Wednesday, October 20, 2021

iPhone 13 Pro Max review: The best phone period

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The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s stellar cameras, 120Hz ProMotion show, and longer battery life add as much as a virtually good cellphone in our testing. The charging could be sooner, and Contact ID could be good; however, this can be a beast that may not be beaten.


  • Greatest cameras in a cellphone
  • Superior efficiency
  • Cinematic video mode
  • Brighter show
  • Wonderful battery life


  • May use sooner charging
  • Cinematic mode capped at 1080p

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max occurs whenever you get virtually all the pieces you could need in a cellphone. This premium flagship (from $1,099) packs a 120Hz refresh fee show, the quickest efficiency of any handset, and epic battery life.

However, it’s the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s cameras that put this cellphone excessively, as they’re the perfect I’ve examined on a cellphone up to now. You can shoot Cinematic mode movies with a compelling bokeh impact, select your Photographic types, and take incredible close-up pictures with a brand new macro mode that leverages the ultra-wide digicam. 

iPhone 13 Pro Max review: The best phone period

The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s digicam bump is unquestionably extra distinguished this time round because of the bigger sensors, and the general design is heftier than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. However, I do like that the notch on the 6.7-inch show is smaller. Take a look at our iPhone 13 Pro review if you would like all the matching options in an extra compact and barely cheaper cellphone.

Should you’re searching for one thing extra inexpensive and do not want a telephoto lens or 120Hz show, take a look at our iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini evaluate. 

Whereas I want Apple to provide something sooner charging and Contact ID, as you’ll see in my full iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate, that is the best iPhone and phone interval.


  • Beginning value: $1,099
  • Storage: 128, 256, 512, 1TB
  • Battery life (hrs:min): 12:16
  • Display screen measurement: 6.7 inches
  • Decision (ppi): 2778 x 1284 (458)
  • Adaptive refresh: As much as 120Hz
  • Processor: A15 Bionic
  • Rear cameras: Pro 12MP (Telephoto, Vast, Extremely Vast)
  • Zoom: 3x optical / 15x digital
  • Entrance digicam: 12MP TrueDepth
  • Colors: Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue
  • Measurement: 6.Three x 3.1 x 0.Three inches
  • Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Water resistance: IP68

iPhone 13 Pro Max value and launch date

The iPhone 13 Pro Max can be adequately purchased now, beginning at $1,099 for 128GB of storage. Going as much as 256GB prices $1,199, 512GB is $1,399, and the whopping 1TB choice is priced at a gulp-inducing $1,599.

On the opposite facet of the Atlantic within the U.Ok., the 128GB iPhone 13 Pro Max begins at £1,049, hitting £1,149 for the 265GB mannequin and £1,349 for the 512GB model. If you have loads of cash to burn and with several storages, then the 1TB iPhone 13 Pro will value wallet-walloping £1,549.

You can save the word on the iPhone 13 Pro Max if you happen to commerce in your outdated iPhone or different cellphone. And we’re monitoring the best iPhone 13 deals that will help you avoid wasting cash on this reasonably expensive Apple cellphone.

iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate: Design and colors

  • Smaller notch, however a bit heavier than iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Sierra blue is our favorite coloration

The iPhone 13 Pro Max retains the iPhone 12 Pro Max; however, it appears to be completely different. For one, the digicam array is more extensive than earlier, so it takes up a bit of other actual property on the again of the cellphone.

Weighing 8.46 ounces, the iPhone 13 Pro Max can be notably heavier than its 8.03-ounce predecessor. However, I’ll enable that, given the brand new iPhone Pro has a bigger battery.

On the plus facet, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s notch is a bit smaller on the show, as Apple shrunk it 20% whereas retaining the identical essential Face ID tech. It’s not a full-screen look. Nevertheless, it’s an enhancement over current iPhones.

My only criticism of the iPhone 13’s design is that it doesn’t provide a Contact ID, both within the energy button or beneath the show. Many individuals are nonetheless carrying masks in public locations, so it could be good to have an alternate solution to unlock our iPhones simply.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is available in 4 colors: graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue. I’d go for the blue mannequin if paying with my very own cash. The graphite mannequin I examined has a modern skilled vibe; never it, fewer storages ot as playful.

iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate: Show

  • 120Hz ProMotion show delivers smoother efficiency and animations
  • Brighter display screen simpler to learn outside

The most important improvement to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s show — and largest improve total — is the brand new ProMotion show. This 6.7-inch panel can dynamically scale its refresh fee from 10Hz to 120Hz, resulting in smoother total efficiency and animations.

iPhone 13 Pro Max review: The best phone period

For instance, when scrolling on The New York Occasions homepage with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro Max facet by facet, I may extra simply learn the textual content on Apple’s newer cellphone when rapidly scrolling on each show. It merely feels extra responsive.

These advantages effectively carry over to different actions, corresponding to swiping between apps or returning to the house display screen. However, I’m extra excited by apps that reap the benefits of ProMotion. This consists of Catalyst Black, a frenetic online battle sport that had me captured in all instructions and reworking into monsters. And the entire expertise was splendidly fluid. 

The iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro currently have an issue where certain third-party apps are not running at 120Hz. Apple says that a repair is coming. 

One other plus for the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s display screen is its elevated brightness. We measured a mean of 837 nits with the Adaptive setting off and 1,038 nits with Adaptive on. The iPhone 12 Pro Max averaged 654 nits with Adaptive off. The Galaxy S21 Ultra maxes out at 821 nits.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s show delivers beautiful elements even in low-light scenes. When watching the trailer for James Bond No Time to Die, I may make out each creepy crevice in Rami Malek’s reworked face.

iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate: Cameras

  • New sensors let in additional mild for brighter pictures
  • Extra highly effective 3x optical/15x digital zoom
  • Compelling macro mode

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has an even more extensive digicam array for a cause. The vast primary digicam is Apple’s largest but at 1.9μm pixels (up from 1.7μm) whereas providing an f/1.5 aperture, which is rated to ship a 49% extra mild that the iPhone 12 Pro Max. And the ultrawide digicam affords a bigger f/1.Eight gaps were most significant (f/2.Four for iPhone 13 Pro Max) for brighter pics while providing a broader subject of view.

Zooming on the iPhone 13 Pro Max will get a lift as effectively because the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s telephoto lens affords a 3x optical zoom, up from 2.5x on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

And there’s a lot of digicam upgrades past the {hardware}. For instance, the iPhone 13 Pro Max leverages the ultrawide digicam to seize pictures as shut as 2 cm away. I loved getting up shut with this piece of wood on a close-by seaside. Whereas the iPhone 12 Pro Max struggled to get shut, I may seize each nook and cranny with the brand new iPhone.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max additionally did an outstanding job capturing this purple pansy, with wealthy coloration and plenty of particulars within the petals. And I bought actual near this dreaded noticed lanternfly crawling within the rocks; I may even make out every one of its legs and fantastic strains in its wings. 

One other new iPhone 13 digicam function is Photographic types, which helps you select the way you need your pictures to look by tone and heat. Your choices embody ordinary, wealthy distinction, vibrant, heat, cool. And you’ll modify these as you see the match. 

iPhone 13 Pro Max review: The best phone period

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is a step forward of the opposite best camera phones by way of total picture high quality. Take this picture of pumpkins, which have solar overhead and a good quantity of shadow. The iPhone 13 Pro Max captures an extra vibrant signal within the foreground, and the pumpkins themselves look extra deep than within the Galaxy S21 Extremely’s shot. Nonetheless, Samsung’s picture is a bit brighter total.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max takes an extra pleasing portrait of me standing at the entrance of the Manasquan reservoir. My face and inexperienced shirt are each brighter. And if you happen to hang on to an older cellphone just like the iPhone 11 Pro, you’ll be able to see how significantly better the brand new iPhone is; I come out darkish and fuzzy on this shot. 

The extra advanced a photograph is, the different the iPhone 13 Pro Max shines, as evidenced by this comparability shot taken close to the sting of the water. The iPhone’s picture precisely captures the translucence of the water, making the encircling rocks pop, whereas the Galaxy S21 Extremely’s pic appears to be flat by comparability. 

Regardless of a bounce from 2.5 to 3x for the telephoto zoom on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it’s nonetheless behind Samsung’s most refined. Zooming in on some boats at 3x, I desire the marginally brighter pictures from the S21, significantly in this case. And at 15x digital zoom, the writing on the ship appears to be sharper within the Samsung shot. No less than the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s 15x zoom is healthier than the 12x max digital zoom on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s larger sensor shines on this selfie comparability with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. My face and blue shirt look brighter with the brand new iPhone, whereas I get a bit misplaced within the shadows with final yr’s digicam.

In the case of ultrawide pictures, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is neck and neck with the Galaxy S21 Extremely right here. However, I give a slight edge to the brand new iPhone due to the element within the rock and particularly the ripples within the water.

To test the iPhone 13 Pro Max in low mild, I shot these hydrangea flowers in the evening in practically complete darkness. Neither picture appears very sharp; however, the iPhone delivers the correct pink and brighter inexperienced leaves.

iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate: Video and Cinematic mode

  • Cinematic mode steals the present with computerized focus and bokeh
  • ProRes help for extra artistic management

The Cinematic video mode on the iPhone 13 Pro Max is so good that you just really feel like a mini Spielberg. That’s definitely how I felt after capturing several clips that apply a bokeh impact to your footage and routinely swap the main focus to several topics relying on what’s happening within the body.

In a single video I recorded of a German Shepherd and Shepherd-Rottweiler combine, I appreciated how the iPhone 13 Pro Max routinely blurred out the canine within the background, leading to a way of depth, and I may change the main focus level on the fly simply by urgent on the show.

I also enjoyed the Cinematic mode by having my son seize me strolling alongside a path and trying a layup enjoying basketball. In each circumstance, the iPhone 13 Pro Max delivered a convincing bokeh with the video. Take a look at the video beneath to see how iPhone 13 cinematic mode works.

Sadly, the decision for Cinematic mode is capped at 1080p throughout the complete iPhone vary, so you’ll be able not to have portrait mode movies and 4K high quality on the identical time. 

If you would like more artistic management, the iPhone 13 Pro Max helps ProRes video, a most popular format by video editors. You can possibly document in ProRes as much as 30 fps in 4K; however, a word that solely the 256GB and better fashions help 4K; the 128GB mannequin is restricted to 1080p in ProRes seemingly as a result of these records data take up a lot of storage. 

It doesn’t matter what you shoot; you received be disillusioned within the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s video high quality. On this sweeping shot of the Manasquan River, all the pieces from the sky bushes and puffy clouds to the rippling water and swaying branches appear to be DSLR-like. Nonetheless, I did discover a little bit of noise as I zoomed in at 3x.

iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate: Efficiency

  • A15 Bionic blows the door off of Android telephones
  • Sizable graphics enchancment

Due to its new A15 Bionic chipset, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is ridiculously quick and grabs the title of the world’s fastest cellphone. I bought misplaced entirely within the Warp Drive racing sport, which delivers quick body charges and smooth, easy motion while you zoom (and typically teleport) across the observe.

And I additionally bought a kick out of Search, which flexes the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s machine studying muscle mass by immediately figuring out several vegetation around my abode, from coleus to new guinea impatiens.

By way of benchmarks, the iPhone 13 Pro Max as soon as once more destroys the Android competitors. In Geekbench 5, which measures total efficiency, the iPhone 13 Pro Max notched a multi-core rating of 4,549 and a single-core rating of 1,720. The Galaxy S21 Extremely hit 3,440 and 1,123, respectively, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro Max reached 4,111 and 1,603. 

Curiously, the iPhone 13 scored a barely decrease of 4,436/1,668, which we expect could be because of the Pro Max having extra RAM. (Apple doesn’t reveal how a lot reminiscence it places into its completely different iPhone fashions.)

You must count on a graphics enhancement on the iPhone 13 Pro Max because it vaulted forward the competitors on the 3DMark Wild Life limitless test. It registered a body fee of 68. Four frames per second, compared to 54 fps for the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 34 fps for the Galaxy S21 Extremely.

Video enhancing ought to be fast work for this cellphone, too, because it took solely 25 seconds for the iPhone 13 Pro Max to transcode a 4K file to 1080p within the Adobe Premiere Rush app. That’s solely a little bit sooner than the 28.5 seconds from the iPhone 12 Pro Max, however, it approaches speedier than the Samsung’s 1:02 time.

Take a look at our iPhone 13 benchmarks web page to see how the iPhone 13 Pro Max and all the brand new iPhones examine one another and the Android cellphone competitors. 

iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate: Battery life and charging

  • 12 hours and 16 minutes of battery life is among the many longest enduring telephones
  • Charging nonetheless caught at 20W with no USB-C port

Now we come to among the best components of the iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate battery life. Due to a bigger battery and different enhancements, the iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted an implausible 12 hours and 16 minutes on; however, Tomas Information battery test surfs the online over 5G constantly at 150 nits of display screen brightness.

iPhone 13 Pro Max review: The best phone period

The iPhone 12 Pro Max final yr lasted 10 hours and 53 minutes, and Galaxy S21 Extremely endured for 11:25. Something above 11 hours is excellent, so the iPhone 13 Pro Max earns a spot on our best phone battery life checklist. 

Head over to our iPhone 13 battery life outcomes web page to see how the iPhone 13 Pro Max compares to the opposite new iPhones and the perfect Android telephones. 

The information just isn’t that nice on the charging entrance, because the iPhone 13 Pro Max reaches simply 50% capability after 30 minutes utilizing a 20W UBC-C charger, whereas different telephones just like the OnePlus 9 Pro and Xiaomi 11T Pro can get to 100% in 30 minutes or much less. MagSafe charging, whereas handy, is even slower at 15W.

iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate: iOS 15

  • SharePlay permits you to watch movies and take heed to music with associates
  • Focus cuts down on distractions

iOS 15 isn’t the leap iOS 14 was by including widgets; nevertheless, it delivers some excellent and enjoyable upgrades. FaceTime will get some wanted audio and video enhancements. A future iOS 15 replacement will allow you to heed music or watch motion pictures or TV reveals with associates or households. And the Messages app has a brand new Shared with You part for a more straightforward entry to shared photos, articles, and extra.

I particularly like the brand new Focus function in iOS 15, which helps you filter notifications primarily based on what you’re doing. Announcements are additionally extra streamlined, thanks to a brand new abstract view to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Different iOS 15 goodies embody a redesigned Safari (I don’t just like the tackle bar on the backside; however, you’ll be able to change it), an extra full-featured Climate app, and an enhanced Maps app with different elements and higher street views. Finally, Stay Textual content offers you Google Lens-like powers by recognizing textual content in actual time through the digicam for trying up issues.

iPhone 13 Pro Max evaluate: Verdict

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is that uncommon cellphone that will get a 5-star ranking from us. You get superior cameras and video recording capabilities — together with the very compelling Cinematic mode and macro mode — blistering efficiency and a responsive 120Hz show. Plus, the battery life is even higher this time around, and among the many finest we’ve seen from a 5G flagship.

iPhone 13 Pro Max review: The best phone period

I additionally respect the marginally higher 3x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the brighter display screen, and the marginally smaller notch. However, I want Apple may ship sooner charging, and I’d prefer to see a sleeker design subsequent time round with the iPhone 14 with much less of a digicam bump and maybe a full-screen look. 

Some might merely desire the iPhone 13 Pro due to its smaller and lighter, as there are no different practical variations between the two handsets. However, if you like an even bigger display screen, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the closest factor to the good you will get in a cellphone.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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