iPhone 13 Pro Max Review By photographer (Buy or Not)

iPhone 13 Pro Max Review By photographer (Buy or Not)

iPhone 13 Pro Max Review By photographer (Buy or Not)

1280 720 Avinash Sharma

The iPhone 13 Pro max isn’t a major change to the Apple formula, but it brings with it a few upgrades that may peak your interest, such as a smooth 120Hz display and, Apple claims, better battery life than previous iPhone models.

There are also photography and video upgrades, and a new 1TB-storage variant. 

let’s have a look at the full specifications of the world’s best camera phone so far.

Full Specifications of iPhone 13 Pro Max

ChipA15 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
Network5G supported by device (network not rolled-out in India), 4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G
Rear Camera12 MP f/1.5, Wide Angle Primary Camera, 12 MP f/1.8, Wide Angle, Ultra-Wide Angle Camera, 12 MP f/2.8 Telephoto (upto 15x Digital Zoom, upto 3x Optical Zoom) Camera
Front Camera12 MP f/2.2, Wide Angle Primary Camera
Image stabilizationDual OIS (Telephoto and Wide), sensor-shift (Wide)
Max video resolution4K 60p
Quick ChargingYes
WaterproofYes, Water resistant (up to 30 minutes in a depth of 6 meter), IP68
Display6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (2778×1284 at 458ppi)
Refresh Rate120 Hz
Internal Memory128 GB
Weight238 grams

Design and colors

The iPhone 13 Pro Max retains the flat edges of the iPhone 12 Pro Max but looks a bit different. For one, the camera array is larger than before, so it takes up a bit more real estate on the back of the phone.

This iphone is also notably heavier than its 227.6-gram predecessor. But I’ll allow that given the new iPhone Pro has a larger battery.

On the plus side, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s notch is a bit smaller on the display, as Apple shrunk it 20% while retaining the same key Face ID tech. It’s not a full-screen look, but it’s an improvement over recent iPhones.

My only real complaint with the iPhone 13’s design is that it doesn’t offer a Touch ID, either in the power button or underneath the display. At a time many people are still wearing masks in public places, it would be nice to have an alternative way to easily unlock our iPhones.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max comes in four colors: graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue. I would opt for the blue model if paying with my own money. The graphite model I tested has a sleek professional vibe, but it’s not as playful.


The biggest upgrade to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s display — and biggest upgrade overall — is the new ProMotion display. This 6.7-inch panel can dynamically scale its refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz, which results in smoother overall performance and animations.

For example, when scrolling on The India Today homepage with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro Max side by side, I could more easily read the text on Apple’s newer phone when quickly scrolling on both displays. It just feels more responsive.

These benefits carry over to other activities as well, such as swiping between apps or returning to the home screen. But I’m more excited by apps that take advantage of ProMotion. This includes Catalyst Black, a frenetic online battle game that had me shooting in all directions and transforming into monsters. And the whole experience was wonderfully fluid. 

Another plus for the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s screen is its increased brightness. We measured an average of 837 nits with the Adaptive setting off and 1,038 nits with Adaptive on. The iPhone 12 Pro Max averaged 654 nits with Adaptive off. The Galaxy S21 Ultra maxes out at 821 nits.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s display delivers stunning detail even in low-light scenes. When watching the trailer for James Bond No Time to Die, I could make out every creepy crevice in Rami Malek’s transformed face.


The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a bigger camera array for a reason. The main wide camera is Apple’s largest yet at 1.9μm pixels (up from 1.7μm) while offering an f/1.5 aperture, which is rated to deliver 49% more light than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. And the ultrawide camera offers a larger f/1.8 aperture (was f/2.4 for iPhone 12 Pro Max) for brighter pics while offering a wider field of view. Zooming on this gets a boost as well, as the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s telephoto lens offers 3x optical zoom, up from 2.5x on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

And there are lots of camera upgrades beyond the hardware. For example, the iPhone 13 Pro Max leverages the ultrawide camera to capture images as close as 2 cm away. I really enjoyed getting up close with this piece of wood. While the iPhone 12 Pro Max struggled to get close, I could capture every nook and cranny with the new iPhone. And also this iphone did a great job capturing the bright colors. Also this iphone takes a more pleasing portrait.

Another new iPhone 13 camera feature is Photographic styles, which lets you choose how you want your photos to look in terms of tone and warmth. Your options include standard, rich contrast, vibrant, warm, cool. And you can adjust these as you see fit. 

Despite a jump from 2.5 to 3x for the telephoto zoom on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it’s still behind Samsung’s best. Zooming in on some boats at 3x, I prefer the slightly brighter images from the S21 Ultra in this case. And at 15x digital zoom, the writing on the boat looks sharper in the Samsung shot. At least the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s 15x zoom is better than the 12x max digital zoom on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

When it comes to ultrawide photos, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is neck and neck with the Galaxy S21 Ultra here. But I give a slight edge to the new iPhone because of the detail.

To test the iPhone 13 Pro Max in low light I shot expressway at night. Neither image looks very sharp, but the iPhone delivers more accurate colors and light.

This is by far the best iPhone on cameracritique photography test. Check Out also the list of best iPhones for photography

Video and Cinematic mode

The Cinematic video mode on the iPhone 13 Pro Max is so good that you’ll feel like a mini Spielberg. That’s certainly how I felt after shooting several clips that apply a bokeh effect to your footage and automatically switch the focus to multiple subjects depending on what’s going on in the frame.

I also had fun with the Cinematic mode by having my brother capture me walking along a trail and attempting a layup playing basketball. This iphone delivered a convincing bokeh with the video.

Unfortunately, the resolution for Cinematic mode is capped at 1080p across the entire iPhone range, so you can’t have portrait mode videos and 4K quality at the same time. 

If you want even more creative control, the iPhone 13 Pro Max supports ProRes video, a format preferred by video editors. You can record in ProRes up to 30 fps in 4K, but note that only the 256GB and higher models support 4K; the 128GB model is limited to 1080p in ProRes likely because these files take up so much storage.

No matter what you shoot, you won’t be disappointed in the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s video quality.


Thanks to its new A15 Bionic chipset, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is ridiculously fast and grabs the title of the world’s fastest phone. I got totally lost in the BGMI game, which delivers fast frame rates and silky-smooth action even as you zoom (and sometimes teleport) around the track.

In terms of benchmarks, the iPhone 13 Pro Max once again destroys the Android competition. In Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the iPhone 13 Pro Max notched a multi-core score of 4,549 and a single-core score of 1,720. The Galaxy S21 Ultra hit 3,440 and 1,123, respectively, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max reached 4,111 and 1,603. 

Interestingly, the iPhone 13 scored a slightly lower 4,436/1,668, which we think could be due to the Pro Max having more RAM. (Apple doesn’t reveal how much memory it puts into its different iPhone models.)

You should expect a graphics boost on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, as it vaulted ahead of the competition on the 3DMark Wild Life unlimited test. It registered a frame rate of 68.4 frames per second, compared to 54 fps for the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 34 fps for the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Video editing should be quick work for this phone, too, as it took only 25 seconds for the iPhone 13 Pro Max to transcode a 4K file to 1080p in the Adobe Premiere Rush app. That’s only a little faster than the 28.5 seconds from the iPhone 12 Pro Max but way speedier than the Samsung’s 1:02 time.

Battery life and charging

Thanks to a larger battery and other enhancements, the iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted a fantastic 12 hours and 16 minutes on cameracritique battery test, which surfs the web over 5G continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max last year lasted 10 hours and 53 minutes and Galaxy S21 Ultra endured for 11:25. Anything above 11 hours is great.

The news is not that great on the charging front, as the iPhone 13 Pro Max reaches just 50% capacity after 30 minutes using a 20W UBC-C charger, while other phones like the OnePlus 9 Pro and Xiaomi 11T Pro can get to 100% in 30 minutes or less. MagSafe charging, while convenient, is even slower at 15W.

Final Words

The iPhone 13 Pro Max isn’t a huge step up from the iPhone 12 Pro M, but if you own an older iPhone you may find that this is the best handset for you to upgrade to in 2021.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has more to recommend if you like a larger phone, while the iPhone 13 is there for those who want something a touch cheaper. If you’re somewhere in the middle of those two handsets, the iPhone 13 Pro looks to be a strong choice – if not a particularly exciting handset in terms of design and new features.