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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max

The battle for smartphone supremacy continues, and this year's contenders, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Pro Max, are poised to deliver a knockout punch. Both phones boast top-of-the-line specs, cutting-edge features, and powerful cameras, but which one reigns supreme? Let's get into the details:

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Vs. Iphone 15 Pro Max

Key Takeaways

  • Display and Design: The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra features a larger, brighter, and higher resolution display compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, offering an immersive viewing experience.
  • Performance: While both phones offer powerful processors and ample RAM, the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Snapdragon 9 Gen 2 processor provides slightly better performance compared to Apple's A18 Bionic chip.
  • Camera: The Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts a quad-camera setup with higher megapixel counts and more advanced zoom capabilities compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, providing superior versatility and image quality.
  • Battery: With its larger battery capacity, the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers longer battery life compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, making it a more reliable option for heavy users.
  • Software: Both phones run on their respective operating systems, with the Galaxy S24 Ultra offering extensive customization options and a longer support period for software updates compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
  • Future-Proofing: The Galaxy S24 Ultra's seven-year support plan for OS upgrades and security patches surpasses Apple's typical provision of five to six years of updates, ensuring longevity and future compatibility.
  • Overall, while both the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Pro Max offer top-tier features and performance, the Galaxy S24 Ultra emerges as the superior choice for users prioritizing display quality, camera versatility, battery life, and long-term software support.

Display and Design

Display And Design: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Vs. Iphone 15 Pro Max
  • S24 Ultra: A behemoth 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x screen with a staggering 1440 x 3200 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate for buttery smooth visuals. It boasts a peak brightness of 2600 nits, making it readable outdoors.

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: A slightly smaller 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with a 1284 x 2778 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. While still stunning, its peak brightness of 2000 nits falls short of the S24 Ultra.

Samsung is continuously working towards providing top-tier displays for its smartphones.


Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts a 6.8-inch AMOLED 2X display, akin to the previous year's Galaxy S23 Ultra, featuring an adaptive refresh rate ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz. The resolution sees a slight uptick to 3120 x 1440, compared to 3080 x 1440 on its predecessor.


In recent years, flagship smartphones have competed in elevating brightness levels; a trend continued with the Galaxy S24 Ultra reaching a maximum brightness of 2,600 nits, surpassing the 1,750 nits of the S23 Ultra and the 2,000 nits of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. While impressive on paper, real-world scenarios may not significantly benefit from such high brightness, considering satisfactory outdoor usage with 2,000-nit iPhone screens. Nevertheless, Samsung's Adaptive Brightness effectively maintains brightness outdoors, prioritizing visibility over conserving battery life.


The Galaxy S24 Ultra features a flatter display and slimmer bezels, aligning it more closely with Apple's design ethos. However, its squared-off corners, contrasting with the rounded edges of the iPhone and standard S24 models, contribute to a more imposing aesthetic. This deliberate design choice enhances the natural feel of writing with the S Pen on the flattened panel.

Performance

  • S24 Ultra: Packs the latest Snapdragon 9 Gen 2 processor with 12GB of RAM, promising top-notch performance and seamless multitasking.

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: Apple's custom A18 Bionic chip with 8GB of RAM delivers unmatched fluidity and power efficiency but lags in raw processing power compared to the S24 Ultra.

In terms of configurations, the Galaxy and iPhone offer 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage options. The Galaxy has 12GB of RAM, whereas the iPhone has 8GB of RAM.


The notable contrast lies in the software: the Galaxy operates on Samsung's One UI 6.1 software layered over Android 14, while the iPhone runs on iOS 17.


Samsung places significant emphasis on its new "Galaxy AI." In contrast, Apple appears to be catching up in AI (anticipate significant AI features in the upcoming iOS 18 update this fall). The Galaxy introduces several AI features:

  • AI-driven live call translation

  • Text message translation

  • AI-powered intelligent photo editing, enabling object manipulation and photo straightening with bright fill

  • Instant webpage summarization within the browser.

Camera

Camera: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Vs. Iphone 15 Pro Max
  • S24 Ultra: Quad-camera setup featuring a 200MP primary sensor, 12MP ultrawide, and two 10x optical zoom telephoto lenses. Sensor-shift stabilization on the primary sensor ensures shake-free photos and videos.

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: Triple-camera system with a 48MP main sensor, 12MP ultrawide, and a 12MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom. LiDAR scanner enhances AR experiences and depth effects.

Samsung has altered this year's Galaxy S24 Ultra by replacing its long-standing 10x zoom telephoto camera with a 5x lens featuring a higher-resolution sensor. This transition jumps from 10 megapixels (MP) on the S23 Ultra's 10x lens to 50MP on the S24 Ultra's 5x lens. However, Samsung asserts that a 10x optical zoom is still achievable through its Adaptive Pixel Sensor Technology.


The methodology behind Samsung's approach remains somewhat opaque. Still, it's likely leveraging a pixel-cropping technique akin to Apple's utilization of the 48MP sensor on the iPhone 14 Pro, which captured 2x photos by utilizing the central 12 megapixels of the sensor.


Samsung previously employed a similar technique to introduce a 2x optical zoom to the Galaxy S23 Ultra via a software update last summer, a strategy continued with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Despite the reduction in the optical lens, the Galaxy S24 Ultra impressively delivers telephoto results in our testing.


The iPhone 15 Pro Max also embraces a 5x optical zoom, a first for an iPhone, albeit with only a 12MP sensor behind the lens, restricting the optical zoom capability. In contrast, Samsung maintains its 100X super digital zoom alongside the same 3x 10MP telephoto lens and 200MP primary sensor featured in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. These specifications notably outstrip Apple's camera offerings.


This doesn't undermine the impressive picture quality of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which performs admirably despite comparatively limited camera hardware. The image processing and computational photography powered by Apple's A17 Pro chip compensate for any hardware limitations, resulting in natural and balanced photos, surpassing even those of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.


In essence, both phones deliver outstanding photo quality. Yet, the Galaxy S24 Ultra gains an edge over the iPhone 15 Pro Max with its enhanced optical and digital zoom capabilities and additional lenses.

Battery

Battery: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Vs. Iphone 15 Pro Max
  • S24 Ultra: A massive 5500mAh battery promises all-day use and potentially surpasses the iPhone in terms of longevity.

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max:  There is a slight increase over the iPhone 14 Pro Max's 4323mAh, which offers solid performance.

Regarding battery life and charging capabilities, the Galaxy S24 Ultra maintains the same 5,000mAh battery as its predecessor. Nonetheless, the enhanced power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset is expected to extend usage time slightly. While the Galaxy S23 Ultra was known for comfortably lasting through a day of heavy usage, the S24 Ultra exceeds expectations by offering the potential for two full days of moderate to heavy usage and even longer with lighter usage.


In contrast, the iPhone 15 Pro Max maintains a similar battery life to its 2022 predecessor, with no notable improvements in this aspect. Both models of the iPhone Pro Max performed adequately against the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but the significant enhancements in the Galaxy S24 Ultra resulted in a considerable lead. While the iPhone can reliably last through a day with remaining power, nightly charging is still recommended.


Furthermore, despite Apple's adoption of USB-C and 15-watt Qi2 charging standards with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, actual charging speeds remain unchanged. Officially rated at 20W charging, the iPhone 15 Pro Max can draw up to 30 watts with a compatible adapter.

Software

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Vs. Iphone 15 Pro Max: Software
  • S24 Ultra: Runs on One UI 6.1 based on Android 14, offering extensive customization and open ecosystem. Seven years of guaranteed software updates is a significant advantage.

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: iOS 17 delivers enhanced privacy features, improved multitasking, and tighter integration with other Apple devices. She is known for her smooth and stable software experience.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra comes pre-installed with Android 14 and Samsung's One UI 6.1 overlay, introducing support for new features such as an enhanced always-on display with live wallpapers. Conversely, the iPhone is equipped with Apple's latest iOS 17 release.


Although Apple has traditionally been recognized for its extended software support, it changed earlier this year when Google committed to providing seven years of Android updates for its latest Pixel phones. Additionally, the Galaxy offers an impressive seven-year support plan for OS upgrades and security patches, setting a new standard for Samsung. This exceeds Apple's typical provision of 5 or 6 OS upgrades. 


While Apple does not make specific assurances regarding updates, its most extended support period has been six years, with iOS 15 extending back to the 2015 iPhone 6s. Typically, Apple provides updates for around five years, suggesting that the iPhone 15 Pro Max may reach iOS 22 by 2028. However, considering Samsung's additional two years of guaranteed updates compared to Apple's lack of explicit promises, the Galaxy S24 Ultra gains an advantage.

Specifications 

Specifications: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Vs. Iphone 15 Pro Max

Specs

Galaxy S24 Ultra

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Capacity

12GB RAM / 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

256GB/512GB/1TB

Size 

162.56 x 78.99 x 8.64 mm

159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25 mm

Weight

233 grams (8.22 ounces)

7.81 ounces (221 grams)

Display

6.8" Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display

Super Retina XDR display


6.7-inch (diagonal) all-screen OLED display


2796-by-1290-pixel resolution at 460 ppi

Processor

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for Galaxy

Apple A17 Pro

Camera

Rear: 200-megapixel (MP)

main camera (wide), 12MP

Ultrawide, 50MP 5X telephoto, 10MP 3x telephoto.

Front: 12MP

Rear: 48-megapixel (MP)

primary camera (wide), 12MP Ultrawide, 12MP 5X telephoto, LiDAR Scanner

Front: 12MP TrueDepth

Power and Battery

5,000 mAh


Power to last through your day

4,441 mAh


Video playback

Up to 29 hours


Video playback (streamed)

Up to 25 hours


Audio playback

Up to 95 hours

OS

Android 14 with One UI 6.1

iOS 17

Final Thoughts

The battle between the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Pro Max is close, with each phone boasting strengths catering to different user preferences.


Ultimately, the "best" phone refers to individual needs and preferences. Consider your priorities regarding display size and quality, camera capabilities, performance, battery life, design, and software ecosystem before making your final decision. Remember, the S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max are flagship devices with cutting-edge features, so you can't go wrong with either choice.


FAQ's

Q: What are the main specifications differences between Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max?

A: The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max differ in camera hardware, battery life, charging 5x zoom capabilities, and use of generative AI features.


Q: How does the iPhone 15 Pro Max compare to other mobile phones?

A: The iPhone 15 Pro Max is often compared to premium mobile phones like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra due to its advanced features and performance.


Q: Can the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max zoom capabilities be compared?

A: Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra offers 5x zoom, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max provides 3x zoom, making it a key factor for users looking for zoom camera capabilities.


Q: Which phone has better battery life and charging speed, Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra or iPhone 15 Pro Max?

A: The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is known for its longer battery life and faster 45W charging than the iPhone 15 Pro Max.


Q: Are there any new AI features in the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max?

A: Both phones have generative AI features, offering users enhanced experiences like noise reduction, photo editing, and app optimization.


Q: How do the camera comparisons between Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max stack up?

A: The camera comparisons between the two phones often show differences in image quality, zoom performance, color accuracy, and low-light capabilities.


Q: What are some unique features of the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra?

A: Some unique features include the iPhone 15 Pro Max's Apple ecosystem integration and the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra's titanium frame and gorilla glass armor for durability.

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Tags

iPhone 15 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra


About the author

Ravi Shah


Ravi is the head of Content Strategy at iFixScreens Corporate. With over a decade of experience writing technical content for his readers, Ravi has helped thousands of readers with helpful content, tips, and tricks. He mainly writes content related to gadget repairs, such as iPhones, Smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

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