iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Why the Philippines Chooses iPhone

The latest iPhone 15 Pro Max has the titan’s might and power in gaming, camera, and durability. 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra found its match today: the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple’s latest Pro-class iPhone will smash the flagship line once it officially launches later this month. So, between these two, which will likely win or be your next premium handset? Here, we will reveal the three arenas where both are likely to engage directly.

Gaming Performance

If you’re just browsing or streaming, either Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will work for you. This means that gaming is a deal breaker. At a glance, both smartphones can run virtually any game today and likely new ones launching in 2024.

Let’s start with the CPU and GPU. iPhone 15 Pro Max sports the latest A17 Pro 3-nm chip paired with a 6-core GPU. Being a 3-nanometer chip, A17 Pro will surely outclass many other mobile CPUs. On the other hand, Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 4-nm chip paired with Adreno 740. This is the current top-line mobile processor from Qualcomm.

It looks like only the process difference (3nm vs. 4nm) is what separates the two CPU models from each other. The smaller the value is, the better the CPU is in heat management and overall performance. Does this mean that the iPhone 15 Pro Max wins by default? No, because Galaxy S23 Ultra is a definite beast in gaming.

iPhone 15 Pro Max’s likely victory condition in this arena is its built-in Ray Tracing support. If you’ve played games with RT, you’ll know what realistic lighting looks like. They are so natural that you feel everything is real. Apple claims that the RT in iPhone 15 Pro Max is hardware-based to run related games at higher frame rates. That’s realism and smoothness at the palm of your hands.

Let’s be fair. Qualcomm did enable Ray Tracing support on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, so it should work as intended. But did Samsung unlock this power in Galaxy S23 Ultra?

iPhone 15 Pro Max seems to have a small advantage in this race because several developers have already expressed interest in launching their popular titles on this device. Ubisoft’s The Division Resurgence will arrive in early 2024, while Capcom’s Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 4 Remake for mobile are coming out later this year. Ubisoft will also launch its mobile-native Assassin’s Creed Mirage in early next year.

With those titles, it is obvious to go for iPhone 15 Pro Max for the chance of an early access experience with Resident Evil and Assassin’s Creed Mirage.

Camera Power

iPhone 15 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra are equipped with powerful cameras that can capture even the tiniest detail in a snap. Samsung installed a quad-camera setup at the back of Galaxy S23 Ultra, spearheaded by the 200-MP main shooter. Meanwhile, Apple installed a triple-camera setup at the back of iPhone 15 Pro Max, led by the 48-MP main shooter. 

The boss battle here will start in the hands of a pro camera user. Based on the rear cameras of both devices, iPhone 15 Pro Max has focal lengths ranging from 13, 24, 28, 35, 48, to 120 millimeters, while Galaxy S23 Ultra’s can range between 13 and 230mm. Either flagship smartphone can reach unbelievable optic ranges when snapping a photo.

The eventual conclusion will involve pro modes. iPhone 15 Pro Max highlights its Macro capability as Galaxy S23 Ultra emphasizes its Expert Raw. The former has powerful focus and depth control when getting accurate details from the subject, while the latter has an amazing exposure control so details will become apparent at an accurate level.

If your priority is the subject, a person or a pet, iPhone 15 Pro Max’s focal length and deeper control may get you more accurate details than exposure options.

Peerless Durability

Since iPhone 15 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra are premium flagship smartphones, you can expect both to have some durability compared to other flagships, mid-rangers, and entry-level devices. Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 6.8-inch display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 to resist drop damage and scratches. iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 6.7-inch display is sheltered by Ceramic Shield to deflect cracks and chips.

The frame of these devices is a different story, however. Galaxy S23 Ultra’s frame is made of aluminum and it is a strong metal, even against some types of steel. But iPhone 15 Pro Max took the matter to the next level by having a titanium frame. In general, titanium beats aluminum in the tensile strength duel but it’s heavier, so it’s a strength-to-weight argument.

If you’re thinking of durability or toughness alone, titanium wins and so is iPhone 15 Pro Max in this context.

iPhone 15 will take pre-orders starting this weekend. The base model starts at ₱56,990 with the iPhone 15 Plus at ₱63,990. If you want more power, go for iPhone 15 Pro starting at ₱70,990 or iPhone 15 Pro Max at ₱84,990.


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