Samsung S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max


In terms of design and aesthetics, both the Galaxy and iPhone have their own unique characteristics.

The Galaxy boasts a larger size, weighing more with sharp corners, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max features a more conventional design with rounded edges.

Regarding button placement, the Galaxy consolidates the power and volume keys on one side, while the iPhone separates them with the power button on the right and volume keys on the left, facilitating simultaneous pressing for actions like taking a screenshot.

Additionally, the iPhone introduces a new Action button, although its placement in the far top left corner may be inconvenient for some users.

Notably, the iPhone now adopts USB-C, aligning with the Galaxy's long-standing use of this port, offering the convenience of using a single cable across devices.

The Galaxy distinguishes itself with the inclusion of the S Pen stylus, providing a unique feature not found in other phones. While there are no notable changes to its functionality this year, it remains a valuable tool.

Both phones maintain an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, in line with industry standards for flagship devices.

It's worth mentioning that neither phone includes a charger in the box, a trend seen in many flagship models today.

The Galaxy's larger footprint allows for a bigger screen size of 6.8 inches compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max's 6.7-inch display. Furthermore, the Galaxy's 19:3:9 aspect ratio offers a larger screen area than the diagonal measurements alone would suggest.

Both phones now feature flat screens, a positive change noted by reviewers.


The Galaxy surpasses the iPhone notably in screen brightness. While the S24 Ultra achieves a peak brightness of 2,600 nits, the iPhone reaches 2,000 nits. These peak figures are attained with a small white spot on an all-black background. In our tests with an all-white screen, the Galaxy achieves 1,280 nits of brightness, outperforming the iPhone 15 Pro Max's 1,092 nits. This higher brightness is particularly advantageous outdoors on sunny days, and the Galaxy's screen also exhibits fewer reflections thanks to the new Gorilla Glass Armor, almost resembling a matte screen. This significant difference greatly enhances the usability of the Galaxy outdoors.

Regarding resolution, the Galaxy boasts a slightly sharper display with a 1440p screen compared to the iPhone's 1290p screen.

Both devices support a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and can reduce to as low as 1Hz with static content.

In terms of biometrics, the Galaxy features an upgraded in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, which is slightly faster than previous generations. Additionally, it offers image-based face recognition. On the other hand, the iPhone relies solely on Face ID, utilizing a 3D model of the user's face. While having both fingerprint and face recognition options is convenient, the choice between them ultimately depends on personal preference.


In the realm of performance, competition is intensifying. Apple's latest A17 Pro chip, the world's first utilizing a 3nm process, hasn't quite matched the extensive anticipation. Conversely, the Galaxy S24 Ultra debuts with a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, aiming to strike a nearly perfect equilibrium between heightened performance and enhanced power efficiency.

Regarding configurations, both the Galaxy and iPhone offer options of 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The Galaxy is equipped with 12GB of RAM, whereas the iPhone features 8GB of RAM.

However, the substantial disparity lies within the software platforms: the Galaxy operates on Samsung's One UI 6.1 software atop Android 14, while the iPhone runs on iOS 17.

Samsung's notable focus lies in its new "Galaxy AI" features, while Apple appears to be lagging in the AI realm (anticipate significant AI features in the upcoming iOS 18 update this fall).

Samsung introduces impressive new AI functionalities including live call translation, text message translation, AI-powered smart photo editing enabling object movement and resizing, and webpage summarization directly within the browser.

Excitement also stems from Samsung's commitment to providing SEVEN YEARS of OS upgrades and security patches for the Galaxy, surpassing even Apple's typical 5 or 6 OS upgrades. However, Samsung usually delivers these updates a few months post their official release date.


The Galaxy S24 Ultra retains four rear cameras but undergoes significant alterations to one of them, whereas the iPhone 15 Pro Max incorporates three rear cameras, including the new 5X tetraprism zoom lens.

In terms of image capture, despite sporting a 200MP main sensor, the Galaxy S24 Ultra defaults to 12MP shots, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max captures 24MP photos, thus offering slightly more detail.

Noteworthy changes include Samsung's significant adjustments to image processing, eliminating the excessive oversharpening seen in its predecessor and delivering photos more closely resembling those from the iPhone. However, Samsung's images still tend to appear warmer.

In daylight scenarios, the iPhone often opts for brighter exposures, while the Galaxy tends to render images with a bit more true-to-life colors. Both devices deliver images with ample detail and vibrant colors.

During low-light conditions, the Galaxy tends to produce brighter images, albeit sometimes sacrificing accuracy. The iPhone's images exhibit darker tones and slightly more realistic colors in such scenarios.

In ultra-wide shots, both phones offer 12MP resolution, but there are discernible differences in color rendition. Notably, the Galaxy may exhibit color banding and more aggressive sharpening compared to the iPhone.

In nighttime ultra-wide shots, the Galaxy typically delivers brighter exposures resulting in noticeable noise in the skies, along with an inkier blue hue that may not always represent reality accurately. Conversely, the iPhone tends to offer darker yet more realistic nighttime images.


The competition for video quality is another significant aspect, where the iPhone previously held the lead. However, the Galaxy has made advancements in night video quality, resulting in footage with reduced noise, and the ability to utilize the 5X zoom camera even in low-light conditions.

Samsung also offers 8K video recording, a feature absent on the iPhone. However, the practicality of 8K video is questionable for many users due to the large file sizes and limited support on most monitors and TVs.


Regarding loudspeakers, both the Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max employ a main bottom-firing loudspeaker along with a secondary speaker in the earpiece. While the Galaxy alters the visual design of the bottom speaker with a pill-shaped cutout instead of the previous perforated design, the audio quality remains largely unchanged.

In terms of haptics, the vibration feedback on the iPhone feels slightly more refined due to its Taptic Engine, while Samsung's vibration motor is adequate but could benefit from improvements.

Battery and Charging

With a battery size of 5,000 mAh, the Galaxy theoretically holds an advantage over the iPhone 15 Pro Max with its 4,422 mAh battery, representing a 13% difference in favor of the Samsung device.

Regarding charging speeds, the Galaxy charges faster at 45W compared to approximately 25W on the iPhone. This translates to a full charge time of around 1 hour and 40 minutes for the iPhone, while the Galaxy achieves a full charge in approximately 1 hour.

Both devices support wireless charging at similar 15W speeds, but the iPhone also features magnetic MagSafe support. Notably, the Galaxy does not support the new magnetic Qi2 standard.


In summary, the Galaxy introduces several clever enhancements with AI, alongside incremental improvements across various aspects. Among these, the most notable might be the enhanced camera capabilities. Additionally, it offers a larger form factor, includes the S Pen for those interested, and provides the customization and openness of the Android platform.

Conversely, the iPhone offers iOS and the advantages of the Apple ecosystem, along with an expected slightly longer battery life. It competes with its 5X zoom camera and offers a range of Pro photo and video features appealing to some users.

In terms of pricing, the Galaxy is marginally more expensive ($1300 for the base Galaxy compared to $1200 for the iPhone), although Samsung phones often go on sale frequently, which is not typically the case for iPhones.

So, when it comes down to it, which side are you leaning towards in 2024, team Apple or team Galaxy? And what are your reasons?

Check out the latest cases from Exoticase for Samsung S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max.