It’s the battle of the smartphone giants. One one side, Apple’s incredible iPhone 13 Pro Max. On the other, Samsung’s top notch Galaxy S22 Ultra. Both offer vast displays, cutting edge tech and come with eye watering price tags.
Which is best? Read on and we’ll reveal all in our iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.
Overall Winner: It’s a draw!
Picking a winner between the two best smartphones in the world right now is virtually impossible.
While the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra edges it when it comes to display and camera, the iPhone’s overall performance, battery life and software are a touch better in our opinion.
Price wise, each device is as expensive as it gets, although you get what you pay for.
In the end, it all comes down to preference. Do you want the open and flexible world of Android married with Samsung’s cutting edge imaging and display technology.
Or do you prefer Apple’s walled garden, with the additional benefits of rock solid security and software that has been a market leader for over 15 years?
- Specs and features, Winner, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Design, Winner, iPhone 13 Pro Max
- Camera - Winner, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Screen display - Winner, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Battery life and performance, Winner, Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
- Software, Winner, Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
- Price and availability - Draw
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Specs and features
iPhone 13 Pro Max specs
- Screen: 6.7-inch, Super Retina XDR OLED, 120Hz refresh rate, 1,000 nits brightness
- Resolution: 1284 x 2778
- Main camera: Triple lens, 12MP cameras, LiDAR scanning, 4K video recording
- Selfie camera: 12MP, 4K video
- Platform: iOS 15
- Chipset: Apple A15 Bionic
- Network: 5G
- Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB
- Battery and power: 4352mAh, 27W charging, Qi wireless charging, MagSafe Lightning connector
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs
- Screen: 6.8-inch Dynamic OLED, 120Hz refresh rate, 1750 nits brightness
- Resolution: 1440 x 3088
- Main camera: Quad lens, 108MP, 12MP, 2x10MP, auto HDR, 8K video recording
- Selfie camera: 40MP, 4K video
- Platform: Android 12, One UI
- Chipset: Exynos 2200
- Network: 5G
- Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB
- Battery and power: 5000mAh, 45W fast charging, wireless charging, USB-C charging
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design
With its curved edges and sleek metal finish, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is unquestionably the best looking phone Samsung has ever made.
With space for a S Pen stylus, clean lines around the camera lenses on the back and a punch hole for the selfie camera up front, it is a true masterpiece.
Likewise, the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Yes, it looks much the same as the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but with its metal edges and rock solid build quality (which, yes, can feel heavy in the hand) it’s in the best tradition of Apple design.
For us, its looks and finish are marginally better, even if Apple still insists on using a notch design for its front facing camera.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera
Camera tech has long been a key battleground between Apple and Samsung.
And when it comes to the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, the clear winner is the latter.
That’s not to denigrate Apple’s triple 12MP lens setup, which packs LiDAR smarts for depth sensing and 3x zoom smarts.
The results are great, with excellent detail and crystal clear imaging even in low light conditions.
But there’s no escaping the fact that the Galaxy S22 Ultra is next level.
In part that’s thanks to the quad cameras, with a main 108MP lens complimented by a 12MP ultrawide lens and two 10MP lenses, one for telephoto and another for periscope telephoto, which packs incredible 10x zoom.
Exposure is sharper, meaning superb night shots, while improved software means that the Galaxy S22 Ultra can also take in more detail. Its optical image stabilisation is also better than the iPhone’s.
The simple fact is that Samsung has knocked it out of the park with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera.
If you want a phone that can take professional looking pictures every time, then look no further.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Screen display
Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max come with massive screens.
The iPhone clocks in at 6.7-inches, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra marginally larger at 6.8-inches.
In terms of brightness, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is noticeably more in your face, with a top brightness rating of 1,750 nits compared with the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s 1,000.
Throw in a resolution of 1440 x 3088 against 1284 x 2778 and Samsung is way out in front.
Each phone has a 120Hz refresh rate, making for extra smooth browsing, gaming and streaming.
And while Samsung can drop to just 1Hz, compared with Apple’s 10Hz, not even hardcore users will really notice a difference.
In truth, ramping up brightness can often impact battery life. Both screens are superb, but when it comes to this category, the Galaxy S22 Ultra takes it.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Battery life and performance
While the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a larger, 5,000mAh battery, the iPhone 13 Pro Max clocks in at 4,352mAh.
That difference, however, isn’t reflected in independent tests, which have shown the iPhone can last longer when browsing and streaming.
In real world situations, both can manage about two days between charges.
Apple falls down with a lack of truly fast charging. Samsung has included 45W fast charging support, although you’ll need a fast charger to take advantage.
Use one and it’ll charge fully in just an hour. By comparison it can take upwards of two hours to fully charge an iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Performance wise, the chipsets on each device are on a par, with Apple’s A15 Bionic and Samsung’s Exynos 2200 delivering lightning fast performance.
If you value long battery life and aren’t worried about charging times, the iPhone takes it, just.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Software
The software on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is cutting edge.
The iPhone comes with the latest iOS 15 platform, replete with Focus mode, updated widgets and a system that is as easy to use as it’s ever been.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra supports Android 12, Google’s very latest smartphone tech, with its One UI on top. This is a breeze to use and features all the latest Google software.
This is very much down to preference.
We find iOS slightly less confusing and easy to use, although the systems have borrowed much off of each other down the years, meaning differences aren’t as stark as they used to be.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Price and availability
Seeing as both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are each mobile maker’s latest, greatest, they are readily available.
However, you will pay top whack for the privilege, with SIM free prices starting at an eye-watering £1,049 for a 128GB iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 128GB starting from £1,149.
Top of the range, 1tB models cost £1,549 for the iPhone and £1,499 for the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
You can, of course, choose to take out a contract. We’ve compared all the best deals for you here at Moneysupermarket.
iPhone 13 Pro Max contracts currently start from £39.99, plus up front costs of £235, while you can get a Galaxy S22 Ultra for £34 a month plus £220 up front.
As you can see, cost wise there is little to pick between the pair.
How do other phones compare against each other?
It’s great to see how other phones compare, so check out the rest of our head to head reviews.