The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra packs the best hardware that the Korean OEM has set for its slab phone offerings. For $1200, it comes with one of the best displays on the market, a camera system — praised for its zoom capabilities — and build quality that is right up there with other flagship devices.
But when you notice that the "best iPhone" is available for $100 less, we bet you might wonder whether that device is the one you should pick. Thus, in this article, we will compare the Galaxy S22 Ultra with the iPhone 13 Pro Max to see how they match up against each other.
Design and Display
Visually, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features a significant departure from its predecessor, one that I quite like. It eliminates the Contour Cut design language — still seen in the standard Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy S22 Plus — and replaces it with the flat top and bottom with heavy curves on the sides seen in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The camera array also underwent an overhaul, morphing into a design that features just the lenses.
On the other hand, the iPhone 13 Pro Max still looks eerily similar to its predecessor. The changes include a couple of new colors, a massive camera array, and a smaller notch on the front. The sides are still made with Stainless Steel, the back glass uses the PVD Coating — giving it a matte finish in contrast with the frame — and the front continues with Ceramic Shield.
For the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung uses an aluminum frame — monikered Armor Aluminum — which promises improved hardness and Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on the front and back. It also features a satin finish on the glass back contrasted with a glossy tone on the metal rails.
Bringing your focus to the displays, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features a slightly larger 6.8-inch display with a hole punch. In comparison, iPhone 13 Pro Max features a slightly smaller 6.7-inch panel. Although the notch — while trimmed — does eat into available screen real estate.
But if it is the quality that you are looking for, both phones will not disappoint! They feature OLED panels with great contrast ratios, high resolution, and enough brightness to make outdoor usage a hassle-free experience. Now, we won't jump into the fancy names the OEM has for its panel. Thus, remember that the margin for disappointment is often quite low with flagship devices, and both, iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S22 Ultra deliver.
Although, we would like to point out that Galaxy S22 Ultra owners are likely to make better use of its bigger screen. The productivity features baked into the operating system with S Pen compatibility are a huge plus.
What processor do these devices feature?
Smartphone silicone and the performance they offer is a race that Apple has led for a few years now, and it's a lead that Apple has maintained with the A15 Bionic. Users are bound to see a higher level of sustained performance and efficiency that's unmatched. So, if you're looking for a smartphone that is bound to age well and have all its cylinders firing, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the device to consider.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra also has a powerful SoC behind it — though your experience can vary based on whether your phone uses a chipset from Qualcomm or one from Samsung. This year, a majority has access to the Qualcomm SoC-based phones, with Europe receiving the Exynos models.
But again, in day-to-day usage, you're not going to notice much of a difference between the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
How does Galaxy S22 Ultra's camera hardware compare against iPhone 13 Pro Max?
Unlike the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus, which saw a more significant change in camera hardware, the Galaxy S22 Ultra maintains a set of cameras similar to its predecessor. Although, the 108MP camera, which serves as the headliner for Samsung, is a new larger sensor. That main camera is supported by the unchanged 12MP Ultrawide and a pair of 10MP Telephoto cameras, each with different levels of optical zoom.
With the iPhone 13 Pro Max, Apple chose to redo every single camera by including larger sensors while leaving the megapixel count at 12. These new sensors mean the iPhone will have more data to work with to ensure images are brighter and more detailed. Although, we cannot wait to see what Apple can achieve with higher resolution cameras.
How does the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra compare to iPhone 13 Pro Max in terms of battery life?
iPhones are stigmatized to have some of the worst battery life, and it is hard to argue against this fact, as the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone SE 2nd Gen did have poor endurance. But with its increased depth and the 4352 mAh battery, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the device to get if you want to have long gaps between looking for a charging spot. Many users have reported it to be a two-day phone with moderately heavy use. Nevertheless, remember that your mileage can vary as batteries are chemical entities with unique aspects affecting each unit.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra, on the other hand, features a 5000 mAh cell that will last you through a whole day of use. Even going into the next one, Jaime Rivera reports in his full review. Fortunately, unlike the iPhone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra does support a peak 45W input to charge its battery. This feature will come in handy when charging your device from 0%.
We have now finally come to the point where I will state some of my thoughts to help you make a decision.
If you need a smartphone to accomplish more, i.e., get work done, use multiple apps at once, and bring an aspect of creativity. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is going to be a great choice. Its integration of the S Pen into the UI makes for an experience that will be worth spending time on. For some, this tool may feel like a gimmick, but others might find it make their life a whole lot easier. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also features a respectable battery and a camera system that has arguably the best zoom available on the market, perfect for capturing stills where it is impossible to reach the subject.
Contrarily, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the device, which while large doesn't offer any extra features and only offers a seamless user experience supported by exceptional battery life and a camera system that won't disappoint. Another bonus here would be that the longevity and ability to hold value of an iPhone are greater. Hence, if you're looking for a device that gets the basics right and wouldn't mind saving $100 in the process, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the one to get!
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a larger 6.8" QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, a versatile camera setup, and a large battery that will keep you going through a whole day! Pre-order your Galaxy S22 Ultra from Samsung's website and receive $200 in Samsung Credit.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro Max packs Apple's best processor, camera hardware, large screen, and a gigantic battery within its Stainless Steel chassis to provide buyers with an unmatched iPhone experience.
|Smartphone||Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra||Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Operating System||One UI 4.1 (based on Android 12)||iOS 15|
|Dimensions||163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm||160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm|
|Display||6.8-inch Edge QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, Adaptive 120Hz Refresh Rate (1Hz~120Hz), 1440x3088, 1750 nits peak brightness, 240Hz Touch Sampling in Gaming Mode||6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED Display, ProMotion (adaptive refresh rate 10Hz~120Hz), (1284 x 2778)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 |
|RAM||8GB or 12GB||6GB|
|Internal Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB*||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB|
|Rear Camera||- 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)
|- 12 MP Wide, ƒ/1.5 aperture, Sensor Shift OIS |
- 12 MP, ƒ/1.8 Ultra-Wide Angle, 2x Optical Zoom Out
- 12 MP Telephoto, ƒ/2.8 aperture. 3x Optical Zoom In
|Front Camera||40 MP (f2.2, 80-degree FOV)||12 MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture|
|Battery||5000 mAh||4352 mAh|
|Charging||45W Wired Charging |
15W Wireless Charging
Reverse Wireless Charging
|50% charge in 30 minutes |
15W Wireless Charging (with MagSafe)
7.5W Qi Wireless Charging
|Security||Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner||Face ID|
|Connectivity||Sub6GHz/ mmWave 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2||Sub6GHz & mmWave 5G (for USA only), Wi‑Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Colors||Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold||Graphite, Sierra Blue, Gold, Silver, Alpine Green|
*Availability varies by region.