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Samsung really wants to convince you that the S21 Ultra has a better camera than the iPhone

Is this accurate advertising or just 100x hyperbole?

galaxy s21 ultra camera
Image: Samsung

Samsung loves to take aim at the competition in its advertising, and this time it’s Apple’s turn to get some shade thrown in its direction.

See, Samsung wants you to know that the cameras on the Galaxy S21 Ultra are better than those on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, with a couple of ad spots that highlight the deficiencies in the fruity competition.

Samsung starts the assault on Apple by showing what its Space Zoom feature which can do with its digital 100x zoom versus the digital 12x zoom on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Can you spot the craters on the moon in the clip from the iPhone below? Didn’t think so, but then the S21 Ultra boasts a huge magnification over the iPhone.

Is that accurate though? Well, while The Verge did like the camera system on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, while trying out the Space Zoom feature they “couldn’t get anything usable beyond 30X and even then it required a lot of light to create something passable.” Hmm, marketing flub maybe, since the amount of light coming from the moon at half-lit isn’t going to be anywhere near “a lot of light.”

The other new ad spot takes aim at the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s 12-megapixel camera, implying that more megapixels on the Galaxy S21 Ultra equal a better quality image.

I’ve used many phones with high megapixel cameras, and many with 12-megapixel ones, like the Pixel range, and I can conclusively say that there’s no correlation between megapixel count and image quality. Talking about the raw hardware specs without talking about processing pipeline and software features just doesn’t wash.

The thing is, this isn’t the first time a mobile phone manufacturer has thrown shade at the competition, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Oh, and in case you want to know which camera is actually the best? Well, the jury is still out on that, with outlets like The Verge preferring the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and outlets like Android Authority preferring the S21 Ultra. Taste, it seems, is subjective.

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