iPhone X vs. Galaxy S9: Which Is the Better Camera Phone?


Year after year, the same thing happens: Apple versus Samsung, the iPhone versus the Galaxy. The latest version of this battle is the iPhone X versus the Galaxy S9. Stores that sell cell-phone units are often asked about these premium smartphones. In particular, their camera features. Let’s look at some of the vital camera features of the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9.


The Basics

The iPhone X has dual rear cameras. Like the past iPhone generations, the iPhone X has a fixed aperture. The rear camera delivers 7-megapixel still photos and 1080p video recordings. For its front-facing cam, the iPhone X presents the advanced TrueDepth camera. This feature offers special sensors that take the selfie camera to the next level.

The Galaxy S9 camera, on the other hand, is one of the first Galaxy units to offer a variable aperture. Therefore, it can adjust to different lighting conditions without losing sharpness. The S9 camera can also take very slow slow-motion videos.


General Shots

Using automatic settings, and with ideal lighting conditions, both phones are at the top of their game, though you’ll see minor variances in terms of texture and temperature. The iPhone X tends to produce photos with cooler hues. The S9 often produces photos with warmer tones.

Video recording on both phones at 1080p at 60 fps, the distinctions are also minimal and subdued. The S9 tends to generate more contrast and saturation. This makes the video stills look sharper and, sometimes, darker. On the flip side, the videos recorded on the iPhone X are brighter. As such, they look softer.

In terms of the shadows, both provide marginal harshness, but also minimal depth.

The two phones have optical image stabilization to their respective lenses. When tracking shots, the iPhone X produces steadier shots. However, the S9 provides smoother transitions via lighting changes.



The aperture of the iPhone X is set at f/1.8. To adapt to various lighting conditions, the camera relies on image processing and shutter speed. Images shot with the iPhone X always look wonderful. However, because it has fewer aperture selections, there is a consistent look throughout the photos.

The Galaxy S9 camera has an adjustable aperture. As such, the lens can be adjusted based on the lighting conditions. The process imitates how the pupil in the human eye works. In the dark, the variable aperture widens to filter in more light. In a bright setting, the aperture becomes narrower.


Front-Facing Camera

Both smartphones provide a blurred background effect on their selfie cams. The iPhone X front-facing camera is slightly superior. The TrueDepth is a 7-megapixel, sensor-packed camera. As such, it’s much better at determining what elements to blur in the background. The S9 features a bit sharper sensor (8 megapixels) with a broader angle.

But when it comes to the portrait effect, both phones use a software. That means neither is as great as the images produced by their respective rear cameras.


The Verdict

Both the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9 cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. The S9 is a great camera phone if you wish to take your phone photography one step further. But you still need to put in some work to get better-looking shots. Alternatively, the iPhone X camera is a lot more consistent. It also does virtually all the work for you.

And as with many of these “battles,” it all comes down to what you need from a camera phone.