iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: A Flagship Face-Off

Apple and Samsung continue to push the boundaries of smartphone innovation with their latest flagship releases. The brand new iPhone 14 Pro Max brings significant camera upgrades, a game-changing Dynamic Island cutout, and Apple‘s fastest mobile chip ever. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra combines beloved features from the Galaxy S and discontinued Note series, complete with an integrated S Pen and greatly improved cameras of its own.

These two technology titans face off again in 2022 for the title of best premium phone. Let‘s compare them across all the key categories – from design and display to performance, cameras, battery life and more – to see how they stack up.

Dimension and Design: Metal Frames Showing Their Weight

The iPhone 14 Pro Max and S22 Ultra both clearly hail from the premium side of the smartphone spectrum when you first pick them up. Each sports a polished metal frame sandwiched between glass front and back panels. Apples‘ flagship phone does carry noticeably more heft however. Here are the vitals:

iPhone 14 Pro Max

  • Dimensions: 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 240 grams
  • Materials: Surgical-grade stainless steel, textured matte glass
  • Colors: Space Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

  • Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 229 grams
  • Materials: Armor aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus+
  • Colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy, Graphite, Sky Blue, Red

The S22 Ultra offers more color customization options out of the gate. And while not exactly compact, its lighter more pocketable chassis gives it an edge for those drawn to one-handed usability. Still, both deliver that substantial feel expected from a thousand-dollar-plus smartphone.

Displays: Dynamic Island and S Pen Tricks

Their luxe builds set high expectations for the screens, which both phones meet and raise the bar further in their own way.

Key Display Specs

FeatureiPhone 14 Pro MaxGalaxy S22 Ultra
Screen size6.7" OLED6.8" QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Resolution2796 x 1290 pixels3088 x 1440 pixels
Peak brightness2000 nits1750 nits
Refresh rate1-120Hz adaptive1-120Hz adaptive

Apple brings key innovations like the much-buzzed-about Dynamic Island – essentially a shape-shifting cutout housing the TrueDepth camera and alerts system. iOS 16 also enables an always-on display for the first time where notifications remain subtly visible.

But Samsung has offered that capability for years alongside edge-to-edge screens. Where the S22 Ultra changes the game is literally adding more functionality via the integrated S Pen. Users can conveniently jot notes or draw on the lock screen and unlock additional touch gestures.

Both deliver superb brightness, sharpness and smooth scrolling though at different aspect ratios favoring productivity or entertainment.

Blazing Speeds: Apple‘s A16 Chip Against Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Processing performance plays a huge role in driving the flagship experience – and power users need to know how these silicon stacks up.

The A16 Bionic chip represents Apple‘s latest homegrown silicon, fabbed on an industry-leading 4nm transistor process. With nearly 16 billion transistors, its 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU and 16-core neural engine promise huge performance gains over 2021‘s already blisteringly fast iPhones.

Samsung flagships typically utilize Qualcomm‘s best available Snapdragon mobile platform. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 inside the S22 Ultra delivers leading benchmark scores in its own right – but still falls short of Apple‘s A-series chips by a wide margin.

Both pack plenty of punch for demanding apps and games thanks to up to 12GB of RAM. The iPhone 14 Pro Max offers double the base storage at 128GB or 1TB max. But the S22 Ultra counters with a handy microSD slot able to add 1TB. Ultimately whether gaming, editing video or simply bouncing between apps – expect blazing speeds albeit at different levels.

Camera Face-Off: Megapixels, Zoom Wars and Stabilization

Shooting and sharing outstanding photos and videos remains among the top considerations for most buyers – an area of intense competition and innovation between leading brands.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Primary Cameras

  • Main: 48MP quad-pixel, ƒ/1.78, 24mm, 1.2μm pixel size
  • Ultra Wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 13mm, 1.4 μm pixel size
  • Telephoto: 12MP, ƒ/2.8 aperture, 77mm, 1μm pixel size

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Primary Cameras

  • Wide: 108MP, ƒ/1.8, 24mm, 0.8μm pixel size
  • Ultra Wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 13mm, 1.4μm
  • Telephoto 1: 10MP, ƒ/2.4, 70mm, 1μm
  • Telephoto 2: 10MP, ƒ/4.9, 230mm, 1μm

On paper, Samsung touts higher individual sensor resolutions – notably the blockbuster 108MP main cam. But Apple‘s sensors and image processing generally achieve outstanding detail, color and dynamic range. More megapixels don‘t directly translate to better real-world results.

However, the S22 Ultra brings true optical 10x zoom unmatched by any iPhone. Combined with sophisticated AI-enhancements, its 100x Space Zoom shots remain reasonably usable too – bringing distant details into sharp focus no other phone can touch.

Apple fights back with class-leading image stabilization across all three iPhone 14 Pro Max cameras plus the selfie cam. Cinematic Mode also brings Hollywood-style focus tricks to mobile videography with automatic subject tracking and depth effects. Expect supremely smooth footage under challenging conditions from the latest iPhones.

Both shine for photography and videography in different ways. The S22 Ultra though vastly outdistances the competition where longer reach is needed.

Battery and Charging: All-Day Power Meets Quick Charging

Even innovative new flagships still spend much time in pockets and purses. So battery life and charging speeds make a tangible daily difference to the experience.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max packs a 4323 mAh battery – one of the largest seen yet in an iPhone. Feedback suggests most buyers coast through a full day of moderate to heavy use. Apple quotes up to 29 hours of video playback. Standby time is equally impressive thanks to the power-sipping LTPO display able to drop as low as 1Hz.

Samsung powers its plus-sized S22 Ultra with an even larger 5000 mAh battery which should theoretically last longer. However, its hungrier higher resolution display and older 4nm chip likely curb gains. Many users still comfortably get through a full day but not always with as much headroom.

For charging though, the tables turn in Samsung‘s favor. While no slouch at up to 27W with a USB-C PD charger, the iPhone 14 Pro Max cannot match the S22 Ultra‘s blistering 45W wired charging. Samsung quotes getting from 0 to 45% in just 30 minutes – handy for quick top-ups. Wireless charging tops out at 15W on both – convenient but slower.

If battery life is paramount, the iPhone 14 Pro Max runs longer. Yet the S22 Ultra brings flagship-level fast charging.

Price Tag: Top Tier Means Top Dollar

As expected for phones positioned squarely at the top of the market with best-in-class features, stellar build and elite branding, neither Apple nor Samsung pulls any punches on pricing.

Here is how MSRP pricing shakes out for base specs in US market:

iPhone 14 Pro Max128GBN/A$1099
Galaxy S22 Ultra128GB8GB$1199

Many will rightfully balk at prices exceeding well over $1000 even before sales tax. Of course both brands offer pricier configs scaling up to 1TB storage and 12GB memory inflating costs even higher into four digits. Nevertheless, expect deep discounts from carriers and retailers soon that help lessen the initial sting.

The Bottom Line: Close Call But Apple Takes The Win

When two industry titans meet head-to-head, there rarely proves a clear, runaway winner year after year. Samsung packs excellent capabilities like the integrated S Pen and extreme Space Zoom that productivity-focused power users may deem worth a premium.

However, on the whole, Apple brings more cutting edge innovations this round that matter to more mainstream shoppers. The dynamic new Island cutout, stellar cameras now with smoother video capture, and still unmatched performance claim this year‘s bragging rights.

But Samsung‘s mighty challenger remains a thrill ride for Android loyalists or those who prioritize reach over stabilization in their mobile photography. Ultimately both deliver force-to-be-reckoned with flagships sure to please their target buyers.

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