In the ever-evolving world of smartphones, two industry giants have consistently captured the imagination of tech enthusiasts and consumers alike – Apple and Samsung. Each year, these titans unveil flagship devices that push the boundaries of innovation, setting the stage for fierce competition.
With the introduction of the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the battle for smartphone supremacy has never been more intense. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, these devices are engineered to offer more than just communication; they are the very embodiment of modern digital lifestyles, versatile and powerful enough to cater to a multitude of needs.
Whether you are an Apple aficionado or a die-hard Samsung enthusiast, this comprehensive review will provide you with the insights you need to choose the perfect smartphone companion for your unique requirements.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: specs
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Galaxy S23 Ultra
Android 13 with One UI 5.1
Apple A17 Pro
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
2556GB, 512GB, 1TB
256GB, 512GB, 1TB
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)
6.7-inch OLED with ProMotion (120Hz dynamic)
6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (120Hz dynamic)
2796 x 1290 resolution at 460 pixels per inch
3088 x 1440 resolution at 500 pixels per inch
Rear: 48-megapixel (MP) primary, 12MP ultrawide, and 12MP telephoto
Rear: 200MP primary with Laser Auto Focus, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto,
Front: Up to 4K at up to 60 fps,
Rear: Up to 4K at 24, 25, 30, or 60 frames per second (fps), FHD at up to 60 fps, and slow-mo
Front: Up to 4K at 60 fps,
Rear: Up to 8K at 30 frames per second (fps), 4K at 60 fps, FHD at 120 fps, and 960 fps for slow motion
Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor and Face Recognition
N/A 20W charging Wireless charging No reverse wireless charging
5,000mAh, Super Fast Charging 2.0 at 45W Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 Wireless PowerShare
221 grams (57.8193 ounces)
234 grams (8.25 ounces)
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a glass back with a square camera block in the corner, a titanium frame, and a large Dynamic Island in the screen, housing its front-facing camera and Face ID components. The dimensions of this phone are 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.3 mm, weighing 221g, and available in Black, White, Blue, and Natural Titanium hues. Moreso, it’s water and dust resistant with an IP68 designation. In contrast, the Galaxy S23 Ultra weighs 234 grams because of its aluminum and glass construction. Both smartphones are water and dust resistant up to IP68.
The iPhone is marketed for its Ceramic Glass Shield atop the display, which was developed together with Corning. Although it does not immediately seem like a material that is significantly different from what you are used to with other phones, the titanium frame is a crucial component these days.
Compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is somewhat shorter, thinner, and even lighter. It makes sense that the iPhone is the smaller smartphone because it naturally has a somewhat smaller display.
The designs of the two devices are entirely dissimilar. The Galaxy S23 Ultra features a curved frame on the right and left sides, flat panels, and a significantly more understated camera configuration with nearly flush cameras than the iPhone, which has a flat frame, flat glass sides, and a noticeably large camera housing.
It’s nice that the Galaxy S23 Ultra includes the newest Gorilla Glass 2 Victus panels on both sides; this is the strongest glass currently found on any popular Android smartphone. Samsung’s Armor Aluminum alloy, which is used to make the frame, should provide better scratch and drop resistance. Protecting the front panel is Gorilla Glass Victus 2.
In terms of ergonomics, the Galaxy S23 Ultra was more comfortable to use than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which had ergonomics issues. With the new iPhone’s slightly curved edges, Apple claims to have improved ergonomics, and in use, those promises hold up. Furthermore, the lighter weight produces a more comfortable grip. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has Face ID whereas the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a fingerprint sensor for authentication.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra both offer stellar OLED displays. The 6.7-inch panel on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is a bit smaller than the 6.8-inch screen on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, both screens have 120Hz refresh rates, clear pictures, and vibrant colors.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has the brighter display – 1787nits vs. 1274nits in Auto mode and 846nits vs 831nits with manual control. However, its display only has 460 ppi as opposed to 500 ppi. That’s perhaps a little difficult to see with the unaided eye. What’s seen is that the iPhone’s cutout is far larger than the Galaxy’s little hole. In addition, the screen of the Galaxy S23 is somewhat curved, while the iPhone’s screen is flat.
In terms of color reproduction, the Galaxy S23 Ultra turned in higher scores in both the sRGB test and DCI-P3 color space, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s colors proved more accurate in when doing a Delta-E test.
The fact that Samsung allows you to select from several color profiles is fantastic, but when watching video, the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s screen appears slightly better, with subjects having more depth and contrast.
Lastly, the Galaxy S23 Ultra only supports HDR10+ streaming, whereas the iPhone supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has the best chip Apple has made so far – the Apple A17 Pro, while the Galaxy S23 Ultra features the most powerful Qualcomm chipset to date – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. Since the Galaxy and the iPhone run on completely separate hardware and software platforms, it is sufficient to know that they both have the best technology currently available.
Although the two phones are incredibly powerful, the iPhone 15 Pro Max probably has the advantage because of its new A17 Pro chipset. With even more transistors, this is the first 3nm phone CPU in history. This chipset rivals the greatest ones available for Android phones, even surpassing the power of the A16 Bionic found in the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Plus.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, a slightly overclocked variant of the normal Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, is the best processor available for Android phones, and it powers the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Many of the top Android phones also use this chipset.
In 3DMark WildLife Unlimited, the iPhone 15 Pro Max recorded 92 frames per second, while the Samsung managed 87 fps. This indicates that the graphics performance of the two devices is close. However, Apple increased its advantage in our test of video editing, taking just 24.5 seconds to convert a 4K movie to 1080p. Compared to the S23 Ultra, that is 15 seconds faster.
Fueled by Apple’s A17 Bionic chip, the iPhone 15 Pro Max promises unparalleled performance. The chip’s neural engine and machine learning capabilities not only enhance everyday tasks but also lay the foundation for the device’s advanced AI features.
Samsung’s Exynos 2200 (or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, depending on the region) ensures that the Galaxy S23 Ultra matches its iPhone counterpart in processing power. Paired with ample RAM, the device delivers a seamless and responsive user experience.
Of all smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts the most flexible camera configuration. It has two 10MP telephoto sensors for 3x and 10x optical magnification, a 12MP ultra wide-angle lens, and a 200-megapixel (MP) primary camera.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max retains the high-resolution 48MP main camera that debuted with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but it also adds some cool features like new Photonic Engine and Smart HDR, a new 5.0X periscope camera that offers an equivalent of 120mm, and customizable default focal lengths for the main camera.
With a 48 MP primary camera, a 12MP ultrawide sensor, and a 12MP telephoto camera, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has three cameras on its back. Apple claims that the iPhone 15 series’ HDR on images has been enhanced by the company’s more recent Smart HDR 5 technology. Additionally, the phone now has an upgraded portrait mode that allows you to use depth data in all of your photos. This means that you can use the Photos app to convert any ordinary photo into a portrait.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra captures good-quality video, but we anticipate that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will perform better due to its support for ProRes and Dolby Vision HDR. Additionally, the new iPhone allows users to capture 4K videos at 60 frames per second (fps) straight to an external storage device. Both phones include a 12MP selfie camera on the front.
This is the first time Apple has ventured into the proper zooming game, though it still loses to the Galaxy S23 Ultra in terms of overall throw. In addition to the normal 24mm, there is now a 28mm and a 35mm option that is ideal for street photography. Furthermore, the iPhone’s default resolution has increased from 12 to 24 MP.
In terms of sheer specs, however, the Galaxy S23 Ultra triumphs since it has a 200MP camera with a huge 1/1.3″ ISOCELL HP2 sensor. Samsung’s best phone, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, combines 16 pixels into one to produce 12.5MP photographs with outstanding dynamics in low light. In good lighting, the Galaxy S23 Ultra uses quad-pixel binning to produce incredibly detailed 50MP photos.
Though it hasn’t been disclosed, Apple claims that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s battery can support up to 29 hours of video playing, 25 hours of streaming video, or 95 hours of audio. These are amazing numbers, even if they are the same as those of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts a 5,000mAh battery that, according to our evaluation, easily lasted a day and a half under typical use and a full day under more intense conditions.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra leads the pack in terms of charging, providing 45W charging. While Apple does not specify the precise charging power that the iPhone 15 Pro Max supports, it does state that it can reach 50% battery life with a 20W or higher charger in around 30 minutes, which suggests that 20W is about the highest power that the device can support.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has the added feature of reverse wireless charging at 4.5W, allowing you to use it as a wireless charger to gradually refuel other devices. Both phones enable wireless charging at up to 15W.
Since the introduction of the iPhone, it has all come down to choose between iOS and Android. It’s also a matter of preference, with advantages and disadvantages associated with adopting Google and Samsung, or Apple’s methods.
The recently released iPhone 15 Pro Max is undoubtedly a more durable smartphone thanks to its improved water resistance; it also boasts a superior display, more potent technology, and excellent 2x and 5x zoom quality.
In this very close race to be best phone overall, the iPhone 15 Pro Max prevails. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, it provides better battery life, stronger performance, and an impressive display in a lighter and more durable titanium body.
Nevertheless, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra remains a fantastic phone, winning by a slim margin in the camera competition because of its crisper, brighter images and stronger zoom.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s S-Pen, which is packed away neatly inside the phone and offers more flexible zoom settings, faster charging, and reverse wireless charging, is the most convenient accessory available. The feature that will always tip the scales in favor of one side or the other is the Android OS, which it also boasts.