Phone Comparisons: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

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The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra landed in January 2024, alongside its siblings. That is Samsung’s new flagship, and in this article, we’ll compare it with the very best of Apple. We’ll compare the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. These two smartphones are immensely different. Not only do they offer entirely different designs, but their camera setups are also quite different, and the same goes for camera processing. Needless to say, there’s a lot to talk about here.

We’ll first list the specifications of each smartphone, and will then jump into various different categories to compare them. We’ll compare their designs, displays, performance, battery life, camera performance, and audio output. Let’s get this party on the road and see how the two phones stack up, shall we?



Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, respectively

Screen size:
6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion (flat, 120Hz, HDR10, 2,000 nits)
6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (flat, 120Hz, HDR10+, 2,600 nits max brightness)
Display resolution:
2796 x 1290
3120 x 1440
Apple A17 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
256GB/512GB/1TB (NVMe)
256GB/512GB/1TB (UFS 4.0)
Rear cameras:
48MP (f/1.78 aperture, second-gen sensor-shift OIS), 12MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree FoV, macro photography), 12MP (telephoto, f/2.8 aperture, 5x optical zoom)
200MP (wide, f/1.7 aperture, OIS, multi-directional PDAF, 0.6um pixel size), 12MP (ultrawide, 120-degree FoV, f/2.2 aperture, Dual Pixel PDAF 1.4um pixel size), 10MP (telephoto, f/2.4 aperture, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF, 1.12um pixel size, 3x optical zoom), 50MP (periscope telephoto, OIS, PDAF, 5x optical zoom)
Front cameras:
12MP (f/1.9 aperture) + TrueDepth
12MP (wide, f/2.2 aperture, Dual Pixel PDAF, 22mm lens)
20W wired, 15W wireless (MagSafe & Qi2), 7.5W wireless (Qi), reverse wired charging (charger not included)
45W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless (charger not included)
159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25mm
162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm
221 grams
232/233 grams
5G, LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5.3
Advanced facial scanning
In-display fingerprint scanner
iOS 17
Android 14 with One UI 6.1
Galaxy S24 series (Samsung)


Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Design

The moment you lay your eyes on these two phones, you’ll realize how different they are. Both are made out of metal and glass, and both use titanium for their frames. The thing is, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has rounded corners and flat sides, which is not something we can say for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Samsung’s flagship is flat on top and bottom, but its corners are sharp, and the sides are very slightly curved.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max also includes a pill-shaped camera cutout on the display, the so-called Dynamic Island. Samsung opted for a considerably smaller cutout with its display camera hole at the top. Both devices have very thin bezels, and those bezels are uniform. All of Samsung’s physical keys sit on the right side, while Apple opted to spread them out on both the left and right sides. The iPhone 15 Pro Max also has the Action Button on the left side.

If we flip them around, you’ll notice even more differences. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has its recognizable camera island in the top-left corner. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, on the other hand, has five separate cutouts on the back, four of which are camera sensors. The in-hand feel between these two phones is considerably different. That’s mainly due to the different shapes of both phones, but they’re both very slippery.


The Galaxy S24 Ultra does have a slightly larger display, and it’s a bit taller, wider, and thicker than the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Samsung’s flagship is also around 10 grams heavier than what Apple has to offer. Both smartphones do offer an IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, and it’s also worth saying that the Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with an S Pen stylus.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Display

Apple’s flagship features a 6.7-inch 2796 x 1290 LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED display. That display is flat, and it supports an adaptive refresh rate (1-120Hz). HDR10 content is also supported here, and the same goes for Dolby Vision. This panel goes up to 2,000 nits of theoretical brightness, while the display aspect ratio is 19.5:9. This panel is protected by the Ceramic Shield Glass.

iphone 15 pro max AM AH 30
iPhone 15 Pro Max

The Galaxy S24 Ultra, on the flip side, features a 6.8-inch QHD+ (3120 x 1440) Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X display. That display also has an adaptive refresh rate (1-120Hz), and it supports HDR10+ content. It has a theoretical peak brightness at 2,600 nits, and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. This panel is also flat, and it is protected by the Gorilla Glass Armor from Corning. The two phones have very similar screen-to-body ratios, but Samsung’s is ever so slightly lower.


How do these displays compare? Well, they’re both excellent in many ways, but the Galaxy S24 Ultra does have one major advantage. First and foremost, they’re both vivid, have deep blacks, and excellent viewing angles. The touch response is very good on both panels, and both displays are more than sharp enough. Also, they’re both very bright and as bright as you’ll need a smartphone display to be.

The thing is, the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s panel comes with Gorilla Glass Armor on top, which makes a huge difference when it comes to reflections. That is something you’ll notice during the day, and if you get annoyed by reflections often, the Galaxy S24 Ultra may be a solution for you.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Performance

Apple’s A17 Pro 3nm processor fuels the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, on the other hand, is fueled by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy processor. That’s basically an overclocked variant of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Apple’s handset also includes 8GB of RAM and NVMe flash storage. The Galaxy S24 Ultra has 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 flash storage.


How do they compare performance-wise? Well, both smartphones are very smooth in their daily operations, as you’d expect. Both have very good animations and can multitask with ease. Opening apps is fast, and the same goes for browsing, consuming multimedia, and many other actions you’ll conduct here. They can also hold their own when it comes to gaming. The iPhone 15 Pro Max had some issues in that regard at first, but Apple seemingly fixed the issue. Samsung improved cooling inside its new flagship, and it shows.

They can both run very demanding games and perform great during those sessions. Do note that extremely demanding games can make both phones feel quite warm, but not too warm, at least the ones we’ve tried running, like Genshin Impact, for example. Overall, both of them do offer very good performance.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Battery

There is a 4,441mAh battery included inside the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, on the flip side, has a 5,000mAh unit. Apple’s handsets usually have smaller battery packs due to the way iOS functions, so don’t pay much attention to battery size differences here. The point is, that both of these devices offer outstanding battery life, to say the least. During our battery life rundown test, both smartphones were outstanding, and are currently amongst the top three smartphones we’ve run that test on. Samsung actually lasted longer, if we’re comparing them directly.


Both of these smartphones can be two-day phones for many people. There are, of course, those of you who are power users, and who will have to charge them after a day’s worth of use, but rest assured, both of these phones are road warriors, and draining them won’t be easy. You can always do that with intensive games, but with general usage, not so much. Shooting way over 8 hours of screen-on-time is possible on both phones, both of them had plenty of juice left in the tank at that point, during our usage (with no gaming involved in the process). They were both also quite consistent.

Apple’s new flagships support 20W wired, 15W wireless (MagSafe & Qi2) charging, 7.5W Qi charging, and also 4.5W reverse wired charging. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, on the other hand, supports 45W wired, 15W wireless, (no Qi2 support), and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. Do note that neither phone comes with a charger in the box, though. Samsung’s wired charging may seem much faster on paper, but it’s not that much faster. In our test, the iPhone 15 Pro Max reached a full charge in an hour and 45 minutes, while it took the Galaxy S24 Ultra an hour and 26 minutes.


Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Cameras

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide unit (120-degree FoV), and a 12-megapixel periscope telephoto camera (5x optical zoom). The Galaxy S24 Ultra, on the other hand, includes a 200-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide unit (120-degree FoV), a 10-megapixel telephoto camera (3x optical zoom), and a 50-megapixel periscope telephoto unit (5x optical zoom).

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Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung opted to replace its 10x periscope telephoto camera with a 5x one. Was that the right move? Well, yes and no, at least based on our testing thus far. Updates could change things a bit, though. Considering that is one major change, let’s talk about that first. The 5x camera on the Galaxy S24 Ultra does perform better at 3x and 4x zoom, as the iPhone 15 Pro Max doesn’t really have a separate 3x telephoto camera as Samsung’s smartphone does. Things are much closer at 5x, though, and it all depends on the scene. The iPhone 15 Pro Max can hold its own, and in our experience even outdo the Galaxy S24 Ultra at 5x.

Generally speaking, the main cameras do a great job on both phones, but they’re very different. Samsung cut down on image processing, but it’s still there. We love the fact that the Galaxy S24 Ultra tends to leave images darker to make them more realistic now. It also has a cooler tone when it comes to photos. The iPhone 15 Pro Max tends to provide photos with warmer tones, and it does generally tend to brighten up images a bit more in low light. The tables are turned this time around.


Ultrawide cameras generally do a good job and tend to keep a similar color science to the main units, but that’s not always possible. Yes, you will notice the quality dip with the ultrawide cameras, but still, they’re good enough. The iPhone 15 Pro Max does win the video category more often than not, but it has never been this close.


Both of these devices do have a set of stereo speakers included. Those speakers are good on both smartphones. They do get more than loud enough and are well-balanced. They’re not the best we’ve heard on any phone, but are very good, and not many people will have objections.

What they do not include is an audio jack. That’s a rarity these days, especially when it comes to flagships. You can always take advantage of their Type-C ports, though. If you use wireless headphones/earphones, both phones support Bluetooth 5.3.