Are Ultra and Pro Models Worth the Extra Money?

Whether you’re team Apple or team Samsung, when the time comes to get a new phone, it’s tempting to look towards the premium models. Both Ultra and Pro smartphones come with a wide range of perks, but of course, not without an eye-watering price tag, especially for the latest devices.

Well, fear not because, at Mazuma, we’re all about saving your pockets! Today, we’re looking into whether premium ranges, such as Samsung’s Ultra and Apple’s Pro, are worth the extra money. We’ll be delving into the specs and helping you come to a decision both you and your bank account are happy with.

Decoding the premium smartphone market

Before we dip into the specifics, we first need to decode the premium smartphone market so you know exactly what we’re talking about. With so many brands, ranges, and specific devices to consider, we need to make this as simple as possible. Here are some of the most common names and phrases associated with premium smartphones and what they all mean:

  • Ultra. This is one of Samsung’s premium smartphone ranges, first introduced in 2020 as part of the Samsung Galaxy s20 series. It means the best, boldest, and most performance-driven, and it has seen many upgrades and facelifts over the years.
  • Pro. Geared towards serious Apple enthusiasts, Pro iPhones are for ‘professional’ users, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re for those who use their phones for work. They come with a range of impressive features compared with standard models, such as an improved camera, and were first introduced in 2019 as part of the iPhone 11 series.
  • Pro Max. Also introduced as part of 2019’s iPhone 11 series, the Pro Max is bigger and supposedly better than the Pro. These phones are physically larger and come with some pretty swanky display upgrades.
  • Plus. You may have seen this word in the context of both Apple and Samsung. There have been many ‘Plus’ variants for both tech giants over the years, giving users the option of a slightly more advanced version of the flagship phone in the series being released.


So, are premium models worth the extra cash?

Now we’ve covered the basics, it’s time for us to really answer the all-important questions: what is it that these premium models offer that gives them such a high price tag, and are they even worth the higher price? For the latest Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (released in January 2024), you can expect to pay up to around £1,549.00, and for the latest iPhone 15 Pro Max (released in September 2023), you could pay upwards of £1,199. So, let’s find out if all these pound signs are necessary.

Improved specs

Overall, things do improve when you get to the higher-end smartphone specs. For example, with the Samsung S24 range, you can get the Ultra model with an impressive 1TB of storage, whereas the Plus in the same series only goes up to 512GB.

Similarly, when looking at the Pro and Pro Max variants of the iPhone 15, you get an A17 Pro chip, whereas the flagship model has an A16 Bionic chip, which is 10% slower. Whichever of the ‘big two’ you choose, it’s fair to say that when we get to the higher end of the phone spectrum, there are definitely advancements.

Outstanding camera quality

If your smartphone allows you to find your inner photographer, we hear you. Who doesn’t love snapping pics on their phones and being able to upload them straight to their Stories or Insta feeds? Well, if this sounds familiar, the Ultra and Pro variants may be the best option for you. This is because there’s actually a huge difference in their camera quality and performance (sorry bank account, but these guys win this round).

For example, when you trade in an iPhone 14 for the iPhone 14 Pro, you’ll notice a big difference: the Pro has an extra camera! This third camera on the Pro model is a Telephoto lens, which lets you zoom in even further without losing that all-important quality. Its main camera is also a whopping 36MP larger than the standard model (48MP up from 12MP), meaning you get those super-high-resolution photos with every snap.

back of an iphone

Battery life and charging

Battery is something that’s always been an issue with smartphones. All those impressive features and top-of-the-range tech have to be powered by something, right? While a phone won’t stay alive forever, we can promise that if you choose a premium range device, it will last longer than its standard version. In fact, according to Samsung, the S23 Ultra will provide up to 26 hours of video playback with its 4855mAh, which is four hours longer than its standard counterpart.

However, while those four hours may be the difference between you finishing your series on the train home and staring out of the window, is it really worth the price difference? The standard S23 is around £700 brand-new from Samsung, whereas the Ultra version comes in at £1,249. While that’s a pretty big leap, it’s all about what you prioritise when searching for a new phone, so we’ll leave the decision up to you.

Display quality and size: is bigger always better?

Finally, we come to display. Now, this is where things get interesting. These premium models are always bigger, but does that mean they’re better? To evaluate this, we need to take things back to 2014 when Apple introduced their first plus-sized model, the iPhone 6 Plus, which has a 5.5” Retina display. This device caused quite a buzz in the smartphone world and was marketed as a larger, more advanced device for working from or watching movies. Since then, things have seriously progressed.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max, the latest Apple smartphone in the premium category, has a 6.7” Super Retina XDR display and a range of impressive display technology. This includes ProMotion, which refreshes the screen up to 120 times per second – double the standard 6-Hz refresh rate of most other screens. With this, you can expect to see smoother animation, seamless scrolling, and enhanced responsiveness.

samsung galaxy s20 ultra 5g

Assessing value for money

As we’ve mentioned, the price leap between the standard flagship models of both iPhone and Samsung devices is quite significant, so it’s a decision we recommend thinking about for a while before committing.

If the premium side of the smartphone world is just all too tempting, we get it! Most of us use our phones all day long, so if you want to splash out on the best of the best, why not? The good news is, if it’s time for an upgrade, then we can help you sell your phone for quick cash that you can put towards your shiny new one. Whether you’re hooked on iOS or the Samsung life chose you, you can send us your old phone, even if it’s broken, and we’ll send the money straight to you so you can go shopping.

Explore our website to find out how it works, or get in touch to speak to one of our friendly team members.