iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: After three months, we FINALLY pick our FAV!
iPhone 13 Pro Max OR the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? We have been bombarded by the question ever since Samsung dropped its Ultra flagship upon us. If you want to buy the best phone in the world and there's no dearth of money, these two become the obvious choices. On one hand, you have the shiny iPhone 13 Pro Max that continues to impress despite its age. And then there's the Samsung S22 Ultra, which outdoes the iPhone with its cameras, outright specs, and a stellar design. Honestly, for us, it becomes too difficult to choose between two — it is like choosing between your children!
But we, like you, face the dilemma of picking our favourite, and hence, we decided to give them equal attention. Over the last three months, I have been daily driving the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra alternatively, but with equal love and attention. These phones have seen the horrendous heatwaves of the Indian summer, taken umpteen photos, helped with writing stories, logged in hours of video calls, and so much more. Simply put, I maxed out these ultra flagships to pick our winner. And, the results are surprising this time.
Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Detailed Review
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Let us do the comparison a bit differently.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: What works in its favour?
-First and foremost, the sheer size and dimensions. Despite having a mega 6.8-inch display, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is handy (with two hands obviously), and thanks to its clever software design, it is manageable with a single hand on the go.
-Its cameras are AWESOME! Yes, the 10X optical zoom is cool but it is the colour tuning where Samsung has nailed it this time. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has consistently returned the most natural looking photos in varied lighting conditions. Also, I still love that “Moon mode” that lets me take unreal pictures of the Moon most nights. This is easily my top pick for mobile photography at the moment.
-Samsung knows we love the brightest and punchiest displays on our phones, and with the S22 Ultra, we get the same. The QuadHD+ resolution makes things crystal sharp, and the 120Hz refresh rate keeps everything smooth. Also, the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is reliable in all orientations, unlike the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
-Battery life for me has been great, easily lasting me a day and a half on most days. This is almost on par with the iPhone 13 Pro Max's stamina figures. Note that I use this as my main phone, logging easily 6-7 hours of screen time daily.
-I am not a S Pen person but having it is always helpful. Doing signatures, or precision-selecting text from a website is so much easier.
iPhone 13 Pro Max: Where is it good at?
-Eagerness! iOS is way more eager than Samsung's OneUI experience at doing daily tasks. A quick swipe this way, a tap that way, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max is doing things while the S22 Ultra is still going through the process. Even the camera opens quickly and the shutter speed is instant! If you love speed, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is for you.
-Battery life is the best! The Galaxy S22 Ultra has been almost matching the iPhone 13 Pro Max for a few days but when Apple doesn't screw up with an iOS update, the iPhone can easily do a day and a half, and leave 10 percent for emergency power — all the days.
-In daylight, the iPhone 13 Pro Max cameras are simply the best. While the Galaxy S22 Ultra prefers keeping things natural once and boosting the colours the next moment, the iPhone's cameras stay consistent. I got closer to natural colour tones on a trip to Udaipur, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra often wanted to give me Instagram ready pictures. And video recording is second to none on the iPhone, consistently returning high-quality video 4K footage with superb colours and other parameters.
-The stereo speaker output is unmatched! No other phone can match the iPhone's speaker tuning, especially its fine balance of bass, lows, and highs. The Xiaomi 12 Pro comes close while the Galaxy S22 Ultra's speakers sound tinny in comparison.
-The Apple ecosystem advantage elevates the experience only further! I work with a Mac and iPad, and the iPhone just fits in perfectly.
-Software support is industry leading! Based on Apple's past, the iPhone 13 Pro Max could continue to get software support for six more years at least. The Galaxy S22 Ultra will only get four years of OS updates and five years of security support.
Areas where both need improvement
-Charging times! Both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra take forever to charge. Brands like Oppo and Xiaomi are offering blistering fast charging speeds for literally half the price.
-The iPhone loves to cast a yellow tinge on its photos as light levels fall. And both suffer from lens flares.
-Both the phones are humongous in size.
Let me reiterate that these are two of the best smartphones money can buy across the globe. Whichever one you choose, you are going to have a gala time living with them. Each one has its positives and negatives, and you have to be really picky to find faults between them.
Also Read: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Detailed Review
That said, if we have to choose today, it has to be the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Not only does it look luxurious, it has a much better tuned camera system, a brilliant display, good battery life, a reliable and feature rich Android experience and the S Pen stylus — all that at a price much lower than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Until we see the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra takes the cake today.
That said, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is another word for reliability and consistency. It is still the battery king and the iOS experience is super polished! Even the cameras, when the lighting is good, impresses with its quality. Checkout the iPhone 13 Pro Max, if you don't want to stick to Android.