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iPhone X vs. Galaxy Note 9: The speed test we’ve been waiting for

Published Aug 27th, 2018 11:03AM EDT
Galaxy Note 9 Vs iPhone X

Samsung’s final flagship phone of 2018 was finally released this past Friday after months of leaks and rumors. The Galaxy Note 9 instantly became the best Android phone on the market when it hit store shelves late last week, and reports suggested consumers are finding the phone much more appealing than the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ from earlier this year. The Note 9 does look almost exactly like its predecessor, just like the S9 duo did, but it also adds significantly better battery life and a nifty new S Pen stylus with built-in Bluetooth. Preorders are said to have been much higher than they were ahead of the S9 and S9+ launch, which is good news since the Galaxy S9 duo is expected to be Samsung’s worst-selling Galaxy S lineup since 2012.

Now that the Galaxy Note 9 has been released, gadget reviewers who didn’t manage to get their hands on an early unit are putting the phone through its paces. We already reviewed the Galaxy Note 9 so we don’t care about most of the coverage that popped up over the weekend, but there is one video in particular that we’ve been waiting for and now it is finally here.

YouTube user “PhoneBuff” is one of countless YouTubers who perform real-life speed tests that pit two flagship phones against each other to see which is faster in real-life usage. These tests are hardly scientific, but they do show how quickly a phone can load apps and switch between apps, which obviously does give an indication of how the phone will perform in the hands of users. And while there are indeed now dozens of YouTube channels that post speed test videos along these lines, PhoneBuff was among the first to do it and his tests are typically the most reliable.

The YouTuber pitted the iPhone X and its A11 Bionic chipset against the entry-level Galaxy Note 9. Both phones cost $1,000, but the Galaxy Note 9 offers buyers a bit more bang for their buck. While the $1,000 iPhone X includes 64GB of storage and 3GB of RAM, the $1,000 Note 9 pack 128GB of storage and twice the RAM at 6GB.

We don’t typically spoil PhoneBuff’s videos, but in this post we’re making an exception because he spoiled the ending himself at the very beginning. The iPhone X was slightly faster to load all of the test apps in the first “lap,” edging out the Note 9’s 2:15.47 with a time of 2:09.88. The second lap has the phone recall all the same apps again, and we knew the Note 9 would blow the iPhone X out of the water here(Note 9: 0:46.59, iPhone X: 1:20:04). It’s not just because it has twice the RAM, however. It’s because PhoneBuff’s iPhone X was running the latest release build of iOS 11, which is still plagued with RAM management problems and optimization issues.

We’ll be very interested to see a redo with the iPhone X once the final version of iOS 12 has been released. As for the Note 9 vs. Apple’s next-gen iPhone models that will launch next month, we don’t expect it to be much of a contest. In the meantime, PhoneBuff’s video is embedded below.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.