Samsung and Apple maintain the fight to see who has the jewel in the crown as far as smartphones are concerned. We compared the iPhone XS and the Galaxy S10 Plus, the flagship phones of both companies.
Should I buy the Apple iPhone XS Max?
Released with just 4 months apart, it seems that the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has more functions in the areas of cameras, storage and software , while maintaining the quality that characterizes the Galaxy S line.
In this price range, neither the Galaxy S10 Plus nor the iPhone XS Max will disappoint you, offering each of them, within its ecosystem, the best of both worlds. Few terminals available in the market can exceed their performance today.
Apple iPhone XS Max vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Review
Samsung has finally introduced its new and expected line of Galaxy S models, which includes the Galaxy S10, the Galaxy S10 Plus and a new S10e, with smaller screen. But, how is it left to face the current king of Apple’s iPhone models?
In this article, we compare the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and the iPhone XS Max in terms of design, features, technical specifications, as well as quality and price. We help you decide which is the best smartphone for your needs.
If you want to know our review of Apple’s iPhone XS Max, take a look at this article. You can also check the corresponding to the iPhone XS with a screen size of 5.8 inches .
Price and availability
Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 Plus is available for pre-booking (it was launched on February 20) and final availability is scheduled for Friday, March 8.
There are three different variations among which is included the standard glass rear edition that comes with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for a recommended price of € 1,009.
This year has also presented a model with finishes on the ceramic back in white or black and it will cost € 1,259, whose configuration is up to 12 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage.
It is significantly lower than the price presented by the iPhone XS Max superior, despite the fact that the Samsung model has twice the amount of storage, with the possibility of adding 512 GB more through its microSD card slot.
The iPhone XS Max is now available in three variants depending on the storage capacity. Prices are as follows:
- 64 GB iPhone XS Max: € 1,259
- 128 GB iPhone XS Max: € 1,429
- iPhone 5 5 GB XS Max: € 1,659
Of course, you can find the iPhone XS and the Galaxy S10 Plus with all the major telephone operators, although the contracts associated with flagship products are usually not cheap, so you must prepare to pay a minimum of € 45.
Design and construction quality
The new Galaxy S10 Plus continues with the trend of offering sleek lines and an elegant style within a smartphone body that is not especially great for easy transport or usability.
Part of its success lies in the Wide Quad HD + Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O 6.4-inch screen that Samsung integrates in the Galaxy S10 Plus, with a screen and body ratio that comes to offer a real viewing area of 93, one %.
This is due to the absence of the typical notch or a minimum bevel, installing two of the front cameras just below the screen, punched in the upper right corner of the terminal, with a small rectangular opening to allow light to reach the lenses .
Also the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is embedded directly on the screen, so that it changes its location from the back where it was in the previous generation, to facilitate its use from now on the front face.
A glass rear lets intuit that wireless charging continues to be a regular feature in the Galaxy line, this time coupled with the wireless power sharing feature that makes it possible for the S10 Plus to charge to another device compatible with Qi Charge.
Already in the back, three cameras lead the photographic aspect with an ultra-wide lens that makes the S10 Plus more versatile than the iPhone XS Max with its double trigger.
The S10 Plus comes with a USB C charging port and there is support for Wireless Fast Charging 2.0 wireless charging. It also offers two speakers and the headphone output that Samsung refuses to remove on its flagship. Excellent choice!.
For the purposes of resistance to water and dust, Samsung guarantees the IP68 classification, another common feature of the South Korean flagship brand, but the field in which Apple has been updated, since the iPhone XS Max has the same resistance the water.
In regards to the iPhone XS Max, Apple maintains the design principles that it introduced with the iPhone X. There is no physical start button on the front panel, leaving it almost entirely free of elements, to hold only the front camera associated with Face ID.
A smooth stainless steel frame surrounds the 6.5-inch screen, as well as a glass backing that means the device also comes with wireless charging capabilities.
There are three dual cameras in the back, located in the highest area of the screen, which are the only real spot that you will appreciate on the back.
If we take into account the increase in screen size, the iPhone XS Max still manages to offer a size that is physically smaller than that of the iPhone 8 Plus, although with a small increase in weight.
Compared to the Galaxy S10 Plus, the iPhone XS Max has greater height and width, in addition to the S10 Plus is narrower and weighs 33 grams less facilitating its portability on a day to day basis.
Dimensions and weight of Galaxy S10 Plus and iPhone XS Max
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm Weight: 175 grams
Apple iPhone XS Max: 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm: Weight: 208 grams
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm. Weight: 202 grams
Both devices have a construction quality of those considered premium , with frankly resistant building materials that compensate and justify the high acquisition prices.
Specifications and characteristics
At the chip and performance level, Samsung offers two different S10 Plus modes (depending on the country), but with very similar performances, either the Exynos 9820 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, together with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, expandable to 512 GB using microSD.
There is also another edition that has a ceramic finished back and comes with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, or 12 GB of RAM and an impressive amount of 1 TB of disk space, which can also be expanded.
For its part, Apple opts for its proprietary A12 Bionic chip, flanked by 4 GB of RAM and storage that varies between 64, 256 or 512 GB. You will not be able to expand this capacity, since the iPhone dispenses with memory expansion card slots.
Samsung has always had some of the best panels on the market, and the S10 Plus is no exception. The AMOLED Dynamic Infinity-O Wide Quad HD + screen is large and has curved edges, hallmark of the brand.
The data sheet shows that it has the HDR10 + certification and uses dynamic tone allocation to offer very realistic and vivid colors in videos and images.
From Samsung they also claim that a unique fluid compound in Dynamic AMOLED allows you to reduce harmful blue light without changing the color of what appears on the screen. This could be an important innovation, since the beam of blue light is associated with the interruption of sleep.
While the S10 Plus does not have a notch on the screen, it does have an opening in the form of a pill in its upper right corner. If as it seems, the fashion of the notch has the days counted, Samsung will have guessed right, but it is to see which will be the tendency of the market.
Apple’s 6.5-inch Super Retina HD screen is the largest we’ve ever seen on an iPhone, and it’s certainly one of the best. A contrast ratio of 1 million to 1 and a wide range of colors that make the graphics look impressive.
Also noteworthy is the support for HDR10, Dolby Vision and True Tone technology from Apple that ensure that everything is seen in great detail even in the darkest tones.
In short, you will not be disappointed to spend many hours a day viewing these screens, either for work reasons, or to relax watching a series or movie.
In the XS Max highlights the combination of the face identification matrix located on the front, which has shown us in the tests to be especially fast and consistent when unlocking the phone by Face ID.
You can also play with depth of field and blur in the photos in portrait mode. When we go around the iPhone, we find the double lens that consists of two 12 megapixel optics (f / 1.8 wide angle and f / 2.4 telephoto) with a 2x optical zoom and image stabilization and optics.
As a result, these cameras produce good results, either in still images or in videos, and they remain one of the simplest cameras to handle to quickly capture high quality photographs without the need for previous professional adjustments.
Samsung goes one step further with triple camera on its back (12 MP telephoto lens, 12 MP wide angle and 16 MP wide angle), the latter being the most prominent lens. Samsung emphasizes that it has the same field of vision as the human eye.
The ability to photograph epic and panoramic landscapes of greater width and height is something we are looking forward to testing extensively in the laboratories of our publications.
As expected, both devices have a wide range of specialized functions, such as HDR, 4K recording, night mode, bokeh , slow motion and many others.
Undoubtedly, these two terminals will fight for the crown of the most advanced smartphone camera of the year, along with the options of the Google Pixel 3, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, or the one announced by Oppo in the MWC with an optical zoom of 10x
However, the UltraWide lens of the Galaxy S10 Plus could be the key piece that marked differences, at least, until the appearance of Apple’s new iPhone in the month of September.
Technical specifications of both devices:
|Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus||iPhone XS Max|
|OS||Foot of Android 9 with OneUI interface||iOS 12|
|Models and colors||White Prism, Black Prism, Green Prism, White Ceramic, Black Ceramic||Gold, silver, space gray|
|Screen technology||Wide screen Super AMOLED Wide Quad HD + Infinity-O 6.4 inches (3.040 x 1.440, 525ppi)||Super Retina screen of 6.5 in (2.688 x 1.242, 458ppi) OLED|
|Processor||Exynos 9820 / Snapdragon 855||Chip A12 Bionic|
|Storage||128GB / 512GB / 1TB||64 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB|
|Expandable storage||Up to 512GB through microSD||Any|
|Rear camera||16Mp f / 2.2 Ultra wide,double pixel 12Mp wide (f / 1.5 + f / 2.4) with OIS, 12Mp Tele (f / 2.4) with OIS||Wide angle 12Mp, f / 1.8, telephoto OIS + 12Mp, f / 2.4, OIS, optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, portrait lighting, portrait mode, four LED flash|
|Frontal camera||Double pixel 10Mp f / 1.9, 8Mp Depth (f / 2.2)||FaceTime HD 7MP, f / 2.2, 1080p video|
|Video recording||4K UHD, HDR10 + and dynamic tone allocation||4K at 24/30 / 60fps, 1080p in slow motion at 240fps|
|Biometric security||Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor||Face ID|
|Wireless charging||Yes, fast loading 2.0||Yes|
|Dimensions||157.6 mm x 74.1 mm x 7.8 mm||157.5 mm x 77.4 mm x 7.7 mm|
|Weight||175 grams||208 grams|
|Prices||€ 1,009 / € 1,259 / € 1,609||€ 1,259 / € 1,459 / € 1,659|
Software and applications
The iPhone XS Max comes with iOS 12, the most refined version of the operating system for mobile devices developed by Apple. It has a more modern interface, optimized with gestures to make up for the absence of the start button of the first iPhone.
In general, it provides the adequate experience that every user of Apple devices expects, the one that the company of the apple has been accustomed to over the years and that has been improving to simplify the movements.
So, the latest revision about features such as Siri shortcuts, grouped notifications and a ‘Screen Time’ application designed to help you reduce the amount of hours you spend watching the iPhone. Is not it fantastic?
Samsung, meanwhile, has made great progress in improving the software that comes standard in the Galaxy S. We confirm that this year has made great progress, thanks to One UI, a very clean version of its Samsung Experience appearance.
It moves away from the striking colors to which we were accustomed to the brand under TouchWiz, to now offer a clean interface that resembles Android One. Running on Android 9 Pie, runs light and does not abuse too much personalization.
Both devices have large format screens. The iPhone XS Max 6.5 inches, while the Galaxy S10 Plus 6.4 inches. They offer both the best performance, which is associated with the highest price in the market.
With the Galaxy S10 Plus we have just spent the first hours of use and we have already discovered that it adds more functions in the correct and expected line of better cameras, more storage and improved software , maintaining the quality of its components.
In this high price range, there is no doubt that you will get a powerful device whatever the decision you make. Check the ecosystem of your devices, so you can interact with all of them, and choose the one with the greatest compatibility.