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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max – Which one is better?

Last Updated on December 1, 2023
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Which is better? Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max? This will be the big question on everyone’s lips this year at two technology giants from opposing sides fights for your pockets. Both are great choices, but they run on entirely different operating systems and utilize completely different ecosystems. 

Which one should you choose? Well, we’re not going to tell you. What we will do is break down some key features, compare them and make sure our readers can make a well-informed decision. Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone market, so it’s only right that you make a decision based on what you need from a smartphone.

Overall Specs – Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra:

Credit: Samsung
Dimensions77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9 mm229 g
Display6.8” Edge QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x DisplayAdaptive 120Hz refresh rate (1Hz~120Hz)240Hz Touch Sampling (in Game Mode)Eye Comfort Shield (Blue Light Filtering)
ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
Rear Camera12 MP Ultra-Wide (f2.2, 120-degree FOV)108 MP Wide (f1.8, 85-degree FOV, Dual Pixel Autofocus)10 MP Telephoto (f2.4, 36-degree FOV, 3x Optical Zoom)10 MP Telephoto (f4.9, 11-degree FOV, 10x Optical Zoom)
Front Camera40 MP (f2.2, 80-degree FOV)
Battery5000 mAh
Charging45W Wired Charging15W Wireless ChargingReverse Wireless Charging (Wireless PowerShare)
Memory8GB or 12GB*
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB*
Network & Connectivity5G (sub 6Ghz and mmWave)WiFi 6EBluetooth 5.2
Operating SystemOne UI 4.1 (based on Android 12)
SecurityUltrasonic Fingerprint Scanner, Samsung KNOX
PortsUSB C 3.2
SensorsAccelerometer, Barometer, Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor or Proximity Sensor
Additional FeaturesIP68Samsung Pay with NFC

iPhone 13 Pro Max:

Credit: Apple
SpecificationApple iPhone 13 Pro Max
BuildStainless steel frame“Ceramic Shield” display protectionGlass back
Dimensions & Weight160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm240 grams
Display6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED Display120Hz ProMotion refresh rate2,532 x 1,170 resolution
SoCApple A15 SoC:2x performance cores4x power efficiency cores5nm process node4-core GPU16-core Neural Engine
Memory & StorageMemory: 6GBStorage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery & Charging4,352 mAh battery15W Wireless Charging with MagSafe7.5W Qi Wireless Charging
SecurityFace ID (TrueDepth camera for facial recognition)
Rear Camera(s)Primary: 12MP, f/1.5, Sensor shift OISSecondary: 12MP, f/1.8, Ultra-wide angleTelephoto: 12MP, OIS, 3x zoomLiDAR sensor
Front Camera(s)12MP, f/2.2
Port(s)Lightning port
AudioAudio formats supported: AAC‑LC, HE‑AAC, HE‑AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC‑3), Dolby Digital Plus (E‑AC‑3), Dolby Atmos, and Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+)
Connectivity5G: Sub 6GHzmmWave for the USAUltra-Wide Band (UWB)Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMOBluetooth 5.0
SoftwareiOS 15
Other FeaturesIP68Colors: Sierra Blue, Silver, Gold, and Graphite

Screen Size: Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is rocking a 6.8-inch dynamic AMOLED display that also sports HDR10+ at 2K resolution. It’s a downgrade from the S21s 4K screens, but unless we’re talking TVs, 2K is an ideal resolution for handsets. The different between 2K and 4K on a small screen isn’t worth the price difference, although it’s a giant screen size compared to other smartphones.

iPhone 13 Pro Max weighs in at just under 6.7 inches with its super retina XDR OLED screen. It’s HDR10 capable and compatible with Dolby vision. Compared to Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, it’s slightly smaller but the resolution wins out at around near 3K. Ultimately, the main difference users will notice is brightness and color, which they are more or less going head to head-on.

Credit: Pexels

Cameras: Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

iPhone 13 Pro Max camera specifications are as follows:

  • Primary: 12MP, f/1.5, Sensor shift OIS
  • Secondary: 12MP, f/1.8, Ultra-wide angle
  • Telephoto: 12MP, OIS, 3x zoom
  • LiDAR sensor
  • Front Camera: 12MP, f/2.2

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera specifications, on the other hand, are:

  • 12 MP Ultra-Wide (f2.2, 120-degree FOV)
  • 108 MP Wide (f1.8, 85-degree FOV, Dual Pixel Autofocus)
  • 10 MP Telephoto (f2.4, 36-degree FOV, 3x Optical Zoom)
  • 10 MP Telephoto (f4.9, 11-degree FOV, 10x Optical Zoom)
  • Front Camera: 40 MP (f2.2, 80-degree FOV)

Just by looking at these condensed specs, it’s clear that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultras camera selection is not only more powerful but there’s an extra lens too. Field of view, lens quality, and even the front camera are massively superior.

Design: Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

The camera bump on the back of smartphones is now a standard appearance, with iPhone 13 Pro Max looking the same as iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max arrays. Galaxy S22 Ultra is mixing up their camera array design this year, however. For what seems like the first time ever, Samsung has managed to get a high-end camera array to sit flush inside the S22 Ultra body. It’s a beautiful bit of design and engineering on Samsung’s part. 

Corners or curves? That would be the best question to ask when it comes to Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple is guilty of being a bit lazy and making standard upgrades with iPhone 13 series this year, but Galaxy S22 Ultra takes some major cues from the now-defunct Note line and has come lovely sharp corners with a slight curve on either side of the screen.

On the flip side of this, Apple has gone for the ‘don’t fix what isn’t broken’ approach this year, which is fine for fans of the design who missed out on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. But then again, people could just save some money and go for iPhone 12 Pro Max right?

Credit: Samsung

Battery: Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a mammoth in the field of baby Elephants, dominating with a large screen, built-in stylus, and a flush camera array, but the battery life is surprisingly good for such a large phone. Users can look forward to roughly 12 hours of battery life on standard use but expect much less if gaming or using any heavy-duty apps.

iPhone 13 Pro Max absolutely smashes it when it comes to battery life, providing nearly 24 hours worth of charge regardless of what tasks are being carried out. There is no danger of this handset lasting for the day without the use of power banks, but again we’d say this time would be significantly reduced if a user was constantly streaming or gaming.

Android vs iOS: Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

The age-old argument amongst tech-heads. The thing is, this is entirely down to personal preference. For those who want to mess around with developer options, side-load apps, and really get creative with a smartphone, we would suggest picking an Android handset.

Other users just want an operating system that just works and looks nice, which is where iOS dominates. Everything pops into view and works in sync with the Apple ecosystem. For those looking into using smart home products down the line, however, be aware that Apple HomeKit products are harder to find than Google and Bixby compatible products (Google and Samsungs smart assistants).

For more information on iOS and Android, please bookmark and visit our iOS and Android hubs.

Christian 'Reggie' Waits' is a contributor to PC Guide, having written a wide array of how to and buying guide content.