iPhone XS Max Vs Galaxy S10 Plus: Which Is The Winner?


Samsung has officially participated in the $1,000 phone segment with its 6.4-inch Galaxy S10 Plus ($999). It is a direct competitor to the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max ($1,099) when both features huge screens to match their expensive prices.

If you are planning to spend this much on a phone, you should want to get the most for the money you pay. We have already pitted these two beasts against each other in a detailed competition,  including design, display, performance, camera, and battery to find out the winner.


Galaxy S10 Plus Vs iPhone XS Max: Design

Both of the phones come with a subjective design. However, there is a difference in the front. iPhone XS Max features a symmetric notch, while Galaxy S10 flaunts an Infinity O display with a cutout. Some people like it, but others do not.

Galaxy S10 Plus brings a better feeling in the hands over iPhone XS Max since it’s very thin on the edge. But, both are built with extremely good quality. With iPhone XS Max, you get a stainless steel frame cover, while Galaxy S10 Plus is aluminum that’s coated.

Samsung still keeps a 3.5mm headphone jack on the Galaxy S10 Plus, for those who like wired headphones.

Overall, the iPhone XS Max feels sturdier, thanks to the stainless steel band and durable glass; it could still survive after an accidental drop. The Galaxy S10 Plus features six color options compared to only three for the iPhone XS Max. You can also choose the ceramic material on the back if you’re willing to splurge for 512GB variant.


Winner: Galaxy S10 Plus


Galaxy S10 Plus Vs iPhone XS Max: Display


Samsung has equipped for the Galaxy S10 Plus a sharp 6.4-inch Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display, which is slightly smaller than the 6.5-inch OLED screen on Apple iPhone XS Max. However, the Galaxy S10 Plus screen offers a higher resolution, at 3040 x 1440 pixels, compared to 2688 x 1242 pixels on the iPhone XS Max.

Although the Galaxy S10 Plus can reach up to 625 nits bright, and the iPhone XS Max can just get to 606 nits in any conditions, the result is quite opposite when the iPhone XS Max screen is a little brighter, whether you’re indoors or outside.


When I opened the same 4K wallpaper on both the phone, the display of iPhone XS Max offered a brighter picture and the more vivid color. You can easily change between natural and vivid modes on the S10 Plus, but the hues looked saturated in vivid mode.


The Galaxy S10 Plus’s display gained better scored in reproducing color at 136.5% of the color gamut, compared to 123% on the iPhone XS Max. But the iPhone XS Max display iPhone XS Max gained better color-accuracy score with Delta-E of 0.22 over 0.29 on the Galaxy S10.


Winner: iPhone XS Max

Galaxy S10 Plus Vs iPhone XS Max: Specs & Performance

The Snapdragon 855 chipset, paired with 8GB of RAM, 128GB-1TB ROM options, the Galaxy S10 Plus gets the closest yet to beat the Apple A12 Bionic chip on the iPhone XS Max. I tested both the phones using Geekbench 4, the S10 Plus achieved 10,732, while this figure was 11,420 on the iPhone XS Max.

In my 3D Mark Graphic Settings test, the S10 Plus pulled ahead with a score at 5,648 (OpenGL ES 3.1 test), while the iPhone XS Max came in behind with 4,339 points.

Generally, I felt that the iPhone XS Max was a little more responsive for common tasks like rotating to landscape mode. The Galaxy S10 Plus was a bit slower.


Winner: iPhone XS Max

Galaxy S10 Plus Vs iPhone XS Max: Camera

The Galaxy S10 Plus has an ultrawide, 123-degree lens with the rear camera while the iPhone XS Max does not get this major benefit. The ultrawide camera gives you much more of the scene in the frame.

The iPhone XS Max features dual rear-facing 12-megapixel lens, with an f/1.8 and f/2.4 aperture. The second lens is a telephoto one to take portrait mode shots better. The iPhone XS Max is still one of the best camera phones currently. On the front, it’s a 7-megapixel TrueDepth camera for Face Unlock and selfie shots. You can also capture 4K videos at 60 frames-per-second with the rear camera.

The S10 Plus features a 12-megapixel lens with variable aperture, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a new 16MP ultrawide lens. The front camera features two lenses, a 10-megapixel and an 8-megapixel lens for portrait selfie shots. Both front and rear cameras will also record 4K video.

The camera on both phones has its strong and weak points. If you are a normal user, just open the camera and take automatic photos, then I recommend you to choose the iPhone XS Max. If you are a Pro person, spend hours into taking photos, the Galaxy S10 Plus is the better choice.

Winner: Depend on your decision


Galaxy S10 Plus Vs iPhone XS Max: Security and Special Features

Samsung has equipped a new security method for the Galaxy S10 Plus that is an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, which is embedded into the screen. You can also use the less secure Face unlock on the S10 Plus. However, with the iPhone XS Max, the only option you have is either a passcode or a secure Face Unlock by looking at it.

Unlike Face ID, you don’t need to look directly into the S10 Plus to unlock it. However, Face ID is still more reliable and has fewer false negatives when unlocking the phone.

The Galaxy S10 Plus comes with a new feature, called Wireless PowerShare, which can wirelessly charge other phones or accessories with ease just by placing them on the back of the phone. The iPhone XS Max doesn’t have such feature.

Additionally, the iPhone XS lacks other features, such as a microSD card slot, and 3.5-mm headphone jack.

Winner: Galaxy S10 Plus

Galaxy S10 Plus Vs iPhone XS Max: Battery Life

This round is not fair. The massive 4,100-mAH battery in the Galaxy S10 Plus easily beats the 3,174-mAh battery in iPhone XS Max. The Galaxy S10 Plus could reach 12 hours and 35 minutes in my Battery Test, while the iPhone XS Max could only last 10:38.

Winner: Galaxy S10 Plus

Galaxy S10 Plus Vs iPhone XS Max: Software

Samsung updated the new OneUI, running on top for of Android 9.0 Pie its Galaxy S10 Plus. The settings menu is now less cluttered. However, there is still some needless duplication, such as two browsers and two assistants (Bixby and Google Assistant). I don’t know the reason why.

Despite being customizable, the shortcuts menu from the top of the Galaxy S10 Plus seems to be a mess, compared to simple Control Center on the iPhone XS Max.

iOS 12 is now straightforward, but it still contains powerful features under the hood,  like Siri shortcuts. Memoji on the iPhone XS Max is also better than the AR Emoji on the Galaxy S10 Plus.

Winner: iPhone XS Max


The Galaxy S10 Plus offers more in terms of storage. The lowest 128GB variant starts at $999, while the iPhone XS Max costs $100 more and just starts with  64GB.

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