The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is Samsung’s latest flagship device. The device did not really come with a lot of external changes just like many expected. However, where things really get interesting is when you get inside the phone. From camera performance, software, performance and battery life. Samsung has done an amazing job with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Taking a closer look at every single improvement in the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, there seems to be something interesting going on. It may look like Samsung brought all these improvements as an upgrade to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Well, that is normal to do but all fingers point at Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the South Korean company’s direct response to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max easily defeated last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra in every category. From camera photos and videos, battery life to performance, Apple dominated everywhere with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is not something Samsung was happy about from all indications. Truth is, these reviews and comparison really go the long way to affect sales of smartphones and of course every other product. So you know what happens when your competitor is dominating all categories.
It makes a lot of sense for anyone to conclude that Samsung has responded to Apple by releasing the S23 Ultra. Samsung did not respond with just camera improvements but in other categories such as battery performance and speed as well. We will bring the comparisons of the other areas between these two flagship devices later. For now, we will focus on the camera performances of both devices.
How Well Does the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Camera Perform Against the iPhone 14 Pro Max?
Okay, let me quickly highlight the areas where Apple dominated over the S22 Ultra first. The iPhone 14 Pro Max Beat the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in camera areas such as color accuracy, dynamic range, selfie, video stability, wide angle view and night mode. And guess what? These are the main areas where Samsung has also brought improvements in the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera.
In this article, we will compare the camera performance of the Galaxy S23 Ultra to that of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Let’s see how Samsung’s new camera improvements perform against the iPhone 14 Pro Max. We have gone through a couple of reviews and comparisons in order to be sure about the accuracy of the results.
For the purpose of this article, we had to settle on the comparison of one the most reliable and popular tech Youtubers. The Youtuber whose results we will be using in this comparison is SuperSaf. He did a very detailed comparison and touched on all the important areas worth discussing. Most of the images we will be using in this comparison also come from SuperSaf. Let’s get started!
Main Camera Comparison Between Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max
We will kick start this battle with main camera of both phones since that is the first to see whenever you open the camera app.
Both phones take great photos with the main camera with excellent dynamic range. But when it comes to the actual color accuracy, both phones handle it a bit differently. As you may already know, Samsung adds a bit of saturation to images more than Apple does. That is down to personal preferences so we cannot talk about which is better.
However, the 200MP main sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra gives a major advantage in certain scenarios. If you take a photo of a particular image and zoom-in afterwards, that is when the Power of the 200MP kicks-in. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra photos have more details than that of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Therefore, Samsung takes the win in terms of main camera shoot.
Low Light Photography
Just like the normal daylight shots, low light shots also look good on both devices. It is very difficult to tell which is better here. But you may have to take a closer look in order to see the difference. Taking a good look at the images below, you will realize that the S23 Ultra is able to read the shadow details better than the iPhone. From where the arrow is pointing, you could see that the Galaxy S23 Ultra reveals slight details of the wall whereas the iPhone 14 Pro Max completely washes it off.
For those who do not understand what this means. Shutter lag has to do with how accurate the phones camera is able to read moving objects. This is a very common practice among users around the world. It may be that you would like to take a picture of a little child or a picture of your pets. It is quite difficult to get them at a stationary position in order to take the photo.
This is where Shutter lag comes in. The quicker the camera is able to focus, the better it can take a good image of a fast-moving object. In this category, the iPhone 14 Pro Max easily beats the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. You can see the result from the image below.
With the advancement in mobile phone photography in recent years, many people don’t really use flashlights in taking photography these days. But it is still very useful in some cases. So how well will your pictures turn out if there is the need to take a flash photo after meeting up with some old friends one Friday night? Which of these two phones will be there for you in such situations? Samsung made a lot of noise about low light photos during the launch event of the S23 series. So, let’s see how well it stands against the iPhone 14 Pro Max where there is the need for the service of your flashlight.
As you can see, both phones did great jobs with the flash photography. However, taking a closer look again reveals that the iPhone handled the black colors better than the Samsung. The Samsung has this blue tint in the black jacket. This makes the iPhone 14 Pro Max a better choice for taking flash photos over the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Ultra-Wide and Macro Shots
Both phones do not have dedicated Macro lenses, so they make use of the auto focus abilities of the ultra-wide lenses in taking macro shots. You just have to keep the phones closer to the objects for this to happen.
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When it comes to the ultra-wide camera, you cannot downplay the performance of any of these two. What you will notice however is that the Samsung has a better dynamic range (background details) than the iPhone.
With the Macro mode photos, both phones represented themselves very well even though the contrast is quite different. It does not look like there is a lot to complain about here. It also comes down to personal preferences as far as contrast is concern. But the Samsung wins in the Ultra-Wide category.
Zoom Camera Comparison Between the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max
It is quite easy for anyone to predict the winner for this category if you are familiar with specs of both phones. this is because the Samsung comes with dual zoom lenses with 3x Telephoto lens and a 10x Periscope lens. The iPhone on the other hand features just a 3x Telephoto lens. The Samsung is capable of performing up to 100x digital zoom while the iPhone can only go up to 15x. Which means there cannot be a competition here as far as zoom is concerned. You can check the result in the photo below.
This is one of the areas that Apple has dominated Samsung on many occasions. Apple’s portrait shots have always had accurate colors, sharper edge detections and better background blurs than Samsung. So, let’s see how Samsung has responded to this.
Now you can confidently say Samsung has been able to catch up with Apple when it comes to portrait photos. But taking a closer look, it looks like there is a little more work for Samsung to do. Samsung has a little problem with the edge detection here. Taking a closer look at Saf’s hair, you can see a little bit of blur at the tip while the iPhone was able detect the edges better.
Another issue with Samsung’s portrait shot has to do with smoothening. Apple show a more natural photo with more details on the face while Samsung makes it a bit smoother. Samsung may have come a long way with its portrait shots, but Apple takes a slide lead here.
Another area where Samsung dominates is the low light portraits. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is able to produce a much clearer and brighter image than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone may be a bit sharper here, but overall Samsung takes the lead. Apple leads in daylight portrait while Samsung leads in low light portrait.
When you flip your camera to the front side, things look a lot similar in both cases. Both phones take beautiful photos with their front cameras. It is quite difficult to call a winner here because where Samsung trips, Apple stands and a vice versa. The iPhone is able to maintain accurate skin tone than the Samsung here and it also has a wider field of view than the Samsung. However, the Samsung has a better dynamic range than the iPhone.
When you switch to portrait mode, things turn out to be in the direct opposite. Over here, Samsung dominates with a wider field of view than the iPhone. We therefore call this a draw.
Low Light Selfie
When you want to take a selfie in a darker environment, things begin to look different. The S23 Ultra is able to produce a brighter and sharper image in low light selfies than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Video Camera Comparison Between Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max
One of Samsung’s main advertising points for the S23 Ultra is the video recording capabilities it holds. However, we all know that the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best video recording smartphone in the world. So, has Samsung been able to catch up? Let’s find out.
In normal video mode, both phones are able to record in 4K at 30fps and the iPhone clearly takes the lead here. The iPhone also dominates when in the area of auto focus especially when recording a video in a low light environment. Samsung seems to have challenges in these area as you can see a lot of noise in the video. You can judge for yourself from the image below.
Samsung has also made great progress in the 8K video recording of the S23 Ultra. The device can now record 8K at 30fps while the iPhone is locked at 4K.
Apple has finally been beaten in its own game when it comes to video stabilization. This is one of the areas that makes the iPhone the best in video recording Video stabilization in the iPhone did not seem to have any competitor until the Galaxy S23 Ultra was born. Samsung actually increased the stability range by 2x of what the S22 Ultra has. This makes video recording on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra more stable than any other smartphone on the market today.
In conclusion, it is very difficult to point out which one is better in terms of camera even though Galaxy S23 Ultra won in six different categories as compared to the iPhone’s four. It all goes down to personal preferences here since the weakness of one phone is another one’s strength. Nonetheless, we can say Samsung has done some magic with the S23 Ultra. This is because, we could easily choose the iPhone as a winner when comparing with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. With the S23 Ultra, it is very difficult to choose a winner.
For more detailed comparison, you can watch the video on SuperSaf TV