Galaxy Note 9 vs. iPhone X: Battle of the $1000 flagships
Samsung’s just announced the latest version of its biggest, most expensive phone in the Galaxy Note 9, and if you thought this new kid on the block would just step in and be king of the high-end smartphone community without proving itself, you were WRONG. It just so happens we know another $1000+ phone that might have something to say about it: the iPhone X. Easy now, iPhone..easy. You’ll get your turn. While we sort things out between the two of them, we figured we’d give you an in-depth first look at this match up.
Design and Display
Of course, the next most prominent aesthetic difference is the notch. Seeing as how the Note 9 continues the design trend of super-slim bezels and no notches, the iPhone X’s optic-filled screen interruption now makes it look more plain compared to the Note 9, as notch-less devices become the minority and the Note 9 continues to be refined aesthetically.
Generally speaking, Samsung takes a squarer approach to the design of the Note 9 – even with the slightly more chamfered edges – mostly to fit the square shape of this extra-large display with as little bezels as possible. Both devices feel good in the hand due to their rounded sides, but naturally, the iPhone X, with its smaller size and perfectly rounded sides, as opposed to chamfered edges, has a more manageable and natural feeling in one-handed use. Both are substantial devices in terms of weight, weighing in at 6.14 ounces on the iPhone X and about 7 ounces on the Galaxy Note 9.
User Interface and Performance
Coming with a writing utensil that doubles as a remote control for your device is an evolution Apple has yet to match, even with the iPad line up. Obviously, you won’t find such an accessory with the iPhone X. Pair this with Samsung DeX, the Note 9’s ability to project a desktop experience to a secondary screen via an HDMI cable, and it’s clear that extensibility and built-in accessory power is a strength for which the iPhone X has no counter.
In the end, these are two tough phones to be stuck between, but we think the choices are pretty clear. The Galaxy Note is, by nature, a more versatile device, and Samsung has only expanded the Note’s versatility in the Note 9. The S-Pen has always been a separating factor, offering quick and useful note-taking features, and now graduating to a full-on, remote-control peripheral with the addition of Bluetooth connectivity – something for which the iPhone X has no answer. DeX, although not for everybody, is yet another example of this – extensibility and fun, and, to some, usefulness for which the iPhone, yet again, has no answer.
Still, the iPhone X, and most Apple devices, still enjoy broader native support in the technological wild. In other words, outside of its own proprietary ecosystem (Apple TV, MacBooks, etc.) the iPhone X still amasses more natively compatible devices, both small and large. This, however, doesn’t mean that any third- or first-party devices fill the feature gaps the Note 9 creates between itself and the iPhone X with features like the S-Pen and Samsung DeX.
Day-to-day performance would be the next measure, which preliminarily seems pretty close. This, coupled with real-world battery life results, and definitive camera comparisons may be the deciding factor for some, but if you want the best phablet experience around, the Note 9 might just take the crown.