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Galaxy S20 vs iPhone Xs (2021): Which Smartphone Is Better For You?

Updated 24 March 2020: Samsung’s new flagship smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S20 5G, S20+, and S20 Ultra, boasts game-changing camera and technology. The entry-level Galaxy S20 5G is the smallest and most affordable of the three, but still significantly more expensive than older best-selling iPhone models like the Apple iPhone Xs. Is it worth upgrading to the new Galaxy S20 5G are you better off keeping/getting the highly-rated, but more pocket-friendly iPhone Xs? This detailed comparison will help you decide.

Samsung Galaxy S10 plus unboxing 20...
Samsung Galaxy S10 plus unboxing 2022

Galaxy S20 5G vs iPhone Xs Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy S20 5GApple iPhone Xs
 Samsung Galaxy S20 5G - Cosmic GrayApple iphone xs
PriceCheck Price

at Verizon

Check Price

at Verizon

Display120 Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display60 Hz Super Retina HD OLED Display
Screen Size6.2″5.8”
Resolution3200 x 1440 pixels2436 x 1125 pixels
Pixel Density563 ppi458 PPI
Dimensions151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm
Weight163 g177 grams
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 865A12 Bionic chip with
Neural Engine
Storage128GB, 256GB64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Expandable StorageUp to 1TB microSDNo
Rear Cameras64MP Telephoto, 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultra-WideDual 12MP Wide and Telephoto cameras
ZoomUp to 3X Optical Zoom and 30X Digital ZoomUp to 10x Digital Zoom
Front Cameras10MP12MP Smart HDR
VideoRear: up to 8K 30 fps
Front: up to 4K 60 fps
Rear: Up to 4K at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
Front: Up to 1080p HD at 30 fps or 60 fps
Face IDYesYes
Battery LifeVaries depending on settingsVideo Playback: Up to 14 hours
Audio Playback: Up to 60 hours
Wireless ChargingCompatibleCompatible
Water ResistanceIP68IP68 
Android VersionAndroid 10.0 with One UI 2.0N/A
ColorsCosmic Grey
Cloud Blue
Cloud Pink
Space Gray


The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G has a slightly larger display than the iPhone Xs

Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 5G in Cloud Pink (left) and the iPhone Xs (right) in Gold

With a 6.2-inch display size, the Galaxy S20 has the smallest screen size among the S20 series unveiled by Samsung. However, it is still slightly bigger than the 5.8-inch display of the iPhone Xs. At 152 by 68 by 7.9 mm, the S20’s dimensions are also a tad bigger than the iPhone Xs that measures 143.6 by 70.9 by 7.7 mm. With that said, both look sleek and feel premium, but the iPhone Xs‘s matte finish gives its look a slight edge over the Galaxy S20.

The Galaxy S20 sports a glass back design just like the iPhone Xs. However, the S20 comes with an aluminum frame whereas the iPhone Xs is made of stainless steel. Also, they both feature an all-screen design with physical control buttons housed on the side of the device. To keep a slimmer frame, both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone Xs got rid of the traditional audio jack.

On the back of both handsets are their rear cameras located at the upper left corner, with the S20 sporting one more than the iPhone Xs‘s dual camera. As for their colors, the iPhone Xs is available in silver, space gray, and gold while the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S20 is expected to come in lighter colors: cloud blue, cloud pink, and cosmic gray.


The Samsung Galaxy S20 has a much better panel with its higher resolution, pixel density, and refresh rate than the Apple iPhone Xs.

The Galaxy S20 comes with 563 PPI while the iPhone Xs has 458 PPI

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S20 is equipped with an impressive 120 Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display, a major upgrade from the 60 Hz Super Retina HD OLED Display of the iPhone Xs. Although the ‘Infinity-O Dynamic’ and ‘Super Retina’ are terms coined by Samsung and Apple, respectively, it is worth noting that the AMOLED in the Galaxy S20 is generally better than the OLED found int he iPhone Xs.

While Apple devices consistently have highly responsive and smooth panels, 60 Hz refresh rate simply can’t match the smoothness provided by a 120 Hz refresh rate on the Galaxy S20. You will feel their difference in speed when you turn on the 120Hz setting on the S20. Still, the million-to-one contrast ratio offered by the iPhone Xs still makes it a great device for watching videos and playing graphics-intensive games.


The Galaxy S20 supports 5G and is remarkably more powerful than the iPhone Xs

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
Top network providers have started rolling out 5G networks that are expected to be a hundred times faster than 4G

In 2018, Apple unveiled the iPhone Xs equipped with its bespoke A12 Bionic chip and 2nd gen Neural Engine. Processors have seen significant upgrades since. Samsung’s Galaxy S20 runs on Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful processor, the Snapdragon 865.

The Galaxy S20 pairs its powerful processor with a 12GB RAM, another factor that tops the iPhone Xs‘s 4GB RAM. Their difference in loading times will be noticeable when you play graphics-intensive games that take a while to load. Even when opening everyday apps like Facebook or Instagram, the S20 works loads applications much faster than the iPhone Xs.

As Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 supports 5G connectivity, the Galaxy S20 and the rest of the S20 handsets have 5G capabilities as well. Many US carriers have started rolling out their 5G networks which boasts HyperFast uploads to avoid latency and delays when video streaming or gaming. Apple aficionados will have to wait and see whether the Cupertino-based tech giant will roll out 5G capable iPhones in 2020 as none of the current iPhone devices support 5G.


The Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with three high-resolution rear cameras while the Apple iPhone Xs only has two.

Selfie lovers will appreciate the 12MP front camera of the iPhone Xs

Samsung kicks it up a notch with the Galaxy S20 64MP telephoto, 12MP wide, and 12MP ultra-wide rear cameras that can record up to 8K videos at 24 fps. The iPhone Xs only comes with 12MP wide and telephoto cameras that can capture up to 4K videos at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps. While the iPhone Xs cameras are capable of up 10x digital zoom, the Galaxy S20 boasts up to 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom.

The Galaxy S20’s camera and video quality win by a mile if compared against the iPhone Xs. It is worth mentioning though that even though the Galaxy S20’s 8K video resolution sounds impressive on paper, the actual videos captured will look shaky as it can only shoot at 24 frames per second. You need to mount it on a tripod or a gimbal for a smoother, more stable video.

Their front cameras are impressive as well. The Galaxy S20 comes with a 10MP front camera that can record 4K videos at 60 fps. In contrast, the iPhone Xs is equipped with a 12MP front camera that can record up to 1080p HD videos at either 30 fps or 60 fps.

Battery and Additional Features

Both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone Xs are dust and water-resistant, but the Galaxy S20 has much better battery life and features

Both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone Xs (in photo) have an IP68 rating

Samsung pairs its powerful processor with a 4000mAh battery so you can keep snapping photos or watching videos for much longer hours using the Galaxy S20. The iPhone Xs is equipped with a 2,658mAh which translates to up to 14 hours of video playback and 60 hours of audio playback. Even when you use the Galaxy S20’s 120 Hz refresh rate, it still has longer battery life than the iPhone Xs.

Another win for the Galaxy S20 is its wireless reverse power share feature. This lets you share battery life with another compatible Samsung smartphone. The iPhone Xs doesn’t have this feature, but both the S20 and iPhone Xs can be charged wirelessly if you have a wireless charger.

The absence of the headphone jack in these smartphones paved the way not just for thinner frames, but for waterproof handsets as well. Both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone Xs have an IP rating of 68, which means they can survive rain, splashes, and dust. However, they can withstand different depth levels. The iPhone Xs can withstand being submerged up to a depth of two meters while the Galaxy S20 is water-resistant for up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for 30 minutes. Both smartphones are not recommended for aquatic sports or being submerged salt water or the pool.

Those who store photos and videos on their phones and not on the cloud will benefit from the expandable storage that the Galaxy S20 offers. Its 128GB internal storage can be expanded for up to 1TB through its microSD slot. In contrast, Apple’s iPhone Xs, just like all the other iPhone devices, does not have a slot for external storage. The iPhone Xs is available in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options.


The Galaxy S20’s top-notch features make it worth the price, but the iPhone Xs is still a reliable smartphone if you want to save

A Galaxy S20 5G will set you back around 999 USD, although you will see them go on sale for up to 200 USD off (as it is at the time of writing). Undoubtedly, the newer Galaxy S20 5G is more powerful and has better camera features than the iPhone Xs. The S20’s hefty price tag is justified with its impressive cameras, stunning graphics and panel, faster processor, 5G connectivity, better battery life, and the option for expandable storage.

Meanwhile, if you own the iPhone Xs and are thinking of switching to the Galaxy S20 5G, doing so will give you your money’s worth, especially if you get one on sale. With that said, the iPhone Xs is still a solid smartphone of choice if you’re looking for something more affordable.


📌 Which has the better display, the Samsung Galaxy S20 or iPhone Xs?

The Samsung Galaxy S20 has the better screen with its 6.2-inch Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (3200 x 1440, 563 ppi) and 120 Hz refresh rate. For the record, the iPhone Xs has a 5.8-inch Super Retina HD OLED display (2436 x 1125, 458 ppi) with a 60 Hz refresh rate.

📌 Does the Samsung Galaxy S20 or iPhone Xs have 5G?

No, the iPhone Xs doesn’t support 5G, while the Samsung Galaxy S20 has a 5G variant.

📌 Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 worth it?

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is worth buying because of its high-resolution display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, 5G connectivity (for the 5G variant), and huge battery pack.

📌 Is the iPhone Xs worth it?

It depends because most people might be better off with the cheaper iPhone XR. However, if the gigabit-class LTE and dual cameras are important to you, then the iPhone Xs is a good pick.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.