Apple has finally lifted the lid on its latest range of iPhones, with the iPhone 12 Pro series finally earning the name with promising features for powerful users and professionals. The best phone is the iPhone 12 Pro Max, with all the best new features of the company.
But while the iPhone 12 Pro Max undoubtedly offers incredible performance, it has the best competition: the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra ranks among the top 2020 mobile phones and is another heavyweight champion.
This means it’s time to pit the two against each other to see which will come out on top or which is best for you if you̵
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra price and availability
Although it offers an impressive set of improvements over last year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple has managed to offer its new, larger phone at the same price as the previous model, while doubling the base storage capacity.
This means that the iPhone 12 Pro Max retails at a starting point of $ 1099 / £ 1099 / AU $ 1849, which is not cheap yet, but you get at least 128GB of storage for that.
There are options that also contribute to this, with the 256GB version giving you back $ 1199 / £ 1199 / AU $ 2019 or the 512GB unit for the huge $ 1399 / £ 1399 / AU $ 2369.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra costs $ 1399.99 / £ 1199 / AU $ 1999 for the 5G version with 128GB or 512GB for £ 1399 (depending on your carrier in the US or Australia). As we can see, both brands have almost the same prices in the high market, with the Samsung phone being a bit more expensive.
It is worth noting, however, that you can increase the memory to 1TB in the Galaxy S20 Ultra with a microSD card, something that Apple is unlikely to ever allow.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra design
Despite initial dissatisfaction when it debuted, Apple did not consider it good to get rid of the controversial cutout on the display of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, while much of the overall outline of the phone also remains almost identical to the previous ones.
However, the design differences of the iPhone 11 are in size and weight, as the iPhone 12 Pro Max adds a little extra screen to its 11-series cousin (more on that soon) so that the device is 5.78 inches by 2.82 inches.
The only other change to the real note is in the choice of colors in which the phone is available. Midnight Green came out after its debut last year, replaced by a new Pacific Blue, which is located next to the pillars of Silver, Graphite and Gold.
Samsung’s offerings are a little less exciting, but they still look great. Cosmic Gray and Cosmic Black are quite a standard fare, but the Cloud White option has a nice pearl quality in the right light.
Still, in terms of design, the S20 Ultra has certainly been looked at, giving up its own step and offering a “hole punching” camera buried in the display itself. Along with the end-to-end display, it offers a truly immersive experience with a fingerprint scanner for security.
Neither phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the Samsung phone has a USB-C port, while the Apple device instead has the company’s own Lightning port.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra display
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a modest step from the 6.5-inch display of the 11 Pro Max to 6.7-inch, which makes it no less smaller than the iPad Mini, as these have 7.9-inch screens.
With a resolution of 2778 x 1284, the phone’s Super Retina XDR screen is an OLED panel, presenting high color accuracy, impressive brightness and HDR support.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra offers a huge 6.9-inch AMOLED display and is also full of great features like 3200 x 1440p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.
This refresh rate makes the device feel super responsive, so much so that it feels like it knows what you want to do before you do it – but that’s because of the cost of battery life.
Still, for watching your favorite TV shows, none of these devices will disappoint you. The aforementioned slot and perforator can affect your fidelity in one way or another.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Cameras and Battery Life
Let’s get the big news: the iPhone 12 Pro Max does not include a power adapter (or EarPods) in the box. Apple says this is the result of the company’s attempt to minimize waste, but you’ll need to charge via USB unless there’s one lying around.
Despite many hoping that this would be the year in which the iPhone switched to USB-C connectivity, Apple stayed with Lightning. Wireless charging is available, with Apple’s new MagSafe technology providing safer and more powerful charging, but you’ll need to use a MagSafe wireless charger to reach 15W wireless power – otherwise you’re at a slow 7.5W
For wired charging, you will need to invest in a fast-charging power adapter to be able to charge your phone up to 50% in about 30 minutes, which is the advertised speed. However, once charged, you will be able to enjoy about 20 hours of video playback on the device according to Apple.
The S20 Ultra includes a charger in the case and a pair of AKG headphones. It also has a 5000mAh battery from which you will get about 25 hours of talk time.
40W fast charging is available right out of the box, as well as 15W wireless power and 4.5W power sharing, which allows you to use the S20 Ultra as a charging pad to power other devices.
As for the cameras, the harsh numbers certainly don’t tell the whole story. Apple’s phone offers three 12MP rear sensors combined with the same Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto cameras from last year, but the 12 Pro Max offers up to 12x digital magnification of the latter, which the iPhone 11 Pro Max lacks.
You also get 2.5x optical zoom, 2x optical zoom and 5x optical zoom, and it has a LiDAR scanner that helps detect depth and AR.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has an array of four cameras, including 108MP main, 12MP ultra-wide and 48MP telephoto cameras, the latter can be increased up to 10 times without loss of quality or up to 100 times in distortion is not a problem. The latest sensor is a 0.3MP Flight Time sensor for improved depth detection.
The S20 Ultra can also record 8K video (iPhone stays at 4K), but the iPhone can record (and edit) Dolby Vision HDR.
Finally, the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers a 12-megapixel front TrueDepth camera for FaceID, while the S20 Ultra offers an impressive 40-megapixel front camera.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra specifications and features
As you may have realized, these devices pack an incredible amount of technology in small packages – despite their screen size.
Both offer 5G connectivity, which provides lightning-fast downloads and uploads to areas that support it, but can add a premium to your monthly bill depending on the network you choose.
The S20 Ultra is an Android phone with Android 10, which means that for fans of Google’s mobile operating system, the choice is simple. The phone offers excellent gaming performance, and the bright screen and excellent set of cameras make it ideal for “point and shoot” trips and edit on the go.
If you’re locked into Apple’s ecosystem, then the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best it gets, and it comes with iOS 14. The large display, the new A14 Bionic processor, and the wide variety of photography tricks make it Apple’s best (and the largest) telephone.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra for home
Let’s be honest, you are unlikely to make much of a mistake by taking one of these devices – as it should be when you consider the price you will pay.
While Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra has an advantage when it comes to more megapixels and a larger display, which of the devices you choose will really come down to your choice of operating system.
Both the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra are premium phones, full to the brim with the best features. Fortunately, there is enough market space for both.