Apple could learn a thing or two.
The wait is almost over. What will undoubtedly be the biggest Android flagship of 2019 is set to be revealed in just a few weeks. That’s when Samsung will show off its new Galaxy S10 and S10+ smartphones.
Rumors have long circulated what Samsung’s new flagship will be like. The only thing we know for certain is there will once again be two of them: a regular S10 and the larger phablet, the S10+.
But as the days to launch get closer, more specs are leaking about the device. Of course, what everyone wants to know is how will the S10 compare against Apple’s flagship, the iPhone XS? In this article, we’re going to take a look at how they compete based on the known specs o the XS and the rumored specs of the S10.
iPhone XS vs Rumored Samsung Galaxy S10: Specs
Here are the specs for the iPhone XS:
- Display: 5.8-inch OLED display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi
- Storage: 64, 256, or 512GB
- Memory: 4GB
- Processors: A12 Bionic
- Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video.
- Rear camera: Dual lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilization, Optical zoom, 4K video
- Battery: 2658 mAh
- Biometrics: Face ID
And here are the rumored specs for the Galaxy S10:
- Display: 6.1in display with a 1440 x 2960-pixel resolution at 540ppi
- Storage: 128GB or 512GB + microSD up to 512GB
- Memory: 6 or 8GB RAM
- Processors: Exynos 9820 Octa
- Front camera: Hole-punch 10MP with optical image stabilization
- Rear camera: Triple lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilization, Optical zoom, 4K video
- Battery life: 3300 mAh
- Biometrics: In-display fingerprint reader
One win in the S10’s corner is the storage. That’s because its base model starts out with 128GB of storage, versus 64GB for the XS. Both phones also offer 512GB models, but the iPhone XS only offers a mid-tier 256GB model.
However, Galaxy S10 owners will have the option of simply increasing their storage by another 512GB thanks to the microSD card slot. Think about that: the S10 can actually accommodate almost a terabyte of storage. The S10 also trounces the iPhone XS when it comes to RAM, with a minimum of 6GB and a max of 8GB–that’s compared to the XS’s 4GB of RAM.
As for processors, the raw specs don’t tell an easy story. The iPhone gets that INSANELY powerful A12 bionic chip, while the S10 gets Samsung’s own Exynos 9 Octa 9820. Of course, as Apple knows, raw specs don’t solely make a fast phone. It also depends on how the software can utilize the RAM and processors. So we’re very interested in seeing real-world benchmark tests between the two devices.
iPhone XS vs Rumored Samsung Galaxy S10: Display and Design
The S10 will have a 6.1 hole-punch display while the iPhone XS has a 5.8in notch display. So which is better? Technically, the S10 is higher resolution. Does that mean it’s the better display? Not necessarily. But just by the raw specs, the S10 does have the edge over the XS. That being said, the S10 doesn’t have any kind of pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display like the XS does.
As for design, both are edge-to-edge displays with glass bodies. However, the iPhone XS features a stainless steel frame whereas the S10 reportedly has a cheaper aluminum one. It’s that stainless steel that might make the iPhone XS the better-looking phone.
The iPhone XS also has the infamous “notch”, whereas the S10 features a hole punch display for its front-facing camera. But that lack of notch on the S10 is due to it not having an advanced facial recognition sensor like the iPhone XS. Speaking of facial recognition…
iPhone XS vs Rumored Samsung Galaxy S10: Biometrics and Battery
You can’t talk about smartphones in 2019 without talking about biometrics. On the iPhone XS, you’ve got Face ID–and no fingerprint sensor. Now, Face ID works REALLY well, but some people just love the fingerprint sensor.
If that’s you, you’ll be more interested in the S10, which is rumored to have a fingerprint sensor embedded beneath the display. The S10 may also retain an iris scanner–but don’t expect that to work as well as Apple’s Face ID.
When we get to the battery, the S10’s 3300 mAh battery is a bit better than the iPhone’s 2658 mAh pack. However—just as with RAM and processors—how long a phone’s battery lasts has as much to do with the size of the pack as it does with how well the software works to conserve power. For now, we can’t accurately judge how each battery life compares in real-world usage.
iPhone XS vs Rumored Samsung Galaxy S10: Cameras
The S10 wins on the selfie camera front. It’s got the bigger sensor at 10MP, versus the XS’s 7MP sensor. The S10 also sports Optical Image Stabilisation, dual-pixel autofocus and 4K video capture in its front camera, making it one of the most powerful front-facing cameras on the market. But who really cares about front cameras besides the selfie-obsessed? The rear camera is where it’s at.
And that rear camera is distinctly different on the two devices. The S10’s rear camera is rumored to be a triple lens system with three 12MP lenses-one for wide angle, one for telephoto, and one that is unknot as of yet. The iPhone XS features a dual lens system with a 12MP wide angle and 12MP telephoto lens with optical zoom. No doubt about it–a triple lens system is way better.
iPhone XS vs Rumored Samsung Galaxy S10: Verdict
It goes without saying now that our phone choices are usually dictated by the software ecosystem we like best: Android or iOS. As with last time when I reviewed their previous flagships I don’t think the changes Samsung is rumored to be making to the S10 series will be enough to make iPhone fans switch, but if you’re on the fence and don’t really care about the OS you use, the Samsung S10 series isn’t a bad choice to switch to if you want a top of the line flagship with some of the best cameras out there.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.