The Samsung Galaxy S9 might not have hit the shelves yet but when it does in a few weeks' time, it will be setting its sights firmly on the iPhone X, looking to take on Apple's all-glass design, all-screen front, souped-up internals and added wireless charging support.
While Apple touts its flagship handset as the "future of smartphones", some would argue that we'll have to wait and see what Samsung has up its sleeve first.
While we don't know exactly what specs the Samsung S9 will tout just yet, there's been plenty of leaks and rumours, so we have a pretty good idea. With that, we've pitted the S9 against the iPhone X head to head on paper to see which is likely to come out on top.
iPhone X: 143.6x70.9x7.7mm, 179g
Galaxy S8: Unknown
While we don't know what the Samsung Galaxy S9 will look like just yet, looks-wise, we can imagine it won't be too different from the S8 that came before it, as it's rare for smartphone iterations to differ greatly from one series to the next.
If that's the case, then the iPhone X and the S9 won't look too dissimilar. Both phones would feature a premium all-glass design surrounded by a metal frame, and both would be dominated by their respective bezel-less displays. Well, that's unless Samsung drops the curve from its ‘Infinity display'. There's also the fact that the iPhone X features a small 'notch' at the top of the display, where you'll find the front-facing camera and sensors. Something we're pretty sure the S9 won't have.
The iPhone X was heavier than the Galaxy S8 at 179g compared to 155g, and judging by how Samsung likes to shave some of the weight off its phones with every release, it's likely to remain the case. The iPhone X was also slightly wider than the Samsung S8 at 70mm compared to 68mm but is skinnier than the S8 at 7.7mm thick. While we're not sure on specific dimensions of the S9 just yet, we expect it to be a little skinnier and thinner than the iPhone X, again due to how Samsung likes to improve on phone dimensions every year.
As both the iPhone X and Galaxy S8 were pretty rugged, with Apple claiming the iPhone X is water and dust-resistant to a 'microscopic' level, and Samsung's saying its flagship is IP68 water and dust-resistant, we are expecting the same from the S9, too.
iPhone X: 5.8in Super Retina (2436x1125, 458ppi) OLED edge-to-edge display
Galaxy S9: 5.8in / 6.2in QHD+ Super AMOLED curved display (570ppi / 529ppi)
The Galaxy S9 is rumoured to sport a choice between a 5.8in or 6.2in QHD+ Super AMOLED curved display with 570ppi or 529ppi, respectively. If it's anything like the S8, which we can imagine it will be (and only better), then it might be that Cupertino behemoth struggles to stay on top.
Although not curved like that rumoured to be on the S9, the iPhone X's 5.8in OLED panel stretched to fill the front of the phone, albeit for its odd-looking 'notch'. What's more, the 'Super Retina' display on the iPhone X, at 2436x1125 and 458ppi, is the highest-resolution screen to feature on an iPhone yet, and the first to make use of OLED and Apple's True Tone tech, which adjusts the white balance to suit your environment.
Hardware and storage
iPhone X: A11 Bionic CPU, 3GB RAM, 64GB or 256GB storage
Galaxy S8: Samsung Exynos 9810, 6GB RAM, up to 128GB storage, microSD up to 256GB
The iPhone X, along with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, is the first to debut Apple's new A11 Bionic CPU, which comes with paired with an Apple-built GPU. This six-core CPU is divided into two low-performance cores and four high-performance cores, with the regular cores being 25 per cent faster than the previous A10 chip, and the high-performance cores being up to 75 per cent faster than the A10 SoC.
The Galaxy S9, in the UK at least, is rumoured to ship with Samsung's custom homegrown Exynos 9810 processor, an eight-core CPU that is built around the prevailing architecture among Android phones: four performance processor cores, now reaching speeds up to 2.9GHz, and four efficiency cores for extending battery life when less power is required.
Built using Samsung's second-generation 10nm process technology, the Exynos 9810 promises to be more energy-efficient, with Samsung claiming a doubling of single-core performance and a 40-percent improvement in multi-core scenarios. So expect much better battery life from the S9, and for it to beat Apple to a pulp in that respect.
Elsewhere, the iPhone X packs 3GB RAM, compared to the S9's rumoured 6GB, and a choice of 64GB or 256GB built-in storage. Although the Galaxy S9 is expected to be made available with only 128GB, it offers customers the ability to expand via its onboard microSD slot.
iPhone X: iOS 11
Galaxy S9: Android 8.0 Oreo
It's always difficult pitting iOS against Android, because almost everyone knows which operating system they'd rather use.
The iPhone X, naturally, ships running iOS 11. This brings with it some features that will only be available on the pricey flagship, including Face ID, animated emoji (or 'Animoji'), new gestures for navigating home and multitasking, and portrait lighting and selfie modes.
The Galaxy S9 is expected to run Android 8.0 Oreo, and as usual, Samsung's skin, which is definitely getting nicer with every iteration of a flagship phone, and will equip the device with a handful of custom features (aka bloatware), including Galaxy Apps, Samsung's own Gallery app and a tool for pairing your Samsung-branded wearable.
iPhone X: Dual 12MP (f/1.8 and f/2.4) with OIS, 7MP front-facing
Galaxy S9: 12MP with OIS, (F1.7), autofocus; 8MP front-facing
The iPhone X sports a dual camera setup similar to that which debuted on the iPhone 7 Plus. However, the two 12MP sensors have been upgraded, and can now shoot 4K video at up to 60fps and 1080p slo-mo video at 240fps.
The Galaxy S9, on the other hand, is rumoured to sport the same as its predecessor, the S8: a single-lens 12MP camera, with an f/1.5 aperture lens, optical image stabilisation and 8x digital zoom. While this doesn't sound as impressive on paper, it will likely prove impressive in reality, as did the S8.
iPhone X: From £999
Galaxy S9: From £789
According to reports, the Galaxy S9 will be £100 more expensive than last year's S8, with pricing set to start at £789. By the same logic, expect the Galaxy S9+ to start from £879 SIM-free. Ouch.
But that's nothing compared to the iPhone X, which is Apple's most expensive smartphone to date, with pricing starting at £999 for the 64GB model.
There are a lot of similarities between the iPhone X and what is rumoured of the Galaxy S9. If the leaks and rumours of the latter are true, both will sport high-end glass and metal designs, bezel-less displays and much more of power with their hexa-core and octa-core processors, respectively.
There's also a lot of differences, too. The iPhone X comes out on top with its dual camera setup, and the Galaxy S9 trumps the iPhone X with its expandable storage option.
We'll wait until we pit the smartphones head to head in the flesh in a full-on head-to-head review before we decide which one is better. And we won't have long to wait, either. Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will launch at on 25 March MWC in February.
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