Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus vs. iPhone X, Pixel 2 XL

How do Samsung's latest flagship phones stack up against its Apple and Google rivals?

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
2 min read
Josh Miller/CNET

Last month,  Samsung  took the wraps off its two new flagships, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. They feature many expected upgrades, including Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 processor and Google's Android 8.0 Oreo software.

But the phones also pack a few unexpected things that once started out as only rumors. The Galaxy S9 Plus , for example, now has a second 12-megapixel rear-facing camera. Samsung also preloaded the devices with AR Emoji, its own version of Apple's animoji, and the company added a new, vibrant lilac color option. They go on sale on March 16 with preorders beginning March 2.

In the US, you may get some cash back if you trade in your old phone with the purchase of a Galaxy S9. The specific dollar amount and deal depends on what carrier you go with. Keep in mind, these deals (like those that offer $350 for your $1,000 iPhone) may not be very good in the end, so be sure to read the fine print. For more information, read CNET's guide on how to get the best deal on the Galaxy S9.

Watch this: How does the Galaxy S9 compare to the iPhone X?

Of course, the Galaxy phones are competing in a highly saturated market. They'll have to go against Apple's top-tier phone, the iPhone X , which also boasts superb dual rear-cameras. The Pixel 2 XL  is a formidable Android phone too, with perks from Google like unlimited cloud storage and Google Lens.

To see how these phones lineup spec-to-spec, check out the chart below. Also be sure to check out CNET's full Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus review.

Editors' Note: This was originally published on Feb. 25, 2018 and has been updated on March 15 with US carrier information.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus vs. iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL

Samsung Galaxy S9Samsung Galaxy S9 PlusApple iPhone XGoogle Pixel 2 XL
Display size, resolution 5.8-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels6.2-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels5.8-inch; 2,436x1,125 pixels6-inch; 2,880x1,440 pixels
Pixel density 570ppi529ppi458ppi538ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.81x2.70x0.33 in6.22x2.91x0.33 in5.7x2.79x0.30 in6.2x3.0x0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 147.7x68.7x8.5 mm158.1x73.8x8.5 mm143.6x70.9x7.7 mm157.9x76.7x7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.75 oz; 163g6.66 oz; 189g6.14 oz; 174 g6.17 oz; 175 g
Mobile software Android 8.0 OreoAndroid 8.0 OreoiOS 11Android 8 Oreo
Camera 12-megapixelDual 12-megapixelDual 12-megapixel12-megapixel
Front-facing camera 8-megapixel8-megapixel7-megapixel8-megapixel
Video capture 4K4K4K4K
Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (2.8GHz + 1.7GHz), or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 (2.7 GHz + 1.7 GHz)Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (2.8GHz + 1.7GHz), or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 (2.7 GHz + 1.7 GHz)Apple A11 BionicOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.35Ghz + 1.9Ghz)
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB
RAM 4GB6GBUnlisted4GB
Expandable storage Up to 400GBUp to 400GBNoneNone
Battery 3,000mAh3,500mAhUnlisted3,520mAh
Fingerprint sensor BackBackNone (Face ID via TrueDepth camera)Back
Connector USB-CUSB-CLightningUSB-C
Headphone jack YesYesNoNo
Special features Dual-aperture camera, water-resistant (IP68); super slo-mo video; wireless charging; iris scanningDual-aperture camera, water-resistant (IP68); super slo-mo video; wireless charging; iris scanningWater-resistant (IP67), wireless charging, Face IDGoogle Assistant; unlimited cloud storage; Daydream VR-ready
Price off-contract (USD) Varies: $720-$800 (64GB)Varies: $840-$930 (64GB)$999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB)$849 (64GB), $949 (128GB)
Price (GBP) £739£869£999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB)£799 (64GB), £899 (128GB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,349 (256GB) AU $1,349 (64GB), AU$1,499 (256GB) AU$1,579 (64GB), AU$1,829 (256GB)AU$1,399 (64GB), AU$1,549 (128GB)

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