As we are moving closer to our ‘dream smartphone’, the price of the ‘perfect phone’ has risen drastically in the past five years. The iPhone X came out with a new face detection tech called FaceID last year and ditched the TouchID completely. It asked for a minimum of $1k from users to try out the new tech. Now, we have a Samsung phone, the Galaxy Note 9 with a plethora of features for a thousand bucks. But which one is worth the price tag? Let us find out!
128 GB version - 67,900 INR
512 GB version - 84,900 INR
64 GB version - 88,800 INR
Screen Size (Resolution)
6.4 inches (2960 x 1440)
5.8 inches (2436 x 1125)
3GB (based on teardowns)
Yes, up to 512GB
Dual 12-MP (f/1.5-f/2.4)
12-MP wide-angle (f/1.8); 12-MP telephoto (f/2.4)
2,716 mAh (based on teardowns)
Battery Life (Hrs:Mins)
6.3 x 3 x 0.34 inches
5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches
Lavender Purple, Ocean Blue
Silver, Space Gray
DESIGN & BUILD
First things first, when you hold a 80,000 INR smartphone you want it to not feel cheap. Both of the phones have a premium feel when you pick them up. The metal-glass sandwich design looks to be the norm amongst the flagship devices this year.
Galaxy Note 9 - Built Quality & Design
The Galaxy Note 9 looks and feels exactly like the Galaxy Note 8. Except for the placement of the fingerprint sensor on the back. It now rest on its usual place, that is, below the cameras. It features a 6.4-inch display on the front. Accompanying the big screen are the sensors and a front camera on the top. The new Galaxy flagship comes in a range of exciting colors including my personal favorite, Ocean Blue.
iPhone X - Built Quality & Design
The colors are probably the only boring thing about the iPhone X design. It is available only in silver and space-gray versions. Apple introduced a completely new look in the smartphone segment with the iPhone X. It made the ‘notch’ popular. Hence, (safe to say now) paving the way for 2018 Android phones’ design. Moving on, Apple took a major step by ditching the TouchID in the iPhone X and replaced it with FaceID – which according to Apple is a safer way to unlock your smartphone. The Apple iPhone X was made to stand out of the crowded space of smartphones.
While it is a personal preference when it comes to the feel of smartphone, the iPhone X lacks one design element which Samsung phones have continued to offer, the headphone jack. We have to give Samsung credit for still including the features like expandable storage and a headphone jack in 2018. Even though Samsung did not reinvent itself in terms of looks from the previous design, for the sheer number of features it offers, it stands tied with Apple.
Winner - Draw
Both the smartphones feature OLED panels.
Samsung makes the best smartphone display, hands down. Even the iPhone X uses the Samsung panel for its display. Samsung is saying bigger the better, as Note 9 sports 6.4-inch (2960 x 1440 resolution) display in contrast to the 5.8 inches (2436 x 1125 resolution) found on the iPhone X.
The Note 9 has a brighter screen registering at 604 nits on a light meter. While the iPhone X was only able to register 474 nits. That being said, when kept side by side, the X is plenty bright and it does not look any less bright than the Galaxy Note 9.
The screen on Note 9 produces 224 percent of the sRGB color gamut, beating the iPhone X’s 128.6 percent score. Because of this, everything looks more colorful on the Note 9 while the colors on the X look a little washed out.
We will not talk about numbers here but the actual in-world experience.
Galaxy Note 9 - Camera Experience
The cameras on the Note 9 are same as that of the Galaxy S9. This means, the new Galaxy flagship offer the best in class camera experience. It features the same variable aperture tech on the rear lenses that can shift back and forth between f/1.5 and f/2.4 depending on the lighting conditions. This allows the Note 9 to capture better low-light photos as compared to the iPhone X.
iPhone X - Camera Experience
It does not mean that the camera on the iPhone X is bad by any means. Its main wide-angle camera is optically stabilized. The dual camera system provides a truly excellent photography experience. It provides vivid colors and a fantastic feeling of depth. The dynamic range is excellent too. The colors are more saturated than any iPhone ever, not to Samsung’s level though.
Well, it is 2018 and how can we forget to mention AI while talking about cameras?
Samsung has included a Scene Optimizer feature that adjusts settings by recognizing images and scenarios. It might help some or maybe act as a gimmick for some but this combination of improvements help the Note 9 camera top the iPhone X in the camera department.
It also notifies the user if someone blinked in the photo or if his hands were shaking while clicking the photograph. The Note 9’s cameras offer a better contrast and depth.
The story is familiar here. Snapdragon launches a new processor and Apple buries it with its blazing fast chips. The same has happened yet again. The Galaxy Note 9 features a SD 845 in contrast to iPhone X’s A11 Bionic processor. To help boost the score of SD 845, Note 9 sports a 6 GB RAM.
But the outcome remains the same. On Geekbench 4 benchmarks (measures general performance) the Note 9 scored 8,876, thanks to the processing bump in the SD 845 provided by the large amount of RAM Samsung packs. But that score is not even close with that of iPhone X's 10,357. On graphics test, the Note 9 does offer some competition by scoring a 4,639 on 3DMark’s Slingshot Extreme Benchmark. The score is less than iPhone X’s 4,994.
The performance competition is not over just yet. Samsung has included a new carbon-water cooling system in the Galaxy Note 9. It increases the size of the phablet’s heat sink resulting in a better heat management system. It prevents the phone from overheating.
On processor-intensive tests, the Note 9 kept cooler than the iPhone X. But this does not help it win over the iPhone X in this segment.
Winner - Apple iPhone X
After the Note 7 battery fiasco, Samsung was skeptical about including a bigger battery in the Note 8. But now, it seems to have regained its confidence.
The Note 9 is powered by a huge 4000 mAh battery as compared to iPhone X’s 2,716 mAh. It not only is bigger than the X’s battery but makes the competition look like a dwarf.
But, numbers are not everything. It is battery optimization which helps Apple defend its iPhones against the competition.
It is naturally expected of Note 9 to last longer than the iPhone X. And it does stand upto our expectations. It lasts longer than the X and charges in lesser time. No matter what setting you put Note 9 into, it was able to beat the iPhone X comfortably. The Note 9 knocks out the iPhone X with fast charging support.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone X has something to unique to offer to its fan base.
Galaxy Note 9 - The Stylus
Galaxy Note 9 is a ‘Note’ device. Hence, sporting a S Pen. Samsung has really put it all in the Note 9 this time around. The S Pen now features Bluetooth connectivity. It allows you to remotely control your phone, like, you can snap selfies by staying away from your Note 9 with the help of S Pen, or you can run presentations with a click of the stylus’ button. This has dramatically enhanced the S Pen’s capabilities. Samsung is also providing app developers with tools to help them update their software and use the Bluetooth connectivity on the S Pen. Like you might be able to change filters on Snapchat from a distant with just a press of button on the S Pen.
Galaxy Note 9 - A full fledged PC in your Pocket?
Another added feature on the Galaxy Note 9 is the ability to turn it into a full-fledged desktop. And it is very simple now! Unlike the requirement for a DeX accessory, a user now just needs to connect his Note 9 with an external monitor via a cable to turn it into a portable PC.
iPhone X - Apple’s innovative FaceID
In contrast to all this, the iPhone offers ‘innovation’ with FaceID as an added feature. It is the most secure face unlock system on any smartphone as of now. It uses more than a couple of sensors to measure the depth of user’s face, throw light in dark environment, and make a 3D map of it to read and unlock his iPhone or use Apple Pay.
Things we are ignoring
Not mentioning Bixby and Animoji here because as of now they are more of a gimmick and provide little or no actual use.
Winner - Draw
As you can see, the completion between the two Flagship Smartphones was quite intense. With 2 draws, and 2-1 in favor of the Note 9, Samsung wins here. Both the Note 9 and iPhone X are among the most expensive smartphones anyone can buy. Users need a big screen on their smartphones in this modern era. Therefore, Apple too, is coming with a 6-inch+ display iPhone later this year.
Both phones perform incredibly well, the end decision would be based on your taste.
- Would you like to venture into Apple Ecosystem? Go for iPhone X.
- If you like to stay Android and explore Open Ecosystem, go for Samsung Galaxy Note 9.