iPhone Xs Max vs. Galaxy Note 9: Battle of the Big-Screen Phones

Sep 22, 2018
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This has to be the most biased and Apple fanboy piece to date on this website. Why even bother attempting to be objective??
 
Sep 25, 2018
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Design and Display are both contestable. Note 9 immerses you with its super AMOLED screen without a notch! You can't concentrate on iPhone because of that notch! And for value - please. At 1000 USD I get all this plus 4000 mah battery, 128 GB memory expandable, true dual-sim capability, a fast charger - whuch you fanboy has to pay for! And did Apple give you a cool Galaxy skin in Fortnote? Hell no!
 
Sep 25, 2018
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Bias mf you crapple lovers always pick apple even though in real world apple cant keep up and now they can't even get a signal worth a shit.

I'm sure you guys get some kickback or free phones
 
Sep 26, 2018
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I agree, this is totally biased. Putting the iPhone camera in front of the Galaxy Note is absolute BS. I wonder about the rest
 

Mark Spoonauer

Editor-in-Chief
Jan 21, 2014
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@darnel345 We conducted a thorough and objective face-off. Is there a particular round you believe the Note 9 should have won? Also see our more in-depth camera shootout.

 

Mark Spoonauer

Editor-in-Chief
Jan 21, 2014
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@slandier What about the Note 9's camera is better to you? Have you tested both cameras side by side as we have? Would be great to see your results. Also, check out our more in-depth photo shoot-out between the two phones.

 

Mark Spoonauer

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Jan 21, 2014
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@azag666thoth We've reported on the signal issues some iPhone XS/Max owners have been having but we were not able to replicate it ourselves. However, in side by side tests the Note 9 did offer better LTE results than the iPhone XS. What about the Note 9 do you think is superior other than the rounds where it already wins in this face-off?

 

Mark Spoonauer

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Jan 21, 2014
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Hi @gabbyaquino. The notch is actually not distracting in everyday use. Also, it's worth noting that nearly every Android phone maker has adopted that design. We'll see what Samsung does with Galaxy S10.

I agree on value though and especially battery life, and the Note 9 wins those rounds.

 
Sep 26, 2018
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I have a note 9 as work phone and Xs Max as my personal. This all boils down to why I switched from Droid and moved to Apple in the first place. Droid programs get bogged down way to easily, they are open to Malware and Spam. Performance wise, my 7+ was superior to the S9 even if on paper the 7+ was severely outclassed. If Samsung had a better OS I'd be all over it, but when I have a significant lag or crash when trying to switch between Google Maps and my email, something is wrong. ios is much more seamless and superior in this department, and it's why I have prefered iphone over the past few years.
 

TEAMSWITCHER

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Aug 7, 2008
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The Galaxy Note 9 is a mere 2 points behind the iPhone XS Max and you are declared to be totally biased. Two points should never convince a Samsung (or Android) user to jump ship. I thought your review was careful, fair, and pointed out just how amazingly capable these two devices are. One for Android Fans ... And one for Apple fans. Everybody wins!
 
Sep 25, 2018
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To be fair, I absolutely agree that iPhones have faster performance times and great with their ecosystem. I also trust the Face ID is faster an secure. And you do agree that in terms of value, Note 9 far exceeds iPhone Xs Max. What irks me is how did you weigh all the scores and declare iPhone to win? If we take out all extra features, which I am sure Note 9 will get. And if we take out all the metrics that can be ignored, like, which weighs less, which has a bigger screen, which has a clearer display... It all boils down to the basics - Memory 128GB expandable vs 64GB fixed, Battery Life 4000 Mah vs 3xxx, Cost - 1000 vs 1100. This features alone must have multiplier points higher than the other areas you covered. Note 9 gets 5 points only for Special Features? While Iphone gets 3? What was the basis for that? We have S Pen, Dex, Iris Scan, True Dual Sim capability - not eSim, Multi Apps running side by side, AOD, Edge Shortcuts, Dual Messengers - That's 8 already enough to beat your point system. There runs the bias.
 
Oct 1, 2018
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After switching from Note 4 to iPhone 5 previously, now I am switching back from iPhone 7 to Note 9. That face ID (only) and lack of 3.5mm audio options are 2 of the pain in the a###. Enough is enough, I won't pay premium for lack of basic functions.
 
Oct 8, 2018
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Just by saying that the notch is not distracting and stating that the other Android makers are following suit clearly implies that you are more inclined towards Apple. That notch is very distracting when doing many activities.

Clearly you don't use the phone to watch movies or listen to music as you didn't award any points for the 3.5mm audio jack in the Samsung. Ability to work side by side in 2 real applications is very useful, something you cannot do in Apple.

The price difference has not been highlighted enough too. And the ability to use a microSD or a true dual SIMs scenario.

Its one thing to see reviews biased towards Apple on Apple related sites, its another thing to see such a review on Tom's Guide. Disappointing.
 

robo21

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Aug 11, 2012
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I haven't tested an iPhone myself but for me, there is no need. I must have a stylus! The stylus and the Note going back to the Note 5 when I first discovered this amazing line of phones have literally paid for all of my phone upgrades, all of my airtime and part of my income. Without the ability to jot down buying and selling prices for my wholesale grocery business I would be spending more time, losing more notes and not be nearly as happy or confident as I am.

Who cares if the apple is marginally faster in benchmarks. In real world usage the bottom line is does the phone perform well enough to do what I need it to do quickly and smoothly? Even my Note 8 is buttery smooth and as fast as I need it to be. Call quality, camera quality and every other feature are top notch.
 
Oct 15, 2018
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Haha, you guys are funny. Each of you have such strong views about your personal picks, as if some of you take this $hit to heart. lol.. exactly what other buddy said, each phone is good for each person, if it works for them. People like what they like for a REASON. No need to call the poor guy bias and sound all pissy cuz he didnt pick the one YOU would have. He was totally fair I thought. He highlighted all the pros and cons for every test they performed. Numbers dont usually lie. But besides, it was SO close anyways that basically, proves their both toppp notch phones.
Lighten up lol
 
Oct 19, 2018
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I think your scores in most of the categories are fair, but there are a couple that seem wrong. For one, the display. The iPhone's ability to manually set its max brightness indoors is literally the only aspect of the screens you mention where the iPhone beats the Note 9 (not sure why you'd actually want to do that). The Note's screen is higher resolution, has a significantly higher pixel density, almost double the color spectrum, and is in fact slightly brighter when actually at its max. iPhone does best the Note in color accuracy, but I'm assuming you probably didn't mess around with Samsung's adaptive display modes, which changes the color settings based on what you're doing (can't really fault you for overlooking this). YET, you give the display category to the iPhone. I really don't think that slightly better default color accuracy and the ability to max out your brightness when it's not necessary make up for lower resolution, lower pixel density, and a much narrower color spectrum, especially considering how Apple makes a big to-do over it's Retina Display.

The other category I think is off is the special features category. Here again, you spend most of the time listing ways the Note is clearly better than the iPhone, yet you award the iPhone only 2 fewer points. The only special feature of the iPhone that you mention as being better than the Note is Animoji, which let's be honest, is maybe the dumbest gimmick any phone manufacturer has ever tried to push as a legitimately substantial new feature. NO ONE is buying an iPhone over another phone because of Animoji. However, the robust split-screen mode, the DeX feature, and the S-Pen are legitimately features that might convince someone to purchase a Note over another device.

Ultimately, after I adjusted the scores a bit in just those categories, the result was a 1-point victory for the Note, so it's still fair to say that these phones are very neck-and-neck. I just think you might have contorted the results a bit to achieve a victory for the iPhone.
 
Oct 29, 2018
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In what situation would you ever want the display blasting at 100% UNLESS your outdoors??? You say this is an advantage for the Xs... how? Yet barely a mention that the Note has a higher res display....and a very useful headphone jack.
 
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