Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Review – The ultimate phone for photo and video creators

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Apple’s iPhone 13 Professional Max is the last word cell content material creation machine, with the very best digicam and most extended battery lifetime of any iPhone.

MSRP $1,099.00


  • Glorious cameras
  • Tremendous-long battery life
  • Beautiful, butter-smooth display


  • Massive and heavy
  • Cameras aren’t a significant enhancement over the earlier mannequin


Working SystemiOS 15
CPUApple A15
Dimensions6.33 by 3.07 by.Three inches
Display screen Measurement6.7 inches
Display screen Decision2,778 by 1,284 pixels
Digital camera Decision (Rear; Entrance-Dealing with)12MP, 12MP, 12MP; 12MP
Battery Life (As Examined)18 hours

The iPhone 13 Professional Max (beginning at $1,099) is the last skilled content material creator’s phone. It combines Apple’s wonderful digicam algorithms and software program to assist with true two-day battery life for an enormous telephone that is all the time prepared to understand your desires. Whereas the usual iPhone 13 (beginning at $799) is our Editors’ Alternative and your best option for most individuals, with a terrific steadiness of measurement, energy, battery life, and worth, the iPhone 13 Professional Max is a terrific various for heavy customers and artists, with its killer cameras and delightful buttress of a battery.

The Physique: It is Massive

The iPhone 13 Professional Max is, appropriately, max. At 6.Three by 3.1 by 0. Three inches and eight.5 ounces, it is a big, heavy telephone that you simply will not need to use in a single hand. That is the worth you pay (alongside your $1,100) for this type of battery life. However, you are used to it already in all probability because it’s virtually precisely the identical measurement because of the 12 Pro Max. It is a bit heavier than final yr’s mannequin, although, which weighed 8.Zero ounces.

Like different telephones its measurement is extra of a bag telephone than a pocket telephone. It matches in coat and jacket pockets, but it surely will stick out of most pants pockets.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Review - The ultimate phone for photo and video creators

One disappointment at this measurement: The 13 Professional Max nonetheless has a Lightning port versus the USB-C port on all the “professional” type iPads and even the iPad mini. USB-C would permit for even quicker charging, in addition to interchanging chargers together with your iPads and MacBooks. This may increasingly change in two years when the European USB-C regulation takes impact.

A roomy, narrow-bezel display will get a bit extra actual property from a barely smaller notch than on the iPhone 12 Professional Max; Apple says the gap is 20% smaller than earlier. On the again, the Professional Max’s triple-camera system juts out noticeably. I would {smooth} it out with a case, though you do not essentially want one for defense—the telephone carries IP68 waterproofing and has Apple’s robust “ceramic defend” display coating.

The 13 Professional Max is available in 4 colors: blue gold, graphite (grey), and silver. The blue could be very cool and stylish, as you’ll be able to see under.

The Show: Double the Pleasure

Like its predecessor, the iPhone 13 Professional Max has a 6.7-inch OLED show with 2,778-by-1,284-pixel decision, a large shade gamut, and Apple’s TrueTone shade administration system. Apple has elevated the usual display brightness from 800cd/m2 to 1,000cd/m2; however, I can not see that with my eyes—I will have to attend for DisplayMate Labs’ evaluation for verification.

The iPhone Professional fashions this yr amp up their display refresh fee to 120Hz. For now, that is virtually totally in Apple’s first-party apps; third-party app creators will typically update their apps to make use of the smoother animations.

So you’ll be able to’t see the impact of 120Hz all over the place; however, you’ll be able to see it in Safari undoubtedly. 120Hz is the factor that you do not miss until you have got it; however, while you get it, it is exhausting to return to 60Hz. Proper now, it primarily makes a giant distinction when scrolling using net pages; the pages are much less tiring on the eyes as a result of smoother scrolling. Here is a short video displaying the distinction between the iPhone 12 Professional and the iPhone 13 Professional:

On iPad Professional and Samsung Galaxy Observe fashions, the 120Hz display makes a giant distinction in stylus responsiveness. There is no such killer app right here, so the 120Hz display is not essentially a motive to go Professional, but. It is an excellent function to have, although.

iPhone 12 Pro

The Battery: An Absolute Beast

Once you’re out and creating content material, you do not need your battery to be at 1% when inspiration strikes. With the iPhone 13 Professional Max, it, in all probability, will not be. This telephone has the most extended battery life of any iPhone ever, a surprising 18 hours of video playback time in our standard test. That is two and a half hours longer than the iPhone 12 Professional Max and three hours longer than the usual iPhone 13. In observation, this implies it is entirely doable to getting two-day battery life right here.

You might have a variety of charging choices correctly, though they have not been modified from the iPhone 12. The telephone does not include an influence adapter within the field, so you must get a 20W USB-C adapter for quick wired charging. The phone additionally helps 15W Apple MagSafe wi-fi charging, and seven.5W Qi wi-fi charging.

Pace and Efficiency: Massive GPU Increase

The iPhone 13 Professional Max uses Apple’s A15 processor with 6GB of RAM, versus the usual iPhone 13’s 4GB of RAM. It additionally has 5 GPU cores to the iPhone 13’s 4 GPU cores. Like all the latest iPhones, it runs iOS 15.

The A15 processor is constructed on the identical 5nm course because the earlier A14 and CPU efficiency do not present a similar leap between earlier generations. That is fantastic; once I contrast the A15 with the competing Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, it nonetheless got here out because the quickest cell chip available on the market.

The 13 Professional and Professional Max GPU confirmed an enormous 35% soar on some GPU computing benchmarks, increasing the 20 to 25% enhancement I would count on it might get by including the additional core.

So what is the 13 Professional Max doing with that additional GPU? The telephone does not want it for features like UI responsiveness and gaming body charges, which are already terrific on the bottom iPhone 13. I am pretty confident it is there to deal with the 120Hz show, and it does that correctly. Extra GPU computes energy can also indicate higher digicam options sooner or later.

Connectivity: Not A lot New, But

All the iPhone 13 fashions have the identical Qualcomm X60 modem and radio setup, which incorporates Wi-Fi 6 (but not 6E) and Bluetooth 5.0. The X60 modem can be utilized in different leading smartphones this yr, such because the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The benefits of the iPhone 12, for now, are in energy effectivity—it helps get to that killer battery life. In any other case, the iPhone 13’s new 5G options principally put together it for issues our carriers have not applied but to increase the vary and high quality of 5G. None of them strike me as options that can monumentally change the 5G expertise throughout the subsequent two years.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Review - The ultimate phone for photo and video creators

At this level, we aren’t ready for higher 5G telephone modems; the ball is within the carriers’ courts, particularly AT&T’s and Verizon’s, to enhance 5G sign attain and community high quality. The two carriers’ efficiency flatlined in our Fastest Mobile Networks assessments this yr. We look ahead to them to act quicker networks utilizing the new C-band spectrum, beginning subsequent yr. Each iPhone 12 and 13 traces will assist these new bands; however, older iPhones will not.

And when you may assume an even bigger telephone makes for higher reception, I haven’t got proof that is true. All the iPhone 13 fashions carried out about in addition to one another on Wi-Fi, and on the T-Cell and Verizon networks, in my assessments.

The Digital camera: All Execs, No Cons

The iPhone 13 Professional is the last word machine for visible content material creators, and it isn’t all within the specs. Over the previous yr, I’ve turned to both a Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely or an iPhone 12 Professional Max to take images and create movies.

I benefit from the S21 Extremely’s 10x zoom. However, in the case of video, Apple’s algorithms all the time appear to lead to extra constant focus and extra dependable publicity steadiness. Particularly while you’re taking pictures movies of yourself and thus cannot mess with the settings, it is advisable to lean on the AI lots, and Apple’s AI continues to be the neatest within the business.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Review - The ultimate phone for photo and video creators

The iPhone 13 Professional Max does not have a number of the S21 Extremely’s wildest options. There is no 960fps tremendous slow-mo, and there isn’t any 8K recording. However, once I’ve talked to precise professional video creators, they have been extra tuned to Apple’s selection of options than to Samsung’s. Two key examples: Extra folks choose Apple’s Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR as a substitute for Samsung’s HDR10+, and Apple’s new (to the iPhone) ProRes video seize codec, which lets skilled editors acquire a variety of management over remaining video high quality.

I am additionally sorry to say, for non-Apple customers, that the iOS ecosystem is simply the place professional photographers and videographers typically function. Third-party photograph and video apps come out first for iOS, and iOS units seamlessly combine with the Mac computer systems that almost all video and artwork groups (together with our personal) use.

iPhone 12 Pro

So critical video creators nonetheless use iPhones—that surprises nobody. Why is the iPhone 13 Professional Max higher than the iPhone 12 Professional Max or the usual iPhone 13? I did not have a 12 Professional Max to examine the 13 Professional Max immediately; however, I read it with the iPhone 12 Professional.

For one factor, there’s the zoom. Shifting from the iPhone 13 to the Professional or Professional Max will get you a 3x optical zoom, which is much better than the digital zoom on the cheaper telephones and likewise higher than the 2x zoom on final yr’s Professional, or the two.5x zoom on last yr’s Professional Max.

The 13 Professional and Professional Max also introduce macro pictures, which help you take super-sharp close-up photographs. Earlier fashions have hassle focusing at very short distances, as you’ll be able to see under. I’ve by no means discovered a use for macro pictures, but it indeed’s a preferred pastime amongst extra critical photographers.

The bigger sensor on the iPhone 13 Professional Max’s digicam guarantees higher low-light pictures; however, it was typically exhausting to seek out the distinction in my expertise. On this doll shot on a darkish rooftop, the iPhone 13 Professional Max’s better aperture led to dramatically decreased noise over the iPhone 12 Professional. (The 12 Professional Max had higher low-light efficiency than the 12 Professional, nevertheless.)

I had actual hassle telling the distinction in nighttime mode images on different occasions. With this shot, taken in a comparatively low-light situation, however not nighttime mode, there is a delicate enhancement within the high quality of the tiles within the picture, however not sufficient to rock anybody’s world.

Another low light shot
It is exhausting to distinguish between the iPhone 12 Professional (left) and the iPhone 13 Professional (proper) on this shot.

So, Ought to You Go Professional?

It is a bit robust to promote the iPhone 13 Professional Max to improve the 12 Professional Max, which has an equally excellent digicam with extraordinary battery life. I simply do not see the enormous year-on-year digicam enhancements wanted to maneuver the needle right here. However, you are in all probability not going to improve your year-old telephone, so that is not a lot of difficulties. The iPhone 13 Professional Max is an incredible content material creation machine price upgrading for everybody else.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Review - The ultimate phone for photo and video creators

If you happen to come from the 11 Professional Max and you’re on T-Cell, 5G will make an enormous distinction right here, as our Quickest Cell Networks assessments present. AT&T and Verizon subscribers can nonetheless, in all probability, improving wait for a yr.

From something earlier, the advances in the low-light picture and video high quality launched with the iPhone 11 technology will change your photograph and video panorama, so it is undoubtedly priced stepping up. And the 13 Professional Max’s battery life will be sure that it is prepared if you end up.

The extra battery life makes the iPhone 13 Professional Maxwell worth the $100 soar in worth over the 13 Pro, for my part. And once more, much less intensely “professional” customers will doubtless be simply as proud of the usual iPhone 13 for $300 much less, making it our Editors’ Alternative for the majority of patrons. If you happen to create your subsequent masterpiece, although there’s nothing like a Professional, and the iPhone 13 Professional Max delivers the very best of everything Apple has to supply.


Apple’s iPhone 13 Professional Max is the last word cell content material creation machine, with the very best digicam and most extended battery lifetime of any iPhone.


  • Excellent cameras
  • Super-long battery life
  • Gorgeous, butter-smooth screen


  • Big and heavy
  • Cameras aren’t a major improvement over previous model

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