iPhone XS (Max) vs Galaxy Note9: who’s ahead in the camera arms race?

Apple’s new iPhones challenge the Android competition, and as usual, the focus is on the camera. In the comparison test we want to find out who takes the better photos, the Apple iPhone XS (Max) or the Samsung Galaxy Note9.

As always, we compare the cameras using a blind test, i.e. we do not reveal which photo comes from which smartphone. In this way, we ensure that the vote isn’t biased by brand marketing. Both the Apple iPhone XS and the Samsung Galaxy Note9 were in automatic mode in the comparative test, because this is by far how most photos are taken. The iPhone XS and XS Max have the same camera, so the results are valid for both Apple smartphones.

Subject 1: Daylight

The first photo was taken in daylight in the afternoon in Berlin. Both smartphones captured the street art without any problems, but there are differences in the pictures. Which photo is your favorite?

Subject 2: Backlighting

Backlit cameras quickly reach their limits, but with a good HDR mode you can take amazing pictures. Apple has added a new smart HDR mode to iPhone XS, and HDR was also active on Galaxy Note9.

Subject 3: Night scene

When there is little light, one thing quickly becomes a problem: image noise because many details are swallowed up. The difference in brightness is particularly clear with the two smartphones: one of the two devices takes a much brighter picture of the scene than the other. We took the picture around 22:00, so it was dark. What do you like better?

Subject 4: Daylight

The AndroidPIT editorial office is located in the heart of Berlin, so it is only natural to put the TV tower in the right light. The light at noon is still quite harsh in autumn, both have captured the scenery well. Do you still see differences?

Subject 5: Double zoom

Both the iPhone XS (Max) and the Galaxy Note9 have a dual camera with 2X zoom. In this shot, we tried the telephoto lens to see if there were any differences.

Subject 6: Close-up

The close-up of the flower must meet some requirements: The colors have to be attractive, the details sharp and the background a little blurred in order to focus on the actual object.

Subject 7: Portrait

This one is not quite a fair competition, because the portrait mode of the iPhone XS and the Live Focus in the Galaxy Note9 are not directly comparable and especially in Samsung strongly depend on the settings. That’s why we took the Samsung photo in automatic mode in order to keep the result as comparable as possible. Therefore, when evaluating this photo, pay special attention to the face and less to the bokeh, which can be changed afterwards anyway.

Now it’s up to you – vote for your favorite photos, the result of the blind test will be announced next week!

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