The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max are locked in a heated rivalry. Many phone consumers have been anticipating this since it pits Samsung’s and Apple’s best phones against one other.
On the other hand, there’s a reason why Apple’s phone is at the top of our best phone list. It boasts a great camera system with outstanding low-light performance and Dolby Vision video recording. It also features a stunning 6.7-inch OLED display, the quickest performance, and a sleek new design.
So, which phone has the best overall performance, and which one is the best for you? In our Galaxy S21 Ultra versus iPhone 12 Pro Max comparison, we’ll answer these questions.
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12: 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|
|Rear cameras||108MP 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||12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4), 12MP telephoto (2.5x zoom, f/2.2)|
|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|
|Battery life||11:25 (60Hz)/10:07 (adaptive)||10:53|
|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|
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Price
Despite the fact that Samsung’s Galaxy S21 phones are $200 cheaper than the S20, Apple still has the pricing edge in this category. The beginning price of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is $1,099, which is $100 cheaper than the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s starting price of $1,199.
Upgrades to the 256GB version of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, are less costly, costing an additional $50. You’ll have to pay an additional $100 for the 256GB iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 512GB is also cheaper than the iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB ($1,379 vs. $1,399).
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Design
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s unique contour cut camera design blends the camera into the glass back. Although the Ultra has a slim look, it is nevertheless a powerful phone. It measures 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches and weighs 8.03 ounces, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max measures 6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inches and weighs 8.08 ounces.
I also prefer the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s flat edges to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s curved sides.
The S21 Ultra is available in Phantom Silver and Phantom Black through carriers, as well as Navy, Titanium, and Brown via Samsung.com. Apple provides four color options for the iPhone 12 Pro Max: Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has an edge in terms of durability and water resistance. The Ceramic Shield display of the iPhone is meant to resist four times more drops than its predecessor, and it has shown to be successful in drop tests. The phone’s Gorilla Glass Victus screen makes no such guarantees, according to Samsung.
The IP68 water resistance rating of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is up to 6 meters, compared to 1.5 meters for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s primary fault is the display notch; the S21 Ultra has a little punch hole camera on the front.
Winner: iPhone 12 Pro Max
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Display
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a few advantages against the iPhone 12 Pro Max in this round. For starters, it boasts an adjustable AMOLED display that can raise the refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s refresh rate is only 60Hz. A higher refresh rate provides for smoother scrolling and greater performance in games that support it.
The S21 Ultra’s 6.8-inch screen is also somewhat crisper than the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s panel, which has a resolution of 3200 x 1400 vs 2778 x 1284 on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Here, the PPI ranges from 515 to 458.
During our testing, Samsung maintained its winning streak by reporting a greater brightness. It recorded 821 nits, which is greater than the 654 nits of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
In terms of color reproduction, Apple’s display outperformed the competition, covering 84.8 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. 81.4 percent of voters chose the S21 Ultra.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Cameras
The cameras on the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro Max are mostly what separates them, and both phones have excellent photos. The S21 Ultra features four rear lenses and a more sophisticated focusing sensor than the S21. There are three cameras: a primary 108MP camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and two 10MP telephoto lenses, one with 3x optical zoom and the other with 10x.
The 12-megapixel primary camera, 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and 12-megapixel telephoto zoom lens with 2.5x optical zoom are all included in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. A LiDAR sensor is also integrated, which helps with portraiture and low-light photography.
The cameras on both the S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro Max are superb, but they excel in different ways. The S21 Ultra wins hands clear in zoom capabilities because its lenses just go further.
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Performance
The Galaxy S21 Ultra features a strong Snapdragon 888 CPU and 12GB of RAM, but in simulated and real-world tests, it falls short of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Geekbench 5 gave 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 convert a 4K movie to 1080p in our video editing test using the Adobe Premiere Rush software. Only 28 seconds were required for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Winner: iPhone 12 Pro Max
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: 5G
The Galaxy S20 Ultra provides quicker 5G speeds than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, according to our tests. 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’s at a different area, while the Note 21 Ultra surpassed 160 Mbps. The performance difference might be due to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s newer and more powerful X60 Qualcomm modem.
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Battery life
The Galaxy S21 Ultra gets the most out of its 5,000 mAh battery, lasting an amazing 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 we changed the screen setting on the S21 Ultra to adaptive (120Hz).
Although neither Apple nor Samsung offer a charger in the package, both phones have rapid charging capabilities. In 30 minutes, the S21 Ultra had achieved 56 percent, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max had only reached 47 percent.
Winner: Galaxy S20 Ultra
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Software and special features
The iPhone 12 Pro Max receives a slew of new features with iOS 14, including widgets on the home screen for quick access to information and a Smart Stack with many widgets in one place. Additionally, the new App Library feature automatically groups your apps by category.
Apple’s messaging software also includes a number of useful features, such as pinned conversations and inline responses. iOS 14 also has a more streamlined appearance, with a smaller Siri and calls UI that remains out of the way. The spatial audio function in AirPods Pro provides you a 360-degree sound experience.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra runs One UI 3.0 on top of Android 11 and has its own set of features. This contains a large number of widgets that may be accessed without having to unlock your phone. The Quick Panel can now be customized to get things done faster, and there are new camera gimmicks like Director’s View, which allows you to shoot video with both the front and back cameras at the same time.
The support for the S Pen, however, is a one-of-a-kind feature. The S21 Ultra’s display features a digitizer that accepts S Pen input. For $69.00, you can get a silicone case with a S Pen. Based on my tests, the S Pen performs admirably, making it ideal for taking notes and drawing, although it lacks Bluetooth connectivity.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Overall winner
|Galaxy S21 Ultra||iPhone 12 Pro Max|
|Price and availability (10 points)||7||7|
|Design (10 points)||8||9|
|Display (15 points)||15||14|
|Cameras (20 points)||17||19|
|Performance (15 points)||12||15|
|5G (5 points)||4||3|
|Battery and charging (15 points)||13||12|
|Software and special features (10 points)||9||8|
|Overall (100 points)||85||87|
Apple and Samsung have never been closer than they are now. The iPhone 12 Pro Max narrowly defeats the Galaxy S21 Ultra in this contest thanks to its superior performance and image quality. With its flat sides, the iPhone’s design is also a little more robust and simpler to hold.
However, owing to its smoother 120Hz display, quicker 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 upfront, it is less expensive if you desire additional storage.
See the top flagship phone: here