iPhone XS vs Galaxy Note9 Low Light Camera Performance!

iPhone XS vs Galaxy Note9 – Which Is Better In Low Light?

iPhone XS vs Galaxy Note9 - Low Light Photo Shootout + Verdict


iPhone XS vs Galaxy Note9 – Low Light Photo Shootout

Let’s start with a dimly-lit shot. Here we have four toys with some indirect lighting.

Dimly-Lit Scene

When you try to take a poorly-lit scene, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | UKShopee | Lazada) automatically switches to the wide f/1.5 aperture. The depth-of-field was much shallower, so you need to be careful about framing the shot, or focusing on the subject, or it will be out-of-focus.

But look at how well the colours turn out. Even in the low light, the colours appear vivid, especially the red lightsaber and Mario’s red shirt. You can also make out that his jeans is blue in colour.

The photo taken by the Apple iPhone XS (US | UKShopee | Lazada) was darker, so the colours are noticeably muted. And Mario’s jeans now appears to be black, instead of blue. Its f/1.8 aperture is definitely no match for the Galaxy Note9’s wider f/1.5 aperture.

Extremely Low Light

We turned off the background light, and it’s almost completely dark. Yet, we can make out all four toys, including Darth Minion, using the Samsung Galaxy Note9.

Unfortunately, it was so dark with the iPhone XS, we can barely frame the shot. You can just about see a little of the baby leopard’s head, but that’s about it.

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Bright Night Scenes

These two photo comparisons will look at street scenes that are lit up by street lights.

In both cases, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | UKShopee | Lazada) delivered brighter and more realistically-lit photos than the iPhone XS (US | UKShopee | Lazada).


iPhone XS vs Galaxy Note9 – Our Verdict

When we first posted our Galaxy Note9 vs iPhone X comparison, some iPhone fans criticised us for not using the newer iPhone XS. Never mind the fact that they were not available when we did the test. Never mind the fact that both the iPhone X and iPhone XS have the same camera hardware.

To be fair to these Apple fans, the iPhone XS (US | UKShopee | Lazada) introduces some new software improvements. Squeezing a little extra out of old hardware is something Apple engineers are very good at.

But no matter how clever they are, they just cannot beat the superior optics and sensor in the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | UKShopee | Lazada), and by extension, the Samsung Galaxy S9+. In every test, the Samsung smartphone was superior in low light conditions.

Not only does the Galaxy Note9 have a larger and brighter f/1.5 aperture, its image sensor has 32% larger pixels – 1.4 microns vs. 1.22 microns. They both allow for significantly better low-light camera performance, whether you are taking photos or recording videos.

Whatever Apple may put on the billboards, the Galaxy Note9 and Galaxy S9+ has superior photography and videography performance. This is yet another reason why we gave it our Editor’s Choice Award!


Where To Buy The Samsung Galaxy Note9?


  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB) : RM 3,299 (Lazada | Shopee)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB) : RM 4,199 (Lazada | Shopee)

United States

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, International Unlocked) : $732
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, US Unlocked) : $899.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, International Unlocked) : $992.49
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, US Unlocked) : $1,149.99

United Kingdom

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB) : £661
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB) : £929.99


Where To Buy The Apple iPhone XS?


United States

United Kingdom


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