The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max comparison examines how the world’s two top smartphones (at the time) stack up against one another. It’s a tough fight, but only one can emerge victorious.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review demonstrates what a great flagship Samsung has created—and for $1,199, it should be. Two telephoto zoom lenses, a magnificent 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 10Hz to 120Hz, and a large 5,000 mAh battery are included. In addition, the S21 Ultra is the first phone outside of the Galaxy Note lineup to feature the S Pen.
However, as you’ll see in the iPhone 12 Pro Max review, there’s a reason Apple’s phone is ranked first on our best phone list. It has a fantastic camera system with excellent low-light performance and video recording in Dolby Vision. It also has a fantastic 6.7-inch OLED display, the fastest performance, and a stylish new design.
So, which phone is the greatest in terms of overall performance, and which one is better for you? These questions will be answered in the Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max showdown.
Specs: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max
|Specs||Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||iPhone 12 Pro Max|
|Screen||6.8 inches (3200 x 1400)||6.7 inches (2778 x 1284)|
|Display refresh||10Hz to 120Hz||60Hz|
|CPU||Snapdragon 888||A14 Bionic|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Front camera||40MP (f/2.2)||12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2)|
|Water reisstance||IP68 up to 1.5 meters||IP68 up to 6 meters|
|Battery size||5,000 mAh||3,678 mAH|
|Size||6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inches||6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches|
|Weight||8.08 ounces||8.03 ounces|
Despite the fact that Samsung’s Galaxy S21 phones are $200 cheaper than the S20, Apple still has the price advantage in this category. The iPhone 12 Pro Max costs $1,099, which is $100 less than the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s $1,199 starting price.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, is less expensive to upgrade to the 256GB version, which costs an extra $50. The 256GB iPhone 12 Pro Max will set you back an extra $100. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 512GB is also cheaper than the iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB ($1,379 vs. $1,399).
The new contour-cut camera design on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra merges the camera into the glass rear. The Ultra may have a sleek appearance, but it’s still a beast of a phone. It’s taller, thicker, and heavier than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which measures 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches and weighs 8.03 ounces and measures 6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inches, and weighs 8.08 ounces.
I particularly prefer the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s flat edges to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s curved sides.
Carriers offer the S21 Ultra in Phantom Silver and Phantom Black, whereas Samsung.com offers Navy, Titanium, and Brown. For the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple offers Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue.
In terms of durability and water resistance, the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers an advantage. The iPhone’s Ceramic Shield display is supposed to withstand four times more drops than its predecessor, and it has proven to be effective in drop tests. Samsung makes no such claims about the phone’s Gorilla Glass Victus screen.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max also offers a greater IP68 water resistance rating of up to 6 meters, vs 1.5 meters for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The display notch is the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s major flaw; the S21 Ultra features a little punch-hole camera on the front.
The camera fight between the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro Max is mostly decided by the cameras, and both phones are well-equipped. The S21 Ultra has four rear lenses and a more powerful focusing sensor. A main 108MP camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and dual 10MP telephoto lenses, one with 3x optical zoom and the other with 10x, are included.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 12-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto zoom lens with 2.5x optical zoom. A LiDAR sensor is also featured, which helps with portraiture and low-light photography.
Both the S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro Max have excellent cameras, but they shine in different areas. Because its lenses just go further, the S21 Ultra wins hands down in zoom capability.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a fast Snapdragon 888 processor and 12GB of RAM, but in simulated and real-world tests, it falls short of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Geekbench 5 gives the S21 Ultra a multi-core score of 3,440 and a single-core score of 1,123. With 4,100 and 1,600 points, the iPhone 12 Pro Max came in second.
The 3DMark Wild Life graphics benchmark gave the S21 Ultra a score of 34 frames per second. On the other hand, the iPhone 12 Pro Max averaged 41 frames per second.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra took 1 minute and 2 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p in a video editing test with Adobe Premiere Rush.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max took only 28 seconds to charge.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra offers quicker 5G speeds than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, according to their testing. The S21 Ultra averaged 84 Mbps downloads on AT & T, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro Max only managed 37 Mbps.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max reached 93 Mbps on T-network Mobile in a different location, while the Note 21 Ultra surpassed 160 Mbps. The performance difference could be due to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s newer and more powerful X60 Qualcomm modem.
Comparison of battery life
The Galaxy S21 Ultra gets the most out of its 5,000 mAh battery, lasting an astounding 11 hours and 25 minutes in our battery test. The iPhone 12 Pro Max lasted 10:53 minutes.
The runtime dropped to 10 hours and 7 minutes when I changed the screen setting on the S21 Ultra to adaptive (120Hz).
Although neither Apple nor Samsung include a charger in the box, both phones have fast charging capabilities. In 30 minutes, the S21 Ultra had achieved 56 percent, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max had only reached 47 percent.
The collaboration between Apple and Samsung has never been closer than it is right now. The iPhone 12 Pro Max narrowly defeats the Galaxy S21 Ultra in this contest thanks to its superior performance and image quality. The iPhone’s design is also a little more durable and easier to handle because of its flat sides.
However, because of its smoother 120Hz display, faster 5G, and longer battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra takes the lead in a few key categories. While the S21 Ultra is more expensive up front, it is less expensive if you prefer additional storage.
Regardless of which flagship phone you choose, you will not lose in this Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12 Ultra duel. As a result, these two phones are at the top of our list of the best smartphones.