Apple’s biggest and most premium smartphone has arrived — but is bigger better, and does it justify its considerable pricetag?
What we love — Gorgeous screen, excellent camera, impressive battery life
The giant 6.7-inch screen on this supersize smartphone is now better than ever, thanks to an adaptive refresh rate that can reach highs of 120Hz (perfectly smooth for scrolling through your Instagram feed) or lows of 10Hz (which saves battery on less arduous tasks). This OLED panel is bright, boasts striking contrast, and supports HDR for a dazzling display.
The triple camera system is also the most impressive ever mounted on an iPhone, with the leading wide lens now performing even better in low light conditions and offering a more natural depth of field effect. There are so many options to customise or stylise your snaps that it should be ideal for experts or beginners who want the most from their phone’s photography.
The A15 Bionic processor doesn’t feel like a massive upgrade compared to the iPhone 12 Pro, though that’s not a criticism as it packs such a punch that all mobile games run like a dream. Where there has been a big upgrade is the battery, which now offers perhaps the best endurance of any flagship smartphone out there, delivering two full days of moderate use on a single charge.
What we don’t like — Unergonomic design
The battery upgrade does come at a price even above the eye-watering £1049/$1099 retail value , and that’s added weight; this model is significantly heavier than its predecessor, and its size also contributes to making it feel uncomfortable and sometimes unwieldly if you’re not using two hands. The notch at the top of the screen may have been reduced by 20% — but it’s still there, while Android flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S21 have long since moved on from it. What’s more, the selfie camera housed within hasn’t seen many improvements over the past couple of years.
Out of all the smartphones we’ve tested, the iPhone 13 Pro Max simply has the best camera, screen, and battery life, and so it’s very easy to recommend. But bear in mind that its size and weight make it awkward to handle, and the crushing cost means that it’s certainly no bargain even if it is the best you can buy.
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