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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Which supersized smartphone is best?

Apple is launching an assault on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus with the iPhone 11 Pro Max – here’s how the two smartphones compare

Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max is here, and it’s gunning for Samsung’s recently earned crown. The launch of Apple’s latest Max-labelled handset means that the Galaxy S10 Plus has some stiff competition; both handsets are extra-large, extra-powerful and extra-expensive. 

If you’re looking to purchase either one of these handsets, then we congratulate you on your recent lottery win. We’re here to help you find the best phone for you – our comprehensive guide outlines the key differences between the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Design

Luckily for you, these two handsets couldn’t be more different. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5in OLED display, while the S10 Plus uses a marginally smaller 6.4in AMOLED panel. The 11 Pro Max measures 8.3mm deep, while the S10 Plus comes in at a trim 7.8mm.

In terms of appearance, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has some thick bezels around the screen, with a wide notch and the same rounded edges as its stablemates. The 11 Pro Max comes in four colours – gold, silver, Space Grey and Midnight Green – and is made from stainless steel with a glass back.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S10 Plus includes sharper corners and slimmer bezels, with a dual hole-punch front camera to break up the otherwise unimpeded screen. The handset has a glass-coated back panel that comes in four colours: Prism Black, Prism White, Prism Green and Prism Blue.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Specs

The following table outlines the key specifications for each handset, although Apple is remaining tight-lipped when it comes to its latest flagship.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro MaxSamsung Galaxy S10 Plus
ProcessorHexa-core A13 Bionic chipOcta-core Exynos 9820/Snapdragon 855
Storage64GB/256GB/512GB128GB/512GB/1TB (microSD up to 512GB)
Display6.5in Super Retina XDR 2,688 x 1,242 OLED6.4in Quad HD+ 3,040 x 1,440 Dynamic AMOLED
Rear camera12MP (f/2.4), 12MP (f/1.8), 12MP (f/2.0)12MP (f/1.5-2.4), 12MP (f/2.4), 16MP (f/2.2)
Front camera12MP (f/2.2)10MP (f/1.9), 8MP (f/2.2)
BatteryLithium-ion (size N/A)4,100mAh

In short, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is expected to be the fastest of the two handsets, but it can’t match the S10 Plus for rear/front camera diversity. Based on Apple’s own description, we estimate that the 11 Pro Max will last a maximum of 19 hours in our battery tests, to the S10 Plus’ 21 hours. 

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Features

It would take too long to list every single one of the features that each of these handsets brings to the table. Both the 11 Pro Max and the S10 Plus are overflowing with excellent camera functions, including 10x digital zoom, optical image stabilisation and all manner of intelligent camera settings – although Apple’s new night mode might be the deciding factor.


Both handsets can record video in 4K up to 60fps, and produce excellent Portrait mode shots using depth-sensing technology. Both handsets are IP68-rated for dust- and water-resistance. The S10 Plus uses a USB Type-C charging cable, where the iPhone 11 Pro Max uses the standard lightning cable; the S10 Plus also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, whilst the 11 Pro Max does not. 

The new iPhone supports Wi-Fi 6 and iOS 13, the latest version of Apple’s operating system. The S10 does not support Wi-Fi 6, and runs Android 9.0 Pie, although an upgrade to Android 10 is certainly in the pipeline. 

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Price

Let’s be clear: neither one of these phones is cheap. The iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at £1,149 for the 64GB model, rising to £1,299 for 256GB and £1,499 for the 512GB variant.

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At launch, the 128GB Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus cost £900. The 256GB model would have set you back £1,099, and the 1TB option was originally £1,399. Granted, prices have since come down a little – Samsung is currently selling the 128GB S10 Plus for £799 – but the fact remains that both of these handsets will take a chunk out of your wallet.

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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Verdict

Ultimately, these are two closely matched smartphones. Both represent their respective manufacturers well: the iPhone 11 Pro Max is blazingly fast and furiously cutting-edge, while the S10 Plus is laden with excellent features and blessed with an astonishing battery life. 

You won’t be disappointed with either one on the features front, although you will no doubt wish they were cheaper. What it comes down to, then, is which operating system suits you best; the 11 Pro Max and Galaxy S10 Plus are the best that iOS and Android have to offer.

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