Apple iPhone XS vs Samsung Galaxy S10: Which one is right for you?


Apple and Samsung have been in a competitive position for years. Samsung is having its upper hand on the market thanks to its recently-launched S10 and S10 Plus. As a longtime iPhone user, I have to admit there are a few features on the S10 and S10 Plus that look very impressive. In reality, there is not a specific competing product from the likes of Apple, but we could see competition get a jump start if Apple releases new iPhones later this year.

However, the iPhone XS still shines out there and is willing to take on the Galaxy S10. The secret behind the XS’s success lies in Apple’s own mobile ecosystem and optimized software. Despite some restrictions, the XS is a top-tier device that attracts big fans. So, let’s take a look at what both devices are offering and how Samsung stacks up to the latest iPhones.

  1. Three new devices

Back in 2016, Apple first announced three new iPhone models, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 5s. And Apple’s move aims to bring more iPhones to customers out there. Last year, Apple once again announced three new smartphones at its September event and it seems that Samsung is following suit.

In reality, Samsung’s top smartphone lineup now looks similar to Apple’s latest offerings on the market with three mainstream devices, including the standard Galaxy S10, the larger Galaxy S10 Plus, and a budget-oriented Galaxy S10e. The release of the Galaxy S10e clearly aims to target the iPhone XR on the market as both start at $750.

  1. Design

I have to admit that the Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of the most beautiful phones I have ever seen in recent years. In reality, the S10 retains the same design language from the predecessors while shrinking the bezels and pushing the screen right to the edges. Also, Samsung opted for a cut-out at the top right corner for a front-facing shooter.

In reality, the Galaxy S10 feels very comfortable in my hand even after prolonged use, mainly thanks to the phone’s curved design. In contrast, the iPhone X is a little bit slippery, which is mainly because of its curved glass panels. So, it’s a good idea to buy a protective case that lets you hold your iPhone without dropping it.

No notch on the Galaxy S10

Smartphones with notches are becoming more popular out there, with the Google Pixel lineup recently joining the club. However, Samsung skipped that trend and opted instead for camera cutouts, which seems to be a bold move from Samsung. However, the phone looks pretty nice when compared to Apple’s offering.

The coolest part is that you can customize your camera cutouts to make them more innovative. For instance, you can install new wallpapers that match with the S10’s top cutouts or turn them into a battery indicator. To do this, you can use an app called Energy Ring, a cool app that takes advantage of the hole-punch on the S10.

Personally, I am not a big fan of a notch on my iPhone XS as it takes some screen space. I have heard a lot of speculation that Apple will dump notch on its 2020 iPhones.

  1. Display

The Galaxy S10 sports a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch panel. Both are high-resolution AMOLED displays, but the S10’s display now supports HDR10 Plus. Basically, HDR10 Plus is a screen technology that automatically tweaks the display settings so that you are always getting the best color possible.

As an iPhone user, I feel a little envy and I want to see it on future iPhones. The release of the S10 with HDR10+ support may boost adoption among hardware makers and content providers out there. In reality, the iPhone XS offers under 700 nits of brightness, while the S10 is rated up to a shocking 1200 nits of brightness, so you will have no problems using it in direct sunlight.

  1. Camera

The Galaxy S10 is packed with a 10MP snapper on the front, capable of shooting 4K videos. The XS, on the other hand, features a 7MP shooter limited to 1080p at 60fps. On the rear, we have a triple camera setup with two 12MP snappers and an additional 16MP ultra-wide camera. The photos shown by the S10 looks stunning mainly thanks to its wide-angle lens, something that’s has been missing on Apple’s iPhone lineup.

The camera on the S10 is a huge leap over the S9. I ran some tests to see how dynamic range works on the S10 and S9. The photos taken with the S10 look more beautiful than what we saw on the S9.

However, the iPhone XS beats the S10 in terms of dynamic range as the photos (below) are more natural on the Apple device.

One of the biggest camera features of the S10 lies in the super steady video mode, allowing for smoother videos. This mode serves as Samsung’s answer to the video stabilization on the XS and XS Max. However, the super steady mode only shoots at 1080p at 60 frames per second.

5. Fingerprint scanner

The Galaxy S10 features a new under-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. The coolest part is that the S10 does not require the display to be on or to shine a bright light. All you need to do is to put your finger on the reader and your phone gets unlocked.

The iPhone XS, on the other hand, comes with Face ID, Apple’s new authentication measure that allows you to unlock your device with a simple glance. This means that you don’t need to place your finger on a certain spot to unlock your phone, which is a lot easier.

6. Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor for the US market. The new chip offers a huge performance leap when compared to the S9, reaching around 3500 benchmark scores (single core) and around 11,200 scores (multi-core).

However, the iPhone XS has a slightly higher multi-core score of around 11,450 and a much higher single-core score of around 4800. The results are a little bit surprising as the XS is now a two-year-old device.

As for the graphics, the Samsung Galaxy S10 offers around 120 frames per second, 20 percent faster than the last year’s Galaxy Note 9. The iPhone XS with the A12 Bionic chip, on the other hand, delivers 122 frames per second.


Regarding ports and battery life, Samsung is still providing microSD cards slot on its S10, which receives a wide welcome, allowing for more storage expansion. The Galaxy S10 has a bigger 3,400mAh battery than the 2,658mAh one in the iPhone XS. However, keep in mind that the S10 has a larger display.

Wrapping Up

The Samsung Galaxy S10 seems to be a good deal as it starts at $899, which is $100 cheaper than the Apple device. For that price, you will get a bigger screen, a new chip, an excellent camera performance. However, the iPhone XS is still a great choice for those who are in the market for a smaller device from Apple.

Don’t forget to share with us your thoughts on which one is right for you in the section below.


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