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Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: Which flagship phone is better?

Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Galaxy S22 Plus are different in many ways, but they share some similarities too. Both phones, for instance, have an OLED display with a bezel-less design and cutout towards the top. You also get a triple camera setup on both devices along with some other similarities including a similarly specced battery unit, almost the same physical dimensions, and more. As for which phone is better for you is entirely subjective and may come down to whether you prefer Android or iOS, but we’ll try to highlight some of the stark differences between the two in this Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus comparison. Let’s dive in!

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Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: Specifications

Specifications Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Build
  • Stainless steel mid-frame
  • Glass back
  • Ceramic Shield glass front
  • IP68 dust and water resistance
  • Armor aluminum frame
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
  • IP68 dust and water resistance
Dimensions & Weight
  • 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.9mm
  • 240 grams
  • 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm
  • 196 grams
Display
  • 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display
  • 2796 x 1290 pixel resolution at 460 ppi
  • Support for HDR, ProMotion technology (120Hz), True Tone technology, Always-On Display, Dynamic Island
  • 2,000 nits max brightness.
  • 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution 393 ppi
  • 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate
  • 1,750 nits
SoC
  • Apple A16 Bionic
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Exynos 2200
RAM & Storage
  • 6GB
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
  • 8GB + 128GB
  • 8GB + 256GB
Battery & Charging
  • 4,323mAh
  • Fast charging, 50% in 30 min
  • MagSafe fast wireless charging 15W
  • Qi wireless charging 7.5W
  • Charger not included
  • 4,500mAh
  • 45W wired fast charging support
  • 15W wireless charging support
  • 4.5W reverse wireless charging
  • Charger not included
Security Face ID Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor
Rear Camera(s)
  • Pro rear camera system:
    • Main: 48MP, ƒ/1.78
    • Ultra Wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2
    • Telephoto: 12MP, ƒ/1.78
  • Primary: 50MP, 1.0µm, 85° FoV, 23mm, f/1.8, DPAF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP, 1.4µm, 120° FoV, 13mm, f/2.2
  • Telephoto: 10MP, 1.0µm, 36° FoV, 69mm, f/2.4, OIS, 3x optical zoom
Front Camera(s) TrueDepth front camera: 12MP, ƒ/1.9 10MP, 1.22µm, f/2.2, 80° FoV
Port(s)
  • USB Type-C
  • No headphone jack
  • No microSD card slot
  • USB Type-C
  • No headphone jack
  • No microSD card slot
Audio Stereo speakers Stereo speakers
Connectivity
  • 5G (mmWave)
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.3
  • NFC
  • 5G (mmWave/sub6)
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • NFC
Software iOS 16 One UI 4.1 based on Android 12
Other Features
  • eSIM only in the US
  • Promised four Android OS upgrades
  • Promised five years of security patches

Design and display

Both iPhone 14 Pro Max and Galaxy S22 Plus look a lot like their predecessors. You’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the new phones and their predecessors from the outside if it wasn’t for the new colors. The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a bit more individuality due to Apple’s new Dynamic Island, so we’d say it’s a bit more recognizable when the display is turned on. You’re not getting anything new in particular in terms of the design, so keep that in mind.

iphone 14 pro max and 13 pro max

Both phones have glossy mid-frames and matte glass back panels that look equally elegant. We think the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s back design looks busier due to the massive camera island that’s been growing in size with each iteration of the phone. Samsung’s ‘Contour-Cut’ design that blends the camera island into the housing on the Galaxy S22 Plus looks a lot cleaner in comparison. The design, however, is entirely subjective, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide which one you like better.

Galaxy S22 Plus in four colors

As for the build quality, we’d say both the iPhone 14 Pro and the Galaxy S22 Plus are equally durable. The Galaxy S22 Plus comes with Gorilla Glass Victus Plus for both front as well as the back, whereas Apple is using Ceramic Shield glass on the front and a dual-ion glass for the back. Both phones also carry an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, so no differences there either. You may not need any additional protection for your phones, but we always recommend picking up good cases and screen protectors for your devices.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Galaxy S22 Plus both have almost the same physical dimensions too. As you can see in the specs sheet, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is both taller and wider by a couple of millimeters, which we don’t think translates to a lot of difference in the real world. The Galaxy S22 Plus, however, is significantly lighter weighing in at 196 grams. Even with one of the best cases out there, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus will likely weigh less than an iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iphone 14 pro max with a case

Moving over to the front, both phones in this comparison feature a bezel-less display with a cutout for the sensors on the top. This particular cutout is more noticeable on the iPhone 14 Pro Max than it is on the Galaxy S22 Plus due to Apple’s Face ID tech. But instead of hiding the cutout or the area surrounding it with a notch or wallpapers, Apple decided to build an entire UI around it and called it the Dynamic Island. Some people think it creates more problems than it solves, while others think it’s a fun and clever user interface that’s here to stay.

Front of smartphone screen with camera cutout

Looking past the cutout conundrum, you get two excellent-looking displays with crisp visuals and high refresh-rate support.  The iPhone 14 Pro Max sports a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with 2796 x 1290 pixel resolution while the Galaxy S22 Plus features a 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X with 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution. Both displays support a 120Hz refresh rate but the iPhone 14 Pro Max has higher peak brightness outdoors. Thanks to Apple’s new Display engine, the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s display peaks at 2,000 nits brightness outdoors. The Galaxy S22 Plus isn’t too far behind coming in at 1,750 nits.


Internal hardware

Apple’s iPhones have historically been more powerful than Android flagships, and that trend continues with the new iPhone 14 Pro too. The new iPhone 14 Pro Max features Apple’s new blazing fast A16 Bionic chip which is supposedly using two Everest (performance) cores and four Sawtooth (efficiency) cores in a Hexa-core setup. The Galaxy S22 Plus, on the other hand, is offered in both Snapdragon and Exynos flavors across the globe. Depending on where you buy the Galaxy S22 Plus, you’ll get it with either Samsung’s in-house Exynos 2200 or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC.

We tested both Exynos and Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S22 Ultra and found the latter to be more powerful in almost every single scenario. We expect the same results to reflect in the case of the Galaxy S22 Plus too. That being said, the A16 Bionic is the most powerful chip in this comparison, and it’s not even close. In fact, the A16 Bionic is more powerful than the new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 too. Here’s a quick look at the Geekbench 5 results to show you the difference between the single-core and the multi-core performance of the A16 Bionic versus the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 running inside a Galaxy Z Fold 4:

DO NOT USE YET EMBARGOED

Apple A16 Bionic’s GeekBench score vs the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1’s score.

You may not notice a huge difference in performance when it comes to day-to-day usage, but the more powerful A16 Bionic certainly helps the iPhone 14 Pro Max do better in intensive tasks. The new iPhones only come with 6GB of RAM across the board compared to 8GB of memory inside the Galaxy S22 Plus, but we all can agree that iOS is significantly better at memory management. The base variants of both phones come with 128GB of storage but the Galaxy S22 Plus tops out at 256GB while the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be purchased with up to 1TB.

As for the batteries, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is said to pack a 4,323mAh unit which goes against the 4,500mAh unit inside the Galaxy S22 Plus. You’re likely to get more screen time between charges out of the iPhone 14 Pro Max due to the software optimization. It also depends on your day-to-day usage, so it’s not easy to predict which one’s going to last longer. But what we do know is that the Galaxy S22 Plus will charge faster as it supports up to 45W fast wired charging as opposed to 25W charging on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Both phones also support wireless charging but you’ll have to bring your own charger, wired or wireless.


Cameras

Both the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Galaxy S22 Plus, as we mentioned earlier, sport a triple camera setup at the back. In the case of the Galaxy S22 Plus, we’re looking at a 50MP f/1.8 main shooter with OIS, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree field-of-view, and a 10MP f/2.2 telephoto lens that offers 3x lossless zoom. Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with what Apple calls a “Pro camera system” which includes a 48MP sensor with an ƒ/1.78 aperture, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, and a 12MP ƒ/1.78 telephoto shooter with 3x optical zoom. And just like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the new iPhone 14 Pro models also feature a LiDAR depth sensor for portraits.

Close up of camera on S22 Plus

Selfies are handled by a 10MP shooter on the Galaxy S22 Plus whereas the iPhone 14 Pro Max captures selfies with a new 12MP TrueDepth selfie camera. We weren’t able to capture the same set of shots using both phones for this particular comparison, but we’re attaching individual samples taken from both devices below. Alternatively, you can also head over to our reviews of these phones — both linked earlier in this post — to find more samples along with other details.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max camera samples






Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera samples

Camera sample from Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Camera sample from Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Camera sample from Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Camera sample from Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Camera sample from Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Camera sample from Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Apple seems to have done a pretty good job overall with its cameras but it shines more on the video front. In addition to improving the Cinematic mode, Apple has also introduced the new Action Mode to help you capture the footage of a moving subject with better stabilization. You can see this new mode in action below:


Software

The iPhone 14 Pro Max ships with iOS 16 out of the box whereas the Galaxy S22 Plus comes with One UI 4.1 on top of Android 12. You’re bound to lean towards one or the other depending on the phone you’re coming from, and neither of these phones will likely convince you to switch. You may find Apple’s new Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro Max interesting, but we don’t think it’s enough to jump ships.

DON'T USE YET EMBARGED UNTIL SEPT 15 8PM ET. Dynamic Island showing recorder

As for the software support, the Galaxy S22 Plus is promised four years of OS updates and five years of security updates. We don’t have an official confirmation on how long Apple plans to support the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but the iPhones have historically been great with updates so we’re counting on at least five years of software updates.


Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Galaxy S22 Plus: Which phone should you buy?

The iPhone 14 Pro Max and Galaxy S22 Plus are both excellent phones that bring fantastic hardware along with a lot of great features to the table. So the purchase decision comes down to a few key factors including pricing. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus starts at $1,000 whereas the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,100 in the US. If you’re leaning toward a particular operating system then the choice is quite obvious here and we think you should pick the one you like.

But if you’re platform-agnostic and don’t mind spending an additional $100, then consider buying the iPhone 14 Pro Max. We think it handily beats the Galaxy S22 Plus with its raw performance and in the camera department. The Galaxy S22 Plus has a bigger battery with support for faster charging but the rest of the specs and features are closely matched by the iPhone, including the display and software support. Not to mention, the iPhone 14 Pro Max also works well with other Apple devices like a Mac or an iPad to provide a more cohesive experience, something which the Galaxy S22 can’t do yet.

That’s not to say the Galaxy S22 Plus is a bad phone. It’s easily one of the best Android phones out there right now that offers a lot of value for the money. It also routinely sees deals and discounts, making it a better choice for those with a tight budget. The iPhones don’t see a lot of discounts, but you can always check out our best iPhone 14 deals to see if you can snag a good carrier deal or some free accessories.

    Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

    The Galaxy S22 Plus offers a gorgeous display, powerful cameras, and flagship-level performance.

    Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

    The iPhone 14 Pro Max represents the best of what Apple has to offer in a relatively big-sized package for the Pro users.

So, which smartphone are you planning to buy? Let us know by dropping a line in the comments below.

The post Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: Which flagship phone is better? appeared first on XDA.

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