iPhone 13 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra? It’s hard to choose between the two. The new iPhone has a bigger batter, better cameras, and an improved display with a 120hz refresh rate. S21 Ultra, too, boasts impressive cameras and offers S Pen support. To help you make a purchase decision, we’ll do a detailed comparison of the two hottest flagships in the market right now.

iphone 13 vs galaxy s21

iPhone 13 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 – General Specs

Here are the general specs of the both flagships:

iPhone 13 Pro MaxSamsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Price:$1,099$1,199
Screen size:6.7 inches (2778 x 1284)6.9 inches (3200 x 1400)
Refresh rate:120Hz120Hz
CPU:A15 BionicSnapdragon 888
RAM:6GB12GB, 16GB
Storage:128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear Camera:12MP wide (f/1.5), 12MP ultra-wide (f/1.8), 12MP telephoto (f/2.8) with 3x zoom; LiDAR sensor108MP wide (f/1.8), 12MP ultra wide (f/2.2), 10MP telephoto (3x zoom, f/2.4), 10MP telephoto (10x zoom, f/4.9), laser AF sensor
Front Camera:12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2)40MP (f/2.2)
Battery size:4,352 mAh5,000 mAh
Battery life:Up to 12h callsUp to 10 calls
Dimensions:6.3 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inches
Weight:8.5 ounces8.08 ounces
Colors:Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra BluePhantom Black, Phantom Navy, Phantom Silver, Phantom Titanium, Phantom Brown

Design

iPhone 13 Pro Max has a smaller notch than the previous version along with a bigger camera array to make space for the new lenses. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, is notch-free and features a small punch hole. And thanks to the counter cut design, the camera array blends into the side of the handset, giving it a subtle feel.

The S21 Ultra is thicker and taller than iPhone 13 Pro Max, with the latter being slightly wider. S21 is also nearly 0.5 ounce lighter than iPhone 13 Pro Max. Both handsets are IP68 water resistance, and iPhone 13 Pro Max’s Ceramic Shield Display can definitely withstand a few falls.

Overall, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has the better design.

Cameras

Both devices seem to deliver equal power and quality with their triple-camera displays (at least on paper).  However, Apple has put emphasis on low-light photography, with the core lens having a bigger sensor and the wide angle one having a wider aperture than before.

Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, is making rounds for its zoom capability. You can achieve a 10x optical zoom using the device’s 10MP telephoto length, whereas iPhone 13 Pro Max just allows for 3x.

That said, iPhone Pro Max is better for taking portrait images. Plus, the iPhone’s 12MP TrueDepth camera is far superior than the 40MP front camera of Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Moreover, the iPhone 13 series has enhanced their video recording ability. You now have a new Cinematic mode that places the subject of a shot in focus automatically while blurring everything behind them. While the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra can blur backgrounds too, the effect isn’t the same as what you get with iPhone.

So iPhone 13 Pro Max wins this round.

Display

The Galaxy S21 Ultra can dynamically adjust the refresh rate of its 6.8-inch screen, going from 10Hz to 12Hz. The iPhone 13’s refresh rate can also adjust in the same range, probably because Samsung is the display supplier for most smartphones, including Apple’s.

That said, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s screen has more nits of brightness, and is slightly more accurate with lower numbers Delta E reading results.

We’ll vote for iPhone 13 Pro Max as having the superior display.

5G and Performance

Apple’s A15 Bionic chipset delivers industry-leading results and beats Samsung by a great margin. In fact, even last year’s iPhone 12’s A14 bionic chip is superior than the Snapdragon 888 present in the Galaxy S21 ultra. But the devices are equally good on the 5G front. Both Samsung and Apple can use the 5G implementations of all US-based carriers, though Apple plans to extend support to 200 carriers across 60 countries worldwide by 2021’s end.

Battery Life

The iPhone 13 Pro Max can last longer than Galaxy S21 ultra. The device has a better battery, though it’s a little smaller than Samsung S21 has 5,000 mAH battery. Both devices include chargers in the box. So if you’re looking for a device with a good battery life, the iPhone would be a wise buy.

Software

iPhone 13 Pro Max users will receive the latest iOS 15 software. This new software contains a Focus mode for eliminating distracting alerts. Visual lookup and live text features that rely on AI to recognize objects and text in images are also there in iOS 15. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, has Android 11. With Android 12 slated to be released by the year’s end, we expect S21 ultra’s units shipping later to contain the Android 12 software.

Price

iPhone 13 Pro Max has starts at $1,099 for the 128 GB model, and $100 extra needs to be paid to switch storage to 256GB. The higher storage models, 1 TB and 512GB, are priced at $1,599 and $1,399 respectively.

Coming over to Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the starting price for the 128 GB  variant is $1,199, which is hundred dollars more than iPhone 13 Pro Max. It’s 512 GB model is $20 cheaper than iPhone 13 Pro Max 512 GB, whereas the 256GB Galaxy S21 Ultra is nearly $50 more expensive than the iPhone 13 variant with same storage specs.

Conclusion

Competition is tough between the two, but we think iPhone 13 Pro Max may be just a bit superior than the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The cameras, performance, and battery life of the iPhones have always been better than other brand’s smartphones, and now it’s even caught up in the refresh rate domain. But Android enthusiast should be satisfied if they purchase the Galaxy S21 ultra, especially if they use features like in-display fingerprint sensor and S Pen.

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Stephan Popov
When iDevice users experience problems with the iOS software or unlocking, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My passion is providing answers to your problems. I help iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users by recommending fixes for common iOS bugs and tools that improves your experience. I conduct in-depth research for every topic i cover on this blog, to ensure that I cover everything Apple users need to troubleshoot their issues. When not writing for UnlockBoot, i enjoy swimming in my backyard pool. P.S. i prefers the Maldives for holidays. Connect with me on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter.