The iPhone 15 Pro Max is Apple’s latest high-end iPhone and the biggest competitor yet to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, which currently tops our best phones list.
We haven’t completed a full review of the iPhone 15 Pro Max at the time of writing, so it remains to be seen whether it will take Samsung’s place. But we know all the specs and features, so based on those – as well as first impressions – we compared it to the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Below is a look at how these two phones compare for every key spec, from their screens to their cameras and beyond, as well as their price.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Specs comparison
Before we take a closer look at how the best Samsung and Apple phones compare, here’s a look at the key specs of each, so you can see at a glance what’s similar and what’s not.
|iPhone 15 Pro Max||Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra|
|Display:||6.7-inch OLED||6.8-inch OLED|
|Resolution:||1290 x 2796 pixels||1440 x 3088 pixels|
|Chipset:||A17 Pro||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy|
|Rear cameras:||Main 48MP, ultrawide 12MP, periscope 12MP||Main 200MP, Ultrawide 12MP, Telephoto 10MP, Periscope 10MP|
|RAM:||To confirm||8 GB / 12 GB|
|Storage:||256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB||256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB|
|Battery:||Up to 29 hours of video||5000mAh|
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: price and availability
The iPhone 15 Pro Max ships on September 22 and starts at $1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,199 for a model with 256GB of storage. But there are also 512GB and 1TB models, with the latter costing $1,599 / £1,599 / AU$2,899.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is available now and starts at $1,199.99 / £1,249 / AU$1,949. That’s also 256GB of storage, so the US starting prices for these two phones are identical, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra costs a little more in the UK and a little less in Australia.
It tops out at $1,619.99 / £1,599 / AU$2,649, giving you 1TB of storage, like with the iPhone. So, at the high end, Samsung’s phone costs more in the US, the same price in the UK and cheaper in Australia.
However, a big caveat here is that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has been available for a while, so it can often be found for a bit lower than official prices, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max is likely to stay at full price for a while. while.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: design and display
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 display, housing its front camera and Face ID components. It measures 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.3 mm, 221 g and is available in Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium and Natural Titanium shades. Oh, and it has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra also has a glass back, but its frame is aluminum rather than titanium, which is a less premium choice. It features a much smaller cutout in the display housing a punch-hole camera, and the phone as a whole is much more angular, lacking the curved corners of the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
It also features a very different camera design on the back, with the lenses rising individually from the back, rather than having a separate body.
It measures 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm and 234g, so it’s larger, thicker and heavier than Apple’s phone, and it comes in Phantom Black, Green, Cream, Lavender, Graphite, Sky Blue, Lime and Red. So you can get the Galaxy S23 Ultra in a wider selection of colors. Like the iPhone 15 Pro Max, this one also has an IP68 rating.
As for their displays, the iPhone 15 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch 1290 x 2796 OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 460 pixels per inch, and a peak brightness of 2,000 nits.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a slightly larger 6.8-inch, 1,440 x 3,088 AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 500 pixels per inch, so it’s also slightly sharper. But its peak brightness is less than 1,750 nits. The Galaxy S23’s screen is also slightly curved, while the iPhone’s is flat.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Cameras
With the iPhone 15 Pro Max, you get a triple-lens rear camera, including a 48 MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12 MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with a 120 field of view degrees and a 12 MP f/2.8 periscope, offering 5x optical zoom.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offers a 200 MP f/1.7 main camera, a 12 MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, and a 10 MP f/ 2.4 with 3x optical zoom and a 10 MP f/4.9 periscope. with 10x optical zoom.
Samsung’s phone therefore has more cameras and many more megapixels in the main camera. It can also optically zoom further and at two different distances. That said, the iPhone’s main camera can take optical-quality 2x zoom photos at 12 MP.
Still, on paper, Samsung’s setup looks a little more impressive, and it’s certainly impressed us, as it’s currently at the top of our list of best camera phones.
But iPhones generally also have great cameras, and it’s entirely possible that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will unseat the Galaxy S23 Ultra – we’ll know for sure once we give it a full review.
Where things are more equal is their front cameras, as both phones have a 12 MP one. Both phones can also record video in 4K quality at up to 60fps, but the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra can also record in 8K quality at up to 30fps.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: performance
Both of these phones are extremely powerful, but it’s likely that the iPhone 15 Pro Max has the edge, thanks to its new A17 Pro chipset. It’s even more powerful than the A16 Bionic in the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Plus, and this chipset still rivals the best available in phones Android.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra does, however, have the best chipset available for Android phones, specifically the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, which is a slightly overclocked version of the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – a chipset you’ll find in many of the best Androids . Telephone (s.
Samsung’s phone probably also has more RAM. We say probably, because Apple hasn’t revealed how much RAM the iPhone 15 Pro Max has, but leaks suggest it has 8GB, and with the iPhone 14 Pro Max only having 6GB, we would be surprised if there was more than 8 GB here. .
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra also has 8GB – at least in the 256GB model. But if you opt for more storage, you’ll get 12GB of RAM.
Still, we’d wager that the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the better performing phone overall, but we won’t know for sure until we spend more time with it. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is sufficiently powerful though, with our review noting that it offers “exceptional performance”, so it’s unlikely to be lacking in power.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: battery
Apple did not reveal the battery size of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but said it would last up to 29 hours of video playback, 25 hours of streaming video, or 95 hours of audio. These are impressive numbers, although identical to those of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a 5,000 mAh battery, which in our review lasted a day and a half with normal use, and comfortably lasted a day even with heavier use.
So Samsung’s phone impresses here, and Apple’s seems to do so too. We’ll have to wait and see which one comes out on top.
When it comes to charging, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra takes the lead, with 45W charging on offer. Meanwhile, Apple doesn’t say exactly how much charging power the iPhone 15 Pro Max supports, but notes that it can get to 50% charge in about 30 minutes with a 20W or higher charger, which rather suggests that its maximum supported charging power is around 20W.
Both phones also support wireless charging up to 15W, and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra additionally offers reverse wireless charging at 4.5W, so you can use it as a wireless charger to slowly power up other devices.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: verdict
Both of these phones are true flagships, with – at least on paper – exceptional screens and power, as well as top-of-the-line cameras. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, we can also say that it meets these expectations in practice.
Based on the specs, the iPhone 15 Pro Max may be the most powerful phone, and it uses premium metal in its build and has a slightly brighter screen. But the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has more cameras, longer-range optical zoom, and probably more RAM. Samsung’s phone also includes an S Pen, something you don’t get with the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The price is similar on paper, but if you shop around, you’ll likely find the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for a little less.
So there are gains and losses for each phone, and which one is better will probably depend on what you value most – although we’ll be able to say that with more certainty once we’re done reviewing the iPhone 15 Pro Max.