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Compare the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max cameras: the battle for smartphone camera kings – VnReview


Both the iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra are the products equipped with the best camera technologies of the two brands at present. Which product will have the upper hand in real experience?

In terms of theoretical parameters, Galaxy S21 Ultra is significantly better in optical zoom capabilities. In addition, the main camera and selfie camera of Samsung phones also have higher resolution. However, the main camera of the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a larger pixel size.

In this article, VnReview will compare the shooting capabilities of the two machines in different light conditions such as bright outdoor, difference and backlight, indoor light and low light. Pictures taken from the two cameras are taken in automatic mode so that the camera can decide for itself, taken at the same position and at the same time with only a few seconds difference. The images are arranged in photo order of Galaxy S21 Ultra above and below are photos from iPhone 12 Pro Max. Each image is scaled 1024 pixels wide to fit the website.

Take the day well enough and bright

In daylight conditions, the two cameras produce quality, detailed and wide contrast images. The main difference is in color. Quite surprisingly, in this situation, the iPhone gave darker color photos than Samsung, cold-tone photos, especially photos of landscape and architecture. In previous iPhone models, photos usually have warm, yellowish tones, but perhaps Apple has changed this tradition in the 12 Pro Max generation. Meanwhile, the image water of Samsung phones is clearer, the weather is warm and the colors are brighter when photographing trees and flowers.

Shoot difference and backlight

In the light difference, the Samsung has done a better job than the iPhone by giving viewers a clear view of the subject’s face in the photo. Also, the Samsung phone’s photo is a bit brighter. However, the iPhone’s photo has a wider dynamic range.

Moving to a stronger backlight, Samsung’s phones continued to perform better. The entire foreground and the subject in the S21 Ultra’s photo appear bright and clear, while the sample face in the iPhone’s photo is dark, unable to see the face clearly.

Indoor lighting

In indoor lighting conditions, Samsung phones handle the light source more efficiently and the image water is clearer. The colors from the two machines are also quite close together, but the iPhone reproduces a bit richer colors.

Low light shooting

In the low-light context, the iPhone 12 Pro Max returns to a warm, yellow-haunted tradition a lot when taken indoors. Samsung at this time surprised again with neutral, natural tones. The sharpness and detail in the iPhone’s photos in this situation is marginally better than that of Samsung.

Portrait capture erase fonts

Both cameras take good background blur, highlight subjects and background blur naturally and smoothly. The most obvious difference is the color of the subject. Photos taken from Samsung have bright colors and are prone to pink hue. Meanwhile, the iPhone’s photos were haunted by gold, making portraits look a bit lifeless.

Capture zoom from telephoto camera

With 2 telephoto cameras capable of 3x and 10x optical zoom, it is not surprising that the Galaxy S21 Ultra outperforms the iPhone 12 Pro Max in the ability to capture zoom images. At the 2.5x and 5x zoom levels, the photos taken from the two machines are not significantly different. But from the 10x zoom, the photos of Samsung phones retain much better color and detail, while the iPhone’s photos are blurred and lose detail.

5X telephoto camera

10x telephoto camera

5x telephoto camera

10x telephoto camera

Super wide angle photo

With super wide-angle camera, the 2 machines give almost the same quality. Samsung keeps the photo color tones warm in well-lit scenes while the iPhone is prone to cold tones, slightly bluish. The colors of the photos of the two machines are bright, vibrant, high-definition and detailed. The ability to handle image distortion in the ultra-wide-angle lens of the two brands is well controlled.

Take a selfie from the front camera

For selfies, Samsung is the product that creates flattering photos. Selfies from the Galaxy S21 Ultra have a rosy, fresher and more vibrant skin color. In addition, the Samsung device also has many beauty modes and color filters so that you can comfortably “live virtual”. Even without the beauty mode turned on, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a tendency to “beautify” available, the face looks smoother. On the iPhone side, Apple is still loyal to the gold haunted water and neutral tones from start to finish. The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s selfie photo also retains more details, so it will be convenient for users who want to post-edit post-capture. With the font removal mode, both machines do quite well. The difference is still just color tone.


It’s not easy to clearly answer the question of which phone has a better camera. Basically, they both take pictures with impressive dynamic range and beautiful colors. Samsung tends to handle photos that are fresh, flattering, and clearer in landscape, portrait and selfie shots. The Samsung phone also produces outstanding photos of the iPhone 12 Pro Max in the situation of handling different and backlit scenes as well as a telephoto camera. However, the iPhone has the advantage in detail when shooting in low light and colors are more natural in many situations.



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