Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max – which one should you pick

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max – which one should you pick
Romilly Cotta Updated on by

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You may be wondering what’s the difference between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max and you’d certainly not be alone.

The Glaxaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung’s latest flagship has been released and there’s no shortage of new features to be excited about, even if the design has largely remained the same as its predecessor, the S22 Ultra. It’s worth mentioning we have spotted a price drop on the S22 Ultra, making it a great choice for those who aren’t set on the latest and greatest.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max was released on last September and has since garnered a great reputation for its camera quality and battery life. Released alongside the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple’s considerably larger flagship is a popular choice for those wanting to get the most out of its stunning display.

You may be weighing up which phone to go for, and how it matches up to what your main usage will be – whether that be for everyday browsing, watching content, or even gaming. It might also be worth checking our chosen alternatives to the S23 if you’d like to upgrade without going for the most expensive option.

So, we’re going to make things a little easier by comparing what we think are the key comparison areas between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max. We’ll look at everything from specs to features, and even design and value for money so you can make an informed choice.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max – specs

SpecS23 UltraiPhone 14 Pro Max
DisplayAMOLEDSuper Retina XDR OLED
Resolution1,440 x 30881290 x 2796
ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 2Apple A16 Bionic
Battery5,000 mAh 4323 mAh
Charger45W (wired), 10W (wireless)30W, 15W (wireless)
Refresh Rate120Hz120Hz
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Main Camera4 lens (200MP, 12MP, 10MP, 10MP)3 lens (48MP, 12MP, 12MP)
Selfie Lens12MP12MP

As you can see from the table, there are a few key similarities between the S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Both share a similarly large display at 6.8 and 6.7 inches respectively. With a high pixel count and OLED display, this makes both phones pretty luxurious for browsing the internet, watching content and gaming. It also compliments the high-quality camera specs on both phones, as a larger display generally improves the composition of photos.

Read More: iPhone 14 vs Samsung S22 – which one should you go for?

Both also share a refresh rate of 120Hz, so expect an ultra-smooth experience with minimum motion blurring. While the Samsung Galaxy S23 has an advantage of at least 2 extra GB of RAM, both phones are great choices if you’re into mobile gaming.

Though the S23 Ultra boasts an additional lens, packing up to 200 megapixels in its main camera, the Pro Max still gives the Samsung flagship a good run for its money. Special features belonging to the Pro Plus include Apple ProRAW, Night mode portraits, and adaptive True Tone flash.

Generally speaking, iPhones have a great reputation for producing natural-looking images, while Samsung Galaxy cameras generally produce more punchy and ‘shareable’ results. With the S23 Ultra, expect a special focus on low-light photography with Auto-Focus and enhanced color reproduction in brighter shooting situations.

There are some important differences though, namely regarding battery life. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is clearly the winner, with a battery life of 5000 mAh that’s on par with a number of popular gaming phones.

They also sport different chipsets, though they actually equate to similar performances. The main difference between the two is that the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has support ray-tracing and improves the power efficiency of the S23 Ultra, once again giving it a gaming edge.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max – battery life

While Apple has come a long way to compete with Samsung in terms of battery life, Samsung still takes the lead with a significantly larger battery for its flagship model.

Read More: Google Pixel 7 vs Google Pixel 7 Pro – which one should you pick?

That being said, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a number of features that help battery efficiency. It still performs very well with general usage, aided by Apple’s ultra-powerful A16 bionic chip. There’s also a Low Power Mode that helps save battery, meaning the 14 Pro Max actually matches the battery life of phones with larger batteries like the Google Pixel 7 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max – design

In terms of design, there are a number of key similarities and differences between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max.

In terms of looks, the S23 Ultra looks largely the same as its S22 Ultra predecessor. It features slightly larger camera lenses that are protected by the Gorilla Glass back panel. The Ultra is also available in a range of new colours too

Read More: Nubia Red Magic 7 alternatives

The iPhone 14 Pro Max features a ceramic shield front and textured matt glass black. It also features the new Dynamic Island that’s meant to blend the line between hardware and software. Essentially a pill-shaped cutout at the front of the display housing camera equipment, it can change shape and size using software, allowing you to perform tasks like showing payment confirmations with face ID, phone calls and Live Activities. In terms of colors, you can buy the 14 Pro Max in Deep Purple, Gold, Silver, or Space Black.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max – value for money

As flagship phones for Samsung and Apple respectively, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max don’t come cheap.

It’s worth noting that Apple’s reputation for selling expensive smartphones has improved, with Samsung’s Galaxy line creeping the prices up. Overall though, we’re opting for the iPhone 14 Pro Max as the best value phone out of the two. We’re seriously impressed by its A16 Bionic chip that delivers top tier performance and energy efficiency. The fact that it’s been on the market since last year has meant prices have had a chance to drop, plus it’s hard to top Apple’s industry leading durability.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes in at $1199 at the time of writing, which isn’t to bad considering it’s the arguably the best phone Samsung has released to date.

Price Check: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, 256GB via Newegg

Price Check: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Which should you go for?

As usual, choosing between two flagships is a balancing act between price and performance.

If you’re already an Apple user, then we don’t believe the Samsung Galaxy S23 offers enough unique advantages to warrant a switch-up to the Android side. The iPhone 14 Pro Max works beautifully with existing Apple products you might have like Apple Watch and AirPods.

If you’ve been a fan of Samsung’s Galaxy line though, the S23 Ultra will not disappoint. It’s especially worth the upgrade if you have the Samsung S21 since it’s made significant strides in the photography department.

However, your final decision comes down to personal preference, and how much you’re willing to spend on your new phone.