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Galaxy S23 Ultra camera beats iPhone 14 Pro Max in video comparison

Published Feb 6th, 2023 12:58PM EST
Galaxy S23 Ultra in green.
Image: Samsung

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Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy S23 series, and you can preorder the S23, S23 Plus, and S23 Ultra right away to get some amazing perks. If you’re still unsure which model to get, you should know that the Ultra is technically the best one. As Samsung’s Note replacement, the Galaxy S23 Ultra features the best camera module of the three phones, which will see plenty of comparisons with the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Pixel 7 Pro.

The first comparison video comes from YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss, comparing all aspects of the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max camera. And from the looks of it, Samsung’s new phone can outperform the best iPhone camera on the market right now.

For years, the iPhone has set the bar when it comes to smartphone cameras. Companies like Samsung and Google went on to refine the camera performance of their respective flagships. Each phone generation got closer to the iPhone or even exceeded Apple’s capabilities. The Pixel was the first to offer amazing night mode photography, for example.

But just as the photo performance got to the point where it’s generally a matter of personal preference between iPhone, Galaxy S, and Pixel flagships, Apple still retained a massive advantage: Video recording quality.

Video performance is one of the first topics in this new Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max camera comparison video. From the looks of it, Samsung has significantly improved video recording quality on the new flagship. The resulting clips are as smooth as the ones shot on iPhone 14 Pro Max, according to the YouTuber.

The S23 Ultra’s stabilization upgrades also shine in ” super steady mode,” which competes directly against Apple’s “action mode” on the iPhone.

The new Ultra can also support better zoom than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, at least on paper. The caveat is that it’s not always usable. And the iPhone can still offer great zoomed-in video recording up to a certain level. When it comes to zooming on the moon, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the absolute winner in the comparison, however.

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra, S23 Plus, and S23.
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra, S23 Plus, and S23. Image source: Samsung

Mrwhosetheboss does note that Apple has a considerable advantage over the Android competition regarding processing power.

Apple has the luxury of designing its own high-end chips and then building the software. That includes optimizing the camera software and ensuring everything is accounted for, especially when it comes to video recording conditions. But, the Galaxy S23 Ultra manages to get the closest to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Despite Samsung not having the same chip advantages.

Support for 8K video recording is another win for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. However, the quality isn’t where it should be, especially if the lighting isn’t great.

When it comes to photos, both the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max should offer similarly great experiences. That includes excellent low-light photography performance, according to the YouTuber. And this is where personal preference will be the main factor. Mrwhosetheboss favors the more “fun” aspect of taking photos with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

That is, Samsung’s pre-edited photos with richer colors and warmer skin tones win over Apple’s more natural pictures. But despite the fact that Samsung’s image processing has improved over the previous models, the Galaxy S23 Ultra still has a noticeable shutter lag compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra has also improved the night mode photo experience, the camera comparison video explains. But one thing that favors the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the phone’s adaptive flash. “While the iPhone is still a more reliable camera for video there’s all of a sudden not a lot else that Samsung doesn’t do better,” the YouTuber said, concluding that the Galaxy S23 Ultra can be a better camera for some people than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

You can watch the full video below, for a detailed look at the two cameras, complete with plenty of video and photo samples.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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