Samsung tries desperately to outdo the iPhone every year, but it doesn’t always work. Its bid to battle the iPhone X with the Galaxy S9 looks a little weak, with early benchmarks suggesting the South Korean company’s flagship is nowhere near as powerful.
That might explain why the Galaxy S9 can’t match Apple’s latest devices in 4K video recording.
The Galaxy S9 is one of the first smartphones to offer Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 chipset in the United States, while other countries get Samsung’s new Exynos 9810 processor. Both have eight processing cores, four of which are clocked at 2.8GHz or faster.
In comparison, Apple’s A11 Bionic chip has four cores, just two of which are high-performance cores clocked at 2.39GHz.
The Galaxy S9 can’t keep up
In theory, the Galaxy S9 should easily outperform the iPhone 8 and even the iPhone X. But according to the latest benchmark tests, it can’t even keep up with the aging iPhone 7, let alone its successors.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Benchmarks aren’t everything. That’s true, and real-world performance tends to look a little different. High-end Android devices that struggle to match the iPhone’s benchmark scores have been able to keep up in every day usage tests.
That’s not the case when it comes to video recording on the Galaxy S9, however. Samsung’s new device, which is being marketed for its stellar cameras, is capable of recording super-sharp 4K video at 60 frames-per-second — but only for a maximum of five minutes.
If you need to shoot for longer, you’ll have to reduce to framerate to 30 fps. This is a common restriction among most of the high-end Android handsets that offer this recording option.
iPhone can do better
The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are all capable of shooting 4K video at 60 fps for as long as you like. They’ll warn you that this format eats up your storage faster than anything else, but they will still let you do it.
Still, at least Samsung doesn’t restrict 4K recording at 30 fps to just five minutes like it has on previous Galaxy handsets. And at least its handsets won’t overheat when shooting 4K video (we’re assuming) like some of Sony’s smartphones do.
If you’re in the market for a new smartphone and you can’t decide between the Galaxy S9 and one of the latest iPhones, check out our in-depth comparison to see how they stack up.