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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…



Key Takeaways: iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro Models

  • Camera Superiority: The Pro models, especially the iPhone 13 Pro Max, offer advanced camera features like LiDAR, sensor-shift optical image stabilization, and an extra macro lens.
  • Lens Count: iPhone 13 Pro Max boasts three lenses, including a telephoto lens, while the iPhone 13 has a dual-lens setup without LiDAR or telephoto.
  • ProRaw & ProRes: The Pro Max utilizes Apple’s ProRaw for enhanced image quality and ProRes technology for high-quality video recording.
  • DSLR Replacement: The iPhone 13 Pro Max is positioned as a potential DSLR alternative, with many content creators on YouTube using it as their primary camera.
  • Display Technology: The iPhone 13 Pro Max features a 6.8-inch display with ProMotion technology for up to 120Hz refresh rates, while the iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch display locked at 60Hz.
  • Battery Life: The iPhone 13 Pro Max, with its larger 4373mAh battery, offers longer battery life compared to the iPhone 13’s 3227mAh battery.
  • Storage Options: Pro models offer up to 1TB of storage, while the standard iPhone 13 maxes out at 512GB.
  • Price Point: The Pro models come at a premium, but refurbished options in 2023 offer significant savings, offering discounts of around 40% compared to new models.
  • Refurbished Deals: Refurbished iPhone 13 and Pro Max models provide a cost-effective alternative, with prices varying based on storage capacity and carrier.
  • Decision Point: If you prioritize advanced camera tech, display quality, and storage, the Pro models are the way to go. However, the iPhone 13 offers robust performance suitable for the vast majority of users.

The Discount Ultra Flagship
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
The Best Value iPhone
iPhone 13 Series
4.5

Check out the latest prices for locked and unlocked refurbished iPhone 13 models. Includes all storage variants and colors. Save over $300 versus buying a new iPhone 14 and get a phone that'll last for years to come...

Pros:
  • Excellent Value For Money
  • Looks Identical To iPhone 14
  • Uses Same CPU As iPhone 14
  • Costs $300 Less Than iPhone 14
  • Still A Solid, Reliable Performer
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Apple’s iPhone 13 series is now – almost – a couple of years old, and that means one thing: all of the models are now considerably cheaper than before. 

If you’re savvy, and you don’t mind using refurbished models, you can save a fortune by running an older iPhone. You’ll still get the same level of support from Apple with iOS updates, and most of the time the phone itself, while over 40% cheaper, will look and function as good as new. 

Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max are excellent options for 2023. Despite not being the newest models, both still punch well outside their weight class when compared to the competition. 

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 reviewsPin

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.

Compare All The Latest iPhone Models

If you’re looking to buy a new iPhone, you need to know about all of the options available right now. Use our Compare iPhone Models resource hub to look at how all of Apple’s latest iPhone models compare.

Here’s what’s covered:

  • The specs and features of each model, including Pro and Pro Max variants
  • The size and screen sizes of each model
  • The new features present on each new generation of iPhone
  • Reviews of all the latest iPhone models
  • All the best iPhone deals

Compare Apple’s latest iPhone Models

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.

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

This was when both phones were new, though; in 2023, both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max are now significantly cheaper. How much cheaper? If you go the refurbished route (which I’d advise), you’ll save around 40% versus buying a new phone (and it’ll look just as good).

Gazelle offers

refurbished iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max models at a discounted price. The prices vary depending on the storage capacity and carrier. As of August 16, 2023, the prices for refurbished iPhone 13 models are as follows:

  • iPhone 13 128GB (Unlocked): $485.99
  • iPhone 13 128GB (T-Mobile): $418.49
  • iPhone 13 256GB (Unlocked): $512.99

Meanwhile, the prices for

refurbished iPhone 13 Pro Max models are as follows1:

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB (Unlocked): $924.99
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max 256GB (Unlocked): $949.99
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB (AT&T): $739.99
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB (T-Mobile): $715.49

It is important to note that prices may vary depending on the condition of the device and the availability of stock. Gazelle offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and hassle-free returns on used iPhone models.

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.

The Discount Ultra Flagship
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
The Best Value iPhone
iPhone 13 Series
4.5

Check out the latest prices for locked and unlocked refurbished iPhone 13 models. Includes all storage variants and colors. Save over $300 versus buying a new iPhone 14 and get a phone that'll last for years to come...

Pros:
  • Excellent Value For Money
  • Looks Identical To iPhone 14
  • Uses Same CPU As iPhone 14
  • Costs $300 Less Than iPhone 14
  • Still A Solid, Reliable Performer
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

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 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.

Check out our detailed iPhone 13 Pro Max Buyer’s Guide – it covers everything you need to know before you pull the trigger on one.


iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Price In 2023

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is Apple’s flagship model, and while it originally commanded a premium price, refurbished models are now available at significant discounts. Gazelle offers these refurbished models at competitive rates, making them an attractive option for those looking to own Apple’s top-tier device without paying the full original price.

Originally, the iPhone 13 started at $800, and the 13 Mini was priced at $700. The 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max were initially priced starting at $1000 and $1100, respectively.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max Price [2023]

However, as of August 16, 2023, Gazelle’s prices for

refurbished iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max models are as follows:

These refurbished prices offer a significant reduction from the original retail prices, making it a great time for potential buyers to consider these models.

As you can see below, the iPhone 13’s launch price was considerably more than its current RRP on the refurbished market.

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

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

iPhone 13 Resource Hub 📚

Here’s some of our most helpful content related to the iPhone 13. If you’re looking to buy one, the in-depth guides and reviews below should help:

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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