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iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: What’s the Difference?

Phone advice | by Denise Timmis | May 13, 2022

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: What’s the Difference?

Puzzled about which iPhone Pro Max to pick? Unsure what makes the iPhone 13 Pro Max more desirable than its predecessor? If so, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on the key differences between the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Here we’ll discuss all the key features, including the 13 Pro Max’s superior camera and super-charged A15 Bionic Chip. Let’s get going.

Design and size

At first glance, it’s tricky to spot any noticeable differences between the two phones. After all, both handsets sport a stainless steel design, uber-stylish industrial curves, and come in the same size.

But pick up the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and you’ll notice a distinction: the newer model is 12g heavier. It also features a notch that’s 20% smaller than the 12 Pro Max, offering a little extra screen space for gaming, streaming, and browsing.

There are also some subtle differences when it comes to colour. For instance, the later model comes in Sierra Blue (slightly lighter than the Pacific variation on the 12 series) and a lovely Alpine Green. You’ll also get the choice of Silver, Graphite, and Gold — as seen on the 12 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max dimensions:


iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 13 Pro Max


160.8 mm (6.33 inches)

160.8 mm (6.33 inches)


78.1 mm (3.07 inches)

78.1 mm (3.07 inches)


7.4 mm (0.29 inches)

7.65 mm (0.30 inches)


226 grams (7.96 ounces)

238 grams (8.39 ounces)


Verdict: There’s not much in it. We’re calling it a tie.

Display and screen

The iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max boast a gorgeous 6.7-inch OLED panel with a crystal-clear resolution set at 1284x2778 pixels. Apple has also toughened both phones up with Apple’s Ceramic Shield glass and a water protective layer (up to 6 metres for 30 minutes), which may come in handy if you’re prone to accidents.

But there are a few distinctions. For instance, the iPhone 13 Pro Max doubles up the once 60Hz screen refresh rate to 120Hz, resulting in a smoother scrolling experience. The later model’s ProMotion function also adjusts the refresh rate to 10Hz when needed to save battery life. Finally, the 13 Pro Max also has a display that’s 28% brighter than the 12 Pro Max, making it easier to see the screen in testing conditions.

iPhone 12 Pro Max Display:

  • 6.7 inches OLED, 109.8 cm2 (~87.4% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Dimensions: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm (6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
  • Resolution: 1284 x 2778 pixels, (~458 ppi density)
  • Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz

iPhone 13 Pro Max Display:

  • 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
  • 120Hz
  • HDR10
  • Dolby Vision
  • 1000 nits (HBM)
  • 1200 nits (peak)

Verdict: The iPhone 13 Pro Max edges it.

Camera and photography

Like the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the 13 Pro Max features Telephoto, Wide, and Ultra-Wide camera lenses—all set at 12MP, including the selfie snapper. However, the upgraded apertures create pictures that are crisper and more colourful when shooting in low light. Another nifty new feature is the 13 Pro Max’s Macro mode, which lets you take detailed snaps of subjects from just 2cm away. It also ups its photo editing game with new Photography styles—choose from Standard, Rich Contrast, Vibrant, Warm, and Cool.

In terms of video, the iPhone 13 Pro Max features a new Cinematic Mode with rack and manual focus features for professional-quality snaps. Arguably more impressive, you can now change the focus of a previous recording, offering creative freedom when editing.


iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 13 Pro Max


12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1.7µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS
12 MP, f/2.2, 65mm (telephoto), 1/3.4", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2.5x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/3.6"

12 MP, f/1.5, 26mm (wide), 1.9µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS
12 MP, f/2.8, 77mm (telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/1.8, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), PDAF
TOF 3D LiDAR scanner (depth)



Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)


Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)



4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 10‑bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps).

4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 10-bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), ProRes, Cinematic mode.



Verdict: The iPhone 13 Pro Max snatches the prize for picture-perfect photography.

Performance and battery

The iPhone 13 Max’s A15 Bionic processor is one of the fastest of its kind, and is a decent upgrade on the A14 chipset. Not only does the A15 bionic chip give the iPhone Pro Max 13 extra power when multitasking, gaming, and picture snapping, but it also provides the battery with a welcome boost. Although Apple hasn’t specified an exact capacity, the iPhone 13 Pro Max should last up to two and half hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Both phones support fast charging, which should boost you up to 50 per cent in around half an hour. Likewise, storage options remain broadly similar, with both handsets offering 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. However, Apple has rolled out a colossal 1TB variant on the iPhone 13 Pro Max—if you’re worried about storage space!


iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 13 Pro Max


Apple A14 Bionic (5 nm)

Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm)



Hexa-core (2x3.1 GHz Firestorm + 4x1.8 GHz Icestorm)


Hexa-core (2x3.23 GHz Avalanche + 4x1.82 GHz Blizzard)



Apple GPU (4-core graphics)



Apple GPU (5-core graphics)


Battery type

Li-Ion 3687 mAh, non-removable (14.13 Wh)


Li-Ion 4352 mAh, non-removable (16.75 Wh)



Fast charging 22W, 50% in 30 min

Fast charging (27W, unofficial rating), 50% in 30 min



Verdict: iPhone 13 Pro Max wins with a faster processor and longer-lasting battery.

Conclusion: iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

Should you swap the 12 for the 13? It’s tough, but ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. If you want a stylish handset that still mixes it with Apple’s flagship devices, the iPhone 12 Pro Max certainly does the job. After all, there are a lot of similarities, including that beautiful 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display.

If, however, you care about precise camera control and superior battery life, the iPhone 13 Pro Max wins every time. Whatever you decide, you can buy refurbished iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max handsets directly from Envirofone for a snip of retail prices. Fancy saving even more money? Why not sell your iPhone to us and put the money towards an upgrade? We’ll give you 12% more in Envirocash if you choose to buy with us after selling.


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