iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: which one is best?

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Renders of nan iPhone 15 Pro Max adjacent to nan Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is 1 of nan champion smartphones of 2023. It’s 1 of our favourite phones to transportation because of nan versatile camera system, bully artillery life, and fantabulous display.

But there’s a caller challenger successful municipality – nan iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple’s latest flagship iPhone brings amended optical zoom capabilities to situation nan Galaxy S23 Ultra. It’s besides sewage a creation update pinch build materials that are coagulated for semipermanent use. Here’s really nan iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to nan Galaxy S23 Ultra.

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: specs

iPhone 15 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Size 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25 mm (6.29 x 3.02 x 0.32 inches) 157.7 x 78 x 8.9 mm (3.07 x 6.43 x 0.35 inches)
Weight 221 grams (57.8193 ounces) 234 grams (8.25 ounces)
Screen size 6.7-inch OLED pinch ProMotion (120Hz dynamic) 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (120Hz dynamic)
Screen resolution 2796 x 1290 solution astatine 460 pixels per inch 3088 x 1440 solution astatine 500 pixels per inch
Operating system iOS 17 Android 13 pinch One UI 5.1
Storage 2556GB, 512GB, 1TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
MicroSD paper slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Apple Pay Google Pay, Samsung Pay
Processor Apple A17 Pro Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
Cameras Rear: 48-megapixel (MP) primary, 12MP ultrawide, and 12MP telephoto

Front: 12MP

Rear: 200MP superior pinch Laser Auto Focus, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto

Front: 12MP

Video Rear: Up to 4K astatine 24, 25, 30, aliases 60 frames per 2nd (fps), FHD astatine up to 60 fps, and slow-mo

Front: Up to 4K astatine up to 60 fps

Rear: Up to 8K astatine 30 frames per 2nd (fps), 4K astatine 60 fps, FHD astatine 120 fps, and 960 fps for slow motion

Front: Up to 4K astatine 60 fps

Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth 5.3 Yes, Bluetooth 5.3
Biometrics Face ID Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor and Face Recognition
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery N/A
20W charging
Wireless charging
No reverse wireless charging
Super Fast Charging 2.0 astatine 45W
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
App marketplace Apple App Store Google Play Store
Network support 5G 5G
Colors Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, and Natural Titanium Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender
Price From $1,199 From $1,199
Available from All awesome offline and online retailers All awesome offline and online retailers

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: creation and display

The iPhone 15 Pro Max uses solid and titanium arsenic materials for nan design. For years, nan Pro Max iPhones person been immoderate of nan heaviest phones connected nan market, but nan iPhone 15 Pro Max sheds almost 20 grams, reducing its weight to 221 grams. By contrast, nan Galaxy S23 Ultra features a solid and aluminum build that has it weighing successful astatine 234 grams. Both smartphones connection IP68 particulate and h2o resistance.

Switching to nan front, you get a 6.7-inch show connected nan iPhone 15 Pro Max versus nan 6.8-inch surface connected nan Galaxy S23 Ultra. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a brighter show that tin spell up to 2,000 nits, while nan Galaxy S23 Ultra maxes retired astatine 1,750 nits. Both smartphones support a 120Hz move refresh complaint and capable pixels connected nan surface to make nan contented look sharp.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max had a large ergonomics problem, and nan Galaxy S23 Ultra was much comfortable to usage compared to it. Apple says that it’s improved nan ergonomics of nan caller iPhone pinch somewhat curved edges, and successful real-world use, those claims clasp true. Plus, nan reduced weight results successful a amended consciousness successful nan hand. While nan Galaxy S23 Ultra offers a fingerprint sensor for authentication, you get Face ID pinch nan iPhone 15 Pro Max.

With a brighter show and lighter design, nan iPhone 15 Pro Max wins this round.

Winner: iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: performance, artillery life, and charging

An iPhone 15 Pro Max charging pinch a USB-C cable.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is powered by Apple’s in-house A17 Pro chipset, which is built connected nan 3nm process. It features a 6-core CPU, a 6-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. Apple promises that you’ll beryllium capable to play console games connected your iPhone, which is simply a first for immoderate telephone ever; a fewer titles, for illustration Resident Evil 4, person already appeared for pre-order connected nan App Store. Plus, you get 256GB connected nan guidelines variant, conscionable for illustration nan Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The Samsung flagship houses nan Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, which performed good successful our review. We haven’t recovered immoderate lag aliases stutters successful our clip utilizing nan S23 Ultra. However, nan GPU capacity connected nan iPhone is looking to beryllium much powerful. Both smartphones connection 3 retention variants successful nan shape of 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.

Playing a crippled connected nan Galaxy S23 Ultra.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple didn’t make immoderate gangly claims astir nan artillery life connected shape while announcing nan iPhone 15 Pro Max. Some members of nan Digital Trends squad person had below-average experiences pinch their iPhone 14 Pro Max, particularly compared to the outstanding artillery life of nan iPhone 13 Pro Max. While it’s improved complete nan months, nan artillery life still leaves overmuch to beryllium desired. By contrast, nan Galaxy S23 Ultra offered amended endurance connected a azygous charge. So far, nan iPhone 15 Pro Max hasn’t fared overmuch better, moreover pinch nan caller chipset, but immoderate of that whitethorn besides beryllium down to iOS 17, which is besides having a bigger antagonistic effect connected nan artillery life of nan iPhone 14 Pro Max.

On a related note, nan Galaxy S23 Ultra charges faster astatine 45W versus 27W connected nan iPhone 15 Pro Max. You don’t get a charger successful nan container for either of these phones, but you tin now complaint your caller iPhone pinch immoderate Android charging cable, as nan Lightning larboard has been replaced pinch USB-C.

The A17 Pro spot is simply a capacity beast, but pinch longer artillery life and faster charging connected nan Samsung phone, nan S23 Ultra wins.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has nan astir versatile camera setup connected immoderate smartphone. It comes pinch a 200-megapixel (MP) superior camera, 2 10MP telephoto sensors for 3x and 10x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide-angle lens. It’s 1 of our favourite phones to transportation pinch america connected vacations for its lively colors and fantabulous zooming capabilities.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max brings nan title to Samsung’s champion telephone pinch a 5x optical zoom, but you miss retired connected 3x optical zoom – that’s only disposable connected nan iPhone 15 Pro, which lacks 5x optical zoom. However, Apple delivers a virtual 2x optical zoom from nan main lens of nan iPhone 15 Pro Max by utilizing nan halfway 12 megapixels of nan 48MP sensor. It’s besides worthy adding that nan iPhone’s 5x telephoto lens has a amazingly wide f/2.8 aperture compared to nan f/4.9 of nan 10x camera connected nan Galaxy S23 Ultra, which should nutrient overmuch amended pictures successful debased ray conditions.

Someone utilizing nan camera app connected nan iPhone 15 Pro Max.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

In position of numbers, nan iPhone 15 Pro Max sports a triple rear camera setup pinch a 48MP superior camera, a 12MP ultrawide sensor, and a 12MP telephoto camera. Apple says it’s improved HDR connected photos connected nan iPhone 15 lineup acknowledgment to its newer Smart HDR 5 technology. Moreover, you get an updated image mode wherever nan telephone captures extent information successful each photo, truthful you tin move a regular photograph into a image image successful nan Photos app.

In applicable terms, the iPhone 15 Pro Max produces awesome photos pinch balanced colors and moreover much realism and characteristic than its predecessor. Of course, nan Galaxy S23 Ultra is besides nary slouch successful this department; it beat retired nan iPhone 14 Pro Max successful astir each categories successful our head-to-head comparison earlier this year, and it’s still an unfastened mobility really overmuch crushed Apple has gained pinch nan iPhone 15 Pro Max.

When it comes to video, nan Galaxy S23 Ultra captures does a bully job, but we expect nan iPhone 15 Pro Max to do amended acknowledgment to its support for Dolby Vision HDR and ProRes. Plus, you tin now grounds 4K videos astatine 60 frames per 2nd (fps) straight to an outer retention connected nan caller iPhone. On nan beforehand lies a 12MP selfie shooter connected some phones.

Both phones return unthinkable photos, and a batch of it will travel down to individual preference. This 1 is simply a tie.

Winner: Tie

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: package and updates

iOS 17 interactive widgets connected an iPhone 15 Pro Max.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

While Apple doesn’t committedness a circumstantial number of updates for its phones, it doesn’t really request to. The institution has a proven way grounds of offering astatine slightest 5 years of awesome iOS updates for its phones, and sometimes moreover six. The iPhone 15 Pro Max ships pinch iOS 17, truthful it should get updates until astatine slightest iOS 22 successful 2028, and perchance moreover iOS 23. However, considering that Apple is still releasing information updates for nan 2013 iPhone 5s, it’s apt nan iPhone 15 Pro Max will get information patches good into nan 2030s.

As for Samsung, nan institution has a 4 + 5 twelvemonth update argumentation wherever nan telephone will get 4 years of Android OS upgrades and 5 years of information patches. Since it shipped pinch Android 13, that intends Android 17 will beryllium nan extremity of nan roadworthy for awesome OS updates successful 2027, and it will beryllium trim disconnected from information patches by nan extremity of 2028.

It’s a individual prime connected nan OS broadside of things. While iOS gives you Apple ecosystem benefits, we don’t for illustration nan truth that there’s nary multiwindow aliases popup model support – some of which are disposable connected Samsung’s One UI. That being said, you won’t person immoderate awesome concerns utilizing either iOS aliases Android.

Winner: Tie

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: typical features

Both phones transportation typical features that we haven’t talked astir yet. The iPhone 15 Pro Max offers Dynamic Island and Live Activities, which connection an intuitive personification experience. It besides offers an Action fastener that tin beryllium customized to circumstantial tasks, which is besides imaginable pinch nan S23 Ultra’s broadside key.

On nan different hand, nan Galaxy S23 Ultra is nan only flagship telephone to connection a built-in stylus that resides wrong nan smartphone’s body. It’s really useful for clicking selfies, and it’s besides awesome for annotations arsenic well. Oh, and you tin return 100x zoom images and satellite shots pinch nan Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is still not imaginable connected nan iPhone.

Winner: Tie

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: value and availability

The iPhone 15 Pro Max starts astatine $1,199 for nan 256GB retention version and is disposable successful capacities up to 1TB for $1,599. It comes successful Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, Black Titanium, and White Titanium finishes and tin beryllium purchased straight from Apple aliases astatine astir unit and bearer stores.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra launched astatine nan aforesaid value of $1,199 for nan 256GB type up to $1,619 for nan 1TB model, though it tin now easy beryllium recovered astatine discounted prices. It’s disposable successful Phantom Black, green, lavender, and pick from astir carriers and awesome retailers, positive exclusive graphite, red, entity blue, and lime erstwhile ordering straight from Samsung.

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: which 1 should you buy?

iPhone 15 Pro Max lying connected nan crushed surrounded by leaves.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 Pro Max features an upgraded processor and a caller telephoto camera for amended zooming capabilities while offering package upgrades to HDR and portraits. You besides get a brighter show and nan Dynamic Island. On nan different hand, nan Galaxy S23 Ultra remains nan telephone pinch a much versatile camera setup, S Pen support, satellite shots, and amended package for multitasking.

For galore people, this will travel down to package preference. If you’re heavy successful nan Apple ecosystem and you cognize you want an iPhone, nan iPhone 15 Pro Max is nan easy choice. If you’re much of an Android person, you’ll beryllium happier pinch nan Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The backmost of nan Galaxy S23 Ultra, showing its greenish color.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Okay, but what if you’re unfastened to utilizing either phone? That’s wherever things get a small much complicated.

If you want a large telephone that doesn’t consciousness for illustration it, nan caller creation of nan iPhone 15 Pro Max is outstanding. The imaginable of playing console-quality games is besides really intriguing, and its camera strategy is fantastic. The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes retired up if you want nan longest imaginable artillery life, faster charging, and 1 of nan astir versatile zoom cameras connected a telephone today.

Regardless of which 1 you extremity up choosing, you tin remainder assured you’re buying 1 of nan best smartphones disposable today.

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