Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra just beat iPhone 14 Pro Max in major drop test

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max after a drop onto concrete on their backs
(Image credit: PhoneBuff / YouTube)

If you wondered how the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max would fare in a drop test but didn't have a spare two thousand bucks, then you'll be interested in this PhoneBuff video which puts the two phones up against their shared arch-nemesis: a fall onto concrete.

The Samsung vs. Apple rivalry aside, this is an interesting comparison of two different ways of building a phone. Samsung uses Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on both the back and front of the Galaxy S23 Ultra versus Apple's Ceramic Shield on the front of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and Dual-Ion glass on the back. 

You see more differences looking at the sides too. The iPhone uses flat sides that sit flush with the display versus the Galaxy's curved, mostly glass edges. Apple also uses the tougher stainless steel for the rails, versus Samsung's more typical but less durable "Armor Aluminum."

After three rounds of punishment, dropping the phones on their backs, fronts and corners onto concrete, plus a bonus round of dropping the phones from higher up onto a steel pad, the Galaxy S23 Ultra had taken the least damage, with its back in particular standing up to the drops better compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone did come off better from the corner drop and face drop though where its curved corners and Ceramic Shield seemed to help brush off some of the impact force.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max after multiple drops onto concrete and steel

(Image credit: PhoneBuff / YouTube)

Both phones were still operable after the test finished, including the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max's respective fingerprint scanner and Face ID module, plus the S23 Ultra's S Pen. You wouldn't want to keep using the phones in this state, but it's good to know you won't be effectively locked out from your apps until you get a repair done.

In reality though, if you own one of these two phones, the best move is to wrap them in one of the best Galaxy S23 Ultra cases or best iPhone 14 Pro Max cases. These will protect your phone effectively for far less than a potential repair bill, and can help add some extra personality to your phone.

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.