Camera Comparison: iPhone XS Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S10+

Earlier this week, we asked our readers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to look at some photos taken with the iPhone XS Max and the Samsung Galaxy S10+, Samsung's new flagship device, and tell us which photos they liked best.

There was a catch, though. We didn't tell them which smartphone took which photo, allowing us to aggregate some unbiased opinions on the quality of the images from each device. Today, we're revealing which photos came from which phone and sharing the results we gathered.


All of the photos that we shared came straight from the camera and were not edited or otherwise manipulated. We'll go through each image and give a brief overview of what people thought before unveiling which camera was used for these images.


The first photo, of a cup, shows off the ‌iPhone‌'s Portrait Mode and Samsung's Live Focus mode, which is basically the same thing. Photo A has more natural colors because Photo B is too warm, but B wins when it comes to depth. Photo A cut off part of the cup, while Photo B did not, though Photo A offered better blurring of background images. Most people actually preferred Photo A, but we think Photo B is the winner because it didn't cut off any of the cup.

iphonexsmaxs10cup
The second photo, featuring a person, was also captured with portrait mode. Compared to Photo B, Photo A seems a bit washed out, but A did a better job isolating the subject from the background. MacRumors readers preferred Photo A, and so do we.

iphonexsmaxs10portrait
The third photo, of a street sign, is a portrait mode photo taken in lower lighting conditions. It was gray and snowy outside, and Camera A took an image that was too cool. Photo A doesn't have any of the sign cut off, but the blueness of the image skewed this heavily in favor of Photo B.

iphonexsmaxs10sign
In our fourth image set, of a skyline, Photo B is brighter, but a bit overexposed and washed out. Photo A is darker, but the dynamic range and contrast are more accurate, especially when looking at the clouds. Most people liked Photo B better, but we prefer A because it's not washed out.

iphonexsmaxs10skyline
Our last images, shared solely on Instagram due to Twitter limitations, demonstrate how well Camera A is able to handle shots of the sky. Photo B's highlights are blown out and Camera B didn't do a great job of capturing the sun. We didn't get a lot of feedback on this image, but we preferred Photo A.

iphonexsmaxs10sun
If you guessed that all of the Photo A images came from the ‌iPhone‌ XS Max, you guessed right. Photo A is the ‌iPhone‌ and the Photo B images came from the Galaxy S10+.

Results we received from readers on preference were ultimately mixed, with some of the photos captured by the Galaxy S10+ coming out on top, and some photos captured by the ‌iPhone‌ winning out. That's no surprise, though, as both of these smartphones have great camera systems that can capture some fantastic images.

Apple's ‌iPhone‌ XS Max uses a dual-lens camera system with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 wide-angle lens paired with a 12-megapixel f/2.4 lens, while Samsung uses a more advanced triple-lens camera system (which is, incidentally, rumored to be coming to 2019 iPhones). The Galaxy S10+ has a 12-megapixel f/1.5 wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens, and an additional 16-megapixel f/2.2 ultra wide-angle lens that can capture more of a scene at once, great for landscapes and group shots.

ultrawideangles10
Both are also great at video and can record in 4K with optical image stabilization offered, though we thought the Galaxy S10+ outperformed the ‌iPhone‌ XS Max because its stabilization was just a bit better.

Overall, we preferred the images from the ‌iPhone‌ XS Max over the images from the Galaxy S10 because the ‌iPhone‌ offered more true-to-life colors, better dynamic range, and superior contrast, but the Galaxy S10+ still took fantastic shots.

Which photos did you prefer? ‌iPhone‌ XS Max or Galaxy S10+? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Samsung

Top Rated Comments

mdatwood Avatar
30 months ago
At this point all the flagship phone cameras are great. The differences are mostly subjective.

It's pretty amazing what all these cameras can do.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DNichter Avatar
30 months ago
Just proves how little difference there is in phone hardware today. The choice comes down to OS platform preference and most on this site have already made their choice. The constant back and forth on this site is a waste of energy. Enjoy what we all have in tech today and put more energy into your friends, family, and surroundings.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calzon65 Avatar
30 months ago
I tend to agree, the iPhone photos look better … but I'm still pissed we lost the fingerprint sensor.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
30 months ago
Photo A cut off part of the cup, while Photo B did not, though Photo A offered better blurring of background images. Most people actually preferred Photo A, but we think Photo B is the winner because it didn't cut off any of the cup.
Meanwhile, the undisputed champ of blurry imagery, my Nokia 8210, gets no comparison videos… :(



Attachment Image
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KGBguy Avatar
30 months ago
Good job Samsung! Your newest flagship phone has almost caught up to the last year iPhone. I’m so happy for them...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lankyman Avatar
30 months ago
What an utterly pointless exercise. They ask people what they think of the photos doing a blind test, but then disagreed with the results telling the readers of this piece what they preferred instead?????
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

macbook air orange

Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air

Monday June 21, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple is believed to be working on a completely new, high-end version of the MacBook Air, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, has repeatedly discussed the company's work on a high-end MacBook Air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and leaker Jon Prosser have also referred to a similar MacBook Air model. The high-end...
iOS 15 Users Underwhelmed Feature

Users Underwhelmed by iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Survey Suggests

Monday June 21, 2021 7:17 am PDT by
Users appear to be underwhelmed by Apple's upcoming iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates, according to the findings of a new survey by SellCell. The survey asked 3,000 iPhone and iPad users, evenly split between men and women, aged 18 or over in the United States, what they thought of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and the naming of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup. Over 50 percent of all of the survey's...
purple iphone 12 and 12 mini

iPhone 12 Mini Production Reportedly Ended Earlier Than Expected Due to Relatively Low Sales

Monday June 21, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Following widespread reports that the iPhone 12 mini has experienced poor sales performance, at least relative to other iPhone 12 models, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce today claimed that production of the device has already ended. According to TrendForce, the iPhone 12 mini "reached End-of-Life ahead of time" during the second quarter of 2021, suggesting that Apple will focus on selling ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Apple Updates Dark Sky Weather App With Apple Watch Improvements and More

Tuesday June 22, 2021 11:58 am PDT by
Apple today updated the Dark Sky weather app for the first time since November with improved VoiceOver support and other bug fixes and performance improvements. In addition, Dark Sky complications on the Apple Watch now update more frequently. The full release notes for Dark Sky version 6.8.6:• Improved VoiceOver support • Complications on Apple Watch update more frequently •...
iPhone 12 v Android 2020

Apple Executive Says Users Who Want App Sideloading Already Have That Option With Other Platforms

Wednesday June 23, 2021 5:07 am PDT by
Apple earlier today published a detailed report outlining in blatant terms the negative impact that sideloading would have on the iPhone and iPad, specifically calling out the impacts it would have on user privacy and security. Now, the company is continuing its PR push, with an executive noting in an interview that users who wish to sideload apps already have that option thanks to other...
iOS Spam Calendar Feature

iCloud Users Continue to Be Plagued by Calendar Spam

Monday June 21, 2021 8:51 am PDT by
Despite previous attempts to put the situation at rest, some iCloud users continue to experience spam calendar invitations, causing their calendars to be filled with random events. The situation received widespread coverage in 2016, where Apple said that it was "actively working to address this issue" by "identifying and blocking suspicious senders." Victims are targeted in various ways. The ...
primeday2020 feature3

Amazon Prime Day: The Best Apple Deals

Monday June 21, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Amazon's annual Prime Day event has officially kicked off today, beginning 48 hours of discounts, offers, and tons of savings across Amazon's storefront. This includes everything from home electronics to clothing, jewelry, video games, movies, and much more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
iphone 13 lineup dummy models

iPhone 13 Dummy Models Depict Repositioned Camera Modules

Wednesday June 23, 2021 4:12 am PDT by
New alleged dummy models of the upcoming iPhone 13, shared by leaker Sonny Dickson on Twitter, depict a modified camera layout on the standard iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, with two lenses in a diagonal arrangement rather than the vertical arrangement seen on the iPhone 12 models. The dummy models generally line up with iPhone 13 schematics previously seen by MacRumors, which showed that the ...
iphone 13 yellow

TrendForce: iPhone 13 Lineup Will Remain Limited to Maximum 512GB of Storage

Monday June 21, 2021 6:33 am PDT by
Apple will likely unveil its next-generation "iPhone 12s" or "iPhone 13" lineup in around two and a half months from now, and ahead of time, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce has outlined its expectations for the devices. A summary of TrendForce's expectations:Apple will unveil four new iPhones in September, including a mini model, a standard model, and two Pro models. September is the...