iPhone 13 Pro Max Reviews: What’s The Verdict?

By Richard Goodwin •  Updated: 06/03/22 •  11 min read

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is Apple’s bonafide flagship, the phone with ALL the bells and whistles. But is it worth buying? Let’s find out…


The iPhone 13 Pro Max has been out for a while now but if you’re due an upgrade soon, is this the phone you should be looking at? It is Apple’s most powerful model, it has the best camera module (including Apple’s LiDAR sensor), the largest display, and the largest battery. Basically, it is the iPhone 13 Pro, just bigger and better in almost every way.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is also Apple’s most expensive model. It’s the one you get if you want the biggest and best display, the best camera, and the best overall battery life. The Pro model is much the same, having the same camera system, but it does have a smaller display and a smaller battery, and a smaller battery means shorter battery life – not by a lot, but it is noticeable.

Apple might have struggled to differentiate its Pro models from its standard models at first, but with the iPhone 13 series, the difference between the standard iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max is significant – as you can see below. All the big differences relate to the camera module, with the Pro you get the best possible performance as well as things like Apple’s LiDAR sensor.

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.

iPhone 13 Pro Max Review: Analysis of Specs & Design

Apple hasn’t really altered the design of the iPhone 13 Pro Max too much. To most people, it will look more or less the same as the iPhone 12 Pro Max. But that’s kind of the point. People buy iPhones because they know what they’re getting, there are no surprises. Apple’s approach to design is decidedly conservative and this, for many of its users, is a big part of the brand’s appeal.

iphone 13 pro max reviews
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Where things get a little different from the iPhone 12 range, however, relates to the battery life. Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max has superb battery performance, thanks to its larger battery and Apple’s super-efficient A15 CPU. The iPhone 12’s battery performance, thanks to the inclusion of 5G, was worse than the iPhone 11’s, whereas the iPhone 13 is now back in line with where things like off with the iPhone 11.

With the Pro Max model, you get the biggest display – a 6.7in Super Retina XDR OLED w/ 120Hz – and the best refresh rates in the range. This makes the iPhone 13 Pro Max an obvious choice for anyone that considers themselves a serious gamer and/or likes to watch a lot of media on their phones, things like Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video. From a design and display perspective, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is essentially flawless – you will love everything about it.

Things get even better with performance too. If you’re coming from an older iPhone model, like the iPhone X or even the iPhone 11, the iPhone 13 Pro Max will feel insanely potent. Apple’s A15 CPU is ridiculously powerful, running rings around the latest and greatest Samsung and Qualcomm chipsets. It can handle everything from video editing to music production, and it does it all without breaking a sweat (which is another way of saying it doesn’t overheat).

The camera is superb, one of the best on the market. The LiDAR sensor is incredibly useful, even if you’ve never used one before. There’s also plenty of new and interesting software on the phone for photo and video editing on the fly, things like ProRes and Cinematic Mode, and these really come into their own with the Pro Max – it runs the most advanced camera module of all of Apple’s iPhone 13 models. If you like shooting video, and you want it to look professional, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the only phone you need to be looking at right now.

What does this all mean? Simple, really – the iPhone 13 Pro Max, while expensive, is perhaps the perfect phone. It does all the core stuff perfectly and has plenty of additional extras to keep you engaged and interested over the longer term. The battery life is incredible, the screen is superb, the camera is a marvel, and the performance is off the charts, surpassing what you get on similarly priced Android phones by as much as 50%.

That’s my hot take on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. But what did other reviews make of the phone? Let’s take a look at some iPhone 13 Pro Max reviews from other tech sites and see how the iPhone 13 Pro Max scored.

iPhone 13 Pro Max Reviews

100

Tom’s Guide

80

Expert Reviews

90

TechRadar

80

Guardian

100

Android Authority

100

Laptop Mag

Is The iPhone 13 Pro Max Worth It?

Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max is so close to being a perfect phone that I’d argue, for the vast majority of users, it is well worth the extra cash. It has class-leading battery life, a stunning display, a brilliantly appointed camera module, and tons of amazing video editing and recording software built into it. As overall packages go, it really doesn’t get much better than this.

For the average user, or those that don’t want to spend a fortune on their next phone, sure, the iPhone 13 is a great option. But if you want access to the best overall battery life, performance, and camera tech, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the only game in town right now. Even compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, the Max model is superior – it has better battery life and a larger, more expansive display.

Is the iPhone 13 Pro Max for everybody? No, but if you’re the kind of user that demands the best of the best and you don’t mind paying a little extra for it, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is an easy recommendation. And while it is expensive, you’ll be able to happily run this phone for the next six to eight years with little to no fuss. You cannot say the same thing about any other phone on the market right now. And that, whichever way you slice it, is significant.

Check the Latest Deals For This Phone…

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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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