iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: What are the differences?

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Choosing your winner in the iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max battle is still relevant, even over a year since launch. 

Although it's harder to get a hold of these phones since Apple brought out the iPhone 14 series, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are likely a bit cheaper than the equivalent iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, while still sharing a lot in common both with each other.

We've had a lot of time with both the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, so we've  put together this face-off to show you the differences and similarities. Hopefully by the end of this you'll have a good idea of which one's right for you.

Read next: 11 tips to save battery life on your iPhone

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Specs compared

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max
Starting price$999$1,099
Storage128, 256, 512, 1TB128, 256, 512, 1TB
Screen size6.1 inches6.7 inches
Resolution/ppi2532 x 1170/4602778 x 1284/458
Adaptive refreshUp to 120HzUp to 120Hz
ProcessorA15 BionicA15 Bionic
Rear camerasPro 12MP (Telephoto, Wide, Ultra Wide)Pro 12MP (Telephoto, Wide, Ultra Wide)
Zoom3x optical / 15x digital3x optical / 15x digital
Front camera12MP TrueDepth12MP TrueDepth
ColorsGraphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra BlueGraphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue
Size5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches6.3 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches
Weight7.2 ounces8.5 ounces
Water resistanceIP68IP68
Battery life (web surfing11:4212:16

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: price and availability

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have a fair price gap between them. The starting price for the iPhone 13 Pro is $999 or £949, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max is $1,099 or £1,049. The $100/£100 gap persists through all the higher storage options, too.

The iPhone 13 Pro at 1TB costs $1,499, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max for 1TB is $1,599. 

It's a touch harder to buy the iPhone 13 Pro models since they're no longer produced by Apple. However there are likely still quite a few Pro and Pro Max units hanging around, ready to be snapped up as a good bargain.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: design and display

iphone 13 pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Other than the size difference, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are pretty much identical. There's a smaller Face ID notch at the top of both phones' displays, flat edges and a fairly square camera bump containing three cameras and a LiDAR sensor on the back. Both iPhone 13 Pro models are available in the same four colors, too — Graphite, Gold, Silver and Sierra Blue.

Unsurprisingly, the two differently sized phones have two differently sized displays. The iPhone 13 Pro uses a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED panel (2532 x 1170) whereas the iPhone 13 Pro Max uses a 6.7-inch display (2778 x 1284 pixels). 

One of the new features for both iPhone 13 Pro models is the ProMotion display. This allows for a maximum 120Hz refresh rate, which results in smoother performance and animations. What's more, the refresh rate can dynamically scale all the way down to 10Hz, which can save battery life.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: cameras

The main cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max consist of three photo sensors: a 12MP main camera with sensor-shift stabilization, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 12MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. There's also a LiDAR sensor that aids with AR apps and low-light photography. Last but not least, you have a 12MP selfie camera on the front.

These cameras enable the same new features too, such as Apple's Cinematic mode for video, real-time filters with Photographic Styles, and the option for high detail video recordings with ProRes video. However, ProRes only supports 4K resolution if you opt for 256GB storage or higher. 

The bottom line is that these are the same set of cameras. This is different from last year, where the iPhone 12 Pro Max had a 2.5x telephoto zoom and a sensor-shift main camera, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro had a 2x zoom and no sensor shift.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: performance

Under the hood, the Pro and Pro Max are the same. They both use Apple's A15 Bionic chipset, coupled with 6GB RAM. 

In our benchmark testing, the Pro and Pro Max turned in comparable results, but the regular Pro was a bit faster. It was the same story on the graphics benchmarks too, although your milage may vary if you tested your own iPhone.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 iPhone 13 ProiPhone 13 Pro Max
Geekbench 5 (single-core points/multi-core points)1,733/4,7181,720/4,549
Wild Life Unlimited (score/fps)11,693/7011,418/68
Wild Life Extreme Unlimited (score/fps)2,766/162,584/15
Adobe Premiere Rush (time to encode set video, mins:secs)0:260:25

On the Geekbench 5 general CPU benchmark, the iPhone 13 Pro turned in slightly higher scores, but the iPhone 13 Pro Max wasn't far behind. We saw this with the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited and Wild Life Extreme Unlimited tests too (see table above), but the Pro max did manage to win the race to process a Premiere Rush video first.

When figuring out how much room you want for photos, videos and apps, you have four storage options to pick from with either phone. The base amount is 128GB, but additional money will get you 256GB, 512GB or a whopping 1TB of storage.

All the iPhone 13 models ship with iOS 15 as standard, but can now be upgraded to iOS 16. Make sure you upgrade so you don't miss out on features like lock screen customization, message and email unsending and more.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: battery and charging

Apple has increased the size of all its iPhone 13 batteries, but it's more noticeable on the Pro Max than the Pro. The Pro Max's battery is 4,373 mAh according to third-party analysis, whereas the Pro's battery is reportedly 3,125 mAh. In Apple's own terms, this translates to up to 28 hours of video playback on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and 22 hours on the iPhone 13 Pro.

In our own testing, the difference was narrower, but still in favor of the larger iPhone 13 Pro. The iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted 12 hours and 16 minutes on the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G at 150 nits of screen brightness.  The iPhone 13 Pro lasted 11 hours and 48 minutes, which isn't quite as long, but both phones are good enough to make our best phone battery life list. 

There's been no change from the iPhone 12 series with charging. Both iPhone 13 Pro versions are sold without a charging brick included, but can be powered up with up to a 20W wired connection or a 15W wireless MagSafe connection. 

However, we found the relative charging speeds are different during testing, presumably due to the difference in battery size. In half an hour of charging with the official Apple 20W charger, the iPhone 13 Pro Max reached 40% full, whereas the iPhone 13 Pro got to 53% full instead.

iPhone 13 Pro Max

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Bottom line

The winner of the iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max fight really comes down to what you're looking for in your next phone. If you want a bigger display and longer battery life, our money is on the Pro Max despite the higher price.

However, the regular iPhone 13 Pro delivers the same great cameras, ProMotion display and overall performance, so you're not sacrificing anything if you prefer a more compact design and smaller screen.

If you need more details to help you decide, be sure to check out our full iPhone 13 Pro review and iPhone 13 Pro Max review to help you decide. 

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.