Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max review: greater autonomy & a Pro camera system

On September 14, Apple organized its traditional summer return keynote where it presented the entire iPhone 13 family, including the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the protagonist of our analysis, as well as the Apple Watch 7 and the new iPad and iPad mini.

About a year ago we discussed about iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models. The presentation of the members of the “12 family” was a real revolution compared to previous generations, as they became the first iPhone with 5G, but also changed their design, welcomed a “mini” model and surprised us with a very remarkable evolution in its camera system.

The «family 13», also made up of four members, at first glance it is almost impossible to differentiate it from the previous generation, but this does not confuse us.

Although people are surprised that each year you can “reinvent the wheel”, Apple has made some significant improvements. In addition, except for the screen size and resolution, as well as the weight, everything discussed in this review of the iPhone 13 Pro Max works for the iPhone 13 Pro.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Specification

Operating systemiOS 15
Screen Super Retina XDR with ProMotion (adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz). 6.7-inch (16.95 cm) diagonal OLED
Resolution2,778 x 1,284 pixels at 458 p / p
ProcessorChip A15 Bionic
Memory6GB RAM
Storage128, 256, 512 GB, 1 TB
Frontal Camera12 Mpx and aperture of f / 2.2. Portrait mode with advanced bokeh effect and Depth Control
Rear Camera12 Mpx camera system with telephoto, wide angle and ultra wide angle. Telephoto: f / 2.8 aperture | Wide angle: aperture of f / 1.5 | Ultra wide angle: f / 1.8 aperture and 120º field of view
VideoCinema mode. HDR with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps | 4K at 24, 25, 30 or 60 fps. Dual optical image stabilization (telephoto and wide angle)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11ax (6th generation) / Bluetooth 5.0 / 5G (Nano SIM and eSIM)
Batterylithium ion. 4,373 mAh
Dimensions16,08 x 7,81 0,76 cm
Weight238 grams
ColorsAlpine blue, silver, gold and graphite
Box contentiPhone 13 Pro Max, USB-C to Lightning connector charging cable and documentation
PriceFrom 1259 dollars

Same design [almost] as the iPhone 12 Pro Max

As can be seen in the images we publish a little further down, the iPhone 13 Pro Max maintains the same flat-edged design with a surgical-grade stainless steel frame and textured matte glass back as the previous generation, as well as the rating IP68, enough to guarantee the integrity of the smartphone against spills of liquids such as coffee or soft drinks, or that we accidentally drop it into water.

Iphone 13 pro max
Iphone 13 pro max

The 13 Pro family is protected on the front with Ceramic Shield, which makes the screen glass more resistant to drops. And as a novelty, along with the usual silver, gold and graphite colors, this year Apple has introduced alpine blue (which you can see in the images that accompany this analysis), all of which have been created by applying various ceramic and metallic layers at a nanometric scale to give a resistant finish and with the quality to which Apple has accustomed us.

Except for a couple of details that we are going into right now, it is almost impossible to externally differentiate the iPhone 12 Pro Max from the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but there are some differences. The first is the size of the notch (the space reserved for the camera integrated in the screen), which occupies 20% less to expand the viewing area a little, but without affecting the Face ID facial authentication system at all.And the other big difference is found in size. The previous generation model had dimensions of 16.08 cm (height) x 7.81 cm (width) x 0.74 cm (thickness) and a weight of 226 grams. The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a size of 16.08 x 7.81 0.76 cm and its weight is 238 grams.

From a practical point of view, what does this difference translate into, since those two millimeters will have made the case manufacturers very happy, since the iPhone 12 Pro Max cases do not work with the iPhone 13 Pro Max. For very little, it is true, but they do not fit perfectly.

Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion

In the analysis of the previous generation we commented that it had been speculated that Apple was going to introduce a refresh rate of 120 Hz on its screen, but the reality (caused by trying to enhance the battery life as much as possible) is that it stayed in 60 Hz, which generated a lot of criticism.

Apple has not only listened to these complaints, it has also found the solution to the problem of battery life. The new Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion has an adaptive refresh rate of 10 Hz to 120 Hz , which means it offers a higher frame rate when it is needed and saves power when it is not needed. Thus, scrolling and animations look smoother, but if there is no movement on the screen, it refreshes less frequently and consumes less energy.

The iPhone 13 Pro model has a 6.1-inch (diagonal) screen with 2,532 x 1,170 and 460 dpi resolution, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch (diagonal) screen with 2,778 x 1,284 and 458 dpi resolution.We are talking about an OLED panel that has a wide dynamic range and more brightness, and that also consumes less energy by reducing the refresh rate. The brightness thing is not just anything, it is the brightest screen in the history of the iPhone, with up to 25% more maximum brightness outdoors (1,000 nits) and up to 1,200 nits for HDR photos and videos.

By the way, the benefits of this Super Retina XDR with ProMotion must also be held responsible for the new screen engine of the A15 Bionic chip, the superior performance of the GPU and the always-on touch coprocessor that has been custom designed for iOS 15 so that gestures, animations and playing video games convey more speed and better response.

A15 Bionic chip and the longest autonomy in history

The A15 Bionic chip is common to all four iPhone 13 models and shares features such as its 5-nanometer technology, its 6-core CPU (2 high-performance and another 4 focused on efficiency) and the 16- core Neural Engine capable of execute 15.8 trillion operations per second.

However, in both the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini the GPU is 4 cores, while in the Pro models the GPU is 5 cores. And there is also another difference in favor of the Pro, its RAM is 6 GB instead of the 4 GB of the iPhone 13 without a Pro last name.Thanks to the efficiency of the A15 Bionic chip and iOS 15 (one of Apple’s great advantages in controlling the entire “environment” of its products, both hardware and software), as well as the internal redesign with a denser logic board and a largest battery (18.5% more in the iPhone 13 Pro Max), this is the iPhone with the longest autonomy in history .

According to Tom’s Guide tests, the autonomy of the iPhone 13 Pro Max reaches 12 hours and 16 minutes, while the previous generation reached 10 hours and 53 minutes. Apple talks about up to 1.5 hours more in battery life for the iPhone 13 Pro versus the iPhone 12 Pro, and 2.5 hours more for the 13 Pro Max versus the 12 Pro Max. And all this with an adaptive refresh rate display from 10 Hz to 120 Hz; Apple is undoubtedly to be congratulated.

Cinema mode on the iPhone

Apple has built on how the use of selective focus in cinematography is used to create the iPhone’s Cinema mode, which brings an attractive depth of field effect and automatic focus changes to video while shooting people, pets or objects.

In addition, it is possible to change the focus during and after the shot so that we can adjust the level of bokeh directly from the Photos app and in iMovie for iOS (coming soon in iMovie for macOS and Final Cut Pro). By the way, this Cinema mode records in HDR with Dolby Vision .Finally, comment that the iPhone 13 Pro models include ProRes, a video codec that is commonly used as the final distribution format for television commercials, feature films and broadcasts due to its higher color fidelity and lower compression, recording with a resolution of up to 4K at 30fps directly in the Camera app.

Conclusions

As we already mentioned this last year when we talked about the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The model that we like the most is the Pro Max, but not only because on that occasion it had some more feature than the iPhone 12 Pro, something that no longer happens in “Generation 13”, it is the one,which people like the most because of its size,screen. To some people it may seem big, but we think it is a success that Apple offers a 6.7-inch smartphone.

Without a doubt, and after the improvements introduced by Apple in the autonomy of the battery, the screen, the processor and especially its camera system, the iPhone 13 Pro Max follows the path of previous generations.

By the way, we would not like to finish without commenting on the perfect complement to this iPhone 13 Pro Max, we mean iOS 15, but so that you know more about the new version of this operating system.

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