Galaxy Note 10 vs iPhone XS Max vs Pixel 3 XL: We compare specs, prices, features

To 5G or not to 5G? Galaxy Note 10 delivers ‘extremely capable upgrade’ for business users
Samsung just announced its Galaxy Note series update with the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus. Expected internal updates were made, along with improvements to the S Pen capability and camera functionality. Read more:

On Wednesday, Samsung revealed the 2019 addition to the Galaxy Note 10. Make that additions. This year, there are three different
Note 10 models
. Samsung is differentiating the
Note 10 lineup to attract different users
, consumers, and enterprises alike, based on price point and feature set.

Also: Galaxy Note 10, Note 10 Plus, and Note 10 Plus 5G: Prices, deals, and more

With updates to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Pixel phone on the horizon, I thought it would be good to compare how the new Note 10 and Note 10 Plus compare to the almost year-old iPhone XS Max and Pixel 3 XL. The result? Pretty favorably.

Note 10 Note 10 Plus iPhone XS Max Pixel 3 XL
Starting Price $949 (at Samsung) $1,049 (at Samsung) $1,099 (at Apple) $599 (on Amazon, launched at $899)
Operating System Android 9 Pie with One UI Android 9 Pie with One UI iOS Android Pie (soon to be Q)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Apple A12 Bionic Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Memory 8GB 12GB 4GB 4GB
Storage 256GB 256GB/512GB 64GB/256GB/512GB 64GB/128GB
External Storage No Yes No No
Display 6.3-inch FHD+ AMOLED 2,280×1,080 HDR10+ Certified 6.8-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED 3,040×1,440 HDR10+ Certified 6.5-inch Super Retina HD OLED 2,688×1,242 HDR10 display 6.3-inch QHD+ OLED 2,960×1,440 HDR Support
Rear Camera 16MP Ultra Wide f2.2, 12MP Wide-angle f1.5/f2.4, 12MP Telephoto f2.1 16MP Ultra Wide f2.2, 12MP Wide-angle f1.5/f2.4, 12MP Telephoto f2.1, DepthVision Camera (VGA) 12MP wide-angle f1.8, 12MP Telephoto f2.4 12MP dual-pixel f1.8
Front Camera 10MP f2.2 10MP f2.2 7MP f2.2 8MP wide-angle f2.2, 8MP normal FOV f1.8
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, ANT+, NFC, MST Wi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, ANT+, NFC, MST Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC
Battery 3,500mAh 4,500mAh 3,174mAh 3,430mAh
Charging port USB-C USB-C Lightning USB-C
Authentication Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face recognition Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face recognition Face ID Fingerprint sensor
Dimensions 71.8 x 151.0 x 7.9mm, 168g 77.2 x 162.3 x 7.9mm, 196g 77.4 x 157.5 x 7.7mm, 208g 76.7 x 158 x 7.9mm, 184g

One thing that stood out to me is that the iPhone XS Max is the heaviest of the four devices, outweighing the smaller Note 10 by exactly 40g. It’s even heavier than the Note 10 Plus, despite being smaller.

Another point of comparison is the Pixel 3 XL’s memory and storage capacities. As Android devices go, 4GB of memory isn’t a lot, and likely leads to some of the performance issues users have reported since its launch. As for storage, 64GB is OK, but Google is alone in offering 128GB of storage. Apple goes up to 256GB, which is Samsung’s starting point.

Lastly, it’s not included in the chart above, but not a single one of these phones has a headphone jack. Apple started the trend with the iPhone 7, and now, after years of mocking Apple, Samsung has done the same. 

It will be interesting to revisit this comparison after the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 (or whatever Apple ends up calling it) are available later this year. Apple usually updates the iPhone in September, with Google following a few weeks later in October.

On paper, at least, the Note 10 Plus appears to be the best deal out of the four — if a big screen and expandable storage are a priority for you.

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page.

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