Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs iPhone 12 Pro Max – battle of two worlds

We call this comparison the “battle of two worlds” because iOS and Android users are on different parts of the divide. While the top smartphone model for iOS users is the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Android users have a couple of options and one of them is the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. This comparison will present a detailed specs sheet of both smartphones. It will also succinctly discuss the major aspects of this device. However, you will be the final judge if there must be a winner.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs iPhone 12 Pro Max – specs sheet


               Galaxy S21 Ultra                                                iPhone 12 Pro Max
SIM Type Single or Dual Single or  Dual
Dual SIM Yes Yes
SIM Size Single SIM (Nano-SIM and/or eSIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM and/or eSIM, dual stand-by) Single SIM (Nano-SIM and/or eSIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Device Type Smartphone Smartphone
Release Date January 14, 2021 October 13, 2020
Dimensions 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm
Weight 227 – 229 g 228 g
Type Dynamic AMOLED 2X Super Retina XDR OLED
Touch Yes, with Multitouch Yes, with Multitouch
Size 6.8 inches, 1440 x 3200 pixels, 120 Hz 6.7 inches, 1284 x 2778 pixels, 60Hz
Aspect Ratio 20:9 19.5:9
PPI ~515 PPI ~458 PPI
Screen to Body Ratio ~ 89.8% ~ 87.4%
Features HDR10+, 1500 nits (peak), Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, Always-on display HDR10, 1200 nits (peak), Scratch-resistant ceramic glass, oleophobic coating, Dolby Vision, Wide color gamut, True-tone
Notch Yes, Center Punch Hole Yes, Wide Notch


RAM 12 GB / 16 GB 6 GB
Storage 128GB / 256 GB / 256GB 128GB / 256 GB / 256GB
Storage Type UFS 3.1 NVMe
Card Slot No No
GPRS Yes Yes
EDGE Yes Yes
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
5G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes, Dual Stand-By Yes, Dual Stand-By
Wifi Yes, with wifi-hotspot Yes, with wifi-hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v5.2, A2DP, LE Yes, v5.0, A2DP, LE
USB Yes, USB Type-C 3.2 Yes, Lightning, USB 2.0
USB Features USB on-the-go, USB Charging USB-Charging
Charging 25W fast charging, 10W wireless charging, 4.5W reverse charging 20W fast charging, 15W wireless charging
Water & Dust Proof Yes, IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins) Yes, IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 6m for 30 mins)


Fingerprint Sensor Yes, In-Display No
Face Unlock Yes Face ID
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
3.5mm Headphone Jack No No
FM Radio Yes (Snapdragon models only) No


Rear Camera 108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS; 10 MP, f/4.9, 240mm (periscope telephoto), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom; 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; 12MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, Super Steady video 12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1.7µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift stabilization (IBIS); 12MP, f/2.2, 65mm (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2.5x optical zoom; 12 MP, f/2.4, 120˚, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.6″; TOF 3D LiDAR scanner (depth)
Features LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)
Video Recording 8K, 4K, 1080p 4K, 1080p
Flash Yes, LED Yes, LED
Front Camera 40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.7µm, PDAF 12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide), 1/3.6″
Front Video Recording 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS


OS Android v11 (One UI 3.1) iOS 14.1, upgradable to iOS 14.2
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100 (5nm) Apple A14 Bionic (5 nm)
CPU 2.84 GHz, Octa Core Processor 2.8 GHz, Octa Core Processor
Core Details Octa-core (1×2.9 GHz Cortex-X1 & 3×2.80 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A55) – International

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Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680 – USA/China

Hexa-core (2×3.1 GHz Firestorm + 4×1.8 GHz Icestorm)
GPU Mali-G78 MP14 – International
Adreno 660 – USA/China
Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
Pen Touch Yes (Stylus) No
Java No No
Browser Yes, supports HTML5 Yes, supports HTML5
Email Yes Yes
Video MP4, MKV, AVI, WMV, WEBM, 3GP, ASF playback Yes
Payments Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified) Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)
Document Reader Yes Yes


Type Non-Removable, Li-Po Battery Non-Removable, Li-Ion Battery
Size 5000 mAh 3687 mAh
Starting Price $1,199 $1,099

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs iPhone 12 Pro Max


The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has an overall square-ish look although the edges are a bit rounded. This phone uses a small center punch hole which takes the screen-to-body ratio to almost 90%. The iPhone 12 Pro Max on the other hand is more rounded and uses a big notch. With the notch size, the screen-to-body ratio of the display is just over 87%. Both smartphones have a sleek feel and a premium appearance.

On the rear, there is a huge difference between these devices. The iPhone 12 Pro Max uses the regular rounded camera module with three sensors and a flash inside it. However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with something more unique. For the first time, the square camera module attaches itself to the edge of the phone. The module is rounded on two sides and flat on the other two sides. This design gives this phone a new look because it is not common.

Although both smartphones are about 229 g in weight, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is significantly thinner. It is a whopping 1.5 mm thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Both smartphones use Gorilla Glass on both sides with aluminum (S21 Ultra) and stainless steel (12 Pro Max) frame.


On the display capabilities, it will be very tight to call. However, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has higher resolution, brightness, HDR, pixel density, and screen ratio. However, it is still tight to call because these features are user-dependent. Nevertheless, the iPhone 12 Pro Max prides on its Dolby Vision, Wide color gamut, and True-tone. These are optimizations that the Galaxy S21 Ultra does not use.


While the Galaxy S21 Ultra uses the Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100, the iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with an Apple Bionic A14 chip. These chips are built with the 5nm manufacturing process. However, the SD888 and Exynos 2100 uses Samsung’s solution while the Bionic A14 uses TSMC’s solution. On AnTuTu V8, the Bionic A14 chip hits 638,584. The Snapdragon 888 SoC crushes this score with over  700,000 points in most cases. As for the Exynos 2100, its AnTuTu V8 score is usually close to 700,000 (670,000 – 700,000). Both smartphones offer the same memory with no option for expansion. However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers more RAM. It offers 12GB/16GB RAM while the iPhone 12 Pro Max uses 6GB of RAM.

The software end is another purely user-dependent segment. If you are used to a particular software, you may be tempted to say it’s the best. One thing we should know is that bot smartphones use the latest software available on both sides of the divide.


In the camera department, both smartphones use wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto sensors. While the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets a point with its TOF 3D LiDAR scanner, the Galaxy S21 recovers with its periscope telephoto lens which gives it more zooming capacity. While the maximum zoom capacity of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is 2.5x, the Galaxy S21 Ultra gets up to 10x. Over the years we have got to realize that mostly give a false idea of a good camera. However, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra is using a 108MP f/1.8 main sensor, the iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with a 12 MP, f/1.6. Both smartphones support Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)

However, in the video department, the Galaxy S21 is ahead with its 8K@24fps capability. The iPhone 12 Pro Max only offers 4K@24/30/60fps. Samsung seems to also have a better camera on the front. Nevertheless, Apple’s front camera comes with gyro-EIS which Samsung lacks.


In the battery aspect, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra takes a straight victory. Its battery is not only bigger, it supports faster charging. The Galaxy S21 Ultra supports a 5,000 mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging. For the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it comes with a 3687 mAh battery that supports 20W fast charging. However, with wireless charging, iPhone 12 Pro has a higher 20W capacity. The Galaxy S21 Ultra supports 10W. Nevertheless, the Galaxy S21 Ultra also supports reverse wireless charging which iPhone 12 Pro Max lacks.


Both devices are in the same price category. However, the Galaxy S21 is about $100 more expensive. While the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099, the Galaxy S21 starts at $1,199

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs iPhone 12 Pro Max: Pro and Cons

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra


  • Good hardware
  • Wireless charging
  • Reverse wireless charging
  • Original design
  • Good Battery


  • Too thick

iPhone 12 Pro Max


  • Great chip
  • Thinner
  • Better Waterproof rating


  • Smaller battery
  • Regular Design
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