iPhone 13 Pro Max review
The iPhone 13 Pro Max has outstanding cameras, a 120Hz display, and a longer battery life, making it a near-perfect phone.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is what happens when you get almost everything you could want in a phone. This high-end flagship (starting at $1,099) features a 120Hz refresh rate display, the fastest performance of any handset, and an incredible battery life.
But it's the iPhone 13 Pro Max's cameras that really set it apart, as they're the best I've seen on a phone so far. You can shoot Cinematic mode videos with a captivating bokeh effect, select your own Photographic styles, and take super close-up shots with a new macro mode that takes advantage of the ultra-wide camera.
The camera bump on the iPhone 13 Pro Max is definitely more noticeable this time around, thanks to the larger sensors, and the overall design is heftier than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
iPhone 13 Pro Max review: Price
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is now available for purchase, with prices starting at $1,099 for 128GB of storage. Going up to 256GB costs $1,199, 512GB costs $1,399, and the massive 1TB option costs a gulp-inducing $1,599.
iPhone 13 Pro Max review: Display
The new ProMotion display is the biggest upgrade to the iPhone 13 Pro Max's display and the biggest upgrade overall. This 6.7-inch panel's refresh rate can be dynamically scaled from 10Hz to 120Hz, resulting in smoother overall performance and animations.
The increased brightness of the iPhone 13 Pro Max's screen is another advantage. We measured an average of 837 nits with the Adaptive setting turned off and 1,038 nits with the Adaptive setting turned on. With Adaptive off, the iPhone 12 Pro Max averaged 654 nits. The maximum brightness of the Galaxy S21 Ultra is 821 nits.
iPhone 13 Pro Max review: Camera
The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a larger camera array for a reason. The main wide camera is Apple's largest yet, with 1.9m pixels (up from 1.7m) and an f/1.5 aperture, which is rated to deliver 49 percent more light than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Zooming on the iPhone 13 Pro Max has also been improved, with the telephoto lens now offering 3x optical zoom, up from 2.5x on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
iPhone 13 Pro Max review: Performance
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is ridiculously fast, thanks to its new A15 Bionic chipset. I became completely immersed in the Warp Drive racing game, which delivers fast frame rates and silky smooth action even as you zoom (and occasionally teleport) around the track.
In terms of benchmarks, the iPhone 13 Pro Max once again outperforms its Android rivals. The iPhone 13 Pro Max received a multi-core score of 4,549 and a single-core score of 1,720 in Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance. The Galaxy S21 Ultra received 3,440 and 1,123, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max received 4,111 and 1,603.
iPhone 13 Pro Max review: Battery life
The iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted a fantastic 12 hours and 16 minutes on battery test, which surfs the web over 5G continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, thanks to a larger battery and other improvements. Last year, the iPhone 12 Pro Max lasted 10 hours and 53 minutes, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra lasted 11:25. Anything more than 11 hours is excellent, so the iPhone 13 Pro Max earns a spot on our list of the best phone batteries.
iPhone 13 Pro Max Issues
So far, iPhone 13 owners have reported a few issues. Some iPhone 13 users, for example, are reporting that the phone will not unlock with an Apple Watch, though a fix is on the way. Furthermore, some iPhone 13 owners are reporting that the touch display is not responsive enough in some cases, which could be an iOS 15 issue.
iPhone 13 Pro Max review: Verdict
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is one of the few phones that we rate 4.5 stars. Superior cameras and video recording capabilities, including the very appealing Cinematic mode and macro mode, are provided, as is blistering performance and a very responsive 120Hz display. Furthermore, the battery life is even better this time, ranking among the best we've seen from a 5G flagship.
I also like the iPhone 13 Pro Max's slightly better 3x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom, as well as the brighter screen and slightly smaller notch. But I wish Apple could deliver faster charging, and I'd like to see a sleeker design with less of a camera bump and possibly a full-screen look with the iPhone 14 next time around.