First Impressions: iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro Max now comes in gold.

I’ve had the iPhone 13 Pro Max in my hands for the last two days. Although I’m not ready for a full review, I am ready to give my initial impressions:

  • It feels slightly heavier than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but the extra battery life makes it worth it (more on that in a little bit).
  • The screen is definitely brighter. And I could be wrong, but it also seems slightly more colorful.
  • The camera lenses definitely protrude enough to be slightly annoying. Once it’s in a case, it’s not as bothersome.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has protruding lenses.

  • The smaller notch does make a difference despite what some others are saying. However, it is slightly taller than the 12′s notch.
  • The gold version looks and feels so premium. Whatever version you get, please be sure to get a screen protector and a sleeve.
  • Cinematic mode is great, but it only operates at 1080p — something I and others will not use that much.
  • There are notable improvements on the new camera, and it is especially noticeable with night shots.
  • The new macro photo mode takes amazing pictures. However, it keeps on switching with other lenses when it thinks you’re moving too far away.
  • The camera focuses faster, especially when you zoom in on the subject.
  • The 120Hz  refresh rate doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal if you’ve used other displays that have the same rate. However, once you go back to 60Hz, you realize the advantage of a 120Hz screen.

The iPhone's 120Hz refresh rate is welcomed but not groundbreaking.

  • The stereo sound is the same as it was on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and that definitely isn’t a bad thing.
  • The star of the iPhone 13 Pro Max series is battery life. I haven’t done numeric tests yet, but I’m shocked at how good it is. Unfortunately, the 13 Pro Max also takes slightly longer to completely charge.
  • The only time I have noticed a major difference with the new A15 Bionic chip is when I edited a video right from the phone. Otherwise, you won’t notice much of an improvement in regular tasks.
Right now, I would say that if you have an iPhone 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max, there isn’t a significant reason to upgrade. But for those who have any model in the iPhone 11 or earlier series, the upgrade will be well worth it. 

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected].
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