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iPhone Xs Max vs Galaxy Note 9: What Buyers Need to Know



If your hands and wallet can handle it the big new iPhone Xs Max and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 are two of the best smartphones on the market. Make no mistake, these are big phones. Now that Apple makes a phablet, here’s how it compares to the Galaxy Note 9.

Read: Best Galaxy Note 9 Alternatives 

Both of these phones have huge gorgeous AMOLED displays, dual cameras, fast performance and tons of fancy features. It’s a tough choice for someone who enjoys both iOS or Android.

If you love and only use the iPhone the choice is simple. If not, there are several differences that are worth taking into consideration. Especially depending on how or what you’ll do with your phone. We’re talking about Samsung’s S-Pen stylus, expandable storage, and more. Or, the neat Apple features like Portrait Lighting and FaceID.

They each have pros and cons, and we’ll detail that and more in our slideshow below. These phones are really expensive too, which could play a big part in your decision.

Without testing the new iPhone Xs Max out in person it’s hard to get a feel for things. That said, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Mainly because it’s a bigger, better, faster version of the iPhone X. Still, we know enough to compare some of the specs, features, missing features, price and release details to help buyers make the right decision.

This is our iPhone Xs Max vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9 breakdown.

iPhone Xs Max vs Note 9: Display & the Notch

iPhone Xs Max vs Note 9: Display & the Notch

One of the first things any buyer looks at when they consider a new phone is the screen size. I know I do.

These days almost everyone expects a big screen, and these two phones deliver exactly that. In fact, this year more than ever before buyers are looking at screens, screen sizes, and if they have a notch.

  • iPhone Xs Max 6.5-inch 2688 x 1242 OLED Display with a notch
  • Galaxy Note 9 6.4-inch 2960 x 1440 Curved AMOLED Display, no notch

Apple's iPhone 10s Max comes in at 6.5-inches, which is huge. It's bigger than any Apple phone ever released, almost by an entire inch. It's bigger than the Galaxy Note 9, too. All while retaining an overall design that's roughly the EXACT same size as old 5.5-inch iPhone 6/7/8s Plus models. Apple shrunk the bezels and delivered an edge-to-edge display. They're using a Samsung-made AMOLED screen, too. 

Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 rocks a slightly smaller 6.4-inch Quad-HD display that looks great. These sound like huge devices, but they're not. Thanks to smaller bezels the phones have big screens while still being easy to hold and use.

How big of a screen do you need or want? If you could handle the iPhone 8 Plus you can handle the Xs Max. The biggest physical difference is the notch in Apple's screen to house the sensors and FaceID. Samsung's display has small bezels at the top and the bottom, but the screen curves off the sides which helps them both stay around the same size while delivering huge screens. 

Decisions. Decisions. 

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