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The Max Shooter

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is a lot newer than meets the eye, especially in the camera department

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Story highlights
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • 6.7-inch all-screen OLED display; adaptive refresh rates up to 120hz; 2778 x 1284-pixel resolution at 458 PPI
  • A15 bionic chip; runs IOS 15; up to 1TB storage
  • Pro 12MP camera system: telephoto, wide, and ultra-wide cameras; 12MP truedepth front camera
  • Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field (1080p at 30 FPS), HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4k at 60 FPS
  • Face ID, Facetime calling
  • Supports QI wireless charging (up to 7.5w); MagSafe wireless charging (up to 15w)

I was hyped up about the launch of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, just as much I am about Thor: Love and Thunder, and Star Wars Visions. And all for good reason.

In terms of design, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is not that big an upgrade from the previous iteration — except that the cameras on the rear panel look a touch bigger, the notch a little trimmed, and the edges a tad sharper.

What I was most interested to try out was the improved camera system. It’s never been a megapixel-measuring contest for Apple; instead, it relies on sensors to elevate the entire photography experience. The main wide sensor on the iPhone 13 Pro Max is much bigger with an f/1.5 aperture that lets more light pass through, resulting in true colours, unlike the artificially amplified hues on other flagships. But if that’s what floats your boat, then ‘Photographic Styles’ brings forth many preset options that automatically adjust the tone on your shots.

Low-light photography is a huge upgrade with reduced shutter time, more stable images and lesser noise. The macro mode on the ultra-wide lens kicked in automatically when I moved the camera within 2 cm of a hibiscus flower in full bloom. The colours on the stamen and the stigma were incredibly sharp and captured beautifully. In the cinematic mode for videos, the software focusses on the face in the frame and blurs everything in the background; tap once on the screen and it brings forth the other objects.

Power-hungry games like Shadow Fight 3, Call of Duty Mobile, and Asphalt 9: Legends ran like a treat, thanks to the five-core GPU on the A15 Bionic chip.

The good news is battery backup, which has been the iPhone’s Achilles heel, has improved. The battery got me through almost a day and a few hours on extensive camera testing, gaming, documentation, and video calls.

All in all, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max plays catch-up on a few features, it is eons ahead of competition.