iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra; Which one is the best? | Cell phone

O iPhone 12 Pro Max it’s the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra among the most advanced options in the Apple and Samsung for those looking for the ultimate in performance, cutting-edge photographic resources and smartphones prepared for the arrival of 5G.

On the one hand, the iPhone promises greater speed and energy efficiency when performing tasks with the A14 Bionic chip, on the other, Samsung gives a screen show and adds an extra layer of convenience for productivity with the S Pen.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Image: Vitor Pádua / Tecnoblog)

But which cell phone is the best for you? We compare the technical data of the devices to help you make that decision according to your usage profile.

Price of iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Launched in Brazil in September 2020 for the suggested price of R $ 7,999, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can now be found for R $ 7,499, in a single version of 256 GB, on Samsung’s official website.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max was announced in October and arrived in Brazil in November for a price starting at R $ 10,999, in the version with 128 GB – there are also models with 256 GB for R $ 11,999, and with 512 GB for R $ 13,999 .

* Prices collected from official Samsung and Apple stores on 12/15/2020.

iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Screen and design

With a 6.7-inch screen, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is an excellent choice for those who usually watch videos or play games on their smartphones. Apple uses a Super Retina XDR OLED panel with a resolution of 2778 × 1284 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 458 ppi. However, the brand has not yet embarked on the display trend with a refresh rate above 60 Hz, which is uncomfortable for a cell phone in this price range.

iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Samsung goes further with an even larger 6.9-inch screen with Quad HD + resolution. The technology is the dynamic AMOLED, which delivers greater eye comfort, and the South Korean manufacturer still improves the display in relation to the S20 Ultra by bringing a variable refresh rate, which can reach 120 Hz for greater graphic fluidity, or use lower frequencies to save battery.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Despite having the largest screen, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is lighter than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. See the dimensions and weight of both models below:

Dimensions Weight
iPhone 12 Pro Max 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm 226 grams
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm 208 grams

While Samsung brings Gorilla Glass Victus to its device, for protection against drops of up to 2 meters, Apple introduced the Ceramic Shield, which promises to be up to four times more resistant than the previous generation (iPhone 11).

Both are built in stainless steel, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max has flat metal frames that resemble old Apple models, the Note 20 Ultra preserves a remnant of what was once the curved edge of Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

The Note 20 Ultra finally takes Samsung to rose gold (which for the manufacturer is called “Mystic Bronze”). The smartphone is also available in black and white. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has models in silver, graphite, gold and pacific blue.

Both have IP68 protection against water and dust. According to Samsung, the Note 20 Ultra can resist submersion in up to 1.5 meters of water for about 30 minutes. Apple guarantees up to 6 meters of depth for the same period of time.

iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra shine on cameras

Both the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro Max scored top marks in the camera tests of the Tecnoblog.

The Note 20 Ultra has a triple rear camera with a 108 megapixel (f / 1.8) main sensor, which takes 12 MP photos by default. In addition, the phone has a periscopic telephoto camera with a 12 MP sensor, for optical zoom up to 5x, and an ultra-wide lens with a 12 M sensor (f / 2.2), for more open angle photos. For selfies, it’s 10 MP (f / 2.2).

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Camera test

Photo taken with Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Apple does not have a sensor with such high numbers, but the 12 MP triple camera also has an ultra-wide lens and a telephoto lens, which does up to 2.5x optical zoom. The front also has 12 MP (f / 2.2), and is capable of taking selfies with night mode.

In post-processing, the iPhone 12 Pro Max wins this battle by delivering the most consistent results in photography and video. With the LiDAR scanner, the smartphone can improve focus in dark environments, providing night photos with portrait mode.

Photo taken with the iPhone 12 Pro Max ultrawide camera (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Photo taken with the iPhone 12 Pro Max ultrawide camera (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

There is also the Apple ProRAW mode, which combines RAW photo capture on the phone’s own camera and allows you to simultaneously take advantage of Apple’s image processing technologies, such as Deep Fusion and Smart HDR.

It is worth mentioning that Samsung surpasses Apple in recording resolution for videos, reaching 8K @ 24 frames per second, against the maximum of 4K @ 60 fps. The Note 20 Ultra also has a professional recording mode, which displays histogram to help balance light and shadow during recording. It also allows you to choose which microphones to use (it can also be a Bluetooth model) and adjust the sound gain.

Performance

The Apple A14 Bionic used across the iPhone 12 line is the fastest processor ever seen on smartphones, according to the brand. It is manufactured in a 5 nanometer process and provides smooth performance, without any choking, even in demanding tasks, such as advanced photo and video processing or during intense games.

iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

The Note 20 Ultra has the Exynos 990 here in Brazil, the same present in the S20 Ultra, which is technically inferior to the iPhone 12 Pro Max chip. Still, the smartphone delivers very high speed and good energy efficiency – the overwhelming majority of users you will find no problem with it.

As for RAM, we have 6 GB on the iPhone and 8 GB on the Galaxy. Of course, with iOS optimization, Apple has no difficulties with fluency or application management in the background. Android 10 also runs smoothly on Note 20 Ultra, with One UI 2.5, and the smartphone will be one of the first to receive One UI 3.0 with Android 11 (until January, according to the manufacturer’s calendar).

Battery (and chargers)

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a 4,500 mAh battery that in practical tests proved to be enough for a whole day away from the plugs in most cases. However, the smartphone only supports 25 W charging (something that had already been overcome in the S20 Ultra).

The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 3,687 mAh battery that delivers autonomy similar to that of the rival, after all. Fast charging, in this case, is at 20 W. Ah, and you must consider the big controversy about the lack of charger in the box, of course.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

The iPhone 12 line supports MagSafe for faster charging by induction (15 W). The Note 20 Ultra also has fast 15 W wireless charging.

Other features and connectivity

The S Pen, a striking feature of the Galaxy Note series, is a great ally in productivity, allowing you to create drawings, take notes and even shoot photos from a distance. It has even lower latency on the Note 20 Ultra (9 milliseconds), which provides almost instantaneous response.

Another point present in Samsung’s cell phone and absent in Apple’s is the fingerprint sensor. The feature is a good request to unlock your smartphone and perform authentications quickly and safely – on iPhone 12 Pro Max, we only have Face ID as a biometric feature, which does not work for those who are wearing a mask, for example.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Review

S Pen on Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Both support 5G do Brasil on frequencies below 6 GHz and on DSS networks. However, they do not support millimeter waves, which are provided for in Anatel’s announcement.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: which is better?

The final decision depends on a number of factors. Although the iPhone 12 Pro Max has better practical results in performance and in photo / video, its price above R $ 10,000 can make the purchase unfeasible, even for those looking for professional equipment.

In such cases, Samsung can be a good option, especially if you enjoy working with the Android system. On the other hand, if iOS is what you prefer, but the professional features are beyond what you need, you can find cheaper, less expensive models in the iPhone 12 line.

If budget is not an issue, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is undoubtedly a great option – maximum performance, stylish design and excellent cameras. Even the battery, which used to be a problem for Apple, shouldn’t disappoint here.

Tell us in the comments of the community, what is your choice?

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