iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max Buyer's Guide
Apple recently unveiled the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max as the successors to the popular iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, featuring a ProMotion display, the A15 Bionic chip, improved cameras, longer battery life, and more. As Apple's premium flagship offerings, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are the most fully-featured iPhones available.
The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at $1,099. Although the two phones share the vast majority of features, there are a small number of differences between the devices besides just screen size. Our guide highlights the differences between the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, and helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two iPhone models is best for you.
Comparing the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max share virtually all of the same key features. Both phones have the same OLED Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology, the A15 Bionic chip, 5G connectivity, a "pro" camera setup with 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto lenses, a LiDAR Scanner, and are available in the same colors. More interesting is where the two devices differ.
iPhone 13 Pro
- 6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with 2532-by-1170-pixel resolution
- Battery life with 22 hours of video playback
- Weight of 7.19 ounces (204 grams)
- $999, $1,099, $1,299, and $1,499 for 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
iPhone 13 Pro Max
- 6.7-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with 2778-by-1284-pixel resolution
- Battery life with 28 hours of video playback
- Weight of 8.46 ounces (240 grams)
- $1,099, $1,199, $1,399, and $1,599 for 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Unlike the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, there are no additional camera improvements with the larger model this year, meaning that there is even less difference between the two flagship devices than usual. Read on for a closer look at each of the different aspects, and see where exactly the iPhone 13 Pro contrasts with its larger sibling.
The most noticeable difference between the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max is the size of their displays. The iPhone 13 Pro has a display size of 6.1 inches and the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a display size of 6.7 inches. This means that the larger phone will be able to show more content on the screen, with the UI elements of apps spaced further apart and items such as the keyboard being much bigger.
The smaller phone, however, is easier to use with one hand. For example, the Control Center is easier to reach at the top of the screen, and users may feel more comfortable swiping around iOS on a smaller display with a firmer grip.
The displays themselves use the exact same technologies and have the same features such as ProMotion, but the main reason to prefer the iPhone 13 Pro will be because of its better fit in the hand and easier one-handed use. Likewise, those that want a larger display for media consumption, to the point that it dwarfs almost all other previous iPhone models, will clearly prefer the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Dimensions and Weight
As a smaller phone, the iPhone 13 Pro obviously has a lesser height and width than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone 13 Pro is 14.1mm shorter and 6.6mm narrower than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Both phones have the same thickness of 7.65mm. The size of the iPhone 13 Pro makes it much more pocketable than the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Another factor that demarcates the difference between the two devices is their weight. The iPhone 13 Pro is 36 grams (1.27 ounces) lighter than its larger counterpart, at just 204 grams (7.19 ounces) in total. If you are concerned about fatigue from holding or carrying a heavier device, the iPhone 13 Pro may be preferable over the iPhone 13 Pro Max for you.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max also differ when it comes to battery life. The iPhone 13 Pro can deliver up to 22 hours of video playback, according to Apple. Since the iPhone 13 Pro Max is much larger, it can accommodate a larger battery and therefore offer a longer battery life. This means that the iPhone 13 Pro Max can reportedly deliver up to 28 hours of video playback.
When streaming video, the iPhone 13 Pro can deliver 20 hours of battery life and the iPhone 13 Pro Max can deliver 25 hours. When streaming music, the iPhone 13 Pro offers 75 hours of battery life compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max's 95 hours. Real-world battery life for both devices is likely to be lower than Apple's estimates, as mixed usage tends to be a bit heavier than video playback alone.
If battery life is a priority for you, the iPhone 13 Pro Max clearly offers the best possible battery life in an iPhone and is a significant leap over the iPhone 13 Pro. If you choose to get the iPhone 13 Pro, it will still have a fair, all-day battery life, but it does not match the capability of the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Other iPhone Options
At a starting price of $999, if the iPhone 13 Pro is outside your comfortable spending range, you should consider its cheaper counterpart, the iPhone 13, which starts at $799 ($699 for iPhone 13 mini), or even the iPhone 12, which starts at $699 ($599 for iPhone 12 mini).
The most important decision point between the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max comes down to screen size, but comfort, pocketability, weight, and battery life are also important considerations. The added $100 in price for the iPhone 13 Pro Max seems fair for the added display area and battery life, but it is important to weigh up these additional factors in your personal use case.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max represents the most you can get out of an iPhone with the best possible battery life, but that does not necessarily translate into a worthwhile purchase for all users. A larger, heavier 6.7-inch iPhone is not for everyone. Some may find the iPhone 13 Pro Max's size excessive or uncomfortably large, while others will love the larger display for consuming media.
Screen size is ultimately a matter of personal preference, and Apple offers the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro lineup in three different sizes to meet all users' needs. Since the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max share almost all features except for battery capacity, it comes down to individual taste.