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Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely vs iPhone 14 Professional Max: Which flagship must you purchase?

Person holding the iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

June Wan/ZDNET

2022 was a tough 12 months for smartphones, however two corporations, Apple and Samsung, nonetheless dominated the market. The reason being fairly apparent: Each events make actually good telephones, a few of the finest telephones that we have examined at ZDNET. 

Samsung Unpacked

This 12 months, Samsung seems to be to remain on prime with its market-leading entrant, the Galaxy S23 Extremely. The telephone is ultra-big, filled with ultra-specs and options, and… ultra-expensive.

But when the very best smartphone accessible is what you are after — and also you’re keen to pay for it — then I would not hesitate to advocate Samsung’s newest flagship alongside Apple’s tried and examined iPhone 14 Professional and iPhone 14 Professional Max

Additionally: Samsung unveils Galaxy S23 sequence dwell at Unpacked

Each units symbolize the very best of their respective manufacturers. For those who’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 very best 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)
Digital camera 200MP extensive, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto, 12MP entrance 48MP extensive, 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 dirt resistance

IP68 water and dirt 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 little thing however the kitchen sink

Samsung’s Extremely line has turn into infamous for providing just about every little thing {that a} smartphone can present, whether or not you want it or not. That holds true with this 12 months’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 because of Apple’s anti-consumer behaviors, and all of the One UI fix-ins that make Samsung’s software program expertise one of the crucial customizable.

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

The Galaxy S23 Extremely is likely one of the few telephones that may someway justify its $1,000-plus itemizing value.

2. Cell leisure has turn into your day by day ritual (and extra)

Does anybody else really feel like they’re consuming extra media content material from their telephones than ever earlier than? For those who’re like me, then the cellular 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’ve got now misplaced depend of. For one, the system makes use of Samsung’s personal Dynamic AMOLED show, which will get noticeably brighter (1,750 nits) and sharper (QHD+) than Apple’s finest iPhone. Samsung’s gotten so good at calibrating these panels that even the iPhone 14 Professional makes use of one, critically.

Additionally: Samsung brings superior smartphone OLED tech to laptops

Did I point out that there is no obnoxious, pill-shaped cutout named Dynamic Island on the highest of the display? If you need essentially the most immersive cellular leisure machine, then the Galaxy S23 Extremely is the best way to go. 

3. The trade-in gives are simply too good

Carriers are at all times making an attempt to upsell Apple’s newest and best, however there is no beating Samsung’s aggressive trade-in gives come launch season. Even in the event you personal a telephone that is 5 to 6 years outdated, there is a excessive likelihood that your service, and even Samsung itself, will knock a few hundred bucks off of the Galaxy S23 Extremely in the event 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 the event you’ve been within the sport lengthy sufficient, that numbers do not outline the winner; the facility effectivity of the telephone does. With the iPhone 14 Professional Max specifically, Apple is combining the effectivity of its A16 Bionic Chip with its ever-simplified iOS 16 expertise to ship a few of the finest endurance numbers we have examined at ZDNET.

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

The iPhone’s standby time remains 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 need to take the straightforward means out of the Samsung versus Apple debate, you might have successfully picked a winner already primarily based 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 Guide 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 offer you any data 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.

Alternate options to contemplate

Open to different smartphone prospects? Contemplate these ZDNET-recommended units:

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