the large phones in the latest lines from Apple and Samsung go head-to-head. This is the Samsung Galaxy S10 plus up against the iPhone XS Max.
The designs of these two phones will be familiar to anyone that used the previous generations. The biggest difference in the galaxy s 10 plus from the last iteration is a new ultrasonic fingerprint reader within the display. And a couple of new lenses on the front and back.
The iPhone xs max takes after the previous iPhone x. And it is as the name implies a bigger version of the iPhone xs. On both of these devices, one-handed usage will be a little tough. But that is to be expected because these are both big phones. You do get a lot of screen in bigger phones like these.
Now there is extra input on both of these phones in the form of a Bigsby button for the s10. And then the silenced toggle on the iPhone but if I’m honest I use the silenced toggle on XR. Way more than I ever use Bigsby on s10e but more to the point I don’t think I’ve ever really found Siri all that useful either.
If you want to get as many features as possible the galaxy s 10 plus fits that bill it has a headphone jack, wireless and reverse wireless charging. Expandable storage and of course you have that ultrasonic fingerprint reader under the screen.
Both displays are pretty great. While the resolution of the galaxy s10 plus screen is technically much higher than that of its competitor. That isn’t to say that the iPhone display is bad quality or any less useful.
The infinity o display is an answer to all of the notches that we saw in 2018. Including that of the iPhone xs max. The case with all displays that sport either of these choices. The cutouts don’t necessarily get in the way of any content unless you expand things. Like youtube videos at that point you either have a hole in the corner or most of the side is interrupted by the front camera and the phone speaker. It used to be trendy to get mad at all of these cutouts. But after some time with either phone people just kind of get used to them.
One knock I do have to give the iPhone in terms of its notch is the fact. That you have to swipe down from specific sides. To do the notification drop-down or the control center for a phone that is already hard to use in one hand. Having to reach for a specific corner just makes it that much worse now.
Speaking of which, a lot of people were unhappy with the loss of touch id. And the iPhones over the last year though I have gotten used to it. Honestly face id and face unlocking both of these phones are something that I’ve gotten used to using over the last year.
On the topic of battery life. Let’s just put it this way the galaxy s10 plus has almost a thousand more mah in its battery over the iPhone xs max. Meanwhile, I’ve had to help someone with an iPhone to reverse wireless charge their phone because they were down to single digits.
On the spec sheets, it seems that the galaxy s 10 plus is that many steps ahead of the iPhone. But there are different ecosystems at play here. The iPhone has the latest bionic a12 chip and 4 gigabytes of ram. That last one might sound a little minuscule compared to the 8 or even 12 gigabytes of ram that you can get in the s 10 plus. But there’s no questioning that there’s a good performance on either phone.
Ios is simply optimized for what the iPhone 10s max provides. On the flip side, the galaxy s 10 plus is uniquely equipped for every little feature that Samsung bakes into its version of Android Samsung one UI.
One UI is a very welcome next step in Samsung’s version of android. It manages to provide a lot of useful features that maybe you will never use but at the very least it doesn’t bog down the core experience of android.
In contrast to ios were basically what you see is what you get. Android fans will lament the lack of widgets, no app drawer and the lack of customization options. But I know a lot of people out there who prefer it that way to have an experience that just works.
The galaxy s 10 plus is the most stacked camera not only in this comparison. But even in its lineup three on the rear with a wide-angle camera that I’m personally super happy to have. And then two on the front which adds in a depth sensor next to the selfie camera. That depth sensor helps with front-facing portrait shots. Much in the same way that the face id technology helps the iPhone achieve portrait lighting effects and also helps with an emojis self-portrait.
Both phones using hdr to good effect, details are pretty good, and the portrait cutouts are generally well done. Where the galaxy s10 plus ups the xs is in 4k video recording from the front. Which makes it a viable tool for selfie videos and vlogging shooting.
With the rear cameras is a different affair as it is easy to argue that the galaxy s 10 plus provides way more options. That wide-angle lens is a fun addition. I don’t find pictures from one or the other being leaps and bounds better. So it just matters which one provides the different features.
The smart hdr on the iPhone xs max is seriously impressive. Especially an evening out pretty much any scene, but if you want to have a little more contrast and also a little bit more saturation. The s10 plus might be the way to go.
What you get in the iPhone xs max, the galaxy s10 plus does the same but gives you a ton more that you can enjoy. If you choose to one thing I do want to touch on real quick is the price. The iPhone xs max still is one of the most expensive smartphones out there right now. Which made it all the more surprising that Samsung priced every one of the phones in the s 10 lines pretty competitively.
You can save a couple of hundred dollars if you go for the Samsung galaxy s 10 plus. And you get a lot more in it when compared to the iPhone xs max just on paper. But of course, your experience is going to dictate which one of these speaks more to you.
I’m Jaskaran Singh, a passionate tech enthusiast from Delhi, now based in Ahmedabad. My five-year journey as a tech writer has culminated in my role as the Editor in Chief at TheWorldsBestAndWorst, where I continue to explore and share the myriad facets of technology with my audience. Beyond writing, I also run a YouTube channel, with a community of 50,000 subscribers.