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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs iPhone 12 Pro Max: Premium Comparison

Would you like to treat yourself to the ultimate in cellphone, but you are hesitating between the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max? Here are some elements that should help you make your choice according to your needs.

The Galaxy S21 slew has just arrived and it’s time for everyone to play the game of comparisons. For this, the two most powerful smartphones from Samsung and Apple, the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro Max were chosen. Let’s take a tour of the media to see everyone’s opinions.

Pros and Cons

Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
6.8-inch AMOLED displayBig and bold screen
S Pen supportA14 Bionic processor
Great Battery LifeLong battery life
Heavy and big phoneLarge camera bump
No charger or earphones in the boxWay too big for some

Key Specification

Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 888Apple A14 Bionic (5 nm)
Display Size6.8 inch6.7 inch
Memory16 GB6 GB
Storage512 GB128-512 GB
Camera108 + 12 + 10 + 10 MP12 + 12 + 12 MP
Fingerprint Sensor PositionOn ScreenFace ID

In addition, the update rate is yet another aspect that differentiates the two phones. The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with variable technology ranging from 10 to 120 Hz, in order to adjust according to demand without consuming a lot of battery. The iPhone 12 Pro Max brings only the 60 Hz option.

However, the Apple smartphone took the title of the best screen in the world by the specialized website DisplayMate in November 2020. The device also comes with Ceramic Shield (ceramic shield, in Portuguese), which promises to be the toughest glass on the market against falls and scratches.

Design

Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
Dimensions165.1x 75.6 x 8.9 mm160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm
Weight229 grams228 grams
Screen Resolution3200 x 1440 pixels1284 x 2778 pixels
Pixel Density515 ppi458 ppi
ColorPhantom Black, Grey, Pink, Silver, Violet, WhiteSilver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue
Display TypeOLEDOLED, HDR10

When it comes to design, the Samsung offers more rounded lines than those of the iPhone 12 Pro Max which is part of a more rectilinear format. The Galaxy S21 Ultra measures 165.1×75.6×8.9 mm for a weight of 227 grams which is not anything in a pocket against 160.8×78.1×7.4 mm and 226 grams for the iPhone 12 Pro Max which remains the world’s thinnest 5G mobile. It is available in black, white, gold or blue while the South Korean mobile is offered in different colors: black, silver and, exclusively on the manufacturer’s website, in titanium, navy and brown.

The screen of the S21 Ultra measures 6.8 inches in curved mode compared to 6.7 inches for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Both benefit from an HDR-compatible AMOLED panel, but that of the Samsung offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz against half for the American mobile which would therefore offer less fluidity when scrolling pages, for example. The screen definition of the S21 Ultra is 1440×3200 pixels against 1284×2778 pixels at Apple.

Performance

Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
ProcessorOcta core 2.2 GHzHexa-core 2×3.1 GHz
GPUAdreno 660Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
RAM16 GB6 GB
Internal storage512 GB128-512 GB
Storage expansionYesNo
OSAndroid 11iOS 14.1

Both benefit from the latest SoC platform, namely an Exynos 2100 for Samsung and an A14 Bionic for Apple. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has 12 or 16 GB of RAM compared to only 6 GB for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The latter has a battery with a capacity of 3687 mAh against 5000 mAh for the S21 Ultra with the possibility of charging at 25 Watts. On paper, it offers greater autonomy, it remains to be seen whether this holds true in reality.

Camera

Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
Rear108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide)
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)
10 MP f/4.9, 240mm(telephoto)
10 MP f/2.4, 70mm(telephoto)
12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide)
12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
12 MP f/2.2, 65mm(telephoto)
Front40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm(wide)12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide), 1/3.6″
Video recording[email protected]/30/60fps,
[email protected]/60/120/240fps
[email protected]/30/60fps,
[email protected]/60/120fps, gyro-EIS

For the camera section, the iPhone 12 Pro Max relies on three 12-megapixel sensors with, particularly powerful image processing. For its part, the Galaxy S21 Ultra uses the main module of 108 megapixels, the third generation, accompanied by a 12-megapixel lens for the wide-angle and two other 10 megapixel sensors. The mobile can film with a maximum definition of 8K at 24 frames per second against Ultra HD (4K) at 60 frames per second for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Both are waterproof. They get 5G and Wi-Fi 6 even though the Galaxy S21 Ultra is already Wi-Fi 6E ready.

Multimedia

Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
Headphone jackYes 3.5 mmLightning
LoudspeakerYesYes
Audio FeaturesDolby AtmosDolby Atmos
FM RadioNoNo

Battery Life

Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
Capacity5000 mAh3687 mAh
TypeLi-ionLi-ion
Quick ChargingYesYes
Wireless ChargingYesYes
User ReplaceableNoNo

On paper, the 3,689mAh battery of the iPhone 12 Pro Max seems to lag far behind the 5,000mAh of that of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra . But that is without counting on the formidable optimization signed Apple which can boast of an autonomy in normal use of 20 hours where Samsung is limited to 14 hours . The situation is the same for streaming videos, but the reverse is true for a phone call.

There remains the question of the charging time, which is close to two hours for the iPhone 12 (with a normal charger) against 1:09 for the S21 . Apple advantage, unless you spend your life on the phone.

Note that no charger is sold with these phones which additionally support wireless charging. Finally, only the S21 Ultra can charge other devices.

Connectivity

Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
SIMDual SIM, GSM+GSMDual SIM, GSM+GSM
Network Support5G, 4G, 3G, 2G5G, 4G, 3G, 2G
Bluetoothv5.2 + LE v5.0
Water ResistanceYesNo
WifiWi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, hotspot
GPSYes with A-GPS, GlonassYes with A-GPS, Glonass
NFCYesYes
SensorsAccelerometer, Barometer (Altimeter), Compass, Fingerprint, Gyroscope, ProximityFace ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer

Overall Performance

 

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