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Galaxy Z Flip vs iPhone 11 Pro Max (2020): Which Premium Smartphone Should You Get?

The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip gives users a modern spin on the flip phones of the early 2000’s. It has all of the requisite components of a top-tier Android flagship, complete with gorgeous screen and upgraded cameras, all in a fully foldable shell. How does it compare with Apple’s latest and greatest, the iPhone 11 Pro Max? Here’s our detailed look at each of these smartphones’ best features along with our recommendation for undecided shoppers.

Galaxy Z Flip vs iPhone 11 Pro Max Comparison Chart

ModelGalaxy Z Flip 256GBiPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Mirror BlackiPhone 11 Pro Max Midnight Green
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Display6.7″ FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED6.5″ OLED Super Retina XDR
Resolution2636 x 1080 pixels2688 x 1242 pixels
Pixel Density425 ppi458 ppi
Height6.6″6.22″
Width2.9″3.06″
Thickness0.28″0.32″
Weight183 g226 g
System ChipSnapdragon 855+Apple A13 Bionic
RAM8GBN/A
Internal Storage256GB64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Expandable MemoryNoneNone
Front Camera10MP with Live focus12MP with Face ID
Rear CameraWide 12MP, Ultrawide 12MPWide 12MP, Ultrawide 12MP, Telephoto 12MP
Fingerprint SensorYesNo
Face RecognitionYesYes
ColorsMirror Black, Mirror Purple, Mirror GoldSilver, Space Gray, Gold, Midnight Green
Water ResistanceN/AIP68
Battery Capacity3,300 mAh3,969 mAh
Fast ChargingYesYes
Wireless ChargingYes (with separate purchase)Yes (with separate purchase)
PortsUSB-CLightning
ReleaseMarch 2020September 2019

Design

The Galaxy Z Flip has a smaller form factor than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Galaxy Z Flip vs iPhone 11 Pro Max Design
While unfolded the Galaxy Z Flip (left) is slightly longer than the iPhone 11 Pro Max (right).

Thanks to its foldable design, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip feels a lot smaller and easier to handle than the iPhone 11 Pro Max despite having a larger display. It’s the biggest selling point of the Z Flip by far, and the top reason to choose it over other recent releases from Samsung. The Hideaway Hinge is fully articulated, so you can open it out to any angle allowing you to let it sit on your desk half open.

Instead of plastic, Samsung uses a new Ultra Thin Glass for the screen of the Galaxy Z Flip. This lets the display stretch out flat and prevents bumps from forming, and the crease in the middle is much less noticeable than the Galaxy Fold. The company also touts its durability, claiming the Z Flip can be opened and closed 200,000 times.

While the Galaxy Z Flip feels fresh despite its blast-from-the-past appeal, the iPhone 11 Pro Max can seem a bit ho-hum simply because it looks so much like previous versions of the iPhone. Granted, the spectacular three-camera array at the back carries plenty of wow factor, but most people are probably looking for something more from Apple by this point.

Still, there’s a lot to love about the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s premium finish. It has the “Pro” look spot on, with its industrial tone and sleek curves. Its glass exterior definitely wins over the Galaxy Z Flip, which suffers from being too friendly to fingerprint marks. Size is definitely a consideration here, as the Pro Max looks and feels huge while the Z Flip can be neatly flipped in half.

Display

The Galaxy Z Flip has a foldable display that’s slightly larger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Galaxy Z Flip vs iPhone 11 Pro Max Display
You can actually use the Galaxy Z Flip folded like so, which auto-enables Flex Mode for split screen features.

Fully opened out the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display that maxes out at 2636 x 1080 pixels and 425 ppi. Its specs are a bit lower compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which has a 6.5-inch OLED Super Retina XDR screen that goes up to a 2688 x 1242 resolution with a 458 pixel density. However, having the ability to be folded allows for some interesting interfaces and applications for the Z Flip.

Once you start folding it, the Galaxy Z Flip goes into Flex Mode, in which you can have two different apps on the top and bottom half of the display. Most apps will also display different parts for either half to make the user experience even easier. The Dynamic AMOLED display looks as crisp and accurate as ever, and the chip upgrade makes it look smoother and more responsive as well.

Without the foldable screen of the Galaxy Z Flip, the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s Super Retina XDR display is actually more impressive. It’s the first time that Apple has switched from its Liquid Retina LCD screen and gone for the brighter and sharper OLED tech. It’s a lot more vibrant than the Z Flip, which only manages a brightness of 368 nits compared to the Pro Max’s 750 nits. The signature notch at the top is still there though, whether you’re a fan of it or not.

Performance

The iPhone 11 Pro Max is much faster than the Galaxy Z Flip.

Galaxy Z Flip vs iPhone 11 Pro Max Performance
It’s not looking like the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max is going to beaten on the speed front any time soon.

When Apple revealed the iPhone 11 last year, they guaranteed that its new A13 Bionic chip is the fastest system-on-chip ever put into a smartphone. Now several months later, even Samsung’s latest releases won’t be outperforming the iPhone 11 Pro Max in terms of pure processing speed and efficiency.

The Apple A13 Bionic chip is integral to making every aspect of the iPhone 11 Pro Max feel effortless and quick. The tech giant made numerous improvements to its Neural Engine so it consumes less power while pumping out graphics for AAA games or capturing complex shots and videos. It’s part of the reason that Apple is able to claim that it has drastically improved the battery life of the iPhone 11 Pro Max as well.

Geekbench testing gives concrete numbers to back the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s throne, as it scores a 1330 and 3436 on the single-core and multi-core tests. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Flip only managed to post scores of 736 and 2685, respectively. To be fair, its new Snapdragon 855+ chip puts it slightly ahead of Samsung’s 2019 flagship releases, so it’s still one of the fastest Android smartphones to date.

If you’re not a devoted iOS or Android user, choosing between these two phones also means deciding between these two operating systems. So far, the iOS experience has proven to be smoother and more user-friendly, while also providing a more expansive and secure app store. In comparison, Android gives you a lot of flexibility, and you’re better able to customize your phone’s operation to your liking.

Cameras

The iPhone 11 offers slightly better cameras than the Galaxy Z Flip.

Galaxy Z Flip vs iPhone 11 Pro Max Cameras
Yes, the cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro Max are as impressive as they look when it comes to results.

If you can’t tell the iPhone 11 Pro Max from other recent versions of the iPhone, the large three-camera array on the back will do it for you. They look a bit intimidating, and it’s not just for show. Joining the main wide and ultra-wide angle lens is a new 12MP telephoto sensor capable of up to 2x optical zoom. You can take shots with a much wider field of vision than is possible with the Galaxy Z Flip.

More than the addition of another lens, the imaging software improvements that Apple made with the iPhone 11 Pro Max puts it further ahead than most Android flagships. The A13 Bionic chip really comes into play here, as it utilizes Smart HDR technology to optimize images on the fly, resulting in better contrast and effective background blurring for portrait style shots.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Flip’s cameras may not have impressive numbers but they are just as amazing when it comes to actual results. Samsung has been able to put together all they’ve learned and the advancements they’ve made so far for their current flagship models, so the Galaxy Z Flip doesn’t disappoint as a photography tool.

Storage, Battery, and Other Features

The Galaxy Z Flip has a higher base storage than the iPhone 11 Pro Max and can share its charge with other phones.

Galaxy Z Flip vs iPhone 11 Pro Max Storage, Battery and Other Features
Here’s what you get out of the box of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

You can only get the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip with 256GB internal memory, but that’s larger than the base storage of the iPhone 11 Pro Max which is 64GB. Both have no expandable memory options, so you’ll have to spend a lot more to get the same amount of space on the Pro Max as on the Z Flip.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max’s battery capacity is much larger than the Galaxy Z Flip’s, thanks to power consumption tweaks made on its A13 chip. Still, the Z Flip comes with a fast charging adapter while you have to buy it separately on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Moreover, the Galaxy Z Flip can wirelessly share battery charge with other compatible phones and devices.

One very important characteristic that you should be aware of regarding the Galaxy Z Flip is that it’s not water-resistant by any means. Its foldable design and hinge only addresses dust protection, so you would very much avoid getting it close to water or dropping it in. Meanwhile, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has an IP68 water-resistant rating, meaning it can withstand up to 2 meters underwater for 30 minutes.

Verdict

The iPhone 11 Pro Max offers faster performance and better cameras, but the Galaxy Z Flip reintroduces a cool design on a worthy device.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Mirror Black

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

iPhone 11 Pro Max Midnight Green

There are many reasons why we’re recommending the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max in this comparison. As the two are priced roughly the same, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a serious upper hand in the performance and camera departments, with its more powerful chip and extra camera sensor. Battery life received a hefty boost as well, so those who are after an all-day phone that powers through anything you put it up to, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is your easy bet.

If you’re still leaning towards the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip by this point, it either means you’re partial to the Android platform or just really want an advanced flip phone. Samsung has done much better with the Z Flip than their previous attempt, as it looks a lot sturdier to flip open and closed and you get quite a fresh new mobile experience as well with Flex Mode. More importantly, there are no appreciable compromises in terms of performance, cameras and display to give the Galaxy Z Flip its namesake foldable design.

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Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.