iPhone 12 Pro Max Vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: Which is the winner?
Reviewing Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra we realized how impressive a flagship Samsung has produced which is now available for $1,199. You will find a decent 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display that scales from 10Hz to 120Hz, dual telephoto zoom lenses, and a strong 5,000 mAh battery. In addition, the S21 Ultra supports the S Pen, a first for a phone outside of the Galaxy Note lineup.
Which are the best phones right now – iPhone 12 Pro Max Vs Samsung Galaxy S21
When it comes to iPhone 12 Pro Max review, it has every reason why Apple’s phone has been the No. 1. It offers a great camera system with superb low-light performance and Dolby Vision video recording. Additionally, it offers a stellar 6.7-inch OLED display, the fastest performance around, and a sleek decent design.
So which phone is best overall, and which one is better for you to have? Our Galaxy S21 Ultra vs iPhone 12 Pro Max comparison will let you know.
Price – iPhone 12 Pro Max Vs Galaxy S21 Ultra
Yes, Samsung has reduced the price of its Galaxy S21 phones by $200 compared to the S20, but Apple still keeps the pricing edge here. The iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099, which is $100 cheaper than the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s $1,199 cost.
However, it’s not that expensive to increase the storage on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, where upgrading to the 256GB version costs an extra $50. You shall shell out an extra $100 for the 256GB iPhone 12 Pro Max. The 512GB Galaxy S21 Ultra is also cheaper than the iPhone 12 Pro Max — $1,379 versus $1,399.
Design – Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra now has a new contour cut camera design that covers the camera into its glass back. At 6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inches and 8.08 ounces in weight, it’s taller, thicker, and heavier than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which stands 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches and weighs 8.03 ounces.
You will also find flat edges of the iPhone 12 Pro Max to the curved sides of the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The S21 Ultra is available in Phantom Black and Phantom Silver from carriers, but you can get Titanium, Navy, or Brown through Samsung.com. Apple has Graphite, Silver, Gold, and Pacific Blue for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a benefit in terms of durability and water resistance. The Ceramic Shield on the iPhone is designed to offer four times the drop resistance of its predecessor, and it has performed well in various drop tests. Samsung doesn’t make any such promises for the Gorilla Glass Victus screen on its phone.
In addition, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a higher IP68 water resistance rating of up to 6 meters, compared to 1.5 meters for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The biggest stake against the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the display notch; the S21 Ultra has a small punch hole camera upfront.
So here the winner is the iPhone 12 Pro Max in terms of design.
Camera – Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Cameras
The battle here in terms of cameras largely hinges on the cameras, and both phones are very well designed. The S21 Ultra packs four rear lenses, plus a long-lasting autofocus sensor. There’s a main 108MP camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and dual 10MP telephoto lenses, one with 3x optical zoom and the other 10x.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a main 12MP sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 12MP telephoto zoom lens with 2.5x optical zoom. There’s also a LiDAR sensor that helps with low-light photography and portraits.
The cameras on the S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max are both amazing, but they excel in different areas. The S21 Ultra wins hands down in zoom performance because its lenses simply push further.
The S21 Ultra gets you much closer to the subject than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The 30x zoom shot is perfectly usable, but the 100x zoom shot is too fuzzy.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max image is great at 12x zoom, but that’s as far as Apple’s cameras can go.
Samsung has also improved the Portrait mode on the S21 by leveraging AI to better separate the subject from the background. The S21 Ultra delivers a great bokeh effect here.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also works quite well in low light, thanks to a faster Bright Night sensor and 12MP Nona-binning concept for cutting down noise reduction. However, the colors in the iPhone 12 look more natural whereas Samsung’s camera adds a gold/yellowish tinge in some cases.
Here also the winner is the iPhone 12 Pro Max when it comes to the camera.
Display – Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a few advantages over the iPhone 12 Pro Max in this round. For one, it offers an adaptive AMOLED display that can up its refresh rate from 10Hz all the way up to 120Hz, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is stuck at 60Hz. Having a faster refresh rate allows smoother scrolling and better performance in games that support it.
The 6.8-inch screen on the S21 Ultra is also a litter sharper than the panel on the iPhone 12 Pro Max with a resolution of 3200 x 1400, compared to 2778 x 1284. There is a difference between 515 PPI and 458 PPI.
Samsung keeps winning by claiming a higher brightness on testing. It notched a reading of 821 nits, compared to 654 nits for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Apple’s display is better in its color reproduction, reaching 84.8% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The S21 Ultra managed 81.4%.
Still, the clear winner in the display is Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Performance – Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a fast Snapdragon 888 chip and 12GB of RAM, but it’s still no equal to the iPhone 12 Pro Max in both synthetic benchmarks and real-world tests.
On Geekbench 5, the S21 Ultra notched 3,440 on the multi-core test and 1,123 on the single-core. That’s still not better than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which cleared 4,100 and 1,600.
The S21 Ultra performs fairly well on the 3DMark Wild Life graphics benchmark, hitting 34 fps. Whereas, the iPhone 12 Pro Max averaged a higher 41 fps.
On video editing, the Galaxy S21 Ultra takes 1 minute and 2 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p. The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s needs only 28 seconds.
Here the winner is the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
5G – Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max
Based on the testing, the Galaxy S20 Ultra offers faster 5G speeds than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The S21 Ultra performed 84 Mbps downloads, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max didn’t even go beyond 37 Mbps.
Hence the Galaxy S21 Ultra does have a newer and more powerful X60 Qualcomm modem and iPhone is better.
Battery life – Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max
The Galaxy S21 Ultra makes full use of its 5,000 mAh battery, as the phone can last a very impressive 11 hours and 25 minutes whereas the iPhone 12 Pro Max endured for 10:53.
On setting the screen mode on the S21 Ultra to adaptive (120Hz), the runtime dips to 10 hours and 7 minutes.
Neither Apple nor Samsung includes a charger in the box, but both phones are capable of fast charging. The S21 Ultra reached 56% in 30 minutes, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max only hit 47% in the same amount of time.
The winner in this aspect is Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Software and additional features – Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max
iOS 14 brings many features to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, including widgets on the home screen for easy access to info, including a Smart Stack of several widgets in one spot. And the new App Library automatically organizes your apps as per the category.
Apple’s software also delivers lots of useful tweaks to messages, such as pinned conversations and inline replies. The design of iOS 14 is sleeker, too, with a more compact Siri and calls interface. And if you own AirPods Pro, the spatial audio feature gives you a 360-degree sound experience.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra runs One UI 3.0 atop Android 11, and it brings some great features to offer. This includes a wide selection of widgets you can access without unlocking your phone. You can easily customize your Quick Panel to get things done faster, and there are exclusive camera tricks like Director’s View, which lets you use the front and back camera at the same time with recording video.
But the most unique special feature is S Pen support. It has a digitizer for its display that supports S Pen input. You can buy a silicone case with an S Pen combo for $69. The S Pen works well, so it’s great for taking notes and sketching, but it doesn’t support Bluetooth.
In this place, the winner is Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra with added features.
Apple and Samsung have never ever been so close. The iPhone 12 Pro Max slightly wins this face-off with the Galaxy S21 Ultra based on the performance and better overall image quality. The iPhone’s design is also a little more durable and easier to handle with its flat edges.
Although, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra gets the win in some important categories, thanks to its smoother 120Hz display, better battery life, and faster 5G. And while the S21 Ultra costs more up front, it’s a bit cheaper if you look for more storage.
No matter which flagship phone you choose in this Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12 Ultra battle, you will get loads of benefits.