iPhone 13 pro max vs Samsung s22 ultra – Is S22 ultra better than 13 PRO Max? Samsung’s latest alpha dog phone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, is out. While we’re comparing this beast phone to every major Android flagship, the first comparison to make is Apple’s flagship offering, the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Because as much as Google, Xiaomi, OPPO, and others have made great phones, the reality is that for much of the world it’s still Apple or Samsung when it comes time to pick a new phone.
The good news is that Apple and Samsung are fully aware that other brands can make premium flagships too, so they’ve stepped up their game in recent years. No more outdated camera sensors, no more mediocre battery capacity compared to Chinese flagships. Apple and Samsung threw everything but the sink on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. See how they compare after in-depth testing.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max: Specifications
|Specifications||Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra||Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Build||Aluminum mid-frame Gorilla Glass Victus back Gorilla Glass Victus front||Stainless steel mid-frame Glass back Ceramic Shield glass front|
|Dimensions & Weight||163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm 229 grams||160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.65mm 240g|
|Display||6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X curved display Variable refresh rate up between 1Hz to 120Hz||6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED ProMotion refresh rate between 10Hz and 120Hz|
|SoC||International: Exynos 2200 US, China, India, among others: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||Apple A15 Bionic|
|RAM & Storage||8GB/12GB RAM 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB||6GB 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB|
|Battery & Charging||5,000mAh 45W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging 15W wireless charging 4.5 reverse wireless charging No charger in box in most regions||4,373mAh 20W wired fast charging 7.5W wireless charging 15W MagSafe wireless charging No charger in box in most regions|
|Security||Ultrasonic in-Display fingerprint scanner||Face ID|
|Rear Camera(s)||Primary: 108MP wide, f/1.8, 1/1.33″, OIS, Laser AF Secondary: 12MP ultra-wide, f/2.2 Tertiary: 10MP telephoto, 3x optical zoom, f/2.4 Quarternary: 10MP, Periscope, 10x optical zoom, f/4.9||Primary: 12MP wide, f/1.5 aperture, 1.9μm Secondary: 12MP ultra-wide, f/1.8 aperture Tertiary: 12MP telephoto, 3x optical zoom, f/2.8 Quarternary: LIDAR camera|
|Audio||Stereo speakers||Stereo speakers|
|Connectivity||5G (mmWave) Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO Bluetooth 5.2 NFC||5G (sub-6 GHz and mmWave) Gigabit LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO Bluetooth 5.0|
|Software||One UI 4.1 over Android 12||iOS 15|
|Other Features||Single physical SIM in Korea and US; dual physical SIM in most other regions S Pen included||Dual physical SIM or Dual eSIM support|
iPhone 13 Pro Max Vs Samsung S22 Ultra: Hardware
Both phones are huge, which means great things like immersive screens and big batteries, but also bad things like an uncomfortable hand feeling.
Beautiful and clear display panels on both phones
Apple’s A15 Bionic is more powerful than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 if you want to get really technical
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra Design
Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max are unashamedly large slabs of glass and metal that will feel a little heavy for most people. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is slightly larger and thicker, but the iPhone 13 Pro Max is heavier and a hair wider, making them largely balanced in mass.
However, both devices make design decisions that I’m not a fan of. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has the usually rounded edges that anyone who has used Android flagships will be used to, but the corners are sharp; the iPhone 13 Pro Max has rounded corners, but the stainless steel sides of the phone are flat with hard corners.
Either way, every phone plays in the palm of my hand in ways that almost every other recent release doesn’t. Using a cover will probably solve this problem a bit as it smoothes out the hard corners/sides a bit. Still, these are big, wide phones that most people have a hard time using with one hand without constantly adjusting their grip.
I didn’t drop any of the devices and I don’t want to. But I think the iPhone 13 Pro Max should have a better chance of surviving drops because the bezel is stainless steel and is wide on all four sides, while the bezel of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is aluminum and very narrow. is on the left and right because of the curvature of the glass.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max are unashamed sheets of glass and metal that will feel a little heavy for most people.
Loud stereo speakers and IP68 water and dust resistance can be found on every device, as well as the usual fare like wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. The Galaxy S22 Ultra uses the latest Bluetooth connectivity standards (5.2) for the iPhone 13 Pro Max “only” 5.0, but I had no issues using wireless headphones with either device. The iPhone 13 Pro Max has an excellent haptic engine, while many find the haptics of the Galaxy S22 Ultra a little underwhelming.
Despite minor flaws, these phones are quality hardware, built to the highest standards by the two largest smartphone brands in the world.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra: Screen
While these phones aren’t the most comfortable to hold, the positive trade-off you get is screen immersion. When it comes to screens, bigger is always better, and both panels here are absolutely brilliant: OLED displays (both made by Samsung Displays) that look pretty bright with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.
But the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s display is superior – it has more pixels, has a more versatile implementation with a variable refresh rate that can go from 1-120Hz, and is slightly brighter than the iPhone’s 1,300 nits at 1,750 nits. the spec sheet, as users will not be able to see these differences in the real world unless they really try to look for them.
There’s one area, however, where Samsung’s display is clearly superior: it’s only interrupted by a tiny hole instead of the iPhone’s giant notch. The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s screen is still great in a vacuum, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s screen is only better in direct comparison.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra: Internal
The iPhone 13 Pro comes with Apple’s 5nm A15 Bionic, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200. No matter which chip it faces, Apple’s A15 Bionic is the most powerful SoC according to benchmarks or 4K. -test video playback. The size of this hole depends on the Galaxy S22 Ultra variant.
I happily use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 variant, where the performance difference between it and the A15 Bionic is small. In most real-world applications it feels just as fast and powerful as the A15 Bionic, with the only time I can see the iPhone reign supreme is when I’m editing and rendering 4K videos (even here it’s an apple for orange in comparison, as I use different video editing apps). My colleague Adam Conway’s Exynos 2200 variant of my colleague Adam Conway’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, however, is noticeably inferior, with app launch delays and battery life issues noted and documented during their testing. That means the iPhone 13 Pro Max is noticeably more powerful than the Exynos version of the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with 6 GB of RAM, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with either 8 GB or 12 GB. But as usual, the difference in RAM doesn’t matter much, as the iPhone 13 Pro feels just as fast as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. I realize that if I open an older app on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, I’ll be waiting a little longer than on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but it’s hardly worth making an issue with it.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has an in-display fingerprint scanner under the screen edge. While this Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 is more reliable than the in-display scanners used on last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra and generally gave me no issues, it’s still noticeably slower, with a smaller scan area, then the amazing Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max scanner seen on phones like the iQOO 9 Pro.
Still, I’d rather have an in-screen fingerprint scanner than Face ID, not only because I’d prefer more screen space, but also because my part of the world still wears masks daily. It is said that the next iOS update (15.4) will finally make Face ID work with masks, but I don’t currently have this feature on my iPhones.
In terms of battery capacity, the 4,352 mAh of the iPhone 13 Pro Max is quite large by iPhone standards but still smaller than the 5,000 mAh of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. I’ll talk more about performance and battery life in a separate section later in the article.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra: S Pen
There’s one bonus to the Galaxy S22 Ultra that the iPhone 13 Pro Max can’t match: stylus support. Last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra already had this, but you had to buy the S Pen separately. This year, the S Pen has been integrated into the Galaxy S22 Ultra, making for a more seamless experience – not to mention a better price for consumers.
The S Pen can be used for obvious pending tasks like taking notes and sketching, but arguably more convenient use is that the S Pen can serve as a remote control for the Galaxy S22 Ultra. With the S Pen in hand, you can operate the camera app’s shutter button or scroll through slides or photos without touching the real phone.
I’ve never seen the S Pen as a necessity – it’s nice to have, but I don’t miss it if I’m using another phone. But since the S Pen is included in the price of the phone and does not detract from the user experience of the phone, there can be no complaints. It’s a totally extra feature that you get if you choose the Galaxy S22 Ultra over the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Cameras
The iPhone 13 Pro Max brings notable improvements in camera hardware over last year, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra brings back last year’s camera hardware, but with some significant software tweaks.
Both phones have excellent main cameras that are neck and neck in performance.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra clearly has a higher 10x zoom (and more), but the iPhone’s 3x telephoto is better than Samsung’s 3x telephoto
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra: Camera Module
In a series of events from the previous battle between iPhone versus Samsung (or iPhone versus any Android), it’s the iPhone that has received significant camera hardware upgrades this year, while the challenger has made subtle, software-driven iterative upgrades.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s main camera gets a larger sensor size and faster aperture, while the ultra-wide-angle camera gets a wider aperture and the zoom lens gets a 3x longer optical zoom. Achieving a larger sensor size and faster aperture greatly improves light input.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s cameras, meanwhile, use the same sensors as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, with the only hardware improvement being that of supposedly superior glass lenses. Instead, most of Samsung’s camera improvements come through software algorithms and a new ISP, which, to be fair, can be claimed for the iPhone 13 Pro Max as well.
But if you think that means the iPhone 13 Pro Max wins easily in terms of cameras, think again. The Galaxy S21 Ultra had a significantly better camera system than the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year, so it’s Apple that has to make up for lost ground in this year’s battle.
The main camera, ideal lighting conditions
A few years ago, you could see the differences between a Samsung Galaxy camera view and an iPhone view right away, as Samsung cameras would highlight the contrast with an over-the-top K-Pop-esque tune, while Apple would try to be as realistic as possible, sometimes the failure like real life can be a bit boring.
That is no longer the case, as the photos below are so close in quality, color rendering, and dynamic range that it is almost impossible to pick a winner. Both brands have decided to move a bit towards each other: the cameras of the Galaxy S22 Ultra now pay more attention to accurate color reproduction, while the cameras of the iPhone 13 Pro Max certainly boost the colors more than before.
Long story short, both phones have impressive main cameras that focus quickly with a shallow depth of field.
If you zoom in on pixel peep, you’ll see that the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s photos are generally sharper and more detailed, partly because it contains 108 million pixels of information compared to the 12 million pixels of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but also because Samsung tends to sharpen too much. You clearly see more detail, but also some more noise. Learn how to get best out of your Samsung Galaxy Camera here.
The main camera, low to poor lighting conditions
At night, both phones have excellent light input capability without resorting to night mode. In the photo collection below, about half of them, no phone needed night mode.
In the last two photos, both phones have night mode enabled automatically, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s night mode taking a little longer (2-3 seconds) compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s 1-2 seconds.
We can see that both cameras again produced quite similar photos in terms of dynamic range and color science. In some of the photos, we can see that the iPhone 13 Pro Max is again suffering from light exposure (the “live” sign in the penultimate photo), but otherwise, all of these photos are excellent.
Ultra-wide cameras and zoom, ideal lighting conditions
Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max have a 3x optical zoom, but Samsung’s flagship also adds a 10x periscope zoom. It should come as no surprise that the Galaxy S22 Ultra wins all photos zoomed in at 10x and above. In fact, the iPhone 13 Pro Max can only zoom up to 15x, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra can zoom up to 100x.
However, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s 3x zoom looks superior to Samsung’s as 3x photos are generally sharper. There’s also better color consistency between the 3x zoom and 15x zoom of the iPhone 13 Pro, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra can see some noticeable color shifts between photos taken with the 3x lens and 10x lens.
Ultra wide-angle and zoom cameras, low to poor lighting conditions
In less-than-ideal lighting conditions, both phones often have to resort to night mode, but the ultra-wide iPhone 13 Pro Max sees a bigger drop in quality.
It’s not very noticeable if you just look at the ultra-wide shot on your phone screen or Instagram, but if you zoom in you’ll see that the ultra-wide shots of the iPhone 13 Pro are very smooth.
But then Apple regains the lead in 3x zoom. I think we’ve seen enough now to conclude that it’s a very even battle for the main cameras. But the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a more capable ultra-wide-angle camera, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a better 3x telephoto zoom.
Both phones do a great job of maintaining color consistency across all three lenses, which most Chinese Android phones don’t.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra: Selfie camera
The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s selfie camera produces more natural selfies, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra will apply a skin-smoothing/lightening filter layer even if you didn’t ask for it. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on who you are. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s lighting tends to be all over the place, as can be seen in the samples below – some prioritizing correctly exposing my face and turning off the backlight, while another shot put the light behind me illuminated but left my face. the shadows.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra: Video
The iPhone has long held the crown for the best smartphone camera for video recording, but in the past year, that title has been seriously put to the test by Android phone manufacturers, including Samsung. In the daytime, I’d say the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s videos are next to the iPhone 13 Pro Max in terms of stabilization and dynamic range. I’d still give the iPhone a slight edge by having less micro-shake that occurs when I take a step and a more seamless lens change halfway through the shot, but it’s getting close.
In low light, every phone swap wins: The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s main camera images at night have noticeably better stabilization and better colors than the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s main camera; but Samsung’s flagship produces clearer, less noisy ultra-wide videos and selfies in low light.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Software
- OneUI is much more optimized for the big screen than iOS
- Ecosystem game: iPhone has better connectivity across Apple’s product range than Galaxy S22 Ultra to Samsung’s
- Thanks to Samsung DeX and stylus support, the Galaxy S22 Ultra can do more
This is the most subjective part of this equation, as the biggest factor of separation and separation between these two phones. iPhone 13 Pro Max runs on iOS 15; the Galaxy S22 Ultra runs on Android 12 with OneUI 4.1.
It doesn’t make much sense to dwell too much on the differences between iOS and Android, does it? Anyone reading this far should know the fundamental differences, like how each OS handles notifications differently, or how Android can sideload apps while iOS can’t (well, iOS can sideload apps, but not that easily).
Instead, we’re going to highlight the software features specific to these two phones: Samsung’s OneUI is significantly better at taking advantage of the extra screen real estate. OneUI, even more than Android, can adapt to work well with small or large phone screens.
For example, you can use a denser grid on the home screen to fit more apps on the screen; you can rotate the home screen to landscape orientation; you can run two apps at the same time in split-screen mode or float one on top of the other.
iOS, on the other hand, isn’t exactly optimized for the larger screen. iOS 15 works the same whether it’s the 6.8-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max or the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini. This means that if you switch from a Mini to a Pro Max, you will no longer see any information on the home screen, just a larger version of the same information.
That the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the widest phone on the market but can only place four apps horizontally is absurd. App icons look comically large, with a lot of wasted dead space between apps.
OneUI is significantly better at taking advantage of the extra screen real estate. iOS, on the other hand, does not.
If I seem too harsh on iOS, it’s because I generally prefer Android over iOS. However, there are some undeniably great things about iOS. Apps generally look better on iOS than on Android because developers spend more time and effort building for iOS (more money to be made); AirDrop works perfectly, while the Android version (Nearby Share) is still unreliable; and personally, I love the ability to access my Mac’s desktop files directly from my iPhone (requires an iCloud subscription).
I have to repeat the last sentence as some readers have made mistakes in the past for just a simple cloud drive situation. On a Mac, the entire home screen is a cloud drive, it’s always connected, so any file you leave behind can be accessed on any other iOS device or Mac. You don’t have to manually upload files to a cloud service first. It is this level of perfection that makes the service easy to use.
Samsung is trying to build similar connectivity, but it’s not that easy or fast. “Nearby Share”, the Android version of AirPlay, works fine but is noticeably slower than AirDrop, Galaxy S22 Ultra can sync with Samsung laptops (or any other Windows PC), but connectivity can be an issue, success or failure.
Even if I install a new Samsung Galaxy Watch with a Galaxy S22 Ultra, I have to download Samsung’s wearable app and several plugins before they can connect. This process is much more streamlined when connecting the Apple Watch to the iPhone.
Still, there’s no denying it: the Galaxy S22 Ultra can do more, software-wise. There’s Samsung DeX, which can turn the Galaxy S22 Ultra into a complete PC desktop setup if you connect to an external monitor (wired or wireless); and there’s built-in pen support for the S Pen. There are simply more things you can do with a Galaxy S22 Ultra than with an iPhone 13 Pro Max.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra: Overall Performance
The A15 Bionic is more powerful on paper, but in the real world it’s very hard to tell the differences – both are high-end SoCs
Both phones might last all day for me – a pretty heavy user – but the iPhone 13 Pro Max might last longer
Great speakers on both phones
Again, I’m using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 variant of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which apparently outperforms the Exynos version. Still, the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 Pro Max is more powerful, both in benchmarks and in real-world performance — but the latter is only really noticeable when I’m doing a specific task: displaying 4K videos.
Otherwise, I don’t see any real difference in performance between the two, whether juggling half a dozen apps or playing graphically intensive games. In fact, I find that the Galaxy S22 Ultra apps generally launch a fraction of a second faster.
Connectivity, mobile reception, and other phone features such as call quality are excellent for me in Hong Kong, even though I live in a highly connected city. Still, I’ve used enough iPhones and Galaxy S phones around the world in the past to know that these phones are reliable. Both are some of the best-connected phones and make sense for people traveling internationally than a smartphone with fewer network bands.
Both phones also stand out as media-intensive machines, thanks to their large screens and excellent stereo speakers. The sound reproduction of the iPhone seems a bit fuller, but the screen is interrupted by a notch while the screen of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is almost full.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra: Conclusion
It’s always hard to draw firm conclusions for comparisons between iPhone and Android because for people who are completely immersed in the Apple ecosystem, it’s a big request to remove it and swap it (it’s not impossible, though: I use a Mac and iPad as my main computers, but I use an Android phone most of the year). But let’s say I have to pick a “winner” for the sake of this article.
In that case, I’d pick the Galaxy S22 Ultra, because it’s simply better value – and there are compelling Galaxy S22 Ultra offerings to make the value proposition even better. Both phones have big, bright screens, massive processing power, and great cameras, but Samsung’s flagships go a little further and do a little more everywhere. You can zoom in further; has pen support and a cost-included integrated pen; your user interface can be converted to a desktop layout for use on a larger screen.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max offers better battery life and more processing power, but both upgrades are marginal and won’t be felt much in the real world. The Galaxy S22 Ultra can last a whole day with intensive use, I don’t care that the iPhone 13 Pro Max can last an hour or two at the top.
But like I said, many have decided to stick with iPhones — in this case, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the biggest and best that Apple has to offer. If you’re on the Android side, the same can be said about the Galaxy S22 Ultra, at least with Snapdragon.