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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max – Which one to buy?


The smartphone industry is much more nuanced than an Apple vs. Samsung battle. Since Galaxy phones and iPhones are so popular, people always have the same question when a new model is released. What should I get? If you have a substantial amount of money to spend right now, you’re probably trying to decide between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max.

These devices reign supreme, each having cutting-edge features like powerful cameras and speedy processors, as well as large displays ideal for watching movies and TV shows on the go. As a result of their high cost, it is wise to carefully consider all of your options before making a final decision and handing over your credit card.


Both the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 Ultra don’t differ too much from their forerunners. Sure, you can get both in a rainbow of different colors, but the size and basic design haven’t changed.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a bulky, awkward device to use with one hand, whereas the Ultra’s curved display will likely improve its usability.

The S23 Ultra features a S Pen stylus silo for drawing, which Apple either doesn’t have or can’t reproduce, and the steeper curvature radius of the side frame makes it rather pleasant to grasp and operate with one hand compared to the blocky iPhone.

In contrast to the elevated camera island “plateau” seen on nearly every other flagship smartphone, including the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the S23 Ultra keeps the traditional arrangement of three lens rings projecting from the back.
In contrast to the elevated camera island “plateau” seen on nearly every other flagship smartphone, including the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the S23 Ultra keeps the traditional arrangement of three lens rings projecting from the back.

Screen comparison: S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the one to get if you only care about size. Its 6.8-inch screen is larger than Apple’s 6.7-inch offering, and its 3088×1440 resolution is better than the iPhone’s 2796×1290 resolution. What this indicates is that it has a higher pixel density, yet at that scale, only a microscope would reveal the difference.

Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max features an ultra-bright OLED display of the same type used in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The Ultra features an OLED display panel from Samsung’s 12th generation, the same generation that considerably increased the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s peak brightness compared to the Z Fold 3, as well as the generation that gave the iPhone 14 Pro Max its record peak brightness of 2000 nits.

Samsung has demonstrated it can create well-calibrated screens with good color presentation, much like Apple, even if it doesn’t reach 2000 peak nits. Furthermore, with the introduction of the 1Hz-120Hz range for its iPhone 14 Pro versions, Apple melted the dynamic refresh rate advantage the Galaxies held.

Corning’s latest generation of reinforced glass, Gorilla Glass Victus 2, has been confirmed as the S23 Ultra’s strong display cover and body glass. The question of whether or not it is more durable than Apple’s patented Ceramic Shield has yet to be answered.


The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera hardware is one area in which it will continue to shine in comparison to Apple’s major opponent. In 2023, Samsung’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, receives a significant update in the form of a new unique 200MP ISOCELL HP2 primary camera sensor with 0.6 micron pixels.

With the release of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple finally moved away from 12MP cameras, but the phone’s 48MP sensor won’t be able to compete with the S23 Ultra’s ability to capture fine details and high resolution images.

The S23 Ultra increases the pixel size to 1.12 microns in low light, allowing for 50MP photos with improved light sensitivity, while the S23 Pro provides an even larger, 2.4 micron binned virtual pixel by combining 16 pixels into one, allowing for 12.5MP photos to be taken at night. Thanks to this setup, users will be able to snap clear images in a wide range of lighting conditions.

Initial comparisons suggest that Samsung has made significant progress thanks to its staggered HDR mode, which combines all three exposures to produce stunning HDR photos and movies. Particularly late at night.

In addition to the native Super Steady mode, the top-end Galaxy S23 Ultra also offers a feature called Action Mode video recording with all-axis stabilization to compete with Apple’s Action Mode.


Ever since the original iPhone 5S was released a decade ago, Apple has used its own custom silicon to power its mobile devices. The A16 Bionic is a six-core chip with a dedicated GPU, and it’s used in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. It utterly destroys benchmark apps and provides great day-to-day performance. It has 6GB of RAM, which isn’t a lot, but it can handle intensive programs like music production and media editing.
Samsung’s phones no longer include in-house processors as of the year 2023. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and features a hefty 12GB of RAM, albeit the manufacturer has tweaked the chip’s clock speeds to better suit Samsung’s needs.

This processor is currently the fastest available for Android phones, and results from benchmarks on competing devices imply it can compete with Apple in some respects. 

The OneUI software’s ability to facilitate simultaneous tasks is ideal for maximizing efficiency in the course of daily activities. With the exception of a certain app, either phone should be able to handle whatever you throw at it.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra operates on Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5 on top, whereas the iPhone 14 Pro Max operates on iOS 16. Given the significant differences between the two operating systems, the decision comes down to experience and taste.

Battery life and charging speeds

While the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s battery life is impressive, the Galaxy S23 series’ battery life is being improved by 20% thanks to the use of a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU built on second-generation 4nm technology and a newer generation of LTPO OLED panels.

However, the iPhone 14 Pro Max outlasted the Galaxy S22 Ultra in some battery benchmark testing, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the S22’s successor, likewise has trouble outlasting the iPhone under similar conditions.
When pitted against the best iPhone, the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s charging time stands out. While Samsung’s 45W charger isn’t as fast as the ones used by Chinese flagship smartphones, it still only takes approximately an hour to fully charge a 5,000 mAh battery.

When compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which can only charge a smaller battery in about two hours at its maximum 27W, Samsung once again trumps its Apple competitor.

While both phones are capable of wireless charging at 15W, Apple requires the use of a MagSafe adaptor to accomplish this speed (Qi chargers can only charge at 7.5W). In the event that you have extra juice, the Samsung may also be used to reverse-charge smaller devices, such as wireless headphones.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max – Prices

Although the 128GB iPhone 14 Pro Max starts $100 less than the 256GB Galaxy S23 Ultra, that’s due to the larger storage capacity of the latter. Apple’s exorbitant pricing for additional storage space, in comparison to Samsung’s in-house production and low starting storage capacity (256 GB) becomes comparable at the 512 GB and 1 TB capacities.


Both the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max have enormous processing power, stunning displays, and large batteries. Both smartphones deserve the premium label, yet one excels in some respects while the other does not.

Even Apple fans may find themselves enticed to buy the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The 2023 flagship from Samsung will have a more ergonomic design thanks to the integrated S Pen stylus, and it will also feature internal advancements like a new 4nm processor that will make it competitive with the iPhone, including the Pro variant with Apple’s A16 chip.

Don’t even get us started on how the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s battery charges considerably faster or how its optical zoom is superior than the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s boring 3x telephoto that has been Apple’s modus operandi for years on end.

It’s unclear, though, whether the slightly more expensive Galaxy S23 Ultra will be able to make a dent in the market share of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, given how difficult it is to leave Apple’s ecosystem hold and switch to a competing firm and device.


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