One of the most consistent features of any iPhone is how it instantly feels outdated when Apple announces a newer model. But, all joking aside, even if you were to hold an iPhone 12 Pro Max next to an iPhone 13 Pro Max, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between them. They look almost identical to each other. And iPhone 12 Pro Max still delivers on performance.
But if you’re in the market to upgrade your phone, then you’re going to want to check out the rest of this article before you make your decision. You’ll read about some of the key features that separate the iPhone 13 Pro Max from its predecessor, as well as which model really is worth the hassle of upgrading.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. 13 Pro Max: Key differences explained
Anytime you talk about the difference between two iPhone models, you’ve got to mention the camera. And that’s especially true here, but more on that later in this article. For now, we want to talk about some of the more significant differences that can play a huge role in your mobile photography.
Despite being the same size and resolution as its predecessor, iPhone 13 Pro Max received quite a few upgrades to its screen. The most noticeable is that the front notch is about 20% smaller. This is nothing excessive by any means and something you’d probably only notice if an iPhone 12 Pro Max and an iPhone 13 Pro Max were right next to each other. But, overall, it does obstruct less of the picture on your phone.
The other big improvement with the iPhone 13 Pro Max screen is with video and animation playback, as Apple rolled out its ProMotion feature on the iPhone 13 lineup. This feature allows your iPhone to adjust the screen’s refresh rate or motion blur dynamically depending on what you’re doing. A great example of this is, when you’re watching a movie or show, you’ll want your screen to refresh at 60Hz. But if you’re playing a game or switching between apps, 120Hz will make your phone feel like it’s performing faster.
Overall, iPhone 13 Pro Max received a nice bump in battery life, adding a whopping eight more hours of video playback on a single charge. But, that said, iPhone 12 Pro Max boasts 20 hours of video playback, which is still quite incredible.
As with the upgraded camera, Apple always seems to find a way to create a new processor chip that’s even better and faster than the previous iPhone model. And this proves true yet again for iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has the A15 Bionic chip.
Another big perk — literally — of iPhone 13 Pro Max is that its storage tier tops out at 1 TB. That’s a lot of pictures and videos you can store on there! Especially considering that the largest storage capacity you’ll be able to find in iPhone 12 Pro Max is half that, at 512 GB.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Which one has a better camera?
Typically, the biggest differentiator between any two iPhone models is the camera. But the cameras on iPhone 12 Pro Max and 13 Pro Max are nearly identical. There are really only two things to note between them. The first one is the 3x zoom Telephoto lens that comes equipped on iPhone 13 Pro Max. But even that difference is almost negligible, as the Telephoto lens on iPhone 12 Pro Max is 2.5x.
The newer iPhone 13 Pro Max also has a better aperture on the Ultra Wide and Wide angle lenses, meaning they can take better low-light pictures. But the 12 Pro Max has a better aperture on the Telephoto lens. Overall, it’s tough to definitively pick one camera over the other. They’re so similar that you won’t be missing all that much if you opt for the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera.
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Specs compared
Understanding some of the more significant feature differences between the two models is always helpful. But the numbers don’t lie, so here’s a quick breakdown of the technical specs between both iPhones.
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Display||6.7-inch OLED display |
(2778 px x 1284 px)
|6.7-inch OLED display |
(2778 px x 1284 px) with ProMotion
|Size||Height: 6.33 in|
Width: 3.07 in
|Height: 6.33 in|
Width: 3.07 in
|Weight||8.03 oz||8.46 oz|
|Storage||128, 256, and 512 GB||128, 256, 512 GB and 1 TB|
|Camera||Telephoto: ƒ/2.2 aperture|
Wide: ƒ/1.6 aperture
Ultra Wide: ƒ/2.4 aperture
|Telephoto: ƒ/2.8 aperture|
Wide: ƒ/1.5 aperture
Ultra Wide: ƒ/1.8 aperture
|Battery||Up to 20 hours of video playback||Up to 28 hours of video playback|
|Price||Starting at $999 USD||Starting at $1,099 USD|
If you’re already using an iPhone 12 Pro Max, upgrading to the latest model might not be worth it for what you’ll be getting. But if you’re starting from an older phone, both models are incredible and will capture stunning photos. Due to the fact that it’s the older model, purchasing the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a great way to save money while still getting a device that feels current. That said, it’s also not sold by Apple anymore and may be harder to find when shopping around for a new device.