In-Depth Review of the iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro Max offers everything you could ever want in a smartphone. This high-end smartphone (starting at £820 if you buy refurbished) features a 120Hz refresh rate display, the quickest performance of any mobile, and super long battery life.

But it's the iPhone 13 Pro Max's cameras that really set it apart. You can snap super close-up images with a new macro mode that takes advantage of the ultra-wide camera, film Cinematic mode videos with a fascinating bokeh effect, and set your own Photographic styles.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s camera is noticeably larger this time around, thanks to the larger sensors and the overall design is more substantial than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

If you’re looking for a smaller and cheaper alternative, and you’re not concerned about a telephoto lens, then you’re best to go for the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 mini

iPhone 13 price and release date

The iPhone 13 Pro is available for purchase now directly from leading retailers or you can buy it refurbished for up to 40% cheaper than new. 

Prices start at £1049 for the 128GB model and jump to £1549 for the 1TB model. 

If price is what’s holding you back, why not trade-in your old iPhone for cashback and use it towards an upgrade to the iPhone 13 Pro Max too.

Design and Colour

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has the same flat edges as its predecessor, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, however, the among of room it takes up on the physical phone is much larger.

Refurbished iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 Pro Max weighs 8.46 ounces, which is somewhat more than its predecessor's coming in at 8.03 ounces. But, that might be a result of the new iPhone’s greater battery size.

Apple reduced the size of the notch on the iPhone 13 Pro Max's display by 20% while keeping the same Face ID technology. It's still not full-screen, but it's a step forward compared to other iPhones.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max comes in four colours: graphite, gold, silver and sierra blue.


The new ProMotion display is the most significant enhancement to the iPhone 13 Pro Max's display — and the most significant upgrade overall. This 6.7-inch panel's refresh rate has been dynamically scaled from 10Hz to 120Hz, resulting in smoother overall performance and animations.

Another significant improvement is its increased brightness and excellent detail even in low-light scenes.


The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s camera is the biggest yet - and there's many reasons why. The main wide cameras has 1.9 million pixels (up from 1.7 million) and an f/1.5 aperture, delivering 49 percent more light than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. In addition, the ultrawide camera has a bigger f/1.8 aperture (compared to f/2.4 on the iPhone 13 Pro Max) for brighter photos and a broader field of view.

Zooming on the iPhone 13 Pro Max is also improved, as the telephoto lens on the iPhone 13 Pro Max now has a 3x optical zoom, up from 2.5x on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Aside from the hardware, there are numerous camera enhancements. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, for example, uses its ultrawide camera to capture photographs from as near as 2cm away. You’ll notice beautiful colours and fine details on close up shots.

Photographic styles is another new iPhone 13 camera function that allows you to customise the tone and warmth of your images. Standard, rich contrast, colourful, warm, and cool are all available. And you're free to change them as you see fit.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max outperforms the other best camera phones in terms of overall image quality. The more complex the image is, the better the iPhone 13 Pro Max performs.

Video and cinematic mode

Cinematic mode is a clear winner on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It automatically blurs backgrounds, creating in a sense of depth which can be changed by pressing on the display.

The only restriction is that cinematic mode's resolution is capped at 1080p across the whole iPhone lineup, so you won't be able to record portrait style recordings in 4K quality.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max supports ProRes video, often used by video editors, if you want even more creative freedom. You can record up to 30 frames per second in 4K in ProRes, but only the 256GB and above models support 4K; the 128GB model is limited to 1080p in ProRes due to the large size of these files. 

The video quality of the iPhone 13 Pro Max will not disappoint you no matter what you film.


The iPhone 13 Pro Max is extremely fast, thanks to its new A15 Bionic CPU, and takes the title of world's fastest phone - and it outperforms the Android rivals in terms of benchmarks. 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 points, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max received 4,111 and 1,603 points, respectively.

Reconditioned iPhone 13

Battery life and charging

The iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted an amazing 12 hours and 16 minutes on the Tom's Guide battery test, which surfs the web via 5G constantly 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. The iPhone 13 Pro Max earns a spot on our top phone battery life list with a battery life of over 11 hours.

Charging is not the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s strongest point. It only gets to 50% capacity after 30 minutes on a 20W UBC-C charger, but competing phones like the OnePlus 9 Pro and Xiaomi 11T Pro can get to 100% in 30 minutes or less. While MagSafe charging is handy, it is nevertheless slow at 15W.

There's some positive news to report. If you utilise a higher-power 30W charger, the iPhone 13 Pro Max can charge to 100% in around 90 minutes. Apple charges $49 for it.

iOS 15

In terms of adding widgets, iOS 15 isn't quite as revolutionary as iOS 14, but it does have some clever and entertaining enhancements. FaceTime gets some much-needed audio and visual enhancements, and you can also utilise the new SharePlay feature with friends or family to listen to music or view movies or TV shows. In addition, the Messages app now features a new Shared with You section that makes it easier to find shared photographs, articles, and other content.

The Focus feature in iOS 15 lets you filter notifications based on what you’re doing. You can also streamline them so you only get a summary view.

Other changes include the move of Safari search bar to the bottom (you can change it), a more full-featured Weather app, and an updated Maps app with more data and better road views are among the other iOS 15 perks. Last but not least, Live Text imitates Google Lens by identifying text in real time via the camera and allowing you to look things up.

Our final thoughts: 

This phone is by far the most superior phone apple has ever released in terms of camera and video recording capabilities. Cinematic mode and macro mode — blistering performance, and a highly responsive 120Hz display are hard to compete with. Plus, this time around, the battery life is much better!

The zoom, brighter screen and smaller notch all make for a better experience. The only downfall is in the low charging and design - it could be a bit sleeker.

If you’re looking to get your hands on an iPhone 13 Pro Max check out a refurbished device and get all the features for up to 40% cheaper than new.

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