Update: Check out our Apple Event live blog for the latest from Cupertino on the iPhone 15 and more.
Breaking down the iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max differences is important for users who own a 13 Pro Max and are coming to the end of a two-year contract, or anybody trying to see if it's worth buying the latest model over a perfectly good flagship iPhone from two years ago. Whatever your motivation, we're here to help you find answers.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max isn't out yet, but it won't be long until we know which rumors are true. We already know the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a good phone, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max is set to push things much further with a rumored new titanium design, powerful periscope zoom camera, the world's first 3nm processor and other upgrades.
Here's how the iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max comparison is shaping up so far. For more, don't forget to have a look at our overall iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 13 face-off, too.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Specs
|iPhone 15 Pro Max (rumored)||iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Display||6.7 inches with 120Hz refresh rate||6.7 inches with 120Hz refresh rate|
|Chipset||A17 Bionic||A15 Bionic|
|Storage options||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Rear cameras||48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto (6x optical zoom)||12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto (3x optical zoom)|
|Battery||4,852 mAh||4,352 mAh|
|Colors||Graphite/Black, Gold, Silver, Dark Red||Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue|
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Price and availability
Apple no longer sells the iPhone 13 Pro Max (refurbished models excluded), but you can buy it right now from various third-party retailers and carriers. The iPhone 15 Pro Max likely isn't that far off from release, but we're still going to have to wait for Apple's Wonderlust event on September 12 to see what's true and what isn't.
Even if you bought the iPhone 13 Pro Max at its launch price of $1,099, you'll likely have bought it for less than the iPhone 15 Pro Max will cost. Rumors are saying it could cost up to $200 more, making for a potential starting price of $1,299. You may get a higher base storage capacity than the iPhone 13 Pro Max though, which when combined with the rumored big upgrades will perhaps take the sting out of the increased cost.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Design and display
For iPhones launched two years apart, there could be a lot of design differences between the iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The basic shape and 6.7-inch size should be the same, but quite a lot's changed since the iPhone 13 Pro Max debuted in 2021.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max swapped out the notch for a Dynamic Island, introducing a little more active screen space for live alerts and updates. We're expecting this on the iPhone 15 Pro Max (and all other iPhone 15s), too.
But that's not all. The 2023 iPhones should be swapping their Lightning connectors for USB-C ports, making them easier to charge with all the other cables you have lying around. In addition, the frame of the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to be made of titanium (rather than stainless steel). And instead of a mute/ringer switch, the iPhone 15 Pro Max should feature an Action button with several potential shortcuts depending on how you want to use them.
What we don't expect to change is the basic display itself, a 6.7-inch 120Hz ProMotion display. That said, the iPhone 15 Pro Max could get smaller bezels, increasing the usable size of the display, but it may be hard to notice if you've not got the two phones side-by-side.
For colors, the iPhone 13 Pro Max was offered in Graphite, Gold, Silver or that year's signature color, Sierra Blue. We expect another combination of gold, silver and graphite/black for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, along with a new deep red signature color. You can check our iPhone 15 colors rumor hub for more on this.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Cameras
The cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro Max all use 12MP sensors, and cover main, ultrawide, 3x telephoto and selfie duties. These were fantastic cameras at launch, but Apple's moved on since then.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to inherit a 48MP main camera from the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and likely its larger 12MP ultrawide camera and larger-aperture selfie camera with, autofocus too. The meagapixel count should be the same, but we could see higher quality Sony-made sensors for the iPhone 15 Pro series.
More significantly, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is also said to gain Apple's first-ever periscope telephoto camera that can manage up to 6x zoom. That would in theory beat the 3x max optical zoom and 12MP main camera of the iPhone 13 Pro Max easily, but we're interested to see just how much when we have both phones in front of us for a camera test.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Performance
The power of the iPhone 13 Pro Max versus that of the iPhone 15 Pro Max will come down to the potency of the A15 Bionic chipset and the incoming A17 Bionic chip. The A15 chip is still fast even today, allowing the basic iPhone 14 to still beat the majority of Android phones on the benchmarks. But the new 3nm process tipped to be used to make the A17 chip should make for a big leap in power and efficiency. And there are already impressive iPhone 15 Pro alleged benchmarks that seem to prove this point.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max will apparently also benefit from having more RAM than previous iPhones, including the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The 2023 Pro Max will offer 8GB RAM as an option for at least some of the higher storage capacity models, according to some sources, which should help keep your apps open when you're rapidly swapping back and forth between them.
We've also heard that Apple could drop the current default 128GB storage for its Pro iPhones, and make 256GB the new default while also adding a 2TB storage option at the top, doubling the previous 1TB maximum of older iPhones like the 13 Pro Max. It should mean that whichever iPhone 13 Pro Max you compare to, you'll likely have more room in the iPhone 15 Pro Max equivalent.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max launched with iOS 15, meaning it likely will drop off Apple's list of supported iPhones for future iOS updates. The iPhone 15 Pro will launch with iOS 17, which should therefore mean two or so extra years of updates after the iPhone 13 Pro Max stops getting them.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Battery and charging
The whole iPhone 15 series is tipped to get larger batteries, with the iPhone 15 Pro Max rumored to get a 4,852 mAh cell. That would be significantly larger than the 4,352 mAh battery offered by the iPhone 13 Pro Max. In addition, the iPhone 15 Pro Max should get a boost from so-called stacked battery technology that crams more capacity into the same space, as well as the more efficient 3nm A17 Bionic chip.
However, while we should see the iPhone 15 Pro Max last longer on a single charge, it could have the same 20W wired and 15W MagSafe wireless charging speeds as the iPhone 13 Pro Max. There are rumors for 27W wired charging and 15W wireless charging on non-MagSafe chargers, but we aren't getting our hopes up until there are more corroborating sources.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Outlook
Assuming all the main iPhone 15 Pro Max rumors turn out to be true, it'll be a much more capable and sleeker phone than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It could be worth an upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro Max if you're particularly interested in its superior zoom camera, faster performance and bigger battery, plus its assumed longer software support window.
However, the iPhone 13 Pro Max may still be worth a purchase if you're looking to spend less on your next phone, or worth keeping for at least another year until the iPhone 16 series starts to come into focus.
All that's left to do for now is to wait for Apple to unveil the iPhone 15 series on stage at the Wonderlust event in Cupertino, and then tune in to see what exactly is new with the new iPhone 15 Pro Max for 2023.
More from Tom's Guide
- iPhone 15 release date: Here’s when the new iPhone is tipped to launch
- iPhone 15 Pro — 7 rumored features that will actually tempt you to upgrade
- iPhone 15 getting USB-C sounds like a win, but Apple could ruin it all