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iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 12 Pro Max: A Worthy Upgrade?

What similarities and differences exist between the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max?

We tested the iPhone 13 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro match-up to determine how Pro you should go. While the phones have many similarities, it’s critical to choose the right one before spending $1,000 or more.

In both our iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max reviews, we heaped praise on their excellent cameras, smooth displays, and overall performance. In fact, both phones are on our list of the best phones. The areas where they differ, and where you should focus if you want to make an informed purchasing decision, are battery life, display size, and price.

Based on our testing, we really like the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, so whether you get one or the other, you’re getting a fantastic smartphone. However, we believe the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a slightly better overall choice for some customers.

These two Pro iPhones are no longer available now that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have arrived. However, if you don’t want to spend the money on Apple’s latest and can still find these phones in stock at third-party retailers or carriers, it’s worth reading on to see if the Pro or Pro Max is right for you.

iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Specifications

What’s the difference between the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max?

Design

Apart from the size distinction, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are nearly identical. On the back, there’s a fairly square camera bump with three cameras and a LiDAR sensor, as well as a smaller Face ID notch at the top of both phones’ displays.

Both iPhone 13 Pro models come in the same four colors: graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue.

120Hz refresh rate ProMotion display

The ProMotion display is one of the new features for both iPhone 13 Pro models this year. This enables a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, resulting in smoother performance and animations. Furthermore, the refresh rate can be dynamically scaled all the way down to 10Hz, saving battery life.

Cameras

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max’s main cameras have three photo sensors: a 12MP main camera with sensor-shift stabilization, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 12MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. A LiDAR sensor is also included to help with AR apps and low-light photography. Last but not least, there is a front-facing 12MP selfie camera.

These cameras also support Apple’s Cinematic mode for video, real-time filters with Photographic Styles, and the option for high-definition video recordings with ProRes video. However, ProRes only supports 4K resolution if you choose 256GB or higher storage.

The bottom line is that these are identical cameras. Last year, the iPhone 12 Pro Max featured a 2.5x telephoto zoom and a sensor-shift main camera, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro featured a 2x zoom and no sensor shift.

The A15 Bionic chip and its performance

The Pro and Pro Max share the same engine. They both have Apple’s new A15 Bionic chipset and (rumored) 6GB RAM. Apple is especially proud of the GPU built into this chip, claiming it is the most powerful mobile GPU ever and is more than 50% more powerful than competitors.

The Pro and Pro Max produced comparable results in our benchmark testing, but the regular Pro was slightly faster. The iPhone 13 Pro scored 1,733 single-core and 4,718 multi-core on the Geekbench 5 general CPU benchmark, compared to 1,720 and 4,549 on the Pro Max.

The graphics performance of the two phones was also comparable, with the iPhone 13 Pro hitting 70 fps on the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited test, compared to 68.3 fps for the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Storage

With either phone, you have four storage options to choose from when deciding how much space you want for photos, videos, and apps. The base amount is 128GB, but you can upgrade to 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage for an additional fee.

Software

All of the new iPhone 13 models come standard with iOS 15. This version includes several welcome improvements over iOS 14, including redesigned notifications, Live Text copy/paste from images, new FaceTime audio features, and more general updates to other Apple apps.

What’s the difference between the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max?

Price

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have a reasonable price difference. The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 or £949, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at $1,099 or £1,049. The $100/£100 difference is present in all higher storage options as well.

The 1TB iPhone 13 Pro costs $1,499, and the 1TB iPhone 13 Pro Max costs $1,599.

Display Size

The two different-sized phones, unsurprisingly, have two different-sized displays. The iPhone 13 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display (2532 x 1170) and the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display (2778 x 1284 pixels).

Battery Life

This year, Apple increased the size of all iPhone 13 batteries, but it’s more noticeable on the Pro Max than on the Pro. According to third-party analysis, the battery in the Pro Max is 4,373 mAh, while the battery in the Pro is reportedly 3,125 mAh. This translates to up to 28 hours of video playback on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and 22 hours on the iPhone 13 Pro, according to Apple.

In our tests, the gap was narrower, but still in favor of the larger iPhone 13 Pro. On battery test, which involves continuous web browsing over 5G at 150 nits of screen brightness, the iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted 12 hours and 16 minutes. The iPhone 13 Pro lasted 11 hours and 48 minutes less, but both phones are good enough to make our list of the best phone battery life.

Charging

There has been no change in charging from last year’s iPhone 12 series. Both iPhone 13 Pro models are sold without a charging brick but can be charged with up to a 20W wired or 15W wireless MagSafe connection.

However, we discovered that the relative charging speeds differed during testing, owing to the difference in battery size. The iPhone 13 Pro Max reached 40% full in half an hour of charging with the official Apple 20W charger, while the iPhone 13 Pro reached 53% full.

Bottom line: iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

The decision between the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max comes down to what you want in your next phone. Despite the higher price, we recommend the Pro Max if you want a larger display and longer battery life.

However, if you prefer a more compact design and a smaller screen, the regular iPhone 13 Pro offers the same great cameras, ProMotion display, and overall performance.

Why Trust Us?

Best Top Reviews Online was founded in 2018 to provide our readers with thorough, unbiased, and independent advice on what to buy. We now have millions of monthly users from all over the world and evaluate over 1,000 products per year.

The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

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