7 ways Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra can beat the iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro Max next to render of Galaxy S24 Ultra
(Image credit: Credit: Tom’s Guide/Technical Cheez)

We aren't expecting the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to arrive until early 2024, but thanks to the leaks that have been published so far, we already have a good idea of how it could fare against the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Based on what we've heard about the Galaxy S24 series' top model so far, Samsung's display and cameras may be the key to beating Apple's latest and greatest. The Samsung S24 Ultra should likely keep ahead in the RAM department, as well as offer a unique stylus experience and faster charging speeds.

With the Galaxy S24 Ultra looking to arrive as early as January, we've broken down the seven key advantages the Galaxy S24 Ultra could have over the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

If you're interested in a more overarching comparison, then keep an eye on our iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S24 Ultra to stay up to date. And our iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra face-off reveals where Samsung wins (and loses) now. 

1. Bigger and brighter display

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra render

(Image credit: Ice Universe)

If you want the largest display possible on a smartphone, then short of going for a foldable phone, the 6.8-inch Galaxy S23 Ultra is as big as you can go. While an extra 0.1 inches over the iPhone 15 Pro Max isn't much, it adds up along with other display advantages the Galaxy S24 Ultra will likely gain or inherit.

For one, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will likely offer a QHD resolution like the S23 Ultra, slightly higher than the resolution of the Super Retina XDR display on the iPhone. It may also be brighter, beating the iPhone's 2,000-nit brightness rating with an absurd-sounding 2,800 nits of peak brightness.

2. 144Hz refresh rate

The 120Hz display on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is plenty smooth, as is the 120Hz panel on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. But the 144Hz refresh rate tipped for the Galaxy S24 Ultra would be even better, delivering an even better experience when scrolling through menus or playing supported games.

3. 200MP camera with 1-inch sensor

A render of the Galaxy S24 Ultra from the back in black

(Image credit: Technizo Concept)

The 200MP main camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra camera already beats the 48MP main camera on the iPhone 15 Pro Max by quite a distance. Samsung could take this to the next level on the Galaxy S24 Ultra with a larger sensor size though, possibly up to one inch across. That larger sensor would hopefully mean brighter and more colorful shots no matter which resolution you choose to shoot with the Galaxy S24 Ultra at.

4. Dual telephoto zoom

Why pick between the iPhone 15 Pro's 3x zoom and the iPhone 15 Pro Max's 5x zoom when you can have both on one phone? It'll be a shame to lose the current Galaxy S23 Ultra's 10x zoom camera (with a 5x zoom camera claimed to be replacing it), but still having the option of two different optical zoom levels in a single phone would give the Galaxy S24 Ultra a unique advantage.

5. Up to 16GB of RAM

If multi-tasking is something you do a lot on your phone, then you'll be excited by the rumor that the Galaxy S24 Ultra could offer a default of 16GB RAM. That's double the 8GB you get in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and while Android and iOS use system resources differently, 16GB RAM would make a big difference to how many apps you can use at once.

6. S Pen

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unique even among Android phones, we expect the Galaxy S24 Ultra to retain the built-in S Pen stylus found on the last couple of Galaxy S Ultra generations. The S Pen is an active Bluetooth-connected stylus that can help with drawing, note-taking and remote controlling various features on compatible phones, allowing for far greater accuracy and versatility than simply doodling with your fingertip like you'd have to on the iPhone.

7. Faster charging

Samsung's 45W isn't the fastest around, and likely won't be getting upgraded for the Galaxy S24 series, but it's still quicker than the 27W maximum the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers. 

With the Galaxy S23 Ultra reaching 57% full after half an hour charging at 45W, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max managing just 41% in the same time with a 20W charger, it's not a stretch to imagine the Galaxy S24 Ultra will power up noticeably quicker than the iPhone as well.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.