For the first time in quite awhile, deciding whether you should upgrade to a new iPhone from your old one isn’t a clear-cut “yes” or “no”. Comparing the iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max is rather tedious, as there are a lot of similarities between the two, but potentially just enough differences to help sway you one way or another. Today, we’re breaking it down for you in an effort to help you make your decision.
- iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13: Should You Upgrade?
- iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Which Is Right For You?
- Don’t Wait Until Next Week, Get the iPhone 13 Wallpapers Now
- The 2021 iPad mini: Everything You Need To Know
- How to Pre-Order iPhone 13
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs 13 Pro Max: Spec Comparison
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Display||6.7-inch Super Retina XDR||6.7-inch Super Retina XDR|
|Max Brightness||800 nits (typical) / 1200 nits (HDR)||1000 nits (typical) / 1200 nits (HDR)|
|Build||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Processor||Apple A14 Bionic||Apple A15 Bionic|
|CPU Cores||6 cores||6 cores|
|GPU cores||4 cores||5 cores|
|IP Rating||IP68 Water & Dust||IP68 Water & Dust|
|Battery Life||Up to 20 hours||Up to 28 hours|
|Front Camera||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth|
|Rear Cameras||12MP Wide / 12MP Ultra Wide||12MP Wide / 12MP Ultra Wide|
|Smart HDR||Smart HDR 3||Smart HDR 4|
|Video Recording||Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K @ 60fps||Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K @ 30fps|
|Weight||228 grams (8.03 oz)||240 grams (8.46 oz)|
|Storage||128GB / 256GB / 512GB||128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB|
|Price||From $1,099||From $1,099|
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: The Similarities
There are still quite a few similarities when comparing the iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max. The display size remains the same, both devices are made from “surgical grade” Stainless Steel, while also supporting 5G connectivity. We also have IP68 water and dust resistance to go along with the more-durable Stainless Steel build.
Apple has retained the same 12MP TrueDepth selfie camera on the front, and both devices have a triple camera setup on the back. Speaking of which, both the iPhone 12 Pro Max and its successor are largely capable of providing a great camera experience. This is because last year’s iPhone included features like Sensor Shift, which has since been added to all four iPhone 13 models.
And as for video recording, you can record 4K videos at up to 60fps on either device. Or, you can go fancy and record HDR video with Dolby Vision at 4K resolution and up to 30fps. Both devices are photography beasts across the board, with some of the best cameras we’ve ever seen on a mobile device.
However, there are enough new features available with the 13 Pro Max that may sway you into upgrading.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: The Differences
Yes, both devices feature a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with the same 2778 x 1284 resolution. However, the iPhone 13 Pro Max instantly gets a leg up on its predecessor with the inclusion of Apple’s ProMotion technology. This originally debuted on the iPad Pro, and offers a variable refresh rate that automatically switches between 10Hz and 120Hz depending on what you are doing. Plus, the notch has been trimmed down on the 13 Pro Max, coming in at 20% smaller.
Better Battery At A Cost
Although the iPhone 12 Pro Max turned out to be a battery behemoth after its release, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is even better. According to Apple, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is rated to last up to 28 hours on a single charge, while the 12 Pro Max is “limited” to 20 hours. But this longer battery life does come at a cost.
If you hold the iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max next to each other, you’ll instantly notice a difference. Not only is the newer iPhone quite a bit heavier, but it’s also slightly thicker. This was a necessary change in order for Apple to improve battery life along with upgrading the cameras.
Photos and Videos
Speaking of the cameras, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a doozy. All three 12MP rear cameras on the 13 Pro Max include a faster aperture. This allows for better low-light photography performance, while also improving the overall quality of your standard photos. The telephoto lens has also been improved, providing a 3x optical zoom. And when paired with the other camera lenses, you can use the all-new Macro Mode to take crystal-clear photos from within just 3 centimeters of the subject.
As for videography, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has an all-new Cinematic Mode. This allows you to rack focus while you’re recording with just a tap. Plus, you’ll be able to adjust the focus after you’ve finished recording.
The final major difference between the iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max comes down to storage. Both of these devices are available in 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB configurations. But for the first time ever, Apple is offering the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max with a whopping 1TB of storage. This will definitely come in handy if you plan to take advantage of all of those sweet new camera features.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Should You Upgrade?
The obvious answer here is that if you want to chase the specs and get the best iPhone, you should definitely upgrade. With longer-lasting battery, the new ProMotion display, and improved cameras, you won’t be disappointed with the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
But for everyone else, we’re not so sure that Apple did quite enough to warrant the upgrade this time around. iOS is already arguably the most fluid mobile software available, so you might not even notice a difference with ProMotion. The 12 Pro Max’s cameras are still pretty incredible as it is, and not everyone wants to turn themselves into a videographer.
Deciding whether to upgrade iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max is one of the few times where it’s not a clear-cut decision. It all comes down to your needs and your use-cases. And no matter what you decide, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.