Video: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max Camera Comparison

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 14 Feb 2022


Samsung announced the Galaxy S22 Ultra last week to take on the iPhone 13 Pro series. On paper, the phone has the same camera setup as its predecessor but there are underlying improvements. So, how does the S22 Ultra’s camera compare to that of the iPhone 13 Pro Max?

Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone boasts a quad-camera setup consisting of a 108MP f/1.8 primary sensor with OIS, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto, a second 10MP f/4.9 telephoto capable of 10x optical zoom, and a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide. The S22 Ultra packs a 40MP f/2.2 camera in a hole-punch cutout on the front. The phone supports 8K60fps video recording as well. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 has three 12MP sensors that work together as one cohesive unit.

Incredible Zoom

In his 12-point comparison of the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, YouTuber Arun Maini, who goes by Mrwhosetheboss, showed where the phones shined and lacked. Starting with the Galaxy S22’s significantly higher zoom, the YouTuber noted that Samsung’s setup “completely spanks the iPhone” because of its superior 10x telephoto lens, which gives usable images even at 30x digital zoom. However, to Apple’s credit, switching between the various lenses on the iPhone 13 Pro Max feels smoother. Both cameras feature audio zoom when recording video, but the iPhone’s mic does a better job suppressing wind noise and sounding more natural.

iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Galaxy S22 Ultra Zoom

Steadier Stabilization

Maini noted that Samsung has also significantly improved its optical image stabilization and post-processing. He said that it isn’t a “game-changing difference in practice,” but the company’s better stabilization system produces an evidently different result when recording videos while running. However, Apple is still the reigning champion on this front because the resultant videos are clearer overall, probably because it has complete control of the camera system’s hardware and software stack.

iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Galaxy S22 Ultra stability

Sweeter Selfies

In terms of selfies, the YouTuber notes that the iPhone 13 Pro Max delivers consistent results in varying lighting conditions. The Galaxy S22’s 40MP selfie camera delivers sharper results when fed with ample light. However, he says the implementation isn’t at Apple’s level yet.

iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Galaxy S22 Ultra selfie

Low-Light Performance

Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max delivers stellar low-light performance due to its near-perfect image processing, although the S22 Ultra doesn’t lag far behind with its bright, crisp photos. While Samsung claims the S22 Ultra snaps 25 percent more frames in Night Mode in a shorter time, and the camera also has larger pixels, the better hardware is let down by poor image processing.

iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Galaxy S22 Ultra night time

Daytime Performance and Software Features

The S22 Ultra captures more crunchy images in the daylight with vivid colors and sharper contrast that doesn’t seem boosted. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 Pro Max delivers natural-looking images that replicate what you see with your eyes. In terms of software features, Apple takes the win again, thanks to its smooth transition between the lenses and the color profiles of the cameras that are virtually indistinguishable from each other. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also brings innovative new features to the table and deserves due credit for it. For instance, Director’s View shows you the scene from every camera’s viewpoint and the Remaster feature lets you enhance pictures using AI.

iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Galaxy S22 Ultra day shot

The Final Verdict

Mrwhosetheboss notes that right out of the box, most people would get better results out of the iPhone 13 Pro Max in point-and-shoot scenarios. While Samsung has made progress and caught up to Apple’s standard with the S22 Ultra, it is let down by poor software processing in some cases and doesn’t perform well in video. So, he says both the cameras are neck-and-neck with each other. We believe if you are in the market for a smartphone that delivers great Instagram-ready images right out of the box, look no further than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. However, if you are willing to play around with the camera modes and get a bit hands-on with the zoom and other features for better images, the S22 Ultra could be the flagship for you. Check out our detailed comparison if you’re still on the fence about which flagship phone to buy.

To get a look at more camera samples and Maini’s raw opinion, check out the entire video below: