1641827626 iPhone 13 Pro Max review in detail your very best

iPhone 13 Pro (Max) review: in detail your very best option

The iPhone 13 Pro (Max) was announced during the California Streaming event. On paper, the smartphone doesn’t seem to have changed very much from its predecessor, but in practice the fork is a little different.

For the past ten days I have been able to use the iPhone 13 Pro as my default smartphone. In this review, I’ll explain exactly what you get out of the smartphone and tell you why the upgrade is bigger than it looks.

iPhone 13 Pro (Max): a really big upgrade

At first glance, the iPhone 13 Pro (Max) does not appear to be a major upgrade. Theoretically, a first impression that is in line with reality. After all, the new smartphone features only three new things: a new camera system, more advanced display and an improved battery. But how many consumers switch from the iPhone 12 Pro to the iPhone 13 Pro? Right, damn few.

So you have to view this upgrade with the target market in mind for which it is intended. So it’s not at all wrong to factor in last year’s improvements and conclude that this can really be called a major upgrade. The iPhone 13 Pro (Max) is a smartphone that is going to serve the consumer in great detail. Why? I’ll explain that to you!

iPhone 13 ProPro on a box of tea (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

What does the smartphone have to offer you?

To give you a good idea of the iPhone 13 Pro (Max) I list the most important specifications for you. The iPhone 13 Pro features the following:

Display: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with ProMotion (120Hz)
Processor: Apple A15 Bionic processor
Working Memory 6GB
Storage Capacity: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Battery: 3095mAh
Charge Capacity: 20W
Camera system type: triple-camera system
Camera 1: 12 megapixel main camera (f/1.5)
2: 12 megapixel telephoto lens (f/2.8)
3: 12 megapixel ultra-wide camera (f/1.8)
Selfie camera: 12 megapixels (f/2.2)
Dimensions: 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.7mm
Weight: 204 grams

The Pro Max offers the consumer:

Display: 7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with ProMotion (120Hz)
Processor: Apple A15 Bionic processor
Working Memory 6GB
Storage Capacity: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Battery: 4373mAh
Payload: 20W
Camera system type: triple-camera system
Camera 1: 12 megapixel main camera (f/1.5)
2: 12 megapixel telephoto lens (f/2.8)
3: 12 megapixel ultra-wide camera (f/1.8)
Selfie camera: 12 megapixels (f/2.2)
Dimensions: 160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.7mm
Weight: 240 grams

The iPhone 13 Pro is available in Sierra Blue, Silver, Gold and Graphite colors. You buy the device with 128GB (€1159), 256GB (€1279), 512GB (€1509) or 1TB (€1739) of storage capacity.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is available in the same color options, but is obviously slightly more expensive. The smartphone can be purchased for €1259 (128GB), €1379 (256GB), €1609 (512Gb) or €1839 (1TB).

iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max iPhone 14The Pro and Pro Max (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

iPhone 13 Pro (Max): three major improvements

As mentioned, there are three major improvements to be found this year when you put the iPhone 13 Pro next to the iPhone 12 Pro. Those are the camera system, the improved battery life and a display with ProMotion technology. But do these changes also manage to take the everyday use of the iPhone to the next level? That’s what I’ve been paying extra attention to lately:

#1 ProMotion makes a difference

ProMotion technology is not new, but it is making its debut on the iPhone this year. This is nice, because it makes it possible to make use of a variable refresh rate of 120Hz. In practice, this simply results in smoother animations during scrolling, making the phone feel faster. In my opinion, this greatly improves the user experience.

By the way, the variable part is very nice for the next point in my review: the battery. Because of this functionality, your iPhone 13 Pro does not always use the maximum refresh rate and it is therefore possible to save battery. So you will be able to have a 10Hz refresh rate at some times, where at other times you will be using the full 120Hz. Your iPhone optimizes the display for each situation and does so just fine.

iPhone 13 ProThe screen of the Pro (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)

#2 An improved battery life

The battery life of the iPhone 13 Pro certainly doesn’t deteriorate, despite the addition of 120Hz. Considering the functionality is a real power eater, this is not too bad. In fact, the battery life has really managed to impress me over the past ten days.

Whether we are really dealing with an average improvement of one and a half hours, as Apple promises, I do not know. However, there is definitely an improvement to be seen. I averaged a screen time of three hours over the past ten days and did about a day and a half on the battery on average.

On the quietest day I achieved a screen time of one hour and 31 minutes. On the most busy day, I even achieved a screen time of five hours and still had 20% battery left at the end of the day. With the addition of the ProMotion display in mind, I can’t help but compliment Apple for this impressive improvement.

#3 The camera system is next-level

I have plenty of compliments to give about the camera system. I can hardly remember that so many times during a review I looked at the result with open mouth. The iPhone 13 Pro has nothing less than the Pro Max in this area and that means that every photo enthusiast can also do their utmost with this model.

iPhone 13 Pro ReviewThe camera does an excellent job (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

At least, if that egg is mainly in the details. This smartphone offers, in its own way, the ultimate user experience for photographers and filmmakers. That simply means that the smartphone not only shines during the day, but manages to distinguish itself in the evening hours.

How strong this iPhone 13 Pro is in situations with poor lighting I would almost call scary. Photos come out with not too much noise and accurate colors. Something that is thanks to the updated ultra-wide camera.

iPhone 13 ProLow light and a delicious plate of food (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

When you hold the iPhone 13 Pro (Max) about 10cm away from an object, the camera system automatically fires into macro mode. This is very nice, although Apple will come out with a software update that will allow you to disable the functionality. I can understand that, because the shift between “normal” photography and macro is very obvious.

By the way, the result is just in line with the other qualities of the camera system, but I don’t see myself using the feature on a daily basis.

iPhone 13 ProClose up thanks to Macro (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

That’s true, by the way, of the iPhone 13 Pro (Max)’s Cinematic Mode. Indeed, the functionality really takes smartphone video to the next level. It takes some effort to understand exactly when the system automatically focuses on objects, but once you’ve mastered that, it’s a real pleasure.

The images, thanks in part to the excellent stabilization, are truly high quality. Apple shouts every year that its camera is better than ever before, but I can say that this year the company really isn’t saying anything too much about that.

iPhone 13 ProColors, brightness and sharpness on point (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

iPhone 13 Pro: the advantages of last year

The majority of consumers looking to buy the iPhone 13 Pro are probably coming from an iPhone 11 Pro or older. This makes sense, as an annual upgrade is no longer something really worthwhile in anno 2021.

The move from the iPhone 11 to the iPhone 12 series was a big one. That’s mainly because of the updated design, which this year is therefore accompanied by some pleasant internal improvements. For example, last year the battery life was scaled back slightly from the iPhone 11 Pro, but Apple is mixing that up with the iPhone 13 Pro. The camera system is a bigger step from last year, and the ProMotion technology is also a fine addition.

iPhone 12 Pro versus 13 ProPro versus Pro (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

By the way, the iPhone 13 Pro features a smaller notch, which I personally don’t really think is worth discussing. It’s a 20% improvement that Apple waited far, far too long to make. But hey, if you’re going to take that upgrade from last year then of course that smaller notch is nice too.

If you want to know what the iPhone 12 Pro really has to offer, be sure to read the review I wrote about it last year.

No beauty prize

Alright, on to the things that the iPhone 13 Pro (Max) actually doesn’t do very well at all. To be perfectly honest, a component I’m more bothered by this year than I usually am. Yes, the iPhone 13 Pro is anything but affordable and the “smaller” notch is really a joke after years of waiting. But very big drawbacks don’t come with this smartphone. Although there is something that Apple really needs to do something about.

The iPhone 13 Pro (Max) itself hasn’t gotten very much thicker, but the camera system is really starting to get too big to the point of embarrassment. The lenses are huge and the block itself makes the phone look anything but sleek anymore. Especially when the phone is resting on the camera system on your table. The design already didn’t manage to hit the mark in 2019, but compared to this current model, I’m really starting to get homesick for it.

So next year, it’s time to just enjoy putting the camera system back in the body and stop with the big camera block. Because despite the nice color options, stainless steel bezels and a smaller notch, this iPhone 13 Pro doesn’t deserve any beauty awards.

iPhone 13 Pro MaxThe Pro Max in Sierra Blue is a gem (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

iPhone 13 Pro (Max): down to the details your very best option

Do you actually need a beauty award if you do everything else very well? As far as I’m concerned, not really. The iPhone 13 Pro (Max) looks like a considerably smaller update than it actually is. The smartphone offers the consumer a lot and that’s mainly in the details. The powerful camera options, the improved battery life and the variable display.

If you want to get the most out of your smartphone and are crazy about photography then the iPhone 13 Pro (Max) is really your very best option down to the details. Doesn’t matter what smartphone you put opposite it.

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