Samsung envisages foldable as the next frontier in smartphone design. It has thus engineered two distinct folding phones namely the Galaxy Z Fold 3 (review) and Galaxy Z Flip 3. Among the two, the former is the more flashy and is the company’s flagship device for the fall, 2021. And while Samsung has unveiled its crown jewel, its biggest competitor, Apple has also launched its own best offering named the iPhone 13 Pro Max. And amongst the two, if you are confused about which one to spend your money on, let us help you out. Today, we will be comparing the Z Fold 3 against the iPhone 13 Pro Max. So, let’s get straight into the showdown.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G Vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Ultra
We are going to look at the major positives and negatives of both these high-end phones which should help you decide which one is the best new phone for you.
Design and Display
The key difference between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is that this one is foldable while the latter isn’t. Z Fold 3 is like a tablet that can be folded into something compact and pocketable.
While Samsung has been using high refresh OLED panels for quite some time now, it’s the first time for Apple’s phone lineup. The iPhone 13 Pro Max has got a ProMotion OLED display too with an adaptive refresh rate from 10-120Hz. This means smoother visuals than before.
Rest both phones sport a good picture processing pipeline and tuning, which makes them palatable for entertainment and other things in daily use.
That said, nothing can come close to what Samsung’s foldable feast presents. You get a large real estate inside and an additional cover screen outside (also 120Hz) for a narrow but rather usable display. And not to forget, the main display also supports S-Pen stylus input for some convenient note-taking.
The Z Fold 3’s design is unique and its hydrophobic rating is impressive. For a foldable device with lots of moving parts, that’s cutting-edge work. But, the lack of dust resistance and overall durability of its display can be concerning for some. Although, Samsung boasts a lot of endurance tests and in my review, I felt it to be built strong. But if you ought to have something on the safer side something with IP68 ingress protection, and something that’s easy to handle, choose iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The quality of the camera has not been Samsung’s primary focus with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It doesn’t have a bad camera per se but cannot hold a candle to the iPhone 13 Pro Max cameras.
iPhone 13 Pro Max features a triple rear camera setup, which includes a 12MP telephoto, a 12MP wide, and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor. This ultrawide camera on iPhone 13 Pro model has the largest image sensor so far in an iPhone. The camera supports a 6x optical zoom range and 15x digital zoom along with the “Macro Photography” feature which uses an ultra-wide camera to focus on subjects as close as 2cm. There is also a cinematic mode that supports the wide telephoto and true depth cameras. ProRes feature allows you to record and edit videos in ProRes or Dolby Vision. All things said and done, Apple is yet to prove the mettle of these features of its Pro models in the markets. You can glean the camera specs and features of both from the table below.
Overall so, if you are looking to flex your camera skills, iPhone 13 Pro Max seems to have a lead, although it is too early to pass a judgment. From our experience comparing the 12 Pro Max and Z Fold 3, the former was better to some extent. So it is safe to assume the 13 Pro Max to improve upon the precursor thanks to new ISP, software algorithms, and such. Having said, that, the Z Fold 3 should be closely following it in most settings.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 relies on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor while iPhone 13 Pro Max uses Apple A15 Bionic Chipset. Although in benchmarks and raw grunt, iPhone’s A15 takes the cake, the SD888 within Samsung is a capable performer in its own rights. In other words, they are top-end performers in all respects. And in real-world usage, unless you are a power user, you won’t even need the amount of performance these chips boast. In all other aspects too, these handsets are equipped with upstate specs and connectivity options like 5G, WiFi, and Bluetooth for telephony functions.
The software also plays a key role in the user experience. First of all, you have to choose your side in the age-old debate of Android vs iOS. Both android and iOS have their own advantages and disadvantages so it will eventually come down to your preferences. Lately, the line of differences between both platforms in terms of their UI elements, privacy and security measures are getting blurred. Still, among the two, Z Fold 3’s One UI 3.5 is smartly tailored for unmatchable multitasking on a folding format, while iPhone’s iOS feels more secure but walled for the same reason.
Z Fold 3 is powered by a 4400mAh battery. This cell is divided into two parts of 2280mAh and 2120mAh. Such a design choice is made to maintain a thin chassis. In my testing, I was getting 5 hours of screen on time with a 120Hz screen and all guns blazing. In the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test, I got 6Hr 52 Mins (at 120Hz) and better 10Hr 4 Mins (at 60Hz). So for more battery life, you have to set it at a 60Hz refresh rate. Meanwhile, Apple doesn’t reveal its battery size and has given vague battery life claims. It can clock up to 28 hours in video playback tests. And for a better context, the 13 Pro Max can run up to 2.5 hours more than 12 Pro Max. So, take it as you will.
While Samsung supports 25W (PD) wired charging, iPhone isn’t far behind with its 20W PD speeds. But both don’t come with an adapter in the box. Both tech giants claim e-wastage reduction as the reason for this unbundling. As for wireless charging, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 supports an 11W wireless charger while iPhone 13 Pro Max is compatible with 15W MagSafe (and 7.5W Qi) wireless charger.
Pricing and Availability
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is priced as follows:
- 256GB: ₹149,999
- 512GB: ₹1,57,999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is priced as follows:
- 128GB: ₹1,29,900
- 256GB: ₹1,39.900
- 512GB: ₹1,59,900
- 1TB: ₹1,79,900
It’s true that the pricing of a device plays a crucial factor while choosing a smartphone. However, if you are spending big bucks, experiences do matter.
If you are a shutterbug and someone who loves taking a lot of photos and videos, then iPhone 13 Pro Max is for you. It won’t break a sweat regardless of casual daily or demanding use cases. But where it all wanes in comparison is the multitasking prowess and entertainment avenues offered by Samsung’s foldable. So, if money no bar, Z Fold 3 5G is the exceptional flagship you can get.
Rest, for a comparative look at the specifications of both smartphones, check out the following table —
Z Fold 3 vs iPhone 13 Pro Max Specs Comparison
|Model||Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G||Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Dimensions and Weight||Unfolded: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm
Folded: 158.2 x 67.1 x 14.4-16mm;
|160.8 x 78.1 x 7.7 mm;
|Build Material||Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus) (folded) Plastic front (unfolded), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus) aluminum frame||Glass front (Gorilla glass), glass back (Gorilla Glass), stainless steel frame|
|IPX8 Water-resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)||IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 6m for 30 mins)|
|Display||Main: 7.6 inches, 179.9 cm2 (~88.8% screen-to-body ratio), 1768 x 2208 pixels (~374 ppi density), Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (peak), Gorilla Glass Victus
Cover: 6.2 inches, 832 x 2268 pixels, 25:9 ratio, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
|6.7 inches, 110.3 cm2, 1284 x 2778 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~457 PPI density), Super Retina XDR OLED, 120Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 1200 nits, Scratch-resistant ceramic glass, oleophobic coating|
|Software||Android 11, One UI 3.1.1||iOS 15|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)||Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm)|
|GPU||Adreno 660||Apple GPU|
256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM;
No expandable storage
128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM, 1TB;
No expandable storage
|Rear Camera||12MP (f/1.8, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS)
12MP (f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom)
12MP (f/2.2, 123˚ ultrawide)
|12MP (f/1.5, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift stabilization)
12MP (f/2.8, telephoto, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom)
12MP (f/1.8, 120˚ ultrawide, PDAF, with Macro shooting up to 2cm radius)
TOF 3D LiDAR scanner (depth)
|Video||4K@60fps, HDR10+||4K@60fps, 10‑bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), ProRes, Cinematic mode, stereo sound recording|
|Front Camera||4 MP, f/1.8, under display
Cover camera: 10MP, f/2.2
|12 MP, f/2.2|
|Misc.||Wi-Fi 6e, dual-band, Bluetooth 5.2, aptX HD,
Samsung DeX (desktop experience support)
Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified)
Ultra-Wideband (UWB) support, GPS, NFC, USB Type-C 3.2
|Lightning USB 2.0, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6, dual-band,
Ultra-Wideband (UWB) support, Apple Pay, GPS, NFC
|Battery||4400 mAh||Size not revealed|
|Charging||Fast charging 25W, Fast wireless charging 11W, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W||
Fast charging 20W, USB Power Delivery 2.0, MagSafe wireless charging 15W, Qi magnetic fast wireless charging 7.5W
|Sensors||Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer||Face ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Colors||Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Green||Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue|