Unveiled at a dedicated conference last February, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is finally here! It has many arguments in its favor (its resolutely premium design, its sumptuous Super AMOLED panel, its high performance, or its triple versatile photo sensor), but in front, the competition is ruthless. The Xiaomi Mi 9 comes on the market with almost the same features, while being 400 euros cheaper. Is the flagship of the Korean manufacturer's shoulders wide enough to justify its price difference?
The budget is a primary criterion in the decision to buy a smartphone, for which it can be difficult to compare two phones with such a difference in price. On the other hand, one can ask several things: what were the concessions of Xiaomi Mi 9 to arrive at this tariff? Is the price difference justified for the Samsung Galaxy S10? This is what we will see at the end of this versus.
Should we fall for the Samsung Galaxy S10? Or save money with the Xiaomi Mi 9? Design, performance, photo, autonomy … Discover our detailed comparison between the two smartphones!
Samsung Galaxy S10
Xiaomi Mi 9
Samsung One UI
3040 x 1440 pixels
2340 x 1080 pixels
Exynos 9820 at 2.7GHz
Snapdragon 855 at 2.84GHz
Graphics Chip (GPU)
Internal memory (flash)
128 GB, 512 GB
64 GB, 128 GB
Dual 12 Megapixel sensor
1:48 megapixel sensor, 2 megapixel sensor
5.0 + ADP + aptX + LE
5.0 + A2DP + LE
LTE, HSPA, GSM
LTE, HSPA, GSM
2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
2x nano SIM
2x nano SIM
Ports (Inputs / Outputs)
149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm
157.5 x 74.7 x 7.6 mm
Pink, Yellow, White, Blue, Black, Green
Blue, Black, Purple
Design: the bubble is in his camp
With its curved-edge screen and small bubble at the top right of the device, the Samsung Galaxy S10 has a unique design. Its thin (but uneven) edges allow its slab to occupy 94% of the front surface and it must be said that it is a feast for the eyes. It seduces especially by its rather compact format (149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm) which holds well in hand, where the thumb will not have great difficulties to reach elements at the top of the screen. On the back of the phone, there is a window of the most beautiful effect and the triple sensor camera positioned horizontally. Nevertheless, be aware that the glass surface is scratched very quickly, so remember to protect it. If the fingerprint sensor can no longer be positioned incorrectly (now that it is under the screen), the Bixby button is unfortunately still there to annoy us, just below the volume button. The good point: it can finally be reconfigured.
For its part, Xiaomi is not extravagant with its Mi 9. Its design is not as premium as its competitor, but it still has its small effect. Although it may seem trivial at first sight, with its borderless screen with rather pronounced borders and notch in the form of droplet, it is by turning the phone that the side "wow" operates. He too is entitled to a beautiful glass surface with beautiful reflections, its triple sensor module, here positioned vertically on the left side, and its fingerprint sensor under the screen (although it is optical and not to ultrasound). Finally, there is also an additional button to use a personal assistant, which is set by default with Google Assistant.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 offers a well-crafted design, with minimized borders, while bringing originality. If that of Mi 9 is not bad in itself, we can nevertheless say that the Chinese manufacturer builds on its achievements with its new flagship.
Screen: Samsung is unbeatable
The Galaxy S10 is equipped with a 6.1-inch Super AMOLED panel with a Quad HD + 3040 x 1440 pixel resolution. The screen is very good, difficult to criticize Samsung on this topic (the hole in the screen does not interfere at all with the use). The colors are vivid, the contrasts are excellent and its maximum brightness is perfect to consult the smartphone in any situation, even in direct sunlight. In short, the Korean manufacturer puts once again the bar very high.
As for the Xiaomi Mi 9, it includes a 6.39-inch AMOLED panel with a full HD + definition of 2340 x 1080 pixels. However, you should know that the screen is manufactured by Samsung, so very good quality. It offers good contrast, good brightness, and a good color display, but the Korean manufacturer is far from having sold the best of its screens. If we can congratulate the Mi 9 for compatibility with the HDR10 standard, we can only applaud the Galaxy S10 supporting the HDR10 +.
Yes, Samsung has the best screens for its new flags, and he is right. However, it should be noted that the AMOLED slab Mi 9 is very good, which reinforces the value for money of the Chinese manufacturer.
Software: One UI, intuitive and ergonomic
Released a few days ago, the Samsung Galaxy S10 runs Android 9.0 Pie with the new UI 1.1 interface. Initiated by the Galaxy Note 9 (and then by the two previous generations), this interface is pleasant to use daily, with particular attention to the ergonomics of the experience. It is intuitive and easily accessible in the majority of cases. However, there are some small differences with the version of the S10, which includes a new feature well-being in the phone options, Bixby routines, or many sound settings (compatible Dolby Atmos). In addition, we appreciate its dark theme applicable to the entire interface.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 also offers Android 9.0 Pie, but with MIUI 10.2, an interface inspired in part by iOS. While this may represent a good transition for (former) iPhone owners, it is primarily a complete interface with many customization choices, even for Android users. If we regret the absence of the application drawer, we appreciate the effort of Xiaomi to have added the Widevine L1 certification to play streaming content in HD on Netflix or MyCanal, for example (unlike the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3) .
If the interface is primarily a matter of taste, it is still necessary to highlight the big efforts of Samsung with its new interface UI U to provide a complete, ergonomic and intuitive experience in everyday life.
Performance: the only current representative of Snapdragon 855
In France, the entire S10 family is equipped with the new Samsung SoC: the Exynos 9820. If the power is greater than the 9810 (present on the S9 / S9 + and Note 9), it is still disappointing when compared to the Snapdragon 855 However, this does not mean that this configuration will not satisfy all current uses. The user experience is flowing smoothly and games like Arena of Valor and Fortnite are running at 60 fps. However, it should be noted that it has easy heating, and it is a shame.
For its part, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is the luxury to be the first smartphone to integrate the Snapdragon 855. As you can see, this chip simply offers the best performance on the market, far ahead of the Samsung Exynos. It is a configuration that is far from disappointing in everyday life: ultra-powerful, it offers the highest graphics in play, and does not overheat.
Samsung Galaxy S10Xiaomi Mi 9
SoCExynos 9820Snapdragon 855
AnTuTu 7.x316 966370 355
In part better than the Kirin 980, the Exynos 9820 does not come to the ankle of the new chip from Qualcomm. If performance is at the rendezvous, we expected all the same that Samsung is almost equal game on this ground.
Photo: the versatility of the S10
With the Galaxy S10, Samsung has also put in the fashion of the triple sensor. This module includes a 12-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel x2 zoom, and a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera. Very versatile, this configuration can adapt to all situations, thanks to its main sensor excellent in all conditions (indoor, outdoor, low light, against the light, on a moving target, etc.). The only downside comes from the ultra-wide angle sensor during night shots, although it is very convenient to use despite slight distortions.
It is also capable of shooting in 4K up to 60 fps, in Full HD with really impressive stabilization, as well as in slow motion and super slow motion for a limited time.
Like his opponent, Xiaomi opts for a triple photo sensor, nevertheless with a slightly different composition. We find a first camera of 48 megapixels, a telephoto lens of 12 megapixels and ultra wide angle camera of 16 megapixels. The options are not as nuanced as with the S10, but this Mi 9 still offers a wide range of tools (macro mode, ultra wide-angle mode, a lossless x2 zoom, etc.). For this price range, he takes pictures of very good qualities in the vast majority of cases, even if we regret the noise too much in low light.
On the video side, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is capable of shooting in 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 30 fps or in slow motion at 960 fps.
Even if it is not the best camera on the market (this place always returning to Pixel 3), the triple sensor module Galaxy S10 is more powerful, but especially more versatile than its opponent. With that of the Mi 9, we get value for money, but we can not expect it to reach the quality of a premium smartphone.
Battery: a better managed autonomy for Xiaomi
Autonomy has always been a problem at Samsung and it is not the Galaxy S10 that will derogate the rule. Its 3400 mAh allow it to hold the day, but that's all, or less if you abused Fortnite Mobile at lunch break. This endurance problem is not found with the S10 Plus iteration, but we would have appreciated that a smartphone of this size does not require constantly to walk with an external battery. Or, we just have to moderate knowing that we are entitled to about 4:30 screen use. The S10 is also compatible with fast charging, wireless charging and wireless reverse, but the latter is not really relevant given the small autonomy of the Korean flagship.
With 100 mAh less than the Galaxy S10's battery, the Xiaomi flagship is doing well with the honors. The magic trick is achieved thanks to a technical sheet less greedy than his opponent, which allows him to easily hold from morning to evening without too much fade, even with intensive use of social networks. Its fast charge is also more efficient than Samsung. Its battery of 3300 mAh recharges completely in about 1 hour while that of the S10 is recharged in more than 1 hour and 20 minutes. The same goes for its wireless charging system of up to 20 W.
The Mi 9 and S10 are far from being marathoners, so it is not on this criterion that the scale will lean. Anyway, the Mi 9 is still above, even if both smartphones will struggle to hold the next day without being plugged into an electrical outlet.
Conclusion: which is the best smartphone?
If we just ask the question which is the best smartphone, the Galaxy S10 obviously wins hands down. It is placed in front of the Mi 9 in the majority of categories (design, screen, software and camera), but it is unfortunately not enough to completely forget the smartphone of the Chinese manufacturer. With such a difference in price, we would have liked the Korean flagship to beat its Chinese opponent flat out, and in all areas. However, the flagship Xiaomi manages to offer much better performance, with greater autonomy, while getting as close as possible to the S10's premium features (especially with the screen and the triple sensor).
If after this comparison, you still hesitate, go take a look at our complete tests:
Price and availability
The Xiaomi Mi 9 is displayed at 499 euros for the 6/64 GB version and at 529 euros for the 6/128 GB model
Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S10 at the best price?
As for the Samsung Galaxy S10, it is available at 909 euros for the 8/128 GB model and at 1 159 euros for the 8/512 GB version.
Where to buy the Xiaomi Mi 9 at the best price?