Camera Comparison: iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Samsung's Galaxy Note 10+, the company's newest flagship device, was unveiled just a month ahead of the iPhone 11 and ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro, and it's one of the main competitors to Apple's newest iPhone devices.

Both have triple-lens camera setups, so we thought we'd compare the camera quality of the iPhone 11 Pro Max with the camera quality of the Galaxy Note 10+ to see if one has an edge over another.


The ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ has 12-megapixel telephoto, wide-angle, and ultra wide-angle lenses. The Galaxy Note 10+ has the same general lens setup, but with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, so it wins out when it comes to megapixels for the ultra wide-angle camera.

When it comes to photo quality, both of these cameras can take some amazing photos and a lot of the variance is going to depend on your personal shooting conditions, including subject, lighting, and other factors, but there are some differences to be aware of.

promaxnote10plant
The Galaxy Note 10+ seems to overdo highlights, washing out photos and overexposing them in some situations, while the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ doesn't tend to do that. The Galaxy Note 10+ also has a tendency to oversaturate images somewhat, while the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ offers more true to life colors.

promaxnote10coffee
Some people prefer that slight oversaturation and the brighter light areas that the Samsung device can produce, even if it's not quite as accurate to what you're seeing in front of you when taking a photo. You can, of course, tone down saturation in post processing for Galaxy Note 10+ photos or bump it up for ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ photos, but out of the camera, colors can tend to look a bit more vibrant on the Galaxy Note 10+.

promaxnote10food
Though the Galaxy Note 10+ has a higher megapixel ultra wide-angle camera than the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌, it doesn't really produce better pictures. Quality seems similar between the two devices, and on the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌, the new ultra wide-angle sensor is lacking some of the better features of its wide-angle camera, such as a lower aperture, larger sensor, optical image stabilization, and support for Night Mode.

promaxnote10night
So while the ultra wide-angle camera can get you some great wide shots of landscapes, architecture, and people, it's best for better lighting conditions, and the same seems to be true of Samsung's ultra wide-angle lens.

The Note 10+ and the 11 Pro Max each offer a nighttime mode for low-light photography, and both do a great job in poor lighting conditions using this feature. The Galaxy Note 10+'s penchant to overexpose can result in some brighter night time shots in some situations, but that's not always a desired effect. Night mode on the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ is designed to make sure a night time photo feels like it was taken at night, and that's an area where Apple excelled.

promaxnote10night2
Samsung offers a feature called Live Focus, designed to offer an adjustable live background blurring effect for front and rear-facing photos, while the ‌iPhone‌ offers Portrait Mode. Both of these are similar, and have seen improvements over prior-generation smartphones from each manufacturer. Edge detection is better than ever, and the background blurring is better, so it's tough to pick a winner in this category.

promaxnote10portrait
As for video, both photos produced impressive 4K footage at 60 frames per second, though the 11 Pro Max had better auto stabilization features without having to delve into settings.

Both smartphones have similar front-facing setups. The ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ has a 12-megapixel front-facing lens while the Galaxy Note 10+ has a 10-megapixel front-facing lens. There's a caveat with the ‌iPhone‌'s front-facing camera - in zoomed in shots (there's an option to zoom in and out now), the photos that you're getting by default are seven megapixels. You need to use the zoomed out mode to get the full 12-megapixel resolution.

promaxnote10selfie
When it comes to quality, the front-facing camera of the Galaxy Note 10+ seems to be a bit sharper than the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌, with more detail, while the ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro has better color accuracy. Sometimes the Galaxy Note 10+ may be a bit too sharp for some people, so preference between the two will come down to how sharp you want your selfies to be.

Of course, the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ has Face ID for 3D facial biometric authentication, which the Note 10+ can't match. It does offer iris scanning and facial recognition capabilities, but neither are secure enough to serve as the sole authentication method for payments so there's still a fingerprint sensor.

When it comes down to it, both the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ and the Galaxy Note 10+ are capable of producing incredible, crisp photos that can often rival what you'll get out of a dedicated camera. Neither one is clearly better than the other, and choosing one will come down to platform preference more than anything else.

promaxnote10camera
That said, the Galaxy Note 10+ appears to be better for those who prefer a more saturated, color rich image and exaggerated highlights, while the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ appears to be better at producing colors and lighting that's more true to life.

Do you prefer Note 10+ or ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ and think there's a clear winner? Let us know in the comments.

Top Rated Comments

Dimwhit Avatar
17 months ago
I can barely tell a difference between most of those.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Howyalikdemapls Avatar
17 months ago
They’re both amazing.

I think some of these iPhone shots are better and some of the Note shots are better. Camera wise, they’re both top notch. It’s awesome to see how far they’ve pushed each other and it’ll be great to see how things continue to evolve over the next several years, but it’s unlikely one will be drastically better than the other ever again.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rosegoldoli Avatar
17 months ago
at this point its down to if youre an apple fan or android fan
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
1050792 Avatar
17 months ago
They’re so close, it’s down to personal preference.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
17 months ago
The differences in detail in the latte photos speak volumes.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Grimace Avatar
17 months ago
You would think that MacRumors would know by now that the number of pixels (or megapixels) has very little to do with quality. They aren’t the same.

the size of the individual pixels themselves, the size of the sensor, and the lens are what matter.

In the SLR camera world it’s easier to see: I would take a 8MP photo on a full frame lens ANY DAY over a 12MP image from an iPhone.

that said, these both have good photo abilities, but stop equating number of pixels to being higher/lower quality - there is so much more that actually matters
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro magsafe

MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple's Original Magnetic Charging Technology

Friday January 15, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works. Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple's updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe. MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro...