry. For example, battery size isn't an easy comparison, as Apple's A11 processor helps the device consume power at an extremely low rate. These are two fundamentally different platforms, and there's so much more to them than what shows up on the spec sheet.
If you want a stripped away, clean, experience — this is the devices for you. Intuitive gestures and simple software make this phone ideal for both minimalists and inexperienced users. However, its A11 Bionic processor is also an absolute hoss, dominating the Galaxy S9's Snapdragon 845 in both single and multi core performance. For that reason, the iPhone X is also a great choice for gamers.
Other areas where the iPhone X wins out are software and camera configuration. The Galaxy S9 is already running behind, as it ships with Android 8.0 even though 8.1 has been out for months and 9.0 will be out soon in beta. The iPhone X will always be running the latest and greatest version of iOS — no waiting needed. Additionally, the X uses a dual camera setup on the rear for a few extra features like Portrait Mode, and it has a depth-sensing front camera. The S9, on the other hand, has single cameras on both sides (though the S9+ does have dual rear cameras).
If you view yourself as a utilitarian, the Galaxy S9 is for you. With a gorgeous screen, a headphone jack, and all the customization that an Android-powered device has to offer, the Galaxy S9 is the ideal phone for the power user. And for those of you who like taking pictures, the Galaxy S9 is capable of some breathtaking images thanks to its variable aperture.
In terms of raw specs, the Galaxy S9 wins this matchup handily. When compared to the iPhone X, it has a higher resolution screen, higher pixel density (more "Retina" than Retina), smaller bezels, wider camera aperture, more RAM, a bigger battery, and even a better water resistance rating. Let's be honest — this thing is truly the king of specs.
I try to shy away from recommending devices based on looks, because phones are so much more than that. Yes, the iPhone X is a device with a polarizing display (here's looking at you, notch), but you're buying into the Apple experience with the X. That of course comes with ease of use, and yes, a closed ecosystem.
The Galaxy S9 is a more open, individually powerful device. It can't match exactly what the iPhone does well (like iMessage and the A11 processor), but it does a myriad of other things better. Additionally, Apple can't compete with that camera inside the Galaxy S9, even if they do have twice as many camera sensors.