The specs: Galaxy Note 9 vs. S9 vs. iPhone XS vs. Pixel 2 XL

Is the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 now the most powerful phone for professionals? Here's how it stacks up to other flagship models.

Samsung's Galaxy Note series has always been full of high-powered devices for working professionals, and the Galaxy Note 9 is full of even more top-shelf features. But how does it stack up to other flagship models?

The latest Note device boasts expandable storage, updated S Pen, and more. However, other devices from Samsung, Google, and Apple also contain core features that set them apart in the world of enterprise smartphone users.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

Here are some of the top specs for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and how they compare to the Galaxy S9, the Apple iPhone XS, and the Google Pixel 2 XL.


According to event presenters, the Note 9 is available in 128 GB and 512 GB storage configurations. A microSD card can pump storage up to 1 TB.

The Galaxy S9 series is available with 64 GB, 128 GB, or 256 GB, with optional SD storage. Apple's iPhone XS comes with 64 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB, but it is not expandable. Google's Pixel 2 line is available with 64 GB or 128 GB storage, but it also lacks microSD expansion.


According to a device fact sheet, the Galaxy Note 9's 4,000mAh battery enables all day (literally 24-hour) battery life. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ has 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh batteries, respectively—and are both rated above 22 hours of battery life for talk time. However, battery life varies widely based on what task the user performs.

While Apple hasn't specifically called out the battery size of the iPhone XS line, the company claims that the battery on the iPhone XS will last 30 minutes longer than iPhone X, and the battery on the iPhone XS Max will last 90 minutes longer than iPhone X.

The Pixel 2 has a 2700 mAh battery, and the Pixel 2 XL has a 3520 mAh battery. Both Pixel 2 models can get up to seven hours of battery life on 15 minutes of charging. According to TechRadar, the Pixel 2 battery lasts all day with moderate use.


The Note 9 has a 12MP dual camera with dual OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and intelligent features. The Galaxy S9 also features a 12MP camera with dual aperture as well, and the Pixel 2 and iPhone XS both also feature 12MP rear cameras.

All of these phones feature a portrait or professional mode that makes use of a wide aperture and shallow depth of field.

SEE: The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a bargain at $1250. Here's why (ZDNet)

Water and dust resistance

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9/S9+, and iPhone XS series all received an IP68 rating, which Samsung said means they "are deemed fit enough to withstand dust, dirt and sand, and are resistant to submersion up to a maximum depth of 1.5m underwater for up to thirty minutes."

The Pixel 2 series has a rating of IP67. This is the same protection against dirt, dust, and rocks, but is only rated against temporary immersion between 15 cm and 1 meter of water.


The device screens are as follows:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960x1440 (516ppi)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9: 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960x1440 (570 ppi)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+: 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960x1440 (529 ppi)
  • iPhone XS: 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED Multi-Touch display, 2436x1125 (458ppi)
  • iPhone XS Max: 6.5-inch Super Retina OLED Multi-Touch display; 2688x1242 (458ppi)
  • Google Pixel 2: Cinematic 5.0-inch display FHD, 1920x1080 AMOLED (441ppi)
  • Google Pixel 2 XL: Fullscreen 6.0-inch display, QHD+ 2880x1440 pOLED (538ppi)


The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is available with 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM, depending on which storage option is chosen. The Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and iPhone XS line all feature 4 GB of RAM. The Galaxy S9 has 4 GB of RAM and the Galaxy S9+ has 6 GB.


The hallmark of the Samsung series with security is its Knox protection system, which features full biometric capabilities and is available on the Note 9 and the S9/S9+. The Pixel 2 series has an updated security module that Google claims can even fend off insider threats. On the Apple side of things, the iPhone XS and XS Max features the firm's Secure Enclave hardware-based key manager and Face ID biometric authentication, which the company claims is faster in these models.


This is where the Samsung devices really stand out. Both the Galaxy S9 series and the Note 9 can use the DeX docking system, and the Note 9 has an improved Bluetooth-powered S Pen that can improve productivity.

The Pixel 2 series can work with a Google Daydream VR headset, but it doesn't have many particular accessories to boost efficiency for pros. The iPhone XS doesn't yet have any native accessories that help improve its usability among business pros.

Also see

Image: Samsung

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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