Which One Should You Buy?
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max are two of the most hyped flagship phones of recent times. Both devices pack the most bleeding-edge tech, from powerful processors to high-res cameras, and everything in between.
If you’re struggling to decide which one to buy—the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 13 Pro Max, this comparison will help you get a better idea of which device is the right pick for you.
Dimensions and Build Quality
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm; 228g; IP68 dust and water-resistant
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm; 240 grams; IP68 dust and water-resistant
Both devices have a strong build, feel premium, and come with an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. While the iPhone 13 Pro Max uses a stainless steel frame, the Galaxy S22 Ultra uses an aluminum frame.
You might find the iPhone 13 Pro Max more comfortable to hold in hand due to its rounded edges compared to the S22 Ultra with its squared edges. The former is still lugging its Lightning connector while the latter has a USB-C 3.2 port. Both devices are 5G-enabled.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: 108MP f/1.8 primary, OIS and PDAF; 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (120-degree FoV); 10MP f/2.4 3x optical zoom sensor with OIS; 10MP f/4.9 10x optical zoom with OIS; 100x digital zoom; Front: 40MP f/2.2, PDAF
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: 12MP f/1.5 primary, dual-pixel PDAF, sensor-shift stabilization; 12MP f/2.8 telephoto lens, 3x digital zoom, OIS; 12MP ultrawide camera with f/1.8 aperture (120-degree FoV), macro photography; Front: 12MP f/2.2 camera
The Galaxy S22 Ultra camera is fun to use with its loads of filters, and it shoots bright, colorful, and sharp photos at the cost of looking a bit too processed sometimes. The improved edge detection makes portrait shots much cleaner.
The larger pixel size also takes in more image data for better low-light photography. It’s also unbeatable in terms of zoom shots, astrophotography, and stabilization.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is reliable, consistent, and has a better chance of giving you usable results without having to take multiple shots of the same scene. It’s also clearly the better choice for taking videos, on both the rear and the front. It tilts to a more natural look with warmer tones at the cost of seeming a bit boring at times and requiring further editing.
If you’re willing to ignore occasional misfires, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has the better overall camera system. But if you need assurance that whatever you capture will be good (if not excellent), the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a better choice.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200; 4nm fab; Adreno 730/AMD Xclipse 920
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: A15 Bionic; 5nm fab; new 16-core Neural engine; 5-core GPU
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is significantly more powerful than its predecessor with its new 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200 chipsets (different countries get different processors). However, it doesn’t overpower Apple’s older 5nm A15 Bionic chip.
Both devices are excellent choices for heavy gaming; the S22 Ultra has the Qualcomm Adreno 730/AMD Xclipse 920 GPU while the iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with its 5-core GPU. The former has more raw power than last time, but the latter still takes the cake with its better efficiency and RAM management.
The two devices show inconsistent results on benchmarks but in real-world use, they’re strikingly comparable; you can’t go wrong with any of the two. That said, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is still the more reliable option due to its sustained performance and better heat management.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x; 1440 x 3080 resolution; 500 PPI; 1750 nits peak brightness; 120Hz dynamic refresh rate with LTPO 2.0; HDR10+; Gorilla Glass Victus+; Always-on Display
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display; 2778 x 1284 resolution; 458 PPI; 1200 nits peak brightness; HDR 10; Ceramic Shield protection; 120Hz ProMotion; True Tone display
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has the brightest display on any smartphone yet, clocking a peak brightness level of 1750 nits making it unbeatable for outdoor use. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, although plenty bright, is limited to 1200 nits. Media consumption suffers less intrusion on the former thanks to its punch-hole front camera design compared to the latter’s notch.
Both devices feature a QHD OLED panel with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate. The iPhone 13 Pro Max can dial down its refresh rate from 120Hz to 10Hz when you’re looking at something static, but the S22 Ultra can drop it all the way to 1Hz with its superior LTPO 2.0 display.
RAM and Storage
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: 8/12GB RAM; 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB storage
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: 6GB RAM; 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB storage
The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with 8GB RAM on the base variant and can go all the way up to 12GB whereas the iPhone 13 Pro Max is capped at 6GB RAM. However, despite this on-paper difference, the multitasking capability on the two devices is similar.
If you’re comparing the iPhone 13 Pro Max with the base model of the S22 Ultra with 8GB RAM, then the former pulls slightly ahead given the software’s better RAM management. In other words, the iPhone can do more with less. However, if you compare it with the 12GB RAM variant of the S22 Ultra, then the latter wins by a small but noticeable margin.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: 5000mAh battery; 45W fast wired charging; 15W wireless charging; 4.5W reverse wireless charging
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: 4352mAh battery; 15W MagSafe wireless charging support; 7.5W with Qi wireless chargers; 50% charge in 35 minutes with 20W wired adapter
Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max deliver a respectable battery life with the former rocking a 5000mAh cell while the latter has a smaller 4352mAh cell. However, battery tests show that the latter still easily outperforms the former given its incredibly efficient chip that consumes less power in day-to-day tasks.
If you’re a casual user, you could expect the iPhone 13 Pro Max to last you two full days of use.
That said, the Galaxy S22 Ultra charges faster thanks to its 45W fast wired charging support while the iPhone 13 Pro Max is capped at an unofficial 27W charging support. Also, the latter only supports reverse wireless charging for Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack but can’t charge AirPods or Apple Watch. The S22 Ultra can charge Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy Watch.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: starts from $1,199
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: starts from $1,099
The Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1,199 for the base variant and goes up to $1,599 if you want the maxed-out variant with 12GB RAM and 1TB storage. The iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at $1,099 for the base variant and goes up to $1,599 as well for the 1TB storage variant. Both Samsung and Apple provide a trade-in offer so you can get your new device for cheaper.
Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max
Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max are two of the most powerful devices you can buy. From the look and feel to the real-world performance, there’s a lot to consider before making the decision.
If you’re someone who is already locked into the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a no-brainer. However, if you’re looking to get out of it, the S22 Ultra is a good place to start, especially since Samsung now offers four years of major Android updates. No matter which device you pick, you can’t go wrong with either of them.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is packed with amazing features. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right device for you. Here’s why you might decide not to buy it.
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