Apple has finally opened the lid on its newest line of iPhones, and the iPhone 12 Pro series has finally earned this nickname with pioneering features for power users and professionals alike. The top-end phone is the iPhone 12 Pro Max with the company’s best new features.
While the iPhone 12 Pro Max undoubtedly offers incredible performance, it has the highest competition: the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of the best cellphones of 2020 and is another heavyweight champion.
That said, it’s time to pit the two against each other to see which one comes out on top or which one works best for you when you̵
iPhone 12 Pro Max versus Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra price and availability
Despite impressive upgrades compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max from last year, Apple has succeeded in offering its new, larger handset at the same price as the previous model and at the same time doubling the base storage capacity.
This means the iPhone 12 Pro Max will retail at $ 1099 / £ 1099 / AU $ 1849, which is still not cheap, but you get at least 128GB of storage for that.
There are options that improve this even further: the 256GB version gets you $ 1199 / £ 1199 / AU $ 2019 or a 512GB unit for a whopping $ 1399 / £ 1399 / AU $ 2369.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra costs $ 1399.99 / £ 1199 / AU $ 1999 for the 5G 128GB version or the 512GB for £ 1399 (depending on your US or AU carrier). As we can see, both brands are almost identical in the upper end of the market with the Samsung phone being a bit more expensive.
However, it’s worth noting that you can increase the storage in the Galaxy S20 Ultra to 1TB with a microSD card, which Apple likely never allows.
iPhone 12 Pro Max versus Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Design
Despite the initial outcry on its debut, Apple didn’t find it appropriate to get rid of the controversial notch on the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s display, while much of the phone’s general outline is also almost identical to the previous ones.
The differences from the iPhone 11 design, however, are in size and weight. The iPhone 12 Pro Max expands its cousin from the 11 series by more screen space (more on this shortly), so that the device measures 5.78 inches by 2.82 inches.
The only other change in the real touch is the choice of colors the phone comes in. Coming out after its debut last year, Midnight Green has been replaced with a new Pacific Blue that sits alongside the mainstays of silver, graphite and gold.
Samsung’s offerings are a little less exciting, but they still look good. Cosmic Gray and Cosmic Black are pretty standard, but the Cloud White option has a nice pearlescent quality in the right light.
In terms of design, the S20 Ultra is certainly an eye-catcher that does without its own notch and offers a “punch” camera buried in the hole itself. Together with the edge-to-edge display, it offers a really impressive experience with a fingerprint scanner for more security.
Neither of the phones have a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the Samsung phone has a USB-C port, while the Apple device has the company’s own Lightning connector instead.
iPhone 12 Pro Max versus Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra display
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a modest step up from the 6.5-inch display of the 11 Pro Max to 6.7-inch and therefore not much smaller than an 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 that offers great color accuracy, impressive brightness, and HDR support.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra offers a huge 6.9-inch AMOLED display and numerous functions such as a resolution of 3200 x 1440p and a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
This refresh rate makes the device feel so responsive that it feels like it knows what you want to do before you do – but it comes at the cost of battery life.
Still, none of these devices will let you down when you want to watch your favorite TV shows. However, the notch and hole mentioned above could affect your loyalty in one way or another.
iPhone 12 Pro Max versus Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra cameras and battery life
Let’s get the big news out of the way: The iPhone 12 Pro Max doesn’t include a power adapter (or EarPods) in the box. According to Apple, this is a result of the company’s attempt to minimize waste. However, you need to charge via USB unless you have one lying around.
Despite many hopes that this would be the year the iPhone switched to USB-C connectivity, Apple stuck to Lightning. Wireless charging is available. Apple’s new MagSafe technology makes charging safer and more powerful. However, you need to use a MagSafe wireless charger to get 15W wireless power. Otherwise you will have a slow 7.5W power.
For wired charging, you’ll need to invest in a quick-charge power adapter to charge the phone to 50% in around 30 minutes. This corresponds to the specified speed. After charging, you can enjoy around 20 hours of video playback on the device, according to Apple.
The S20 Ultra comes with a charger and a pair of AKG headphones. It also has a 5000mAh battery that gives you around 25 hours of talk time.
The 40W fast charging is instantly available, the 15W wireless power supply and reverse power distribution at 4.5W allow you to use the S20 Ultra as a charging pad to turn on other devices.
With cameras, the raw numbers certainly don’t tell the whole story. The Apple phone offers three 12-megapixel rear sensors paired with the same ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto cameras from last year. However, the 12 Pro Max offers up to 12x digital zoom that the iPhone 11 Pro Max did not achieve.
You also get 2.5 times the optical zoom, 2 times the optical zoom and 5 times the optical zoom range. There is also a LiDAR scanner that helps with depth detection and AR.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a quad camera array with 108-megapixel main, 12-megapixel ultra-wide and 48-megapixel telephoto cameras. The latter offer the possibility of zooming up to 10 times without loss of quality or up to 100 times in the event of distortion is no problem. The final snap is a 0.3 MP time-of-flight sensor for improved depth detection.
The S20 Ultra can also record 8K video (the iPhone stays at 4K), but the iPhone can record (and edit) Dolby Vision HDR.
Finally, the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers a 12-megapixel TrueDepth front camera for FaceID, while the S20 Ultra has an impressive 40-megapixel front camera.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Specs and Features
As you may have seen, these devices pack an incredible amount of technology into small packages – despite their screen size.
Both offer 5G connectivity, which ensures lightning-fast downloads and uploads in areas that support it, but can add a premium to your monthly bill depending on the network of your choice.
The S20 Ultra is an Android phone running Android 10, which means the choice is easy for fans of Google’s mobile operating system. The phone offers great gaming performance and is ideal for outings and editing on the fly thanks to the bright screen and great series of cameras.
If you’re into the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best there is, and it’s coming to iOS 14. The big display, new A14 Bionic processor, and a host of photography tricks make it up Apple’s best (and so far largest handset.
iPhone 12 Pro Max versus Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra to go
Let’s face it, it is unlikely that you will make a huge mistake in choosing any of these devices – so it should be, given the price you will pay.
While the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has the edge in terms of more megapixels and a larger display, which device you go for depends on your operating system choice.
Both the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra are premium phones that are packed to the brim with top functions. Fortunately, there is enough space in the market for both.