Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs iPhone 12 Pro Max: which top-end phone is for you? – TechRadar10 min read

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the most significant, most pricey entry in the Samsung Galaxy S21 variety, so naturally its straight taking on the iPhone 12 Pro Max– Apples most significant and most costly phone.These are both huge, ultra-high-end handsets, and both come with much of what you d anticipate, including top-tier power and near limitless features. But while they have a lot in common, the specifics of what they use also vary in numerous ways.So if youre trying to choose between the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, this article needs to assist, as it compares the 2 phones in full.DesignThe Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a slightly curved glass back with a large electronic camera block in the top left corner, from the front, theres an all-screen style, with curved edges and a single-lens punch-hole electronic camera in the top center.The iPhone 12 Pro Max on the other hand is a lot flatter– both on the front and back, however it too has a glass back and is light on bezel, though instead of a cut-out in the screen for the selfie camera, it has a sizeable notch at the top. Its rear camera block is smaller sized than the Galaxy S21 Ultras however, and its square, where Samsungs is more rectangular.The iPhone 12 Pro Max itself is a similar size to the S21 Ultra though, can be found in at 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm. Samsungs phone is a bit taller and thicker, however a little narrower. The 2 phones weigh exactly the very same amount though, at 228g each.The iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image credit: TechRadar) Both handsets also have IP68 certification, indicating theyre dust and water resistant. When it comes to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, that water resistance encompasses depths of 6 meters for 30 minutes though, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is only evaluated to depths of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.As for colors, you can get the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in Phantom Black and Phantom Silver, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is offered in Graphite, Silver, Gold, and Pacific Blue shades.ScreenThe Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultras screen is massive at 6.8 inches. Its a curved OLED screen with a 1440 x 3200 resolution and a 120Hz revitalize rate. Unlike previous Samsung flagships you can likewise run it at both full resolution and the greatest refresh rate simultaneously.The iPhone 12 Pro Max also has a big screen, in truth its the greatest Apple has ever put on a phone, however its slightly smaller at 6.7 inches.The S21 Ultra has a slightly larger screen (Image credit: Future) This likewise utilizes OLED, but its a flat display, and it comes in at 1284 x 2778. In regards to pixel density, youre taking a look at 515 pixels per inch on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and 458 on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.While we havent yet fully tested the S21 Ultras screen, Samsungs flagships generally have among the finest mobile phone screens of their release year, however so do Apples phones, and in our evaluation we discovered that the iPhone 12 Pro Max had a great, intense screen with exceptional color reproduction.CameraTheres a quad-lens camera on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, with a 108MP f/1.8 main sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto one (capable of 3x optical zoom), and a second 10MP telephoto one, this time with an f/4.9 aperture and support for 10x optical zoom.The iPhone 12 Pro Max likewise has a quad-lens camera, however the specifications are quite various. Theres a 12MP f/1.6 main snapper, a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide one, a 12MP f/2.2 telephoto one (with 2.5 x optical zoom) and a LiDAR scanner, for judging depth and ranges– which is especially useful for increased reality.Both phones have 4 rear video cameras (Image credit: Future) On the front meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 40MP f/2.2 video camera, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 12MP f/2.2 one.While the numbers may look less remarkable on Apples cam, we were certainly impressed in our review, noting that the camera is “effective” and carries out well even at night. It remains to be seen how the Galaxy S21 Ultras camera will perform at the time of writing, but were expecting excellent things.Battery lifeTheres a big 5,000 mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which dwarfs the 3,687 mAh one in the iPhone 12 Pro Max.We dont know how long the S21 Ultras will last yet, but in our tests we found that the iPhone 12 Pro Max lasted over a day conveniently, however was unlikely to stretch to 2. With its slightly sharper and bigger screen the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra might penetrate battery faster, but then its got a lot more offered as well.Both phones support quick charging and cordless charging, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra furthermore supports Wireless PowerShare– which lets you utilize it to wirelessly charge other gadgets.Specs and featuresBoth of these phones are extremely powerful, as you d anticipate, though the precise specifications vary. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has either a Snapdragon 888 chipset (if youre in the US) or an Exynos 2100 (in most other areas), while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has an A14 Bionic. All three of these though are the top of their ranges.One thing that the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a lot more of however is RAM, with 12GB included in the 128GB and 256GB designs, while the 512GB design has 16GB of RAM. The iPhone 12 Pro Max on the other hand just has 6GB of RAM, whichever model you buy (256GB, 512gb, or 128gb). That stated, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is an extremely quick phone, so we would not read too much into that.One feature that both of these phones have is 5G, so youll be all set to benefit from the new generation of mobile connectivity, however a lot of their other functions differ.The iPhone 12 Pro Max supports MagSafe (Image credit: TechRadar) For something, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has an in-screen fingerprint scanner, the iPhone 12 Pro Max instead goes all in on Face ID.The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra likewise supports Samsungs S Pen stylus (though this is sold individually), while the iPhone 12 Pro Max supports MagSafe accessories, which you can magnetically connect to the back of the phone.Of course, they also have extremely different os, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra running Android 11, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max runs iOS 14. Cost and availabilityThe Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at $1,199/ ₤ 1,149/ AU$ 1,849, for which youll get a 128GB design. Its easy to do a direct comparison with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, as that likewise begins with 128GB of storage, for which youll pay $1,099/ ₤ 1,099/ AU$ 1,849. So the 2 phones cost the same amount in Australia, but in the US and the UK the iPhone 12 Pro Max is really somewhat less expensive, which isnt a sentence youll hear very often. Theres not much in it though.As for availability, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is of course offered now, while at the time of writing you can pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, with it going on sale on January 29. Todays finest Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max dealsUnlimited minsUnlimitedtexts12GBdataCalls: Calls to MX & & CA includedTexts: Messaging to MX & & CA includedData: (slowed to 128kbps speeds)( Image credit: Future) TakeawayThe iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra actually stand well to each other on paper. Both have exceptional builds, top-end power, 5G, quad-lens video cameras, approximately 512GB of storage, and similarly big screens.The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultras display screen is partially bigger and greater resolution, it has longer variety optical zoom, a larger battery, and more RAM, plus assistance for the S Pen stylus. With the iPhone 12 Pro Max you get MagSafe support, much better water resistance, and a LiDAR scanner, plus in many places the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a slightly lower starting price.If any of those factors are a big offer for you, that should help in making a purchase choice, but you might want to wait for our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review before buying either.Sort ByRecommendedMonthly cost (low to high) Monthly expense (high to low) Upfront expense (low to high) Upfront expense (high to low) Data (low to high) Data (high to low) Carrier (A to Z) Carrier (Z to A) Product Name (A to Z) Product Name (Z to A) Minutes (low to high) Minutes (high to low) Texts (low to high) Texts (high to low) Contract length (low to high) Contract length (high to low) 12GBdataData: (slowed to 128kbps speeds) Unlimited minsCalls: Calls to MX & & CA includedUnlimitedtextsTexts: Messaging to MX & & CA included8GBdataData: (slowed to 128kbps speeds) Unlimited minsCalls: Calls to MX & & CA includedUnlimitedtextsTexts: Messaging to MX & & CA included3GBdataData: (slowed to 128kbps speeds) Unlimited minsCalls: Calls to MX & & CA includedUnlimitedtextsTexts: Messaging to MX & & CA included12GBdataData: (slowed to 128kbps speeds) Unlimited minsCalls: Calls to MX & & CA includedUnlimitedtextsTexts: Messaging to MX & & CA included8GBdataData: (slowed to 128kbps speeds) Unlimited minsCalls: Calls to MX & & CA includedUnlimitedtextsTexts: Messaging to MX & & CA included3GBdataData: (slowed to 128kbps speeds) Unlimited minsCalls: Calls to MX & & CA includedUnlimitedtextsTexts: Messaging to MX & & CA includedLoad more offers

In the case of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, that water resistance extends to depths of 6 meters for 30 minutes however, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is only checked to depths of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.As for colors, you can get the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in Phantom Black and Phantom Silver, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is offered in Graphite, Silver, Gold, and Pacific Blue shades.ScreenThe Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultras screen is enormous at 6.8 inches. In terms of pixel density, youre looking at 515 pixels per inch on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and 458 on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.While we have not yet fully evaluated the S21 Ultras screen, Samsungs flagships typically have among the best smart device screens of their release year, but so do Apples phones, and in our evaluation we discovered that the iPhone 12 Pro Max had a great, brilliant screen with exceptional color reproduction.CameraTheres a quad-lens electronic camera on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, with a 108MP f/1.8 primary sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto one (capable of 3x optical zoom), and a second 10MP telephoto one, this time with an f/4.9 aperture and assistance for 10x optical zoom.The iPhone 12 Pro Max likewise has a quad-lens camera, but the specs are quite different. It stays to be seen how the Galaxy S21 Ultras camera will carry out at the time of composing, but were anticipating good things.Battery lifeTheres a big 5,000 mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which dwarfs the 3,687 mAh one in the iPhone 12 Pro Max.We do not understand how long the S21 Ultras will last yet, however in our tests we discovered that the iPhone 12 Pro Max lasted over a day conveniently, however was unlikely to stretch to two. That said, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a very fast phone, so we wouldnt check out too much into that.One feature that both of these phones have is 5G, so youll be prepared to take advantage of the brand-new generation of mobile connection, but a lot of their other functions differ.The iPhone 12 Pro Max supports MagSafe (Image credit: TechRadar) For one thing, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has an in-screen finger print scanner, the iPhone 12 Pro Max rather goes all in on Face ID.The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra likewise supports Samsungs S Pen stylus (though this is sold individually), while the iPhone 12 Pro Max supports MagSafe devices, which you can magnetically connect to the back of the phone.Of course, they also have very different operating systems, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra running Android 11, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max runs iOS 14.

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