Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max: First impression

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max: First impression

Apple earlier in the month unveiled the brand new iPhone 13 series. It comes in four variants-- standard iPhone 13, 13 mini along with top-end iPhone 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max.

Though they look identical to their predecessors, internally everything has been improved for good. They come with a new and powerful A15 Bionic chipset, better display, upgraded photography hardware, and a bigger battery.

To start off, I shared my initial thoughts on the best among the four-- the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Design and display
When kept side-by-side with Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, the new 13 Pro Max, they look the same. 

But, upon closer inspection, one can notice that the camera sensors on the back have become bigger and the trademark notch at the top of the display has shrunk considerably (20 per cent, as per Apple) in the new phone.

And yet, the Face ID continues to be the best. I have used the device as my primary driver for less than a day and so far it has worked flawlessly. 


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

However, the Apple Watch unlock feature for iPhone 13 series is hit with a bug. Whenever the iPhone detects a face mask, it turns to a nearby Apple Watch to confirm the owner is wearing it on the hand and unlock the screen. But, a glitch has caused new iPhones to lose connection while enabling the Face ID to unlock the screen. 

All other notifications from messenger apps installed on the iPhone 13 Pro Max are getting displayed on my Watch Series 6, but unfortunately, the Face ID security feature is disabled.
Apple has assured to release the new software update to resolve the aforementioned issue in the coming days.

After years of request, Apple finally heard the prayers to bring the 120Hz adaptive display refresh rates to its phones. 

Both the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max now support the ProMotion display feature and depending on the type of the tasks such as web browsing, gaming, watching videos, the device's display panel can intelligently adjust the refresh rate from as low as  10Hz to 120Hz max.

Browsing on the big  6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display (2778x1284p) of the iPhone 13 Pro Max has improved a lot.  Though most of the native apps are optimised to support the ProMotion feature on the new iPhone, only a select few third-party apps support it for now. 

Apple in a bid to encourage app developers to join their effort of offering a better user experience for consumers has opened a website (here) detailing instructions on how they can optimise ProMotion refresh rates on their respective apps for iPhone 13 Pro and iPad Pro series.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with a Pixel density of 458 ppi (pixels per inch) and offers peak brightness up to 1200 nits.

Also, the build materials used for the iPhone 13 Pro Max are premium and highly durable. It features surgery-grade stainless steel rails around the edge and houses Ceramic Shield on both the front and the back. It is touted to be the sturdiest glass shield in the market and is capable of offering protection against accidental falls and also importantly guard against scratches.

Also, it comes with IP68 water-and-dust resistant rating and can survive the dip in a swimming pool for up to six metres for close to 30 minutes. 


The new iPhone 13 Pro Max's triple-camera module. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Camera hardware
One of the biggest upgrades we see in the iPhone 13 Pro Max is photography hardware. It comes packed with larger sensors and is backed by a new Image Signal Processor of the A15 Bionic chipset, which promises to capture better photos than ever before on an iPhone.

It comes triple12MP camera system (Telephoto: ƒ/2.8, Wide: ƒ/1.5 and Ultra-Wide: ƒ/1.8 ). It supports Night mode, Deep Fusion, Apple ProRAW, Sensor-shift optical image stabilisation, 3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 6x optical zoom range, Digital zoom up to 15x, True Tone flash with Slow Sync, Night mode portraits, Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control, Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High‑Key Mono), Smart HDR 4 for photos, Photographic Styles. 


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max's camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Thanks to improved camera sensors on the Pro models, iPhone 13 Pro Max (and even standard iPhone 13 Pro) support high quality ProRes video recording capability, a first for any iPhone or another rival mobile brand in the industry. It is capable of recording ProRes up to 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128GB storage).

Even the 12MP TrueDepth front camera too can take ProRes videos in addition to addition to crisp quality selfies and an array of Portrait modes.


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max's camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Another new feature is the Cinematic mode videos.  This feature enables the iPhone 13 series to record high-resolution ad-quality videos with natural shallow depth of field (1080p at 30 fps), 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps, Sensor-shift optical image stabilisation for video, 2x optical zoom out, Digital zoom up to 3x and more.


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max's camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Also, iPhone 13 owners can even edit and shift the focus of one person to another post the Cinematic videos recording.

I spent a few minutes with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and I managed to take some fantastic images. Particularly, the macro picture quality has gone several notches up. This has really intrigued me in checking out more camera features of the devices and how the new Apple iPhone will fare in the low light conditions. Do come back for the full review later this weekend.


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max's camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Processor configurations
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with the latest 5nm class 64-bit architecture A15 Bionic chipset. It houses more than 15 billion transistors and features a new 6-core CPU with two performance and four efficiency cores in addition to a dedicated 5-core GPU and a new 16-core Neural Engine. It is capable of performing 15.8 trillion operations per second. 

It is touted to offer 50 per cent improved CPU performance and 30 per cent faster graphics processing over the A14 Bionic. Also, it is said to be much superior compared to the nearest Android competitors, which house Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 silicon.

So far, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has worked buttery smooth without any slightest hint of lag-ness at all. 

Also, the battery life has been excellent too. It can playback videos continuously for close to 27 hours straight with a full charge, longest

I have been using the device for more than 10 hours and yet it has more than 70 per cent juice left in the tank. This is a massive improvement.

I am looking forward to playing graphics-rich AR games to check how well this beast of an iPhone will fare compared to the predecessor and other rival Android phones. 

Must read | Apple unveils iPhone 13, 13 Pro series with upgraded camera; India price, availability details

Dear readers, if you have any queries on the new iPhone 13 series, you can share them in the comments section below. We will include them in the detailed review with answers.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

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