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iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro Max follows up from the iPhone 12 Pro, with some noteworthy upgrades. What are the differences between the two? Read our review to find out.

Overall Winner in snapshot: iPhone 13 Pro Max

If you want the very best of the best, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is our top pick. While it closely follows in its predecessor’s footsteps when it comes to design, it presents some significant improvements in camera features, display and battery life. At the time of writing (March 2022), it’s Apple’s most recent and most premium device.

But, as expected, the latest top-end flagship comes with a sky-high price tag to match. If you’re not too fussed with the advanced camera features or boosted battery life, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a worthy contender. After all, you’ll still getting a high-end handset – and now for a lower price than at release.

Compare iPhone 12 Pro Max deals

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max (128GB Graphite)
    iPhone 12 Pro Max
    • 500GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £129.00 device cost
    • download speed limit
    • Special offers with O2 Priority
    • £40.00 per month
    24 month contract From MobilePhonesDirect.co.uk

Compare iPhone 13 Pro Max deals

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max (256GB Blue)
    iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • 25GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £99.00 device cost
    • download speed limit
    • £76.00 per month
    24 month contract From Sky Mobile
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max (128GB Gold)
    iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • 100GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £49.00 device cost
    • download speed limit
    • £54.00 per month
    24 month contract From Three Mobile
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max (128GB Grey)
    iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • 20GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £30.00 device cost
    • download speed limit
    • Special offers with O2 Priority
    • £59.98 per month
    24 month contract From O2

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: What are the key differences?

  • Display – the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a brighter screen with new ProMotion technology, which allows for a smoother experience when scrolling
  • Camera – the iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with some major upgrades in camera hardware and software
  • Battery life – the iPhone 13 Pro Max lasts two hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max design

When it comes to design, there are far more similarities than differences between the two phones.

In fact, they’re near identical. The iPhone 13 Pro Max follows the same sleek look and build quality of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Both feature a flat stainless-steel edge and glossy glass back, as well as a stunning edge-to-edge screen.

The only discernible difference is the notch at the top of the screen – it’s 20% smaller on the 13 Pro Max, freeing up some display space.

Dimensions are almost the same, too. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is just 0.3mm thicker and 12g heavier than its predecessor – most likely due to its slightly larger battery.

Both phones share the same Graphite, Gold and Silver colourways. The 13 Pro Max, however, does come in a new Sierra Blue colour. Compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s Pacific Blue, it’s a much lighter shade of blue.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max camera

While the rear triple camera setup looks the same on both phones, the iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with some significant upgrades in camera functionality and quality.

Specs-wise, the 13 Pro Max has larger and faster apertures in its wide and ultra wide cameras, meaning more light can enter the camera to create a more dynamic image. And the telephoto camera on the iPhone 13 Pro Max has 3x optical zoom, compared to 2.5x on the 12 Pro Max.

Additionally, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a bigger sensor, capturing more light for better low-light photos.

The improvements don’t just stop at hardware, however. The iPhone 13 Pro Max introduces several exciting software features that level up your shooting experience.

As well as Apple’s new Cinematic Mode, Photographic Styles and an improved Night mode, it has Apple ProRAW, which lets you shoot RAW files that allow for much greater detail and editing potential. Similarly, it supports Apple’s ProRes video recording, which gives you advanced video capabilities with high quality and low compression.

Of course, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is still a great and capable snapper, producing pleasing shots in most scenarios. But if you’re an avid photographer or videographer, you’ll likely be swayed by the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s major camera upgrades.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max screen display

Although both phones have bright and vivid displays, sharing the same 6.7-inch OLED screen with 1284 x 2778 resolution, the iPhone 13 Pro Max introduces ProMotion technology to its display.

So, while the 12 Pro Max’s refresh rates were capped at 60Hz, the 13 Pro Max now has adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz. This gives you a smoother and more responsive experience when you’re scrolling in apps and playing games.

Additionally, the 13 Pro Max offers a 28% brighter display – very handy when you’re viewing in direct sunlight.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max battery life and performance

The iPhone 12 Pro Max already sports a sizeable 3687mAh battery that can last two days of moderate usage on a single charge.

However, the iPhone 13 Pro Max takes things a step further. Packing a whopping 4352mAh cell in its frame, the resulting battery life is incredible.

It withstands a full day of heavy use with ease – you can game, FaceTime and stream videos without worrying about your battery dying halfway through the day. And if you’re a light user, you should be able to comfortably get two days of use.

According to Apple, it lasts around two hours longer than the 12 Pro Max.

Plus, the 13 Pro Max is powered by Apple’s latest A15 Bionic chip, which helps optimise battery performance. Nevertheless, the 12 Pro Max’s A14 Bionic processor is no slouch either.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max software

The iPhone 12 Pro Max originally came installed with iOS 14.2 out the box, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with iOS 15. At the time of writing (March 2022), they both support Apple’s latest iteration, iOS Version 15.3.1.

Thankfully, Apple is reliable when it comes to providing software updates long after release date. You’ll be happy to hear that both phones will be supported for years to come.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max verdict

With their dazzling displays and powerful performance, both phones are built for power users.

Released in 2020, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is still a solid and reliable phone. Apple must concur, too – the iPhone 13 Pro Max doesn’t deviate from the look and feel of its predecessor.

However, the 13 Pro Max does offer major upgrades in several key areas, namely in the form of a smoother display, longer-lasting battery life and more advanced camera features. These improvements place the 13 Pro Max as a big step up from the 12 Pro Max.

But if you already have an iPhone 12 Pro Max, you may be perfectly happy with its already capable camera and good battery life. If so, you may feel it’s not necessary to upgrade just yet.

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