Galaxy Note 9 Benchmarked: iPhone X Is Still Faster

With its Snapdragon 845 processor, we didn't think the $999 Galaxy Note 9 was going to break any speed records, but it is paired with a robust 6GB of RAM. And you can get a Note 9 with 8GB of RAM if you really want top performance — and you're willing to shell out $1,249.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We tested the 6GB model of the Note 9 with 128GB of storage, and we've run a handful of benchmarks so far with more to come. Spoiler alert: the iPhone X is still faster.

Geekbench 4

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Geekbench 4 Multicore Score
Galaxy Note 98,876
iPhone X10,357
OnePlus 69,088
Galaxy S9+8,295
Pixel 2 XL6,282
LG G7 ThinQ8,566
Galaxy Note 86,564

Geekbench 4 measures overall performance, and the Note 9 delivers solid performance in the benchmark's multi-core test. The Note 9 notched 8,876, which is considerably better than last year's Note 8. It also smokes the Pixel 2 XL, but that phone was running an older Snapdragon 835 chip, just like the Note 8.

Among current Android flagships, the OnePlus 6 scored a higher 9.088. However, that phone was packing 8GB of RAM, and you can get the Galaxy Note 8 with the same amount. Too bad you have to pay a whopping $1,249 for the privilege. The 8GB model of the OnePlus costs only $579, though you get 128GB of storage. The 8GB Note 9 comes with a crazy 512GB of storage built in.

The cream of the crop remains the iPhone X, which scored 10,357 with its A11 Bionic processor. And with an A12-powered iPhone X and iPhone X Plus on the horizon, Apple will likely widen its lead.

MORE: Galaxy Note 9 Full Specs and Pricing: Here's What You Get

3DMark Slingshot Extreme 3.1

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Row 0 - Cell 0 3D Mark Slingshot Extreme 3.1 Score
Galaxy Note 94,639
iPhone X4,994
OnePlus 65,124
Galaxy S9+4,634
Pixel 2 XL3,679
LG G7 ThinQ4,201
Galaxy Note 83,710

Slingshot Extreme is the most demanding graphics test in 3DMark's mobile arsenal, and the Note 9 fared pretty well, but it's outperformed by both the iPhone X and OnePlus 6.

The Galaxy Note 9 scored 4,639, which is slightly better than the Galaxy S9+ (4,634) and ahead of the LG G7 (4,201). However, the OnePlus 6 with 8GB of RAM smoked the Note 9 with a score of 5,124; the iPhone X (4,994) also fared better.

Display Brightness (nits)

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Brightness (in nits)
Galaxy Note 9604
iPhone X574
OnePlus 6574
Galaxy S9+630
Pixel 2 XL438
LG G7 ThinQ900
Galaxy Note 8408

The Note 9 sports a big and gorgeous 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with quad HD resolution, and it gets plenty bright. Using our light meter, we registered 604 nits of brightness. That's brighter than the OnePlus and iPhone X, which both hit 574 nits, and miles better than the Pixel 2 XL's lowly 438 nits. But the Galaxy S9+ turned in an even higher score of 630 nits.

The brightest of the bunch is LG's G7 ThinQ, which registered an eye-popping 900 nits.

MORE: Galaxy Note 9 vs. Galaxy Note 8: What's New?

Display Color Gamut

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Row 0 - Cell 0 sRGB Color Gamut (percentage)
Galaxy Note 9224 percent
iPhone X128.6 percent
OnePlus 6240.3 percent
Galaxy S9+231 percent
Pixel 2 XL130 percent
LG G7 ThinQ138.8 percent
Galaxy Note 8204.8 percent

This is one colorful display. The Note 9's AMOLED panel registered an impressive 224 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is miles better than the iPhone X's 128.6 percent. It also leaves LCD phones like the LG G7 (138.8 percent) in the dust.

However, the OnePlus 6 squeaked out a victory here by hitting 240.3 percent.

Bottom Line

We'll be running more tests to see just how well the Note 9 performs in the real world. This will include our video editing test and other tests designed to put the phone's new water cooling to the test. But, for now, the iPhone X remains in the lead in terms of sheer speed. And Apple will likely widen the speed gap with its expected trio of A12-powered new iPhones coming next month.

Credit: Tom's Guide

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.