- Source: Apple
Apple iPhone 15 Pro MaxBest iPhone experience
The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with some long-awaited improvements that make it a top choice for Apple fans, including 5x optical zoom, a titanium chassis, an action button, a USB-C port, and iOS 17. It’s a premium device worth getting, especially if you’re in the Apple ecosystem and looking to upgrade from a really old iPhone.Pros
- New titanium frame makes it feel lighter
- 5x zoom on the telephoto lens
- New USB-C port with USB 3.0 speeds
- No fast charging
- Extra $100 price on the base model (though it's now 256GB)
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5The multitasking king$1500 $1800 Save $300
The Z Fold 5 builds on Samsung’s existing formula: a solid design, a great OS, and an excellent chipset. It’s arguably the most competent foldable on the market, even though the camera capabilities aren’t up to par when compared with other Samsung flagship devices.Pros
- Excellent display
- Sturdier hinge that allows it to fold completely flat
- Powerful Snapdragon chipset
- It's expensive
- Camera quality could be better
- Cover screen is narrow
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has garnered a lot of buzz since its inception at Apple’s annual September event. This is unsurprising as the device now sports a new titanium chassis, a customizable action button, the controversial USB-C port, and a new 5x periscope camera, besides the usual yearly updates. These new upgrades make this year’s iPhone Pro Max a little intriguing, making you want to see where it stands compared to the other flagship devices. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a worthy comparison as it’s arguably the best foldable on the market and one of Samsung’s flagship devices. If you’re looking to get either of these smartphones, we’ve done an in-depth comparison of both to help you choose the most ideal one for your needs.
Price, availability, and specs
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max debuted on September 12, and pre-orders have been ongoing since September 15. This year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max is missing the 128GB variant as Apple has now made the 256GB variant the base model. The 256GB model costs the same as last year’s 256GB model, at a $1,200 price point, and you can up the storage if you need more by getting the 512GB or 1TB models, which cost about $1,400 and $1,600 respectively, before tax.
All iPhone Pro Max variants come with a titanium chassis; you can choose between four colors: White, Blue, Black, and Natural. Starting September 22, you’ll be able to get the iPhone 15 Pro Max at Apple and other third-party retailers, including cellular carriers like AT&T, Sprint, etc. And you can get up to $1000 off if you’re eligible for a trade-in.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 launched in August 2023 and is now available everywhere. You’ll be able to get it at major retailers and cellular carriers. It also has 256GB as its base storage and starts at an $1800 price tag, though you can get it at lower prices as retailers like Amazon and BestBuy offer regular discounts. The Z Fold 5 is available in three colors: Icy Blue, Cream, and Phantom Black.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 SoC Apple A17 Pro Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy (4nm) Display 6.7" OLED Super Retina XDR 7.6-inch AMOLED main screen, 6.2-inch AMOLED cover screen, both with 120Hz adaptative refresh rate RAM 8GB 12GB Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB Battery 4,422mAh 4,400mAh dual battery Ports USB-C USB-C Operating System iOS 17 One UI 5.1.1 (Android 13) Front camera 12MP TrueDepth camera 10MP cover camera, 4MP under-display main screen camera Connectivity USB 3.0, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, Thread SIM and eSIM Dimensions 6.29 x 3.01 x 0.32 inches (159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25mm) 6.1 x 2.64 x 0.53 inches folded, 6.1 x 5.11 x .24 inches unfolded Colors Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, Black Titanium Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, (Samsung exclusive: Gray, Blue) Weight 7.8 ounces (221g) 8.92 ounces (252.88 grams) IP Rating IP68 IPX8 Price $1,100 Starting at $1,800
This year’s iPhone Pro Max has a lot going for it in the design department. Let’s start with the new aerospace-grade titanium alloy frame, which adds a premium feel and increased durability to the device compared to earlier devices’ stainless steel frames. It aligns perfectly with the ceramic shield body and brings the iPhone 15 Pro Max to a height of 6.29 inches, a width of 3.02 inches, and a total weight of 7.81 ounces. The phone also sports slightly smaller bezels that allow you to enjoy more screen real estate and an action button replacing the signature mute switch we’re all used to.
The new action button is customizable, as you can use it for different functions, including setting up shortcuts, launching your camera, and putting your device on mute or silent modes. Unfortunately, you can only use the action button for one function at a time. Another design change on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the removal of the lightning port and the addition of the USB-C port. The new USB-C port allows faster data transfer speeds as it now supports USB 3.0 and can provide up to 10Gb/s throughput. While there’s no increase in charging speeds, the new USB-C port supports reverse charging, meaning that you can charge other Apple accessories and iPhones via USB-C.
Being a foldable device, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is naturally larger than Apple’s biggest phone, though it’s shorter. The Z Fold 5 has an overall height of 6.1 inches, a width of 5.11 inches when unfolded, and 2.64 inches when folded. It sports an aluminum chassis and a Gorilla Victus 2 back, boasting excellent durability. The Fold 5 also has a new hinge that makes the device fold completely flat, and the crease in the middle, while still noticeable, is easier to get used to.
While the iPhone 15 Pro Max has an IP68 rating, Samsung’s foldable has an IPX8 rating, meaning that both devices can survive under 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes, but the Z Fold 5 isn’t dust resistant like the Apple device. Both devices have different design languages due to their size and usage. If you want a classic mobile phone with excellent durability, then the iPhone 15 Pro Max should be your go-to option, though you may need to slap a solid case on the ceramic shield back since it’s still glass. On the other hand, if you want a tablet that doubles as a smartphone, then the Z Fold 5 is an excellent choice.
Apple has retained the same formula in the display department, endowing the iPhone 15 Pro Max with a 6.7-inch Super Retina OLED 2796x1290 display. The display features HDR support, a P3 color gamut, and 120Hz ProMotion, meaning you'll enjoy beautiful colors, smooth transitions, and buttery scrolling. You also get the Dynamic Island instead of the boring notch iPhones used to have. The Dynamic Island houses your Face ID sensors and front-facing camera, so you can easily unlock your phone and view relevant information from your apps at a glance.
On the Samsung side, the Z Fold 5 has a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED outer display with a variable refresh rate that can go from 48Hz to 120Hz. The inner screen is a bigger 7.6-inch 2176x1812 resolution panel with a 120Hz refresh rate that can go down to 1Hz to help conserve battery life. Unlike the iPhone display that peaks at 2000 nits, the Z Fold 5's display has a peak brightness of 1750 nits, though you won't have a problem using it in direct sunlight. The Samsung display supports HDR10+, so you get beautiful colors and vibrant contrasts, and while the crease is still obvious, you can get used to it in no time. There's a 2D face unlock feature on the Z Fold 5, which may not be as secure as Apple's Face ID. But since the device has a snappy finger scanner on the side, there is little to worry about regarding security.
Performance and software
We expect the iPhone 15 Pro Max to perform better than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. The new iPhone is sporting a 3nm chipset, which Apple calls the A17 Pro. This chip is basically an overclocked version of last year's A16 Bionic chip. According to Apple, the A17 Pro has more graphical capabilities thanks to its six-core GPU now supporting hardware ray-tracing, meaning that the mobile gaming experience might improve for iPhone users.
While the Z Fold 5 has an excellent chip -the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2- Apple's software and hardware integration have proven to be better year-over-year. On the software side, the iPhone 15 Pro Max ships with iOS 17 out of the box, which is now available for other supported Apple devices. This software version includes new features like interactive widgets, NameDrop, Contact Posters, offline maps, and more. In typical Apple fashion, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to get up to six years of OS support.
In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy as its brain. The processor is an overclocked version of the regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and when paired with the 12GB RAM embedded in the device, it has enough power to run Android efficiently. The Z Fold 5 also has more potential as a productivity tool thanks to its larger internal display. You can multitask efficiently, and thanks to functionalities and software integrations like the S Pen, dock support, and Samsung Dex, you can enjoy a desktop-like experience.
The Z Fold 5 ships with One UI 5.1.1, which is based on Android 13. Like many other Android operating systems, Samsung's One UI allows you to enjoy a lot of customizations, from setting up your home screen to creating your own themes with its Good Lock app. However, iOS tends to do better than One UI in the security department, so you want to make careful considerations depending on the most valuable factor to you. You can expect up to four years of One UI OS updates and five years of security patches from Samsung.
Taking out the new telephoto lens, the iPhone 15 Pro Max's camera setup is essentially the same as last year's model. It has a 48MP primary camera with a f/1.78 sensor that provides excellent optical image stabilization and can take 24MP and 48MP shots. The camera is set to 24MP by default, and you can change the perceived focal length to 35mm, 28mm, or 24mm. The primary array also includes a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens and a new 12MP telephoto lens that uses a f/2.8 aperture for 5x optical zoom and a f/1.78 for 2x optical zoom.
The 5X periscope lens achieves a 120mm focal length using a tetra prism mechanism to reflect light rays up to four times. While this is still shorter than the Galaxy S23 Ultra's 10x optical zoom, it's better than the 3x zoom on the Z Fold 5. The front-facing camera on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is unchanged as it retains the 12MP, f/1.9 sensor used in last year's model. However, the enhanced computational photography that offers Smart HDR 5, improved Portrait Mode features, and better focus and depth control make it a joy to use.
Unlike the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 doesn't offer anything we haven't seen. It has a 50MP f/1.8 wide-angle primary camera, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens that offers up to 3X optical zoom. This device has two selfie cameras: a 4MP camera underneath the inner display and a 10MP punch-hole camera on the external display. While the 10MP selfie camera does a decent job, the 4MP camera doesn't provide good-quality images. However, we recommend using the main camera setup for selfies since you can always use the external display as your viewfinder. The cameras on both devices support up to 4K videos at 60fps, while only the main camera on the Z Fold 5 can record 8K at 30fps.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a battery rating of 4,422mAh, a little better than last year's model, which had 4,323mAh. While we expect the A17 Pro chip to improve efficiency, Apple has estimated the battery life to be on par with last year's iPhone 14 Pro Max. Therefore, it's safe to assume that there won't be significant improvements in the battery department. However, you should be able to get full-day usage out of the newer iPhone.
Keep in mind that there's no fast charging on the 15 Pro Max as the charging power is still rated 20W for cable charging and 15W for wireless charging via MagSafe. You should get a full charge in about 90 minutes and fifty percent in about 30 minutes. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a 4,400mAh battery, which is small for a foldable device with unlimited potential.
However, thanks to the improved efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, you get full-day usage, depending on your screen time. The Z Fold 5 supports up to 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. You should get a full charge in about 80 minutes and half the tank in about 30 minutes.
Which should you choose?
Upgrading to the iPhone 15 Pro Max is a no-brainer if you own an iPhone 13 or later device or are an Android user looking to switch to the Apple ecosystem and get the best experience possible. While it doesn't offer many improvements from the 14 Pro Max, it's a lot better when compared to the iPhone 13 and later models. You'll get the lighter and more durable titanium body, faster and functional USB-C, the customizable action button, the new 5x zoom capabilities, and more. If you're in the market for a new iPhone, the 15 Pro Max is the best one you can buy.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is a powerhouse that boasts excellent computational power and graphical capabilities. It also features a new design language and outstanding camera capabilities.
On the other hand, if you're an Android user who's keen on multitasking, customization, and productivity, the Z Fold 5 is the ideal option to work with. Its bigger inner display, Samsung Dex support, S Pen support, and multitasking capabilities provide a lot of potential, as you can easily switch from a mini-PC to a tablet to a phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the ideal choice for multitasking. It has a big 7.6-inch display, a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, S Pen support, and many other features that make it an excellent productivity device.