iPhone XS vs Galaxy S10: What’s the Difference

Samsung is out with the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+ — its flagship phones for 2019. The Galaxy S10 will take on the iPhone XS and comes packed to the gills with the best technology that’s currently available.

Samsung has focused on improving the basics with the Galaxy S10 and done away with a lot of clutter. Does that make the Galaxy S10 a worthy competitor to the iPhone XS? Which is the better smartphone between the two? Find out in our comparison.

iPhone XS vs Galaxy S10 Comparison: How Are They Different?

Design

Galaxy S10 Display

Both phones look drop-dead gorgeous and live up to their hefty price tags. The Galaxy S10 features a more modern look since it comes with a punch-hole display at the front. But then, unlike the iPhone XS, the Galaxy S10 still has a small bezel at the bottom.

The iPhone XS has a solid heft due to its stainless steel chassis. That chassis will also withstand dings and drops better than the aluminum chassis of the Galaxy S10. Both phones feature IP68 certification making them dust and water-resistant.

Display

  • iPhone XS – 5.8-inch True Tone OLED, 2688 x 1242 pixels (458ppi), 3D Touch, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 3D Touch
  • Galaxy S10 – 6.1-inch curved Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED, 1440 x 3040 pixels (550ppi), HDR10, Dynamic AMOLED

The Galaxy S10 comes with a 6.1-inch QHD+ Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED panel. That’s bigger than the 5.8-inch OLED panel the iPhone XS packs. Both displays are beautiful to look at and are the best smartphone displays in the market. However, the iPhone XS OLED panel features a notch at the top while the S10 has a unique punch-hole cutout for the front camera. It also has a notably higher resolution, though that’s something most people are unlikely to notice.

The S10’s panel is also curved on its left and right edges, while the iPhone XS has a flat OLED panel. The dynamic AMOLED panel on the Galaxy S10 is capable of reaching luminance levels as high as 1,200 nits which is notably higher than that of the iPhone XS.

iPhone Xs Max front

Chipset

  • iPhone XS – 7nm A12 Bionic chipset
  • Galaxy S10 – 7nm Snapdragon 855 or 8nm Exynos 9820

The Galaxy S10 comes with a 7nm Snapdragon 855 chipset in the U.S. or an 8nm Exynos 9820 chipset in rest of the world. While the new Snapdragon 855 chip offers major performance improvement and is a massive step up in terms of efficiency as well, it is simply not as powerful as Apple’s A12 Bionic chip. That all boils down to Apple’s excellent chip designing team that has been setting the benchmark for quite a few years with their mobile chips.

The Snapdragon 855 does feature a more powerful Adreno 640 GPU but all that power is irrelevant because Android simply does not have the same high-quality games as iOS.

Camera

  • iPhone XS  – Dual 12MP camera setup with f/1.8 and f/2.4 aperture, 1.4um pixel pitch, OIS for both sensors, Smart HDR, Focus Pixels, Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth control
  • Galaxy S10 – Triple-camera setup, Primary 12MP camera with variable f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture, 1.4um pitch pixel, OIS; Secondary 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle shooter; Third 12MP f/2.4 telephoto sensor with OIS, 2x optical zoom, Auto HDR, Super Speed Dual Pixel, Live Focus with adjustable bokeh effect

The Galaxy S10 comes with a triple-camera setup at the rear while the iPhone XS features a dual-camera setup. Both phones feature a 12MP 1.4um primary shooter, though the one on the S10 features dual f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture. The wider aperture on the S10 gives it an edge in low-light scenarios, though the differences all boil down to how both company process the photos.

The Galaxy S10 and iPhone XS also feature a secondary 12MP f/2.4 telephoto sensor with OIS for 2x optical zoom.

The third sensor on the Galaxy S10 is a 16MP f/2.2 aperture ultra-wide angle shooter similar to what we have seen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and some LG flagships. Apple is also expected to debut a similar camera setup on the 2019 iPhone XS Max successor later this year.

At the front, the Galaxy S10 features a 10MP f/1.9 aperture selfie shooter while the iPhone XS features a 7MP TrueDepth camera. The S10’s improved selfie sensor is able to take better photos, especially in low-light. And it is also the world’s first phone to capture 4K videos from the front camera.

Do note that not everyone will like the selfie processing on the Galaxy S10 as it tends to apply a gracious amount of sharpening and face smoothening effect despite the feature being completely toned down. The iPhone XS also applies a beauty filter but it is nowhere near as bad as what Samsung does.

Samsung is also debuting a new Super Steady stabilization for videos, though it remains to be seen how good the stabilization is compared to iPhones. The former can also record videos in HDR10, something which the iPhone XS lacks.

Storage

  • iPhone XS – 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • Galaxy S10 – 128GB, 512GB, microSD card slot

Another area where the Galaxy S10 is a clear winner. Even the base variant of the handset ships with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. Plus, there’s a microSD card slot so that one can upgrade the storage on the cheap. In comparison, Apple still ships 64GB as the base storage across its entire iPhone lineup which is a shame in this day and age for a $999 smartphone.

The iPhone XS also comes with 4GB RAM which is going to be enough for most users, though the S10 is a better multitasker because of the additional RAM it ships with.

Biometrics

  • iPhone XS – Face ID
  • Galaxy S10 – In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock

Apple is the only company that has completely done away with fingerprint sensors on its devices. The iPhone XS solely relies on Face ID and while it has become slightly faster in its second year, it is still nowhere near as good or as fast as second-generation Touch ID.

Samsung offers the best of both worlds on the Galaxy S10 by offering face unlock as well as an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Unlike Face ID, face unlock on the Galaxy S10 is notably faster, though it does so by compromising security. There is also an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor. It is not as fast as the fingerprint sensor found on the Galaxy Note 9 or the OnePlus 6 but then, having a fingerprint sensor is better than not having one at all.

Connectivity

  • iPhone XS – Dual SIM/eSIM, Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi ac with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, VoLTE, NFC with reader mode
  • Galaxy S10 – Dual SIM, Cat 20. LTE (2Gbps), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, VoLTE, NFC, 3.5mm headphone jack

This is an area where the Galaxy S10 is a clear winner. The device comes with an LTE modem that’s capable of reaching download speeds of 2Gbps — that’s twice of what the iPhone XS is capable of. It also features other advanced connectivity features for improved network performance including Wi-Fi 6 — the first smartphone in the world to do so.

In comparison, the iPhone XS only comes with gigabit LTE which means it simply cannot offer the same level of mobile data speeds as the Galaxy. While it also lacks Wi-Fi 6, that’s irrelevant since most consumers only have Wi-Fi ac routers in their homes right now.

Additionally, the Galaxy S10 features headphone jack while the iPhone XS only features one physical port — a Lightning connector.

Battery

  • iPhone XS – 2,658mAh
  • Galaxy S10 – 3,400mAh

The iPhone XS comes with a 2,658mAh battery, while the Galaxy S10 comes with a bigger 3,400mAh battery. This should mean the S10 will offer notably longer battery life than the iPhone XS. But since it also has to power a bigger, higher-resolution, and more power hungry display, its battery life will take a hit. Nonetheless, the S10 should offer the same or slightly better battery life than the iPhone XS in most cases.

The Galaxy S10 does win in terms of charging times. While Samsung has not improved the wired charging speeds, it does at least ship the S10 with a 15W power adapter compared to the paltry 5W charger that Apple ships with the iPhone XS.

Both phones also support Qi wireless charging but the Galaxy S10 again wins here since it can charge at 12W wirelessly. That’s not as fast as the Mi 9 which can charge wirelessly at 20W but still faster than the iPhone XS which is limited to 7.5W.

Plus, the S10 also features reverse wireless charging dubbed Wireless PowerShare which one can use to charge their Galaxy buds or other similar accessories featuring wireless charging. While the feature can also be used to charge other phones wirelessly, that’s a bit impractical since it would end up completely draining the battery of the phone itself. What’s even better is that you can charge the Galaxy S10 and use Wireless PowerShare to charge another device using the phone at the same time.

Price

The Galaxy S10 starts from $899 while the iPhone XS both start from $999 in the United States. This makes the Galaxy S10 the more attractive proposition of the two, with attractive pre-order and launch day bundles offered by Samsung and other retailers further sweetening the deal.


What do you think about the Galaxy S10? Will you buy it over the iPhone XS? Drop a comment and let us know!

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