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iPhone 15 Pro Max
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Galaxy S21 Ultra
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What we think

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The PerfectRec phone team Learn more
Updated January 10, 2024·

If you prioritize having the latest technology and are willing to pay a premium price, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max offers better overall camera quality, longer battery life, and slightly newer hardware. However, if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option with a larger screen, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra could be a better fit despite having slightly less impressive camera quality and an older processor. The iPhone runs on iOS, and the Galaxy on Android, which could be a deciding factor based on your preference for an operating system. Keep in mind the tradeoff in price versus camera and battery performance. Give Feedback

this description is based on the product variant with some specs and product variant with some specs. At the time of writing, the variant with some specs cost some dollars and the variant with some specs cost some dollars.
Advantages of the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Best in class for taking photos
  • Best in class for recording videos
  • Excellent battery life
  • Best in class display quality
  • Best in class performance
Advantages of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has no clear advantages over the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Key differences

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Overall Camera Quality

10.0
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Galaxy S21 Ultra
7.8
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has best in class overall camera quality, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has good overall camera quality.

Photo Quality

10.0
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Galaxy S21 Ultra
7.8
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max takes best in class photos, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra takes good photos.

Video Quality

10.0
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Galaxy S21 Ultra
7.1
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max takes best in class videos, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra takes good videos.

Battery

9.8 Hours
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Galaxy S21 Ultra
6.7 Hours
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has 9.8 hours of battery life. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has 6.7 hours of battery life.

Cost

$1,199
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Galaxy S21 Ultra
$423
Product image
Product image

$200

$400

$600

$800

$1,000

$1,200

$1,400

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has a price of $1,199 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra costs $423.
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Key similarities

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Screen Size

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has a screen size of 6.7 inches and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is 6.8 inches.

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How the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra compare to other phones

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Spec Comparison

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Apple iPhone 15 Pro MaxSamsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Apple iPhone 15 Pro MaxSamsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

GENERAL

Price
$1,199
$423
Brand
AppleSamsung
Operating System
iOSAndroid
Release Date
September 22, 2023January 29, 2021

SCREEN

Screen Size
6.7"6.8"
Resolution
2796 x 12903200 x 1440
Variable refresh rate
YesYes
Pixels Per Inch
460515
Display Type
OLEDOLED

INTERNAL

Processor
A17SD888
Internal Storage
256 GB128 GB
RAM
8 GB12 GB

CAMERA

Overall Camera Quality Score
10/107.9/10
Photos Score
10/107.8/10
Videos Score
10/107.1/10
Rear Cameras
Main, Ultrawide, Super TelephotoMain, Ultrawide, Telephoto, Super Telephoto
Main Camera
48 megapixels + OIS108 megapixels + OIS

BATTERY

Battery Life
9.8 Hours6.7 Hours
Battery Capacity
4441 mAh5000 mAh
Wireless Charging
YesYes
Wireless charging Speed
15 W15 W
Reverse wireless charging
NoYes (4.5 watts)

PHYSICAL

Size
6.3" x 3.02"6.5" x 2.98"
Weight
7.80 oz8.01 oz
Back Material
GlassGlass
Stereo Speakers
NoNo

CONNECTIVITY

Dual SIM
YesYes
Bluetooth Version
5.35.2
A2DP
YesYes
WiFi Version
6e6e
NFC
YesYes
US 5G Bands
(SA/NSA/Sub6/mmWave)1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 38, 40, 41, 48, 53, 66, 70, 71, 77, 78, 79, 258, 260, 261 (SA/NSA/Sub6)1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 38, 40, 41, 48, 53, 66, 70, 71, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79(SA/NSA/Sub6/mmWave)2, 5, 25, 41, 66, 71, 260, 261 (SA/NSA/Sub6)1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41, 66, 77, 78

OTHER FEATURES

Biometric unlock
Face unlockFace unlock, Fingerprint sensor: Under Display
Unlockable Bootloader
NoNo
Color
Blue Titanium, Natural Titanium, White Titanium, Black TitaniumPhantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Navy, Phantom Titanium
Stock Android
N/ANo
SD Card
NoNo

Shopping

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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

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Dig into reviews and images

Tom's Guide

Mark Spoonauer | September 2023
"The iPhone 15 Pro Max is a powerful flagship phone that delivers upgrade-worthy features, including a lighter and more compact titanium design, a bigger 5x zoom and a useful Action button. The A17 Pro chip is the fastest around and enables console-quality gameplay, while the battery lasts an epic 14 hours."

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

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Dig into reviews and images

Android Authority

David Imel | January 2023
"The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a killer combo of great design, blazing-fast performance, a wonderful display, long-lasting battery life, and one of the most versatile camera systems you can get in a smartphone today."

Get a great deal on the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max or the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

About Apple

The tech giant called Apple is synonymous with the most popular smartphone in the world: the iPhone. Known for their build quality and aesthetics, as well as for their excellent integration between hardware and software, iPhones have defined the smartphone industry ever since their conception and they continue to do so by setting new industry standards. Apple's own operating system, called iOS, is known for its simplicity and ease of use, and the company tends to complement it well by creating devices with some of the most powerful processing hardware available in the mobile world. The iPhone is also known for its robust ecosystem of accessories, as it facilitates a very seamless experience when interacting with other Apple products, more so than most of its competitors.

About Samsung

Samsung is one of the most recognizable names in the smartphone industry, standing as the undisputed best-selling brand of Android smartphones in the United States for many years now. Samsung is known for offering a variety of smartphones in all available price points, as well as for implementing cutting-edge technology and innovative features in their flagship devices, ones that often shape the market going forward. The company offers its own unique spin on Android, called One UI, which focuses on offering a multitude of features and is heavily customizable, according to user preference.

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Why trust us

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This information was produced and vetted by the PerfectRec phones team. We are a product research and recommendation organization that meticulously reviews and evaluates the latest phone information and makes it digestible for you.

By the numbers

68
Phones evaluated
7,820
Phones stats compiled
8
Proprietary Phones ratings developed
105,300
Recommendations made
59,670
Consumer hours saved

About the phone team

Joe Golden, Ph.D

CEO and Phones Editor
Joe is an entrepreneur and lifelong electronics enthusiast with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Jason Lew

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Jason is a staff expert and software engineer that has been making laptop recommendations for 7 years and moderates one of the largest laptop subreddits.

Chandradeep Chowdhury

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Chandradeep is a staff expert and software engineer and expert in televisions and monitors. He’s been making monitor recommendations for ten years.

Seth Peoples

Phones Expert
Seth is a US-based product expert focusing on smartphones and he is a moderator of one of the largest smartphone subreddits. His tailored recommendations have helped him earn over 87k comment karma, putting him in the top 1% of Redditors.

Efthimis Kotanidis

Phones Expert
Efthimis is a Greece-based product expert focusing on smartphones. He has been recommending phones for 4 years and his recommendations on Reddit have earned him over 35k karma.

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