The iPhone 16 Pro Max may outshine the Galaxy S24 Ultra. It is time for Samsung to shake things up.

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The wind of change is blowing. With the latest leaks about the iPhone 16 Pro Max promising some serious upgrades, it’s hard not to get excited. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra, although a solid device, seems to be treading water.

Design: futuristic vs familiar

The iPhone 16 Pro Max is rumored to have a big redesign, that will differentiate it from predecessors. While the Galaxy S24 Ultra doesn’t look as different than its predecessor…

iPhone 16 Pro Max: a Sci-Fi dream

The design of the iPhone 16 Pro Max is rumored to be a leap forward, with reputable leaker IceUniverse suggesting it will look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Apple is reportedly refining the design to be sleeker and more ergonomic, with a bigger display at 6.9 inches. This is a significant bump up from its predecessor and is likely to offer a more immersive experience for users with these ultra-thin symmetrical bezels.

The materials and build quality are expected to be top-notch, as always with Apple. The design tweaks are aimed at making the phone not just a tool, but a fashion statement.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: same old, same old

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra seems to be sticking with what’s familiar. If you’ve seen the S23 Ultra, you’ve pretty much seen the S24 Ultra… And it’s absolutely strange that I’m saying this about a Galaxy, and not about an iPhone! A couple of months ago, before seeing the alleged new iPhone 16 Pro Max design, I was swearing that I wouldn’t be able to tell the iPhone 16 Pro Max apart from my own iPhone 13 Pro Max.But things are different, and this new leak is making me rethink all of it.

Samsung appears to be playing it safe, keeping the design largely unchanged from its predecessor. The phone still has the same boxy look, with slight refinements here and there, but nothing truly groundbreaking.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – Samsung’s design has been praised for its functionality and durability. However, in the face of Apple’s bold new moves, it feels a bit conservative. The lack of significant design changes makes it hard for the S24 Ultra to stand out in a crowded market.

Display: bigger and better?

Apple is rumored to upgrade the iPhone 16 Pro Max‘s display size… a dramatic change. While the S24 Ultra has almost the same display as the S23 Ultra.

iPhone 16 Pro Max: bigger and bolder

One of the standout features of the iPhone 16 Pro Max is its rumored 6.9-inch display. This is a substantial increase from the previous models, and it’s expected to be nothing short of super cool. And plus, I can never get enough of big screens. Apple’s display technology has always been top-tier, and the iPhone 16 Pro Max is likely to continue that trend with a brighter, more vibrant screen.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: still great, but not new

Samsung’s displays have been industry-leading for years, and the S24 Ultra continues that tradition with a stunning AMOLED screen. However, when compared to the upcoming iPhone, it feels like more of the same. The size and quality are top-notch, but there’s no significant leap from the previous model, apart from an amped-up peak brightness and slightly better color accuracy. Also, it has a new display coating that allows for better visibility of the display. Yep, it’s not the display, but hey, it’s still cool.

While the display is undoubtedly excellent, offering deep and vibrant colors, it lacks the wow factor that comes with major innovation.

The AI race: will the latecomer Apple beat the Galaxy?

One of the most exciting rumors about the iPhone 16 Pro Max is its AI enhancements. Apple is reportedly going to integrate advanced AI features into its already very well-performing operating system. From smarter Siri interactions to AI-driven photography enhancements, the iPhone 16 Pro Max is shaping up to be a beast.

The iPhone is already fast and reliable. And I’m sure Apple won’t include generative AI on it unless it’s working just as Apple wants it. And that makes me more than excited for the upcoming WWDC 2024 where we’re bound to get a glimpse of what Apple will offer.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S24 Ultra introduced Galaxy AI. Actually, Galaxy AI was the main thing that the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the entire series boasted. Yep, Apple is technically playing catch-up here, and that’s why I’m getting even more curious. Will Apple’s AI implementation beat the Galaxy AI? We have just a couple of days of waiting to actually see what Apple will offer.

Are the roles switching and is Samsung now playing it safe?

Apple’s strategy with the iPhone 16 Pro Max seems to be about pushing boundaries this time. Yep, that’s not something Apple has been doing in recent years, and we’ve had somewhat incremental updates with recent iPhone releases.

But even Apple’s staff reportedly thinks iOS 18 is the biggest update that the iPhone’s ever seen…  The combination of a larger display, advanced AI, and a sleek new design suggests that Apple is not just iterating but innovating. This approach is likely to attract both current iPhone users and those looking for something fresh and exciting. And it definitely attracts me.

Samsung, on the other hand, appears to be playing it safe with the S24 Ultra. Years ago, I could have sworn Samsung was the innovator and Apple was… well, somewhat boring in terms of innovation. Samsung’s focus now seems to be on refining what works rather than taking bold new steps. But is now really the time to be doing that?

It’s time for Samsung to step it up

In a market as competitive as smartphones, standing still is not an option. Apple’s rumored upgrades for the iPhone 16 Pro Max could set a new standard for what people are going to expect from a premium phone.

Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra, while excellent in many aspects, feels like it’s resting on its laurels.

As tech enthusiasts, we crave innovation and excitement. I want to watch an announcement event and feel thrills down my spine, instead of mumbling to myself that “I seem to have seen it all”. And I’m excited for the iPhone 16 Pro Max‘s event. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S24 Ultra, although a solid performer, seems to be playing it safe.

Is it time for Samsung to step up its game? Absolutely. To stay on par with Apple’s newly-revived aggressive innovation, Samsung needs to bring something new, something dramatic. The smartphone battle is far from over, and I’m eager to see how Samsung responds.


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