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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Which flagship wins?

If you are trying to choose between the most expensive phones, a Samsung Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max battle is what you need. It’s not an easy decision to make as each phone is unique and has special features that are truly exceptional.

You’ll see that the 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a beast. It has one of our best displays and a much better camera. The best addition is the built-in S Pen. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has five compelling reasons to purchase it and two to skimp on it . The S22 Ultra starts at $1,199, so you will be paying a lot.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max review reveals it to be the best iPhone, with a vibrant 6.7-inch OLED screen and powerful cameras, including a new Cinematic mode for video. Its A15 Bionic chip makes it lightning fast, and the battery lasts a long time.

Which phone is right for you? This in-depth Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max comparison will help answer that question. (We also have a Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max comparison that compares both of the less-expensive base models.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max specs

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max – Price and Value

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is $100 cheaper than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. To get started, you get 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. It costs $100 more to increase to 12GB or 256GB storage. The 1TB and 512GB models are $1,399 and $1.599, respectively.

You can get the 12GB/256GB model free of charge during the Galaxy S22 Pre-Order period (until Feb. 24) and there are many Galaxy S22 deals that include the Ultra.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Desig

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra looks and feels more sleek than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It also features a more elegant camera array. The iPhone’s lenses are placed in a larger block at the back.

Samsung’s advantage is its lack of a notch on the display. Although the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s display notch is smaller than it was before, it’s still distracting in comparison to the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s punch hole.

Although the S22 Ultra’s slightly curved display is visually appealing, it can make it more difficult to type and move the cursor. The iPhone 13 Pro Max features a flat display that makes it easier to hold and use.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra measures 6.4×3.1×0.4 inches and weighs 8.1 ounces. It is shorter but lighter than the iPhone 13 Pro Mac at 6.3×3.1×0.3 inches and 8.5oz.

Winner: Galaxy S22 U

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Display

Both the AMOLED displays of the Galaxy S22 Ultra (and iPhone 13 Pro Max) are stunning and you can’t go wrong either phone. For a few reasons, I prefer Samsung’s phone.

The S22 Ultra was a little brighter during our testing. It reached 1,359 nits. The iPhone 13 Pro Max was at 1,038 nits. The panel of the Galaxy S22 Ultra covered more of the sRGB gamut (137.5%), and the more challenging DCI-P3 space (97.4%), as opposed to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s panel covering 109.3%/77.4%.

Apple’s panel has a slight advantage in terms color accuracy, with a Delta E score of 0.21. Zero is perfect. The S22 Ultra scored 0.25 less.

Update Some Galaxy S22U Ultra models equipped with Exynos processors are experiencing display issues. Samsung promises a solution. This issue does not appear to be affecting the S22 Ultra’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Generation 1 model, which we reviewed.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra allows you to choose the color profile that you prefer (Natural, Vivid), which I like because I enjoy watching videos in the latter.

Winner: Galaxy S22 Ultra

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Cameras

Galaxy S22 Ultra is a 108MP main camera that has a larger sensor than S21 Ultra. This sensor allows for more light to enter the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It also features a 12MP ultrawide lens, dual 10MP telephoto lenses, and a 10MP ultrawide lens that gives you 10x optical zoom and a 100x Space Zoom.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with a trio 12MP lenses, including main, ultrawide, and telephoto shooters. Apple increased the size of its main sensor to allow for more light. However, the iPhone 13 Pro Max only supports 3x optical zoom.

This indoor shot of chrysanthemum flower petals taken indoors by the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a strong start for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The petals can be seen more clearly on the right side of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, while the S22 Ultra struggles with this close-up shot.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra produced a crisper, brighter Night mode shot than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It is easier to see the snow, mulch, and bushes.

This Night Mode photo of a bar cart shows me that I think it’s a draw. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s image shows the decorations better, but the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s background has the glasses and Kettle One bottles in a clearer way. The shot of the S22 Ultra has a yellowish tint to it.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra has improved portraits thanks to an AI Stereo Depth Map feature. However, the overall image quality isn’t as good as that of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Although I love the Samsung shot’s warm tone, my face looks brighter and more crisper on the iPhone.

This shot of fruit from a grocery store wins the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The colors on the S22 Ultra are more saturated, but the pears have a more natural color. The same applies to the oranges to the right.

It’s not an easy decision to compare selfies. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 40MP front camera provides a better shot, but I prefer the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s more evenly lit shot. However, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s shot is brighter and has more detail in my jacket.

Winner: iPhone 13 Pro Max

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Video

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra can record video at up to 8K at 24fps. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is limited to 4K and 60fps. Only the iPhone has a Cinematic mode that allows for a rack focus effect and automatically switches subjects depending on who is speaking. Although the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers portrait video, it is not as intelligent. Samsung’s Auto Framing feature allows it to track up 10 people and keep them in focus.

What about video quality? To capture the fountain in Midtown Manhattan, I used both my iPhone and my 4K camera.

This is where the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra excels. It zooms up to 10x while the iPhone 13 Pro Max can only zoom to 3x. The Samsung allows me to get closer to the water. While the blue sky and clouds appear crystal clear when I pan up, the green plants to the right of my frame look washed-out in the sunlight once I turn down. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is a different story.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max clip looks better than the original. It is clearer when viewed at full screen. It’s easier to see small details, like the 1251 on the banner or the lettering on food trucks. However, the iPhone caused more distortion than the S22 Ultra when I was panning fast.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Performance

The latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor is included in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This provides a noticeable performance boost, particularly when it comes to graphics. It’s still behind the iPhone 13 Pro Max with its A15 Bionic processor in various tests.

Geekbench 5 synthetic benchmarks show that the Galaxy S22 Ultra is ahead of the iPhone 13 Pro Max in both single- and multicore tests. 3DMark Wild Live showed that the Galaxy S22 Ultra produced a silky smooth 59.8 frames/second, a significant improvement on the 34 fps of the S21 Ultra. The iPhone 13 Pro Max scored a better score.

It took the Galaxy S22 Ultra 47 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p. This is an improvement on the S21 Ultra, but slower than the 25 second mark for the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is still a powerful phone. It feels faster switching between apps, closing them, and even opening new ones.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13Pro Max: Battery life, charging

In our testing, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 5,000-mAh battery didn’t last as long as we expected. The S22 Ultra’s battery performance was not as good in our Tom’s Guide battery test. This involves web surfing at 150 nits brightness and the phone’s adaptive refresh rate being turned off. The iPhone 13 Pro Max was nearly two hours longer at 12.16, placing it on our best smartphone battery life list.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra can charge at 45W faster than the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s 20W. This is the difference between charging 50% in 20 minutes and 30 minutes.

To compare it with other phones, check out our Galaxy S22 Super Battery Life Results summary.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max – Special features and software

The integrated S Pen is the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s most notable feature. The integrated S Pen is not only built into the phone but also provides smoother performance than the previous Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It has 70% less latency which makes it easier to draw and take notes.

Google Duo is another cool feature that the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers. You can also share your screen during a call so that you can view videos with other users in YouTube or other apps. FaceTime is supported by Apple’s iOS15.

Cinematic mode is the most notable feature of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It delivers a bokeh effect in video and uses AI to switch focus to the correct subject within the frame based upon who is more active. You can also manually change focus between subjects at any time.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13Pro Max: Overall winner

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max battle shows that both phones are great. You can see the final score. These two flagships are only 3 points apart.

This comparison shows that the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the better iPhone due to its longer battery life, higher performance and superior image quality. Samsung’s cameras are improving, but not as much as iPhone rivals.

Samsung is the clear winner in design, display quality, and versatility of its cameras. Samsung’s are especially good at low light performance and powerful zoom. If you find the S Pen useful, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has it.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max narrowly wins the contest, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most premium Android phone money could buy.

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