Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
When Apple announces its iPhones, it simultaneously sets new trends and adopts features of the competition but done the Apple way. This general notion applies to the latest iPhone 12 family that Apple announced on October 13

For the first time around, Apple released four different iPhones at the same time, ranging from the smallest 5.4" iPhone 12 mini and going all the way up to the largest iPhone ever released, the 6.7" iPhone 12 Pro Max. That said, the 6.1" iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are quite intriguing on their own as well, but the most advanced new device around is the iPhone 12 Pro Max and it's only natural that it fully captured our attention!

It's also logical that we'd want to compare the best iPhone for the next year with the top-of-the-line Android phone around. That's the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, Samsung's pride and glory that comes with an S Pen, high-end specs, and is probably the very best Android has to offer right now.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ss a boxing match made in heaven, and it's now time to ring the bell. Here goes!

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Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: The main differences

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Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Price 

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: $1099 (128GB), $1199 (256GB), $1399 (512GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: $1299 (128GB), $1449 (512GB)

We're soaring into high-end flagship land, so don't expect affordable pricing. The new top-end iPhone start at $1100 for the 128GB version, and charge you $1199 and $1399 for the 256 and 512GB versions, respectively, whereas the Note 20 Ultra will cost you $1,299 for the 128GB and $1,449 for the 512GB version. Of course, the latter has been on the shelves for a few months so you could occasionally get it cheaper thanks to deals, sales, and other types of bargains.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Display

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6.7" OLED 
  • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: 6.9" OLED

There's no high refresh rate on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and that might be a bummer for tech geeks and a missed opportunity for Apple, but that's how it is. Aside from its standard 60fps refresh rate, the display ticks with a resolution of 2778 by 1284 pixels, which is sufficiently sharp. 

At the same time, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is coming with a Dynamic AMOLED 120Hz display that comes along with a resolution of 1,440 by 3,088 pixels, which should be sharper than the iPhone 12 Pro Max's display. Ultimately though, neither device will disappoint when it comes to its overall display qualities.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Hardware

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: 5nm Apple A14 Bionic, 6GB RAM
  • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Snapdragon 865+, 12GB RAM

Inside the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple A14 Bionic chipset is ticking with its smooth moves. It debuted on the Apple iPad Air (2020) and hums with superb performance thanks to the 5nm manufacturing process. The latter also ensures better performance at a higher power efficiency, so there's that. The largest iPhone comes with 6GB RAM and either 128, 256, or 512GB storage variants.

In the meantime, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ in the US. An octa-core beast, built on a 7 nm process — the 865+ is a slightly improved version of the regular Snapdragon 865 that powers the Galaxy S20 series. The Note 20 Ultra has variants with 8 GB of RAM and 12 GB of RAM, as well as storage tiers from 128 GB to 512 GB.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Camera

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: 12MP main, 12MP zoom, 12MP ultra-wide; 12MP front camera
  • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: 108 MP main, 12 MP zoom, 12 MP ultra-wide; 10 MP front camera

Both phones came with triple camera setups, consisting of a regular, ultra-wide angle, and telephoto snappers. The differences are in the megapixels and sensor sizes as well as the software features. It's too early to say which one has the better camera, but one thing is for sure: they'll be neck to neck. One thing that will likely be missing on either device is an advanced depth measuring sensor. The iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with LiDAR on board, which will allow for precise environment mapping and improved AR and XR capabilities. At the same time, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has no ToF sensor like the S20 Ultra, so it's a bit gimped in that regard and doesn't have advanced depth-sensing capabilities. At least it comes with fast laser autofocus, which locks onto your subjects super-fast.

Another win exclusive for the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the sensor-shift image stabilization which is reportedly much better than conventional OIS solutions and would provide stable footage even when severe movement or vibrations are present.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max will definitely catch the attention of avid photographers and videographers with ProRAW support and is also the first smartphone to support Dolby Vision HDR capture. That means they can capture over 700 million colors, up to 60X times more than before. You also get a live preview of HDR as you shoot it, and you can edit Dolby Vision videos right in the Photos app. This is truly impressive stuff, possible thanks to the powerful A14 chip. For all else, the cameras on the Pro and Pro Max are identical: you have the new Smart HDR 3 on both, which brings out detail in faces when the sun is bright behind the person and captures better HDR shots overall. Night Mode on both also gets better: it is now available on all cameras, including the ultra-wide and front cameras.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Battery life

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: 3687mAh
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: 4500mAh

While the larger battery of the Note 20 Ultra might mislead you that it would have a significantly better battery life, we wouldn't be so quick to downplay the potential battery life of the iPhone 12 Pro Max as Apple's insane power optimizations play a very big role in the overall power efficiency of the phone. As a result, iPhone usually run circles around Android devices with larger batteries due to the tight control Apple has over both the software and hardware of its wares.

We've already compared the new iPhones' battery life against the older generations, but until we get our hands on a unit, we can't say how long this year's iPhone lasts on a single charge. According to Apple, it should be similar to last year's iPhone 11 Pro Max, so that's reassuring.

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