Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: duel of the titans where quantity does not guarantee quality

Yesterday was Samsung day. The South Korean company presented the new flagship of its range of mobiles, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and our Xataka colleagues already consider it a success that for once they have chosen to stop changes and innovations and reinforce a mobile that already captured attention.

This Galaxy S23 Ultra becomes the new direct rival of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so it is worth studying its specifications and putting them side by side with those of the best Apple iPhone. You have to assess these raw data, although you also have to take other things into account.

Comparison of specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max

SAMSUNG GALAXY S23 ULTRA iphone 14 pro max
dimensions and weight 163.3 x 78.1 x 8.9 millimeters

233 grams

160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85 mm
240 grams

QHD+ resolution at 3,080 x 1,440

Adaptive refresh from 1 to 120Hz

100% DCI-P3

Perforated panel Gorilla Glass Victus 2

Super Retina XDR 6.7 inches
True Tone, HDR
ProMotion 120Hz
2,778 x 1,284 px, 458 dpi
2,000 nits, contrast 2,000,000:1
Always-on screen
dynamic island
chip Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Aderno 740 A16 Bionic
RAM 8 or 12GB 6GB
storage 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB of internal memory 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB of internal memory
REAR CAMERAS Main: 200 megapixels f / 1.7 OIS

Angular: 12 megapixels f/.22 120º 13mm

Zoom: 10 megapixel f/2.4 OIS 3X 69mm

Zoom: 10 megapixel f/4.9 OIS 10X 230mm

Main: 48 megapixels f / 1.78, second generation shift sensor

Ultra Wide: 12 megapixel f/2.2 13mm

Zoom: 12 megapixel f/2.8 OIS 77mm OIS

FRONT CAMERA 12 megapixel f/2.2 25mm 12 megapixel f/1.9, autofocus
battery 5,000mAh

45W fast charge

15W wireless charging

20W fast charge
15W wireless charging
OS Android 13

One UI 5.1

iOS 16
connectivity 5G (2xNano + eSIM)

Wi-Fi 6E

Bluetooth 5.3




usb type c

5G (sub-6GHz)

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax with 2×2 MIMO)
Gigabit LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA
Bluetooth 5.3



lightning cable

others IP68

Compatible with Samsung DeX

S-Pen with 2.8ms latency

No satellite calls

Stereo sound

Emergency satellite call service

price From 1,409 euros From 1,469 euros (1,421 euros on Amazon)

A lot of power, but you have to control it

The key moves Samsung has made here are the move to a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip which should see an increase in performance, and a sensor of an impressive 200 megapixels for the main lens of your camera.

The difference in RAM memory is also obvious: the 12 GB possible in the best models of the Galaxy S23 Ultra double the 6 GB of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. And one last subtle but important difference: although it was rumored, finally the Galaxy S23 Ultra they do not have satellite call service for emergencies. TM Roh, head of Samsung’s mobile division, believes that the infrastructure dedicated to it is still too limited to offer it.

Overcoming the optimization and efficiency that Apple achieves with iOS and its iPhones is a challenge that cannot be solved with more memory or more megapixels.

Seeing that other characteristics are already very similar, what we see is that the components of this Galaxy S23 Ultra bet on quantity: 200 megapixels, 12 GB of RAM memory… and it is very easy to conclude that the iPhone 14 Pro Max will perform in worse conditions for this: It’s good to have all this potential but you have to control it.

I am sure that the analyzes of the Galaxy S23 will draw very good conclusions: the camera will take spectacular photos and the general performance of Android will not be slow at all. But overcoming the optimization and efficiency that Apple achieves with iOS and its iPhone is already a greater challenge.

On the one hand, we will be able to see this better as soon as the complete analyzes are published (our colleagues from Xataka are already working on it), the final performance of mobile phones can be compared in a certain way with tests such as Geekbench. It will be there adding the sensation and final experience of the user with the system, when we see if there is a real difference in behavior between both terminals.

Samsung declares war on the Studio Display with its Viewfinity S9, which will launch soon

It’s going to be an interesting few months to see if there’s anything to make this move by Samsung stand out. And I say months, because these Galaxy S23 Ultra only have until September to stand out until Apple presents its iPhone 15 in September.