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Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely vs iPhone 14 Professional Max: Which flagship do you have to purchase?

Person holding the iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

June Wan/ZDNET

2022 was a tough yr for smartphones, however two corporations, Apple and Samsung, nonetheless dominated the market. The reason being fairly apparent: Each events make actually good telephones, among the greatest telephones that we have examined at ZDNET. 

Samsung Unpacked

This yr, Samsung appears to remain on high with its market-leading entrant, the Galaxy S23 Extremely. The cellphone is ultra-big, full of ultra-specs and options, and… ultra-expensive.

But when the perfect smartphone obtainable is what you are after — and also you’re prepared to pay for it — then I would not hesitate to suggest Samsung’s newest flagship alongside Apple’s tried and examined iPhone 14 Professional and iPhone 14 Professional Max

Additionally: Samsung unveils Galaxy S23 sequence reside at Unpacked

Each gadgets symbolize the perfect of their respective manufacturers. If you happen to’re able to slap your pockets down and reap all the advantages that the flagship smartphones have to supply, let this comparability information you to the perfect funding.


Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely

iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max


6.8-inch AMOLED with 120Hz (LTPO)

6.1-inch/6.7-inch Tremendous Retina XDR with ProMotion (120Hz)


Qualcomm Snapdragon Eight Gen 2 for Galaxy 

Apple A16 Bionic Chip

RAM/Storage 8GB/12GB with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 6GB with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery 5,000 mAh 3,200 mAh/4,323 mAh (estimated)
Digicam 200MP huge, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto, 12MP entrance 48MP huge, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto, 12MP telephoto, 12MP entrance
Connectivity 5G (sub-6 GHz and mmWave) 5G (sub-6 GHz and mmWave)


Phantom Black, Cream, Inexperienced, Lavender

Area Black, Deep Purple. Gold, Silver

IP ranking

IP68 water and mud resistance

IP68 water and mud resistance

Worth Beginning at $1,199 Beginning at $999 and $1,099

You should purchase the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely if…

The S23 Ultra in green leaning against a big glass mushroom.

June Wan/ZDNET

1. You need every part however the kitchen sink

Samsung’s Extremely line has grow to be infamous for providing just about every part {that a} smartphone can present, whether or not you want it or not. That holds true with this yr’s flagship mannequin, with options just like the S Pen for stylus controls, a five-camera setup that is headlined by a whopping 200-megapixel sensor, a SIM card slot that is extra vital than ever due to Apple’s anti-consumer behaviors, and all of the One UI fix-ins that make Samsung’s software program expertise one of the customizable.

Additionally: S23 vs S22: What are the principle variations?

The Galaxy S23 Extremely is without doubt one of the few telephones that may in some way justify its $1,000-plus itemizing worth.

2. Cellular leisure has grow to be your every day ritual (and extra)

Does anybody else really feel like they’re consuming extra media content material from their telephones than ever earlier than? If you happen to’re like me, then the cell leisure expertise on the Galaxy S23 Extremely could also be much more interesting than all of the options I discussed earlier than — and that you have now misplaced depend of. For one, the machine makes use of Samsung’s personal Dynamic AMOLED show, which will get noticeably brighter (1,750 nits) and sharper (QHD+) than Apple’s greatest iPhone. Samsung’s gotten so good at calibrating these panels that even the iPhone 14 Professional makes use of one, severely.

Additionally: Samsung brings superior smartphone OLED tech to laptops

Did I point out that there is not any obnoxious, pill-shaped cutout named Dynamic Island on the highest of the display screen? If you would like probably the most immersive cell leisure machine, then the Galaxy S23 Extremely is the best way to go. 

3. The trade-in gives are simply too good

Carriers are all the time making an attempt to upsell Apple’s newest and best, however there is not any beating Samsung’s aggressive trade-in gives come launch season. Even in case you personal a cellphone that is 5 to 6 years outdated, there is a excessive chance that your service, and even Samsung itself, will knock a few hundred bucks off of the Galaxy S23 Extremely in case you commerce it in. AT&T will fortunately settle for cracked telephones, too, from what I am listening to.

You should purchase the iPhone 14 Professional if…

iPhone 14 Pro on top of a table.

June Wan/ZDNET

1. Battery life comes earlier than the rest

On paper, the Galaxy S23 Extremely (5,000 mAh) has a bigger battery capability than even the iPhone 14 Professional Max (4,323 mAh). However in case you’ve been within the sport lengthy sufficient, you realize that numbers do not outline the winner; the facility effectivity of the cellphone does. With the iPhone 14 Professional Max particularly, Apple is combining the effectivity of its A16 Bionic Chip with its ever-simplified iOS 16 expertise to ship among the greatest endurance numbers we have examined at ZDNET.

Additionally: 5 iOS 16 options I am unable to reside with out

The iPhone’s standby time continues to be king, too, with the 14 Professional being able to placing a tougher pause on background utilization than Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Extremely.

2. You have already bought your soul to Apple

As a lot as I do not wish to take the simple approach out of the Samsung versus Apple debate, you could have successfully picked a winner already based mostly on different merchandise you personal. For instance, if you have already got a pair of AirPods or an iPad or a MacBook, or a mixture of the three, then there are clear advantages to purchasing an iPhone, like iMessage syncing and AirDrop, to finish the ensemble.

Additionally: Samsung Galaxy Ebook Three Extremely vs Apple MacBook Professional: A premium laptop computer showdown

3. Some emergency options are higher than none

In an sudden flip of occasions, Apple promoted its iPhone 14 Professional sequence again in September for its life-saving options greater than, say, its colours. This shift in precedence speaks volumes to Apple’s imaginative and prescient for the iPhone, a pocket companion that may give you any info you want, at any time when, wherever. Options like Emergency SOS and Crash Detection, whereas hidden within the background, can genuinely prevent from life’s harmful encounters.

Options to think about

Open to different smartphone prospects? Take into account these ZDNET-recommended gadgets:

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