Edge 30 Ultra x Galaxy S22 Ultra x iPhone 14 Pro Max: which one to choose?

The powerful Motorola Edge 30 Ultra has been launched, and the question remains: is it an interesting alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max? My fellow analysts and I tested all three smartphones and it was up to me to highlight all the positives and negatives of each model.

construction and design

The Edge 30 Ultra took a leap forward in construction and brought a combination of glass and aluminum in the housing and bezel, just like the S22 Ultra. Technically, however, the Motorola device is inferior in relation to the rival, as it brings the old Gorilla Glass 5, against the current Gorilla Glass Victus of the Samsung model.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max also has glass on the back, including the new Ceramic Shield, only with stainless steel corners — it’s beautiful, but it accumulates a lot of fingerprints. Overall, however, the design is very similar to what debuted with the iPhone 12.

Another point where the Edge 30 Ultra loses to competitors is the back cover finish. In my tests, I noticed a certain fragility in the velvety finish, being susceptible to marks easily. In addition, it has no water resistance, putting it below its rivals in this regard.

If you don’t care much for these details, I should point out that the Edge 30 Ultra has the best grip, in my opinion. It is very light, thin and with rounded corners, making it very pleasant to use even with the large screen. The S22 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are too big and uncomfortable.

Screen

  • Motorola Edge 30 Ultra: pOLED 6.7 inches, Full HD, 144 Hz, HDR10+;
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Dynamic AMOLED 6.8 inches, Quad HD, 120 Hz, HDR10+;
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: OLED 6.7 inches, 1290 x 2796 pixels, 120 Hz, HDR10.

Premium cell phone screens are usually excellent, but there are some very important differences to mention — at least in my experience. The Edge 30 Ultra improved a lot in this regard with its pOLED panel, but I didn’t like the warmer default hue than rivals.

Both the S22 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max have precisely better displays, tending towards natural, even though they are more saturated. In the settings, both have less superficial modifications, unlike the Edge 30 Ultra.

Another important point is the resolution, which is left over on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Not that the rivals’ Full HD is bad, but the more definition the better, especially when it comes to a screen over 6.7 inches.

Technically, the Edge 30 Ultra takes advantage only in the fluidity of the screen due to the 144 Hz refresh rate, against 120 Hz of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the S22 Ultra. In practice, however, the experience is not so superior both in games and in the system interface. All three are great in that regard.

Apple’s mobile, on the other hand, excels at maximum brightness, reaching an unprecedented peak of 2,000 nits. For comparison, the S22 Ultra was the champion in this regard, reaching 1,750 nits, which was already surprising. The Edge 30 Ultra falls behind in brightness, reaching a maximum of 1,250 nits.

Extra performance and features

  • Motorola Edge 30 Ultra: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 12GB RAM, 256GB ROM, Android 12;
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 12GB RAM, up to 512GB ROM, Android 12;
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: Apple A16 Bionic, 6GB RAM, up to 1TB ROM, iOS 16.

I’m not going to dwell too much on the performance field because they are literally the meaning of “whatever”. What you need to know is that the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the fastest with iOS, as are the other two, but on the Android platform. That is, it is valid to consider which OS is most useful and pleasant to you.

An important issue is the support of system updates, as Apple promises more than five years of iOS generational updates, currently the brand most concerned with the long term of its devices. Samsung, on the other hand, guarantees a good four years of Android, while Motorola only three years.

Regarding extra features, the Galaxy S22 Ultra stands out for its built-in S Pen, which can be a differentiator for content producers. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, on the other hand, has greater compatibility with social networks, that is, it is the best for Instagram stories and TikTok. It also came with an interactive notch, absent from competitors.

The Edge 30 Ultra, in turn, comes with the traditional gestures of Motorola mobiles to turn on the flashlight and open the camera, in addition to the Ready For platform, similar to the DeX mode of Galaxy smartphones.

cameras

  • Motorola Edge 30 Ultra: 200 MP (main), 12 MP (telephoto), 50 MP (ultrawide), 60 MP (front);
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: 108 MP (main), 12 MP (ultrawide), 10 MP (3x telephoto), 10 MP (10x telephoto), 40 MP (front);
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: 48 MP (main), 12 MP (ultrawide), 12 (telephoto), 12 MP (front).

Motorola has always lagged behind rivals in terms of camera, and it wasn’t the Edge 30 Ultra that reversed that picture. In my tests, I found the top-of-the-line results to be great, especially with regard to the 200 MP main camera. In landscape photos, the colors look great and not too artificial.

Despite having improved a lot, I still noticed some persistent problems on the line. One of them is the delay in focusing on certain small objects; the other is infidelity in the skin tone of black people, especially at night — in many cases, the cell phone made me look orange.

These issues I found on the Edge 30 Ultra are non-existent on both the S22 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which have a more professional post-processing. I also preferred the performance of the models when shooting with portrait mode, featuring a more natural skin tone and background blur.

The S22 Ultra is the best of the three in zoom shots, as it delivers very competent results up to 30x close-up. It reaches up to 100x, with a considerable loss of quality, but still acceptable.

Motorola Edge 30 Ultra photo gallery

Edge 30 Ultra close up photo

Diego Sousa/Canaltech

Galaxy S22 Ultra photo gallery

Good level of detail in the ultrawide of the Galaxy S22 Ultra

Felipe Junqueira/Canaltech

iPhone 14 Pro Max photo gallery

main camera

Bruno Bertonzin/Canaltech

battery and charging

  • Motorola Edge 30 Ultra: 4,610 mAh with 125 W fast charging;
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: 5,000 mAh with 45W fast charging;
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: 4,323 mAh with 25W fast charging.

What stands out most about the Edge 30 Ultra is its 125 W charging speed, which is much higher than rivals. In my tests, I managed to fully recharge the device in less than 20 minutes, something surprising and unprecedented in the national market.

In terms of battery life, however, the Motorola cell phone was below the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the S22 Ultra. At least in our standard Netflix test, the Edge 30 Ultra was the big loser, consuming 29% of battery life in three hours of streaming, with a total estimate of 10 hours of usage.

The iPhone, on the other hand, won the contest with just 9% spent, with a total estimate of around 33 hours, while the S22 Ultra got a benchmark of around 20 hours of use.

Edge 30 Ultra x S22 Ultra x iPhone 14 Pro Max: which one to choose?

It may not seem like it, but it is very difficult to have to choose between three great high-end smartphones. But the truth is that the three have positive and negative points that can influence your choice. To facilitate understanding, I have separated below the reasons why you should consider when choosing one of them.

Why buy the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra?

  • Below average price for a top of the line in this category;
  • More compact and lightweight design;
  • 125W charging (from 0% to 100% in about 20 minutes);
  • Interface close to ‘pure Android’, that is, without many modifications.

Why buy Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

  • Rugged, waterproof and dustproof construction;
  • High quality Dynamic AMOLED Quad HD+ display;
  • S Pen pen with productivity features;
  • 4 years of Android generational updates;
  • Excellent photographic set in all lighting conditions.

Why buy iPhone 14 Pro Max

  • Brightest screen among premium cell phones;
  • More fluid performance compared to rivals;
  • More balanced cameras;
  • +5 years of iOS updates;
  • Battery more efficient than competitors.

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