With the Galaxy S9 release date just a few weeks away at this point, many are wondering whether Samsung’s upcoming flagship can beat the iPhone X.
Apple Vs Samsung
There’s no doubt about it: The iPhone X was a seriously impressive phone. With unprecedented power that surpassed almost every phone on the market, it was a go-to phone for those looking to push their phones to the limits (provided they were okay with the restrictions of the iOS operating system, of course). The power was just the beginning of what the iPhone X had to offer, however, with the release of Apple’s latest flagship introducing a groundbreaking FaceID technology. FaceID ushered in a new standard for facial recognition technology, serving as a method to secure and unlock your phone using a technology that could recognize you pretty much every time – even if you were to get a new pair of glasses or grow a beard. The FaceID’s accuracy is impressive, despite some reports of problems such as difficulty recognizing Asian faces, and the fact that it can adjust as needed to recognize a dynamic appearance gives Apple the edge when it comes to innovation this generation.
However, Samsung has been a fierce competitor to Apple. As one of the largest manufacturers of smartphones around the world, Samsung can take advantage of the fact that there are far more users of Android phones than there are Apple – especially in their home country of Korea. While Apple has made some efforts to gain a footing in Asia with the opening of an Apple Store in Seoul, the fact remains that Samsung has enjoyed a near-unchallenged dominance in the smartphone scene. The Samsung Galaxy S9 has an imminent announcement and release, so we’ll soon get our hands on the latest flagship that the Korean tech giant has to offer. Until we know exactly what the phone will bring to the table, it’s impossible to declare if the Galaxy S9 is an “iPhone X Killer,” but based off of what we know about both phones, we can warrant a guess.
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While the Galaxy S9 will offer the best phone that Samsung has produced to date, we don’t feel that it will manage to challenge the dominance of Apple with their trio of flagships – headed up by the iPhone X.
A Lack of Innovation
While we don’t have a full list of specifications and design for the Samsung Galaxy S9, a recent image released from reliable leaker Evan Blass gave us a good look at the upcoming phone, and we honestly weren’t surprised by what we saw. It looked a lot like the S8 – almost exactly the same, in fact. There had been a steady stream of rumors releasing over the past few months that gave us a sense of what we could expect from the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, so we had expected that we wouldn’t see a significant departure from the S8’s implementation. We were, however, hoping that the S9 would have a little more to offer that would make it a clear upgrade over the S8 and a clear competitor to the iPhone X.
Samsung has arrived at a generally solid blueprint for a high-quality Android flagship. Premium design, a high-quality camera, unrivaled performance, and name recognition are usually enough to drive a significant amount of sales. While the company was shaken after the exploding batteries from the Galaxy Note 7, they’ve since recovered and have seen great success with the Note 8. We hope that with the release of the Galaxy Note 9 coming this fall we’ll see some more innovation from the Korean tech giant, but at this point the S9 offers enough improvements to warrant a release, but perhaps not enough to upgrade from a current generation flagship.
What The Galaxy S9 Has To Offer
While this piece may seem to give an incredibly negative view of the Galaxy S9, there are some features coming with the phone that are worth noting. The main philosophy with Samsung’s improvement of the Galaxy S9 was to really flesh out the technology and software surrounding photography. To those looking for the best camera around and are upgrading their phones around the same time of the Galaxy S9 release, the phone may truly come out on top. For many people, however, photography takes a back seat to daily use of the internet, app use, messaging, and phone calls. While the iPhone X didn’t necessarily innovate in any of those categories, the combination of increased power and a facial recognition technology we hadn’t seen before was enough to capture the attention of the smartphone market over the holidays.
By increasing the quality of the camera and adding new features, Samsung is catering to an significant audience of smartphone users that enjoy smartphone photography. As a brand well-known for their cameras, doubling down on a strength will likely make the phone a win in the eyes of consumers. When compared to Apple’s innovation, however, we remain skeptical of its ability to compete.