Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10 Plus, S10 5G, and Galaxy Fold at its Unpacked event in San Francisco. The Galaxy S10 Plus is Samsung’s flagship of the year. It will be competing with the best of Apple, Google, Huawei, and other vendors. In the US and most European markets, the Galaxy S10 Plus will be competing with the iPhone XS Max and Google Pixel 3 XL for consumers’ wallets. Here we dive into a detailed Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL specs comparison to see if Samsung’s latest flagship has what it takes to beat the iPhone XS Max and Google’s flagship.
It’s worth pointing out that specs alone don’t help you decide which phone is worth your money. But you’d want to compare them if you are in the market for a new flagship smartphone.
Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: Design
Google Pixel 3 XL has the ugliest design of them all. It has a thick chin at the bottom and a notch at the top that makes it look like a cheap phone from one of those Chinese vendors. It has a two-tone rear panel with a single camera lens and a circular fingerprint sensor. The Pixel 3 XL measures 158×76.7×7.9 mm and weighs 184g.
The iPhone XS Max retains the design of the older iPhone X. It has a nearly bezel-less design with a notch at the top to house the Face ID sensors, front camera, and the ear speaker. Its front and rear glass panels are supported by a durable stainless steel frame. At 208g, the XS Max is heavier than the other two. It measures 157.5×77.4×7.7 mm.
The Galaxy S10 Plus has ditched the notch in favor of a punch-hole Infinity-O display that increases the usable screen area. There are two holes in the top-right corner to house the selfie cameras. The phone has a curved display and a nearly bezel-less design. Unlike the other two phones, S10 Plus retains the 3.5mm headphone jack. It measures 157.6×74.1×7.8 mm and weighs 175g.
Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: Display
All three smartphones use some variant of OLED display technology. Samsung has been a global leader in OLED technology, and its phones have always been praised for their screens. The Galaxy S10 Plus is no exception. It gets a gorgeous 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 3,040×1,440 pixels. It has a pixel density of 438ppi. It also supports HDR+ to offer a better video watching experience.
In contrast, the iPhone XS Max features a 6.5-inch Super Retina OLED panel with 2688×1242 resolution and 458ppi pixel density. The Google Pixel 3 XL features a 6.3-inch flexible P-OLED display with 2,960×1,440 resolution and 522ppi pixel density.
Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: Processing power
The Galaxy S10 Plus runs Qualcomm’s latest octa-core Snapdragon 855 processor in the US and Samsung’s in-house Exynos 9820 chipset in most other markets. Both the new processors are far more powerful than their respective predecessors. The chipset is coupled with 8GB or 12GB RAM. Samsung offers 128GB, 512GB, or 1TB of internal storage. There is also a microSD card slot to let you expand the memory by another 512GB.
The Google Pixel 3 XL runs last year’s Snapdragon 845 with 4GB RAM, but it’s capable of handling day-to-day tasks with ease. It comes in 64GB and 128GB storage options. Google doesn’t offer external storage on its phones.
The iPhone XS Max, in contrast, gets an insanely powerful A12 Bionic processor. It has only 4GB RAM, but Apple has tightly integrated its software and hardware to deliver blazing fast performance. Despite its lower RAM than Galaxy S10 Plus, it could give Samsung’s phone a tough fight or even outperform it.
Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: Camera
Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S10 Plus with triple cameras on the back and dual selfie cameras. It gets a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 12MP wide-angle lens, and a 12MP telephoto lens on the back panel. On the front, the device features a combination of a 10MP sensor and an 8MP lens. The S10 Plus camera hasn’t been tested in the real world yet, but we can expect it to be among the best.
The iPhone XS Max has one of the best smartphone cameras in the world. It features a 12MP wide-angle lens and a 12MP telephoto lens on the back, and a 7MP sensor on the front for selfies. Apple allows you to adjust the blur in portrait images even after clicking the photo.
The Google Pixel 3 XL features only a single 12.2MP lens on the back but it has shocked consumers with its camera capabilities. Google uses advanced AI and machine learning to enhance the photography experience. If you like taking photos in dim lights, the Night Sight mode on Pixel 3 XL could take great photos. The device has two 8-megapixel lenses on the front.
Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: Software
The Google Pixel 3 XL runs the stock version of Android 9 Pie. It doesn’t have any bloatware and it’s among the first Android phones to get software and security updates from Google. The iPhone XS Max runs Apple’s iOS 12 software, which is highly secure. The iOS 12 brings many new features such as Memoji, Digital Health, Group FaceTime, and Siri Shortcuts.
The S10 Plus runs Samsung’s new One UI skin on top of Android 9 Pie. The One UI offers an intuitive experience even on smartphones with bigger displays. It displays content in the top half of the screen and navigation options near the bottom to ensure that they are within your thumb’s reach.
Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: Battery
The Galaxy S10 Plus packs a monstrous 4,100mAh battery with fast charging, wireless charging, and reverse charging technologies. You can use your S10 Plus to charge other smartphones, smartwatches, and accessories. It should easily get you through a full day of normal-to-heavy usage. The Pixel 3 XL packs a 3,430mAh battery with wireless charging support.
The iPhone XS Max offers a 3,174mAh battery that supports both fast charging and wireless charging. However, Apple ships it with a redundant 5W charger. If you want to take advantage of fast charging or wireless charging, you’ll have to spend additional money on the relevant accessories. That’s how Apple likes to make more money.
Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: Security
The Pixel 3 XL has a rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor for authentication and security. It’s not the most convenient method, but it has proven to be reliable and secure. The iPhone XS Max gets an upgraded version of Apple’s Face ID technology, which is extremely difficult to fool because it creates a 3D image of your face to recognize you.
Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S10 Plus with an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor placed under the display. Users can unlock the device by placing their finger on the screen. The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is far more secure than the optical fingerprint sensor used in devices like OnePlus 6T. It works accurately even when your fingers are wet or dirty.
Galaxy S10 Plus vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: Price
All three devices are premium offerings from their respective manufacturers. They reflect the best of each company’s technological prowess. The Pixel 3 XL costs $899 for the 64GB variant and $999 for the 128GB model. It’s the cheapest of the lot.
The iPhone XS Max is the most expensive of them, starting at $1,099 for the 64GB model. It goes up to $1,249 for the 256GB model and $1,449 for the 512GB model. The Galaxy S10 Plus starts at $999 for the base model. Samsung hasn’t yet revealed how much the higher storage variant would cost.
Samsung has got almost everything right with the Galaxy S10 Plus, including the pricing. Which phone you should buy depends on the ecosystem you prefer (Android or iOS), whether you are OK with the display notch or the punch-hole, and your budget. Performance and camera capabilities of all three phones are top notch. If you want a significantly different phone, you might want to check out Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold phone with a foldable display.