Best Smartphone: Galaxy S21 Ultra VS iPhone 12 Max Pro


Even when the iPhone 12 was launched in October, as much as we loved it, we were also looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy S21. With the latter set to be available at the end of the month, we’ve decided to table a direct comparison of the two with the most important features (in our opinion). Maybe we’ll find out which the best smartphone is after all…

Side by side

CategorySamsung Galaxy S21 UltraiPhone 12 Pro Max
Display6.8-inch AMOLED6.7 inches, OLED
Resolution3200 x 14402778 x 1284
Dimensions (mm)75.6 x 165.1 x 8.978.1 x 160.8 x 7.4
Refresh Rateup to 120Hz60Hz
Storage128GB, 256GB / 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Rear Cameras108MP (f/1.8, OIS, 0.8µm) wide-angle, 12MP (f/2.2, Dual Pixel AF, 1.4µm) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, 1.22µm) 3X optical telephoto, 10MP (f/4.9, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, 1.22µm) 10X optical telephoto12MP (f/2.4) ultrawide, 12MP (f/1.6, Dual Pixel AF, IBIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.2, OIS, 1.0µm) 2.5X telephoto
Front Cameras40MP (f/2.2, autofocus)12MP (f/2.2)
BiometricsFingerprint, face recognitionFace ID

Both phones have wireless charging functions and 5G capabilities, though judging by the above criteria, the S21 Ultra might have the edge. Though we won’t really judge the S21 Ultra’s camera until we can try it, it does look promising. Having said that, the Pro Max’s LIDAR sensor packs quite the punch in when shooting in the dark.

Where the Galaxy pulls clear is the refresh rate. 120Hz is really something, but more than that, it’s adaptable. It adjusts from 120Hz down to 10Hz, suiting whatever task you’re performing. Scrolling gets a maximum refresh rate for the smoothest experience, while looking at still photos will cause the refresh rate to slow down and conserve battery.

On the other hand, the iPhone is stuck on 60Hz, which is nothing to be frowned upon, but it still something that should be looked at in future models.

What do you think of all this – would you rather buy the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or the iPhone 12 Pro Max? Let us know in the comments!