The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the best smartphone that Samsung makes today. In fact, it may be the best smartphone of 2023, period, basis of the limited time we’ve spent with it. So, comparisons with the iPhone 14 Pro Max are all but obvious.
Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone is –naturally— pretty stacked and may be better in some areas, too, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra stands out on its own as more impressive as an overall package, we feel. Yes, it’s “evidently” that good.
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While we work on your full review, here’s a step-by-step breakdown of Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra and how it stacks up against the iPhone 14 Pro.
Design and build: The Galaxy and iPhone have wildly different “iconic” designs that you simply can’t confuse with any other. But at the baseline, the undertone is pretty much the same. They’re both massive and boast of top-shelf premium build materials which is a combination of glass and metal/stainless steel. Their flat-edged aesthetic is both a blessing and a curse, though Samsung has managed to make its phone a bit more user-friendly despite it being thicker (8.9mm versus 7.9mm). In Samsung’s defence, the S23 Ultra also has to stash a stylus inside. Both phones are IP68 rated.
Display: The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a slightly bigger (6.8-inch versus 6.7-inch) and sharper (1440p versus 1.5k) OLED display. The iPhone 14 Pro Max however can get brighter (2000nits versus 1750nits) and supports Dolby Vision playback.
Processor, RAM: The Galaxy S23 Ultra has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset while the iPhone 14 Pro Max has Apple’s A16 Bionic chip under the hood. Preliminary testing gives the iPhone an edge, in benchmarks, though in the real world both phones are pretty evenly matched with hardly any major perceivable difference in performance. While the S23 Ultra comes with up to 12GB of RAM, the iPhone 14 Pro Max tops out at 6GB. You get up to 1TB storage in both phones.
Software: The S23 Ultra runs One UI 5.1 based on Android 13 right out of the gate and is guaranteed to get up to 4 years of major OS and 5 years of security updates. The iPhone 14 Pro Max launched with iOS 16 and is expected to be supported for a bit longer (for another five years, at least) in comparison.
Cameras: The Galaxy S23 Ultra has four cameras on the back which is a combination of 200MP main (f/1.7), 12MP ultrawide, joined by two more 10MP telephotos, one for 3x and another for 10x optical zoom. On the front, it has a 12MP camera. The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a triple camera setup on the back with a 48MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide, and another 12MP 3x telephoto. On the front, it has a 12MP selfie camera.
Battery: The S23 Ultra has a 5,000mAh battery while the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with a smaller 4,323mAh battery. The S23 Ultra can charge faster wired and also has a faster USB Type C 3.2 port (versus Lightning USB 2.0 in the iPhone 14 Pro Max).
Prices in India: The Galaxy S23 Ultra is available with 12GB/256GB for Rs 1,24,999, 12GB/512GB for Rs 1,34,999, and 12GB/1TB for Rs 1,54,999. iPhone 14 Pro Max is priced at Rs 1,39,900 for 128GB, Rs 1,49,900 for 256GB, Rs 1,69,900 for 512GB, and Rs 1,89,900 for 1TB.
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