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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Apple wins again in performance benchmarks

A comparison of Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max was inevitable. The long-time rivalry between Apple and Samsung is well known and documented. Every year, their premium flagship models are pitched against one another to see which is faster, has better battery life, takes better photos, does more, etc.

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Apple iPhones have their traditional weak areas, and same goes for Samsung smartphones. For example, no iPhone has touched the battery life of Samsung phones in years. Likewise, no Samsung model has touched Apple’s toys in terms of raw power.

Compare Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

It looks like that trend persists this year, thanks to benchmark results and other information we are seeing. Let’s get on with our comparison of the two devices.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Physical Build and Handling

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a tank of a device. It is bigger (taller, thicker, but narrower) than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and its square edges give it that hulking look. Yet, for some reason, the iPhone is heavier (240g against the Samsung’s 229g).

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In terms of materials, Samsung S22 Ultra is made of glass and aluminium, while the 13 Pro Max is made of glass and stainless steel. Aha! That explains the difference in weight. Stainless steel is lighter than aluminium.

Whichever way you look at it, both Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max are solidly built smartphones. We doubt that there is a winner here in terms of build. You just have to go with what you prefer.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Cameras

Comparing the cameras of premium flagships from both camps is always an interesting exercise. Usually, the numbers do not tell us anything and we have to depend on extensive tests and camera shootouts.

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In the last few years, Samsung has fallen behind in the camera department, leaving the top slots to duels between Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi. Samsung S22 Ultra camera tests and shootout results are not out yet, and so the jury is still out on that. We will have to wait.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Battery Life

Apple put a relatively big battery in the Pro Max this time. It is not everyday you see a 4352mAh battery in an iPhone, but here it is. iPhone lovers who have gotten tired of being tied to a charging port often must be ecstatic, and for good reason too. Early tests indicate that the iPhone 13 Pro Max has really good battery life.

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Eureka! May we see more of this in the years ahead.

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But, as good as the iPhone’s battery life is, it still falls short of what Samsung has in the Galaxy S22 Ultra – a massive 5000mAh battery. That’s over 500mAh extra juice.

There are multiple factors affecting battery life, so we can’t look at battery capacity alone. Other factors include screen size and type, processor, and software optimisation.

All these factors notwithstanding, iPhone 13 Pro Max will be hard pressed to one-up Samsung S22 Ultra on this one. Let’s also not forget that the Samsung has 45W fast charging (thankfully), while the iPhone has 27W.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Performance

Traditionally, Apple’s top iPhones have left Android flagships in the dust in terms of raw performance. And this time, that is exactly what has happened again: iPhone 13 Pro Max beats the crap out of Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in performance benchmarks. We are talking about a 35% gap, according to the benchmark tests run by PCMag.

Yes; raw benchmark tests do not tell the full story, but they are are good part of it. PCMag also reports that the S22 Ultra warms up quickly under sustained load and then throttle performance. From the PCMag article:

While running benchmarks, the phone quickly became warm, and as soon as it became warm it returned much lower results.

That doesn’t sound good. Not the heating; not the throttling. The PCMag account says their tests show that the S22 Ultra “throttles to 75% performance after 15 minutes”. Nah; that isn’t good.

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Which brings to fore the question of whether these phones really need all the power being built into them. If you’re going to be throttling down to 75% power in order to keep a smartphone cool, perhaps it really doesn’t need all that power to start with and we are just in a race to see who can put in the most powerful chipset and the most amount of RAM in their devices.

Which is what it looks like the Android ecosystem has been about for years. In contrast, Apple’s Bionic chip and mobile operating system make do with 6 GB RAM to deliver the best performance results. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has up to 12 GB RAM.

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References

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  • Galaxy S22 Benchmarked: Apple Still Beats Samsung – PCMag.
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