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iPhone XS vs Samsung Galaxy S9: How the features compare

Matthew Field
The iPhone Xs v the Samsung Galaxy S9

Apple has revealed its latest smartphone the iPhone XS, its most expensive model ever with premium features such as an OLED display and an advanced A12 Bionic processor.

But how does it stack up to the competition? The Samsung Galaxy S9 is arguably the phone's main rival in the premium smartphone market.

It is too early to do a full review, but taking a look at the stats and features of the two smartphones can give us an indication of how they compare. 

iPhone XS v Samsung Galaxy S9 price

In terms of value, the Samsung Galaxy S9 appears to win out against Apple's latest offering. The Samsung Galaxy S9 starts at £739, while the iPhone XS starts at £999.

The iPhone XS can also cost as much as £1,349 for a model with 512GB of storage.

Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, arguably the direct comparison to the iPhone XS Max, costs £1,099 with 512GB of storage. The iPhone XS Max, for the same storage, costs a whopping £1,449.

iPhone XS v Samsung Galaxy S9 specs compared

Storage capacity 

The iPhone XS has significantly more storage for some of its models than is available on the Samsung Galaxy S9.  Both start with 64GB of storage, but the iPhone XS goes up to 512GB, while the Samsung Galaxy S9 is only available in the UK with the base level.


The Samsung Galaxy S9 has a single lens camera with a dual aperture, while the S9+ has a dual lens camera as well. Both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone XS have 12MP camera lenses, although the iPhone XS comes with an added dual lens camera on both the regular and Max models.

Both have 4K video recording, but the Samsung Galaxy S9 touts its super slow motion abilities with its camera, with up to  720p at 960 frames per second. iPhone models normally can only record at up to 240 frames per second.

The new stats of the iPhone XS

Screen size 

Both phones have edge-to-edge display, although the Samsung S9 has its trade mark infinity display which disappears and curves around the sides of the phone.

The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch screen and the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch screen. The Samsung Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch screen and the S9+ has a 6.2-inch screen.

Both phones should have punchy, cutting edge screens. They both use OLED technology to get the deepest blacks and contrasts from their picture quality.

In terms of pixel density, the iPhone XS has 458 pixels per inch. This compares to the S9 which has a Quad HD+ display with 2960x1440 pixels and 570 pixels per inch.

iPhone Xs Face ID v Samsung S9 Iris unlock

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has Iris unlocking, which unlocks the phone using a scan of the eyes. It is a little different to how Apple unlocks its phones, using an Infrared scan of the face using Face ID.

Animoji v AR Emoji

iPhone Animoji

Apple uses this facial recognition technology to create Animoji, which uses advanced face tracking to follow the face for an accurate character made using augmented reality. Samsung has its own version, AR Emoji, although these are a little less accurate than Apple's version.


The Samsung Galaxy S9 does have a slightly larger 3,000mAh battery inside that, according to our review, can give around a full day of battery life on the go. Apple's internal battery on the iPhone XS is slightly smaller, at 2,716mAh. However, the company says this give around half an hour more power than the iPhone X, so if the X had enough battery for you the new model should too.

Voice assistants

The iPhone XS features Siri, which did not get much of a look-in at Apple's launch event but is fast becoming one of the leading voice assistants. Apple has added new features, such as Siri shortcuts, which will soon allow users in some parts of the world to order shopping or make complicated requests to the voice assistant.

Samsung, meanwhile, has Bixby. Bixby is a little less well-known than Siri and doesn't quite have the same action-packed features, but the voice assistant is also going to be available on all Samsung's smart home technology, such as its smart TVs and smart speaker.