iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Which is better in 2022

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While iPhones lead sales in the United States, Samsung devices follow suit and take second place. Also, Samsung's "S" and "Note" devices have always been close competitors to the iPhone. But this time, Samsung has merged those lineups with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which launched alongside the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra not only resembles the features of the Note series but also provides the same utility, making it the nemesis of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. But is it? This article will compare the two devices in detail. If you can't decide which of these devices to use, I'll try to help you make a better decision. Keep reading.

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Design and display

Beauty resides in the eyes of those who behold it, and therefore the design of a device is and always will be subjective. However, certain aspects of smartphone design will help qualify a device to be better.

Both devices feature a Glass Sandwich design, with the iPhone 13 Pro Max featuring a stainless steel frame and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra featuring an aluminum frame. But there is more than meets the eye. Let's talk in detail.

Display and ergonomics

The first thing you look at on a smartphone is its screen. The screen facilitates most, if not all, activities on a smartphone. Therefore, it is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying a device. Here is an overview:


Galaxy S22 UltraiPhone 13 Pro Max
Dimensions (inch)6.43 x 3.07 x 0.356.33 x 3.07 x 0.3
Screen size (inch)6.86.7
Weight (gram)227240
DisplayDynamic AMOLED 2XSuper Retina XDR

iPhone 13 Pro Max display

iPhone 13 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion, 2778 x 1284p screen resolution, and 548-pixel density. This screen can go down to 10 Hz thanks to its LTPO panel. This helps maintain the battery life of the device. Simply put, it's an OLED panel with an adaptive refresh rate.

The maximum brightness of the screen is 1000 nits, which is bright enough in outdoor conditions. Brightness can also reach up to 1200 nits when consuming or recording HDR content.


Also, we cannot overlook an important factor: the iPhone has a notch that houses the necessary sensors for Face ID and the selfie camera. Although the notch is utilitarian and you'll get used to it in a matter of days, it does make a significant difference when you look at what the competition has to offer.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra display

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen. Since it's only been a few days since the device launched, we don't know the screen resolution or pixel density. However, given its QHD+ OLED panel, the screen resolution will be higher than 2560 x 1440p.

Additionally, Samsung uses a second-generation LTPO panel with an adaptive refresh rate ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz.

Furthermore, this panel can reach a maximum brightness of 1750 nits. Again, this can only affect HDR content when the screen is in direct sunlight. The screen has curved edges, which gives the device a premium look (IMO), offers usability and better grip.

Ergonomics

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a square design with flat edges and weighs 238 grams, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra has curved edges and weighs 229 grams. The difference is significant.

Additionally, the Samsung S22 Ultra will also feel a bit lighter. The dimensions of the device are also quite similar, and therefore, before buying, I recommend that you go to the store and check which one feels better in your hand.

Ports


Galaxy S22 UltraiPhone 13 Pro Max
PortUSB Type-C Gen 3.2Lightning port
ExtraS-Pen


The iPhone 13 Pro Max features a Lightning port, and while Apple has removed this port on most of its recent devices, it's reluctant to do so with the iPhone.

Why does this matter so much? Nowadays, most devices come with the USB Type-C port, which allows you to use one cable to charge all your devices. The Lightning port also has lower data transfer speeds than the USB Type-C port.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S22 Ultra sports a USB Type-C Gen 3.2. It has faster data transfer speeds and provides consistency across the board. Another unique selling point of the S22 Ultra is the S-Pen. The device houses the S-pen within itself.

What struck me the most, however, was that Samsung says they have removed the 3.5mm audio jack to provide a larger battery, but can still house a stylus in one device. Well, let's not all be negative, as the S-Pen has always had a target audience. Additionally, the S-Pen latency on the S22 Ultra is as low as 3 ms.

Protection

Galaxy S22 UltraiPhone 13 Pro Max
IP ratingIP68 certifiedIP68 certified
DisplayGorilla Glass Victus+Gorilla Glass


Apple calls the screen protector technology used in the iPhone 13 Pro Max Ceramic Shield. Although it doesn't break easily enough, it does tend to take a lot of scratches. Also, the glass panels on the front and back are Gorilla Glass panels. It is also certified IP68 resistant to dust and water.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the front and back. It is the latest and greatest of what is available on the market right now. The S22 Ultra also has an IP68 dust and water resistance certification. However, one rule to follow is always: glass is glass, and glass breaks.

Winner in design and display: Galaxy S22 Ultra

Camera

Smartphones have made capturing memories not only convenient but also fast. Most cameras on smartphones around $500 will do the job just fine, and if you're spending more than $1,000, you'll definitely want the best. Here's what each device has to offer:

Galaxy S22 UltraiPhone 13 Pro Max
Main camera108MP, 23mm, f/1.8, OIS 1/1.33″ sensor12MP, 26mm, f/1.5, Sensor-shift stabilization 1/1.65″ sensor
Ultra-wide camera12MP, 13mm, f/2.2 1/2.55″ sensor12MP, 0.5X (13mm), f/1.8 1/3.4″ sensor
Telephoto camera10MP, 3X zoom, f/2.4, OIS 1/3.52″ sensor12MP, 3X zoom (77mm), f/2.8, OIS
Additional camera
10MP, 10X periscope zoom, f/4.9, OIS 1/3.52″
sensor
Front camera40MP12MP

Rear camera sensors and zooming capabilities

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a triple camera setup on the rear and a Lidar sensor used for depth perception and 3D mapping. The main camera is a 12MP sensor, the ultra wide camera is also a 12MP sensor with a 120 degree field of view. Finally, the telephoto camera is also a 12MP sensor.

Also, the iPhone 13 Pro Max can support 3X optical zoom. Optical zoom refers to the ability to zoom while clicking on an image without deteriorating image quality. The digital zoom capabilities of the iPhone 13 Pro Max are up to 15X and image quality deteriorates with digital zoom; the iPhone retains decent details.

On the other hand, Galaxy S22 Ultra has a quad camera setup at the rear. The main sensor is a 108MP. Yes, the megapixel count is much higher and while normal 12MP images are clicked due to pixel binning when shooting RAW, the 108MP will help retain detail.


Also, the Ultrawide camera is a 12MP sensor with a 120-degree field of view. Galaxy S22 Ultra has two 10MP telephoto lenses. While one of these supports 3X optical zoom and 34-degree FOV, the other sensor supports 10X optical zoom and 11-degree field of view.

In terms of zoom capabilities, the S22 Ultra blows the iPhone 13 Pro Max out of the water. Also, S22 Ultra has more saturated colors and you can achieve the same on iPhone using the color profiling features.

Low light

The low-light capabilities of these two devices are good enough for their purpose. However, there is no definitive winner. Both cameras perform equally well in terms of detail, but the S22 Ultra captures slightly higher detail in low light.

Video: 8K vs. ProRes 

The iPhone has always dominated the video department and continues to do so. While the S22 Ultra can record 8K 24FPS video, the iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with ProRes video.

Both devices also support Portrait mode in videos. However, you can change the amount of bokeh after or before shooting on the iPhone 13 Pro Max; the same is not possible on the S22 Ultra. And the iPhone nails the video department.

Don't get me wrong, video recording capabilities are also good on the S22 Ultra, but the iPhone wins by a good margin.

Which offers a better camera?


You can't go wrong with any of these devices. However, if you click more photos than videos, the S22 Ultra is a better option. But if you like to shoot videos with photos, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is an obvious choice.

Also, the S22 Ultra is not yet officially available to the public and we expect improvements in the camera department with updates. So stay tuned for more accurate results.

Software

The iPhone 13 Pro Max runs on iOS and the S22 Ultra runs on One UI 4 based on Android 12.

Updates

iPhone has had good software support for a long time and there are cases where iPhones receive iOS updates even after six years of release, sometimes even longer.

However, it's quite the opposite on the Android side, with the sole exception of Pixel devices, which receive 3-4 years of software updates.

But Samsung changed things this year. Unlike last year when it provided 3+1 software and security updates, this year it announced that Samsung devices will receive 4+1 years of software and security updates.


Although Samsung has made great strides, we can be sure that the iPhone 13 Pro Max will receive longer software support than the S22 Ultra, given Apple's track record.

Optimization and customizability 

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is known for its autonomy, made possible by its compatibility with A15 Bionic and iOS. When a manufacturer designs both hardware and software, it will have more control over what it does and how it does it.

If you own other Apple devices, the convenience is second to none. The overall integration of software with hardware products is better on Apple's side than on Samsung's.

However, customization is one factor where there is no argument that Android is better. Recently, iPhones started to become more customizable with the introduction of widgets and workarounds for changing app icons.

Yes, the control you get with the iPhone is second to none. Still, it doesn't come close to the Android side, especially Android 12.

Which software should you choose?


When making your choice based on the software, you should look a bit broader. If your workflow involves Apple products, the convenience provided by the Apple ecosystem is too good to pass up. But if you want utility and customization, the S22 Ultra is a device you won't regret.

Battery and charging

Galaxy S22 UltraiPhone 13 Pro Max
Battery capacity5,000mAh4,352mAh
Charging speed45 Watts25 Watts

iPhone 13 Pro Max still the battery king? 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra houses a 5,000 mAh battery and the iPhone 13 Pro Max houses a 4,352 mAh battery (Apple does not disclose battery capacity, so these are approximate values).

Several reviewers praised the iPhone 13 Pro Max for providing excellent battery backup. On the other hand, the S22 Ultra hasn't been released to the public yet, so it's hard to say if it will win against the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Most likely not, as seen in many reviews already, as well as the following one from Mr. Whose the Boss.


Primarily because the A15 Bionic SoC has been tuned well to consume less power and deliver more performance, and the same has not yet been achieved on any Android flagship.

Charging speed and wireless charging

iPhone 13 Pro Max supports wired charging speeds of up to 27W. With MagSafe wireless charging, it can charge up to 15W, and with Qi wireless charging, it supports 7.5W. There is no official statement on charging speeds. iPhone charging, but Apple advertises 0-50% in less than 30 minutes with 20W or higher charger.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra supports wired charging speeds of up to 45W. Wireless charging is also capped at 15W. Charging speeds are faster on the S22 Ultra, but it also has reverse wireless charging, useful in case of emergency.

While the S22 Ultra has more features and faster charging, the iPhone has better battery life. Considering that the iPhone can charge from 0 to 50% in about 30 minutes, I would choose the iPhone if the battery was my priority.

Winner in battery: iPhone 13 Pro Max

Processor and performance

Apple has been designing its own SoCs for a while now, and they're powerful and low-power. We have also seen this with Apple's M1 SoCs. iPhone 13 Pro Max is powered by the best and most powerful Apple-designed SoC for a smartphone. As mentioned above, it is A15 Bionic, based on a 5nm process.

While Samsung uses different SoCs in different regions. Galaxy S22 Ultra is powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It is based on a 4nm process and is still not as powerful as the A15 bionic launched last year.

However, there won't be any noticeable difference in daily usage on both phones, but when we look at the benchmarks, the A15 bionic outperforms Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Winner in processor and performance: iPhone 13 Pro Max

Price

StorageGalaxy S22 UltraiPhone 13 Pro Max
128GB$1,199$1,099
256GB$1,199$1,199
512GB$1,299$1,399
1TB$1,599$1,599
As of writing this article, the S22 Ultra is still under pre-order.
S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Which is better?
Well, the answer you have been looking for all this time is not that simple.
Design is subjective, and I'm going to let you decide. If you wanted a device based solely on design, the S22 Ultra is a clear choice.
In the performance department, both devices will perform just as well. iPhone 13 Pro Max will have better thermal temperatures on heavy-duty as A15 Bionic can deliver more performance and consume less power than Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
The cameras again are just as good. One simple rule, if photos are your priority, go for the S22 Ultra. But in terms of video, there is nothing better than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone 13 Pro Max also takes good photos; it's just that the zoom capabilities and low-light performance are better on the S22 Ultra.
Other features like charging speeds, ports, etc. are something the S22 Ultra wins at. So choose a device based on what your needs are. And I'll repeat myself if you're already in the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone 13 Pro Max should be your singular go-to device for its unrivaled convenience.
Which device would you choose? Share in the comments below.

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