iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: What’s The Difference?



How does the iPhone 13 compare to the iPhone 13 Pro Max? Let’s compare the camera tech, the design, the display, and the battery life to find out…


Apple’s iPhone 13 is now official, bringing a slew of subtle updates to Apple’s iPhone platform. It’s not a big year for changes; all of the updates Apple has introduced are incremental and subtle. The iPhone 13 is basically a more refined, more useful version of the iPhone 12.

And if you’re using an older iPhone – like the iPhone 11 or iPhone X – then upgrading to the iPhone 13 makes a lot of sense. The iPhone 13 comes with 5G as standard on all models. And if you go with a Pro model, you’ll get access to the best camera Apple has ever made. 

To be frank, the standard iPhone 13 will be more than fine for most people. It is massively powerful, it has an OLED display, and it comes with 5G. It also has great battery life and it looks extremely smart too. You also have the most color options with the standard iPhone 13 too. 

But what is the difference between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max? The Pro Max costs A LOT more money, of course, but why is this? What extras do you get with the iPhone 13 Pro Max? Let’s take a look at two phones to find out…

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

iphone 13 pro max reviews
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The Cameras

Why do people use the Pro models then? The main reason is to do with the camera. If you want the best possible camera on your iPhone, you’ll have to go with one of the Pro models. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max come with LiDAR, sensor-shift optical image stabilization, and an extra macro lens inside its module. 

On top of this, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has three lenses inside its camera module. The extra lens is a telephoto lens and it also has the LiDAR sensor in there too. With the iPhone 13, you get a dual-lens camera with one 12MP Ultra Wide and one 12MP Wide lens – there’s no LiDAR or telephoto.

But the differences don’t end there; the iPhone 13 Pro Max also benefits from Apple’s ProRaw technology which allows for better quality images and the ability to shoot 4K video at 30 fps. The Pro Max is essentially designed to replace a DSLR, whereas the standard iPhone 13 would struggle.

With camera tech, if you want the best of the best, you’re going to have to go with the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It is designed with professional users in mind, the type of people that use DSLR cameras. Apple believes its iPhone 13 Pro Max can replace these types of cameras, and if you look on YouTube this does seem to be the case – plenty of channels shoot with an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Low light performance on the Pro models has been improved dramatically as well. Apple basically completely revamped the cameras inside its Pro models. Every aspect has been tweaked, updated, and refined, making them vastly superior to the standard camera module you get on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini. 

You also get access to Apple’s ProRes technology on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, as well as Apple’s new 120Hz Super Retina XDR screens which are brighter and more detailed than the displays on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini. The Pro and Pro Max also come with more storage options – up to 1TB. 

Basically, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are Apple’s flagship models. They have all the latest features and hardware. If you want to best possible overall experience, go with the Pro model. If you’re not the kind of person that needs or requires a Macro lens and things like ProRes, just go with the iPhone 13 – it’s a brilliant phone that has more than enough performance for 99.9% of users. 

Battery Life

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the largest iPhone inside Apple’s iPhone 13 stable. It uses the largest battery and it has the largest display – a 6.8in OLED panel. The Pro Max model uses a 4373mAh battery, while the iPhone 13 uses a 3227mAh battery, which is considerably smaller than what you get in the Pro Max.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max, therefore, is the clear winner here on paper. But does its larger battery translate into better overall battery life? It does run a more advanced camera module and a larger display, after all. As it happens, it does – the iPhone 13 Pro Max will last around 12 hours, with continued video playback, and the iPhone 13 will do around 10 hours.

In real-world usage, you won’t run into any battery issues with either phone. Both the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will get through a full day with heavy usage and 5G connectivity, unlike the iPhone 12 which really struggled to do a full day with a constant 5G connection.

If you want the best battery performance, however, and the most advanced camera system, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is obviously the one to go for – although you will pay quite a bit more, especially if you go with higher storage variants.

Apple’s Pro models are available in 1TB too but, again, these higher-end storage options are CRAZY expensive. The standard iPhone 13 tops out at 512GB and starts at 128GB, with 256GB occupying the middle-ground tier.

Display Size & Technology

The iPhone 13 Pro Max runs the biggest display in Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup at 6.8in. The iPhone 13’s display is 6.1in. Both are OLED displays but the iPhone 13 Pro Max features Apple’s ProMotion technology which allows for refresh rates up to 120Hz.

The iPhone 13 does not and is locked to a max 60Hz refresh rate. Does this matter? It depends. Higher refresh rates do look better, of course, with smoother transitions and better gaming experiences. But if you haven’t experienced it before, you won’t know what you’re missing.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s display can dynamically switch between 10Hz and 120Hz refresh rates, depending on what you’re doing, and the net effect of this is better-looking video, games, and web browsing. This is a nice bonus and one of the core reasons why the Pro Max costs more.

But, like traveling in first class on a plane, if you’ve never done it, you don’t know what you’re missing out on, so most people – especially those on a budget – would be wise to stick to the iPhone 13. Its display is still very impressive, is OLED-based, and is sharp enough for most things. Gamers, however, will definitely notice the difference in this context, so give it plenty of thought before making a decision.

The Price

As noted throughout this post, all of the “extras” you get with the Pro Max model come at a much higher price than Apple’s iPhone 13.

The starting price for the iPhone 13 Pro is $999 or £949, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max is $1,099 or £1,049. The iPhone 13 Pro at 1TB costs $1,499, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max for 1TB is $1,599.

Basically, if you go with the iPhone 13 Pro Max you’re A) going to need deep pockets, B) be sure that you’ll take advantage of all of its additional features, and C) be able to actually afford it – and, economically, things aren’t too great in the world right now.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
5.0

It has the best camera, the best battery, one of the best screens ever put in a production phone, and it has the fastest chip on the market. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is by far and away the best phone you can buy now. Yes, it is expensive. But keep in mind that you’ll be able to comfortably run this phone for at least the next six to seven years without issue. 

Pros:
  • Amazing Camera
  • ProMotion 120Hz Display
  • Excellent Battery Life
  • LiDAR Sensor
  • Beautiful Design
  • Fast 5G Support
BEST USA DEAL BEST UK DEAL

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the changes Apple introduced aboard the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max:

iPhone 13 Updates List

  • iPhone 13 gets trickle-down updates from iPhone 12 Pro; it now runs the same 12-megapixel lens with an f/1.6 aperture as 2020’s iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 13’s new ultrawide camera also has a faster f/2.4 lens and 120-degree field of view, as well as sensor-shift stabilization technology.
  • All iPhone 13 models feature Cinematic Mode; this technology will automatically transition focus in real-time which will make all the phones in the range better for shooting video. Apple used a parody of Knives Out to demonstrate how Cinematic Mode works.
  • The iPhone 13 range features a smaller notch. The notch on the iPhone 13 is 20% smaller than it was before.
  • iPhone 13 has better 5G performance than the iPhone 12. The iPhone 13’s connection to 5G networks is faster, according to Apple, and it will support more than 200 carriers in over 60 countries by the end of 2021.
  • The iPhone 13 features Apple’s new A15 CPU. Apple says the new A15 chipset, while still a 5nm SoC, is 50% faster than its nearest competitor (the Snapdragon 888), although these claims have not been tested yet.
  • The A15 chipset features two new high-performance cores and four new high-efficiency cores.

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone Pro Max Updates List

  • All of Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro models feature new 120Hz Super Retina XDR screens with improved brightness (up to 1000nits).
  • The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are available in the following colors: graphite, gold, silver, and a new light blue.
  • All three cameras have been updated inside the iPhone 13 Pro lineup; you have better low light performance, thanks to larger sensors, a wider aperture for the ultra-wide lens, and 3x zoom for the telephoto lens. Night Mode is now supported on all three lenses too.
  • The 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max now feature a new macro lens that’ll let you shoot objects from just 2cm away. All of Apple’s Pro models now feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization.
  • The Pro models also get Cinematic mode but will also benefit from Apple’s new ProRes technology. You can film in 4K up to 30fps with the iPhone 13 Pro models and, with ProRes, a higher quality video format, you can then edit in more detail after footage has been filmed.
  • All iPhone 13 Pro models get an extra tier of storage, 1TB – this is likely down to its use of ProRes.
  • Apple has improved the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro’s battery life; the iPhone 13 Pro will last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will last 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

How Much More is The iPhone 13 Pro Max Than The iPhone 13?

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is Apple’s flagship model and it is, obviously, the most expensive. Apple has kept the prices more or less in line with what it charged for the iPhone 12 lineup in 2020.

The iPhone 13 starts at $800, while the 13 Mini retails for $700. For the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, prices start at $1000 and $1100, respectively.

iPhone 13 miniiPhone 13iPhone 13 ProiPhone 13 Pro Max
USUSD 700USD 800USD 1,000USD 1,100
CanadaCAD 950CAD 1,100CAD 1,400CAD 1,550
UKGBP 680GBP 780GBP 950GBP 1,050
IrelandEUR 830EUR 930EUR 1,180EUR 1,280
AustraliaAUD 1,200AUD 1,350AUD 1,700AUD 1,850
GermanyEUR 800EUR 900EUR 1,150EUR 1,250
FranceEUR 810EUR 910EUR 1,160EUR 1,260
ItalyEUR 840EUR 940EUR 1,190EUR 1,290
PolandPLN 3,600PLN 4,200PLN 5,200PLN 5,700
IndiaINR 70,000INR 80,000INR 120,000INR 130,000
MalaysiaMYR 3,400MYR 3,900MYR 4,900MYR 5,300
ThailandTHB 26,00THB 30,000THB 39,000THB 43,000
ChinaCNY 5,200CNY 6,000CNY 8,000CNY 9,000
The Price of Apple’s iPhone 13 In Every Major Country

As to whether the iPhone 13 is worth buying, that kind of depends on your current situation and what phone you’re currently using. If you have an older iPhone, say, the iPhone XR or iPhone X, then, yes, the iPhone 13 is definitely worth upgrading to – it is massively better than those phones.

If you’re running an iPhone 12, however, I’d probably wait until next year’s iPhone 14 to update. The iPhone 13 is an S-Update in all but name. The specs are better than the iPhone 12’s but not in any meaningful area.

The only time updating from the iPhone 12 to the iPhone 13 makes sense is if you want to get the iPhone 13 Pro Max model. This will represent a big shift in performance – notably in the camera department.

Indeed, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s camera is one area where Apple has brought in quite a few updates. It is now one of the best mobile phone cameras on the market. It is also brilliant for shooting video footage, making it an ideal choice for YouTube content creators.

The pro camera system gets its biggest advancement ever with new Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras that capture stunning photos and video, powered by the unmatched performance of A15 Bionic, more powerful than the leading competition. These technologies enable impressive new photo capabilities never before possible on iPhone, like macro photography on the new Ultra Wide camera and up to 2.2x improved low-light performance on the new Wide camera.

Video takes a huge leap forward with Cinematic mode for beautiful depth-of-field transitions, macro video, Time-lapse and Slo-mo, and even better low-light performance. Both models also offer end-to-end pro workflows in Dolby Vision, and for the first time, ProRes, only available on iPhone.

Apple

Best Deals For Apple’s iPhone 13 Range

  1. Apple's iPhone 13 Mini
  2. Apple's iPhone 13 Mini
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    If you miss the days of small iPhones, the iPhone 13 Mini will be right up your street. With its extremely pocketable dimensions, the iPhone 13 Mini packs in all the same specs and features as the iPhone 13, just in a much smaller chassis. 

    BEST USA DEALS BEST UK DEAL

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

  3. Apple's iPhone 13 Pro
  4. Apple's iPhone 13 Pro
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    4.5

    If you want more performance and improved imaging, the iPhone 13 Pro is what you should be looking at. Featuring the most advanced camera system on the market, Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro is the perfect phone for users that demand the absolute best from their phones. 

    Pros:
    • Solid Build, Easy To Use
    • Great Battery Life
    • OLED Screen
    • Very Impressive Camera
    • Smaller Than Pro Max
    • Now More Affordable
    BEST USA DEAL BEST UK DEAL

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

  5. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  6. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
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    5.0

    It has the best camera, the best battery, one of the best screens ever put in a production phone, and it has the fastest chip on the market. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is by far and away the best phone you can buy now. Yes, it is expensive. But keep in mind that you’ll be able to comfortably run this phone for at least the next six to seven years without issue. 

    Pros:
    • Amazing Camera
    • ProMotion 120Hz Display
    • Excellent Battery Life
    • LiDAR Sensor
    • Beautiful Design
    • Fast 5G Support
    BEST USA DEAL BEST UK DEAL

If you are interested in picking up the iPhone 13, you can register to pre-order the phones right now via Three and EE in the UK. Also, be sure to check out ALL the iPhone 13 & iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro & iPhone 13 Pro color options!

And here’s what you need to know about iPhone 13 Pro Cinematic Mode! And read up all about iPhone 13 ProRes video here. And here’s the answer to does the iPhone 13 come with AirPods?

And check out what Apple may announce at its March 2022 event!

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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