Make a Smart Choice: Comparing Today’s Smartphones

Abdul Sayed, Reporter

Price Resolution Camera Storage Battery
iPhone XS Max $1099 – $1449 2688×1242 Front: 7-MP; Back: 2 12-MP 64GB – 512GB 3174 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 $1000 – $1250 2960×1440 Front: 8-MP; Back: 2 12-MP 128GB – 512GB 4000 mAh
Huawei Mate 20 Pro ~$1150 3,120×1,440 Front: 1 24-MP; Back: 1 40-MP, 1 22-MP, 1 8-MP 128GB 4200 mAh
Google Pixel 3 XL $899 – $999 2960×1440 Front: 2 8-MP; Back: 12.2 MP 64GB – 128GB 3430 mAh

Sources: GSMArena

Smartphone standards rose in 2018 as companies like Apple and Samsung enhanced their devices with new features for consumers to enjoy.

And with new features come higher price tags. It was only a little more than a decade ago that the first smartphone, the Apple iPhone, came out, with a starting price of $499. Now iPhones and many other smartphones push past $1000, raising the price ceiling for phones higher than ever.

All of this has left many of customers in the market for a new smartphone wondering which one is best for them.


iPhone XS Max

The iPhone XS Max is bigger and better than any Apple Smartphone yet.

The iPhone XS has upgraded its processor to what is arguably the best processor in the mobile market, the A12 Bionic chip. The upgrade allows the small computer to do what the user wants faster and more effortlessly than ever before.

But beyond the upgrade to the A12 Bionic Chip, the iPhone XS doesn’t differ much from its predecessor.

The XS Max uses the same display technology as the iPhone X, with the only difference being the iPhone XS Max’s bigger screen and a slight improvement in resolution.

The front and back cameras on the XS Max are also no different than on Apple’s last phone; the company has opted instead to improve the phone’s photography by installing newer software.

Despite the XS Max ’s lack of new and exciting features that highlighted the iPhone X’s release, the phone makes it up with software upgrades that build on the previous generation’s.

One issue that may turn Apple fans away from this device is its starting price of $1,099. However, with many rival companies adopting similar price tags, this may prove a minor disadvantage.  

Senior Jason Scerno, an avid Apple fan, said the price is worth paying if you’re in the market for a new iPhone.

“It’s a little pricey but probably worth it,” said Scerno.


Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the most powerful Android smartphone Samsung has produced yet.

The Note 9 boasts a maximum of 512 GB of storage and comes equipped with a battery life that can last a whole day. Moreover, its processing power rivals that of many home computers.

These capabilities make the Note 9 a viable candidate for not only everyday users but app developers as well, as the development of apps can be done without a big blow to the phone’s performance.

In addition, gamers may want to consider this device, as high-powered games like “Fortnite” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” can easily run on the Note 9 without a problem.

While the Note 9’s price may be too high for many at a whopping $1,249– a price that almost rivals the top version of Apple’s XS Max — the cost matches its power.

Junior Avinash Rao, a Samsung user and aspiring app developer, said the Note 9’s release and capabilities excite him a lot.

“As a developer, Android’s capabilities make me happy,” said Rao.


Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Carter Washburn, a senior who owns a Samsung phone, said “I don’t really care about phones. All I want is a phone that will last me the whole day.”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro fits this bill exactly. With a battery life that can last an entire day of heavy use with charge to spare, this Chinese phone is praised for going longer on a single charge than most flagship devices.  

With its strong battery life comes a unique feature: The Mate 20 Pro can wirelessly charge another phone simply by placing the two phones back to back.  

While its battery life is impressive, the phone’s most popular feature is its versatile cameras. The Mate 20 Pro uses an impressive three-camera set up in the back and boasts up to 40-megapixel resolution.

Huawei’s previous phone also had three cameras, but suffered from a less-than-stellar display. The Mate 20 Pro has upgraded the display so it can compete with others at the top of the market like Apple and Samsung.

Potential United States buyers will be disappointed, however; the phone is not available in the States through normal means. Huawei’s controversy with potential spying on western countries bars the United States from allowing complete public access. While the phone can still be bought on Amazon, users will have to do with no warranty.


Google Pixel 3 XL

After several leaks about the development of Google’s latest phone, the most highly anticipated Android phone of the year has finally arrived.

While it doesn’t hold up to the rest of its competitors in terms of power and hardware, its advanced software makes up for it.

Unlike its competitors, which boast two or three rear cameras to take better photos, the Pixel 3 XL  has only one rear camera.

The lack of multiple cameras doesn’t hinder it; in fact, the phone is praised for having the best camera in the market. Google’s sleek software make up for its shortcomings in hardware, allowing the phone to still deliver beautiful images.

The new phone also integrates the newest version of Android, Android 9.0 Pie, into its design, something that other Android competitors have failed to do.

This focus on software doesn’t only allow it to overcome its shortcomings in hardware, but it also reduces the price. The phone’s starting price makes it the cheapest of the devices on this list.