Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: The ‘shameless’ spec-sheet comparison
Tuesday saw Samsung unleashing three 'beastly' smartphones in the market, the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus and the most powerful of them all - the Galaxy S20 Ultra. In the trio, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the newest and arguably, the most powerful Android smartphone of 2020 for now. While we've talked about its specifications, price and it's placement in the market, the coverage is not complete until we do an 'unapologetic' spec sheet comparison between the 'Ultra' and the most powerful offering by Apple, the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Now, we understand that everything from software optimisation to RAM management is different on both the smartphones and the way they function or handle apps are also different. But just for the sake of placing the best of both the worlds against each other, here are the on-paper specification differences between them.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED (Infinity-O display) with HDR10+ certification and 563ppi pixel density. That's way ahead of what Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max's 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with HDR support and 458ppi pixel density. However, the 'experience' is way different on both the handsets with different audiences preferring different kinds of screens. A major difference here is that Samsung uses its ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor while the iPhone 11 Pro Max relies only on FaceID when it comes to biometric unlock.
Both Galaxy S20 Ultra and the iPhone 11 Pro Max are the most powerful smartphones in the Android and iOS ecosystem. While the Galaxy S20 Ultra uses Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 processor, Apple has its custom A13 Bionic chipset powering the iPhone. We can only compare them in terms of performance by relaying the handsets through Geekbench, Antutu and other third party applications. For an end user, both should work well.
Samsung however, edges over Apple when you talk about RAM capacities on their latest devices. Galaxy S20 Ultra comes in 12GB RAM and 16GB RAM options, which is definitely an overkill. Apple never mentions the RAM capacity but thanks to iFixit, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is said to feature 4GB RAM. That's less than half of what Galaxy S20 Ultra features. While some may think how weak the spec sheet is, some may also take it as Apple's achievement to make a flagship handset using lesser resources.
Camera is one factor that has always been a bone of contention between Apple and Samsung fans. iPhone users argue that the handset clicks a more natural looking shot, while Samsung users boast about how well the device makes an image appear. However, this year, Samsung users have a major reason to boast about the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The smartphone has the most powerful camera setup ever with a 108-megapixel + 48-megapixel + 12-megapixel and a ToF VGA sensor at the back. It also brings 100x digital zoom, which is the highest we have seen in any handset. Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max makes peace with a 12-megapixel ultra wide, wide and telephoto rear camera setup. The front camera spec sheet also gives an edge to Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra as it has a 40-megapixel sensor as compared to iPhone 11 Pro Max's 12-megapixel sensor - again, less than half.
Like RAM, Apple doesn't give you battery capacity numbers. But Samsung does and with the Galaxy S20 Ultra you get a 5000mAh battery. That's more than iPhone 11 Pro Max's 3900mAh battery, which has been revealed in several teardowns. While both get wireless charging, Galaxy S20 Ultra brings PowerShare charging as well.
If you have been tracking the smartphone market off lately, it might not be a surprise for you that Apple always catches up with a certain tech after Android OEMs. Although late, the iPhones are often appreciated for the integration and Apple's own 'spin' to that tech. So while we may see these specs in Samsung phones today, one can expect it to reach iPhones after a few years maybe. But until then, the company's own way of optimising the hardware and software will keep iPhones right up against the Galaxy S smartphones.