Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Which is a Better Buy?

BY Sriansh

Published 3 Feb 2023

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the latest addition to Samsung’s 2023 flagship lineup, boasting a stunning 200MP camera sensor and high-end specifications such as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. For every tech enthusiast, the comparison between the Korean brand’s flagship and Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhone 14 Pro Max is a natural curiosity. In this article, we’ll delve into both large phones, examining their specs, features, and more to help you decide which one is the better fit for your needs and preferences.

Table of contents:

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Specs comparison

Feature Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra iPhone 14 Pro Max
Display 6.8-inch, AMOLED, 120Hz (LTPO), Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 6.7-inch, Super Retina XDR, ProMotion (120Hz), Ceramic Shield glass
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy  Apple A16 Bionic Chip
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery 5,000 mAh 4,323 mAh (not official)
Charging 45W wired, 15W wireless 20W wired, 15W MagSafe wireless
Camera 200MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto, 12MP front 48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto, 12MP telephoto, 12MP front
Connectivity  5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3
Colors Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender Space Black, Deep Purple, Gold, Silver
IP rating IP68 water and dust resistance IP68 water and dust resistance
Price Starting at $1,199 Starting at $1,099


Both the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra have premium builds and finishes, but the designs differ significantly. The iPhone 14 Pro Max retains a familiar design as previous iPhones with a stainless steel frame and flat display on the front.

On the back, there is a big camera module that houses the new 48MP primary sensor (more on this later). The iPhone 14 Pro Max also features a Ceramic Shield, which is tougher and more scratch-resistant than glass.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, on the other hand, also has a similar design to its predecessor. The only notable change is there’s no camera bar or island at the rear. Instead, the sensors sit flush, with only the camera rings protruding from the body.

The frame is made of Armor Aluminum, which gives it a premium feel. Like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is also IP68-rated, meaning it’s water- and dust-resistant. The front display and the back are protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2.


Shifting our focus to the front of the two smartphones, the iPhone 14 Pro Max sports a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with a record peak brightness of 2000 nits, making it one of the brightest displays in the market. The panel also supports ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate) and always-on mode. This feature has been available on Samsung flagships, including the Galaxy S23 Ultra, for a few years now.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra features a 6.8-inch QHD+ Edge Dynamic AMOLED 2X Super Smooth Display with a resolution of 1440 x 3088 pixels. This display a slightly lower peak brightness of 1,750 nits. The S23 Ultra not only offers a top-notch display but also supports S-Pen, making it a top choice for those seeking productivity features and maximum use of their device’s screen.

Both the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max offer outstanding display quality — both phones are sure to impress!


When it comes to smartphone cameras, the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra bring high-end features to the table. The iPhone 14 Pro Max features a 48MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 12MP telephoto lens. Apple’s cameras have always been renowned for their quality, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is no exception. The 48MP main camera provides incredible detail and sharpness, even in low-light conditions, while the telephoto lens allows for 3x optical zoom for closer shots. As far as video recording capabilities are concerned, the iPhone 14 Pro Max supports 4K at up to 60fps and ProRes at up to 4K/30fps. 

As for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, it features a custom 200MP ISOCELL HP2 main camera sensor that can produce incredible detail and resolution, even in low-light conditions. In addition to the 200MP main camera, the phone also features a 12MP ultra-wide camera and two 10MP telephoto cameras, providing a versatile and powerful camera system that can handle any situation.

The two 10MP telephoto sensors combine to provide up to 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom on the S23 Ultra, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max maxes out at 3x optical zoom. Even in terms of video recording capabilities, the Galaxy S23 Ultra beats the Apple flagship as it supports 4K video recording at 60fps and 8K recording at 30fps.


The iPhone 14 Pro Max features Apple’s latest and greatest A16 Bionic. This chip has been designed to deliver superb day-to-day performance, and it does so quite easily. Whether you’re playing high-end games, editing videos, or doing day-to-day tasks, the A16 Bionic has you covered. It also features a 16-core Neural Engine that can perform nearly 17 trillion operations per second, resulting in better AI and ML capabilities. The chip is backed by 6GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage. 

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is powered by Qualcomm’s ‘Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy’ processor. While Samsung used to offer phones with Exynos chips, it has switched to using Qualcomm’s flagship SoCs this year, which are known for their excellent performance and efficiency.

Compared to the previous generation, Samsung says the S23 Ultra features up to 30 percent better CPU performance, 41 percent better GPU performance, and up to 49 percent NPU performance. The S23 Ultra also features an improved cooling system with a larger vapor chamber, ensuring steady performance during prolonged and intensive usage.

Regardless of the option you pick, you can trust that the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to deliver excellent performance in daily use. They are both capable of handling heavy workloads with ease.

Battery & Charging

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is equipped with a 5000 mAh battery, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 4324 mAh battery. Samsung’s offering has a larger battery, but it’s hard to determine which device will last longer without hands-on tests, as this will also depend on the usage patterns of the device.

When it comes to charging, the Galaxy S23 Ultra comes out ahead of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Samsung’s rapid charging speeds are pretty decent, with the company claiming that it only takes about an hour to fill up its 5,000 mAh cell with a 45W charger. In comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro Max only features 27W wired charging. Both smartphones feature 15W wireless charging, but only the Samsung flagship features reverse wireless charging.


The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are the top-of-the-line offerings from the respective brands. As such, they come at a premium price. The Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at $1,199.99 for the 256GB model, with the 512GB model priced at $1,379.99 and the 1TB model at $1,619.99. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, though starts at a lower price of $1,099, and comes with only 128GB of onboard storage. The 256GB model is priced at $1,199, the 512GB model at $1,399, and the 1TB variant at $1,599.


iPhone 14 Pro iOS 16.1

In conclusion, both the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are high-end smartphones with premium builds, displays, and camera systems. Each phone has its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to consider what you’re looking for in a smartphone when making a decision.

For those who are looking for productivity features and maximum use of the device’s screen, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a great choice. It offers the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a big 5,000 mAh battery, a 200MP primary camera that captures stunning photos, and an excellent display that supports S-Pen, making it a great choice for those who want to use their phone for work and play. 

On the other hand, the iPhone 14 Pro Max boasts better performance with its A16 Bionic chip. If you happen to have other Apple devices as well, the iOS ecosystem also, arguably, offers a host of productivity features that simplify everyday tasks. The dynamic island design creatively utilizes the space around the front camera cutout, and despite having a smaller battery capacity, the iPhone 14 Pro Max also features long battery life.

Ultimately, the decision between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes down to personal preference. Consider your needs and what you’re looking for in a smartphone, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision.