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iPhone XS Max vs. Galaxy Note 9 battery battle: Which phone lasts longer?

Published Oct 12th, 2018 7:06PM EDT

Apple spent much of its September iPhone reveal event explaining how the new models would differ from last year’s model, but the most intriguing claim to many was that the iPhone XS Max battery would last an hour and a half longer than that of the iPhone X. This might have been a bit of an exaggeration, but the iPhone XS Max does seem to have some extra juice when compared to 2017’s iPhone X. So yes, the battery has improved.

But has it improved enough to take on one of the Android world’s most powerful and long-lasting flagship phones? On Friday, PhoneBuff on YouTube shared a video comparing the battery life of the XS Max to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, and it might surprise you just how uneven of a fight the test becomes.

In PhoneBuff’s test, each phone goes through a series of actions to drain its battery, from placing phone calls and sending texts to browsing the internet and watching YouTube videos. Everything was calibrated to ensure that the screen brightness, speaker volume, and all possible variables were identical on both devices throughout:

While the iPhone XS Max starts strong — coming off of an hour-long phone call with 97% battery compared to the Note 9’s 95% — it all goes downhill for the XS Max after that. After jumping through all of the same hoops, the iPhone XS Max ended up caving while swiping around Google Maps, which the Galaxy Note 9 still had 37% of its charge left. Nearly three hours later, the Note 9 dies as well, but as the clear winner.

So while Apple has made some improvements to battery life from one generation to the next, the 3,174 mAh battery of the XS Max simply can’t compete with the massive 4,000 mAh battery of the Note 9.

Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.