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iPhone 13 Pro Max first impressions: Super MAXED out!

The iPhone 13 Pro Max starts in India at a price of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,29,900. Check out our iPhone 13 Pro Max first impressions.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max starts in India at a price of 1,29,900. Check out our iPhone 13 Pro Max first impressions. (HT Tech)

iPhone 13 Pro Max first impressions: With the iPhone 13 Pro Max, Apple has thrown everything it can from its special ideas bin. This feels like no other iPhone ever sold. Check out our iPhone 13 Pro Max first impressions.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the biggest and most uncompromising iPhone you can buy today. The massive display, large and promising cameras, and a couple of colour choices make this Apple iPhone the perfect one to have if you feel God has given you more than you asked. In India, iPhone 13 Pro Max price is a whopping 1,29,900 for the 128GB variant. There’s an almighty 1TB option available too; at 1,79,900, it makes this one of the most expensive phones on our shores.

That’s luxury by all means and Apple wants to justify what you are paying for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Heard of those trendy 120Hz displays the Android fanboys boast of? That’s here and specially reserved for the Pro models. The larger-than-life seeming cameras have one of the largest image sensors on a phone. And with all the shiny chrome bits and bright pastel colours, the Pro Max is essentially Snoop Dogg with an Apple logo.

It is therefore, established that the iPhone 13 Pro Max is special and in the few hours I have had with it, it makes the iPhone 13 Mini look tame, despite the fact that the Mini stands out on its own.

Design

iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro Max (HT Tech)

Unlike the iPhone 13 Mini, the iPhone 13 Pro Max carries over a familiar look and feel from last year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max. In fact, unless you put the 12 Pro Max and 13 Pro Max next to each other, these phones look identical. It is only when you bring out the magnifying glass that you can see the subtle changes.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a much larger camera island with larger lenses and a pronounced hump. The lenses stick out a lot and have shiny chrome-plated rings. The LiDAR sensor comes back from the 12 Pro series.

iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro Max (HT Tech)

While the sides attract the most with the shiny steel finish, it is the front that will attract long-time iPhone buyers. The display notch is smaller than before and on the Pro Max, it liberates a lot more space this time. iOS 15 still does not make enough of this extra space as you only get to see the battery and connectivity status.

Because Apple has stuffed a larger battery inside and the new camera components, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is heavier by some margin -- 240 grams vs the 228 grams of the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the 227 grams weight of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You can feel this weight gain while using and simply carrying it around. Putting a case is likely to bump it further.

General Features

iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro Max (HT Tech)

Compared to the last year’s Pro models, the 13 Pro series has gained quite a lot. On my iPhone 13 Pro Max, the most notable upgrade is the ProMotion display. In non-Apple jargon, this means the display has a variable refresh rate system of up to 120Hz. And right out of the box, it becomes evident that iOS appears a lot smoother and feels natural to interact with. Scrolling down the Settings menu or going through the messages, every action on the display feels smoother.

Then there are the cameras. Apple has used a new and larger camera sensor for the main camera, and paired with all the new software enhancements, the results justify the promises made on the stage. We quickly took a couple of photos during the evening and photos from the main camera look brighter, stay true to the natural colour tone, and eliminate a lot of noise. It seems the sensor-shift stabilization plays a larger role to eliminate hand shakes while taking long exposure shots.

iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro Max (HT Tech)

What about the other two cameras? How is the new macro mode? The photographic styles? To learn about those, you will need to wait for our full review.

The A15 Bionic does duty here in its most muscular state, with a 5-core GPU instead of the 4-core GPU on the standard iPhone 13 models. This means our iPhone 13 Pro Max is going to witness lots of gaming and high quality ProRes video editing.

iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro Max (HT Tech)

Apple is also promising 2.5 hours of extra battery life on the iPhone 13 Pro Max over the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This should translate to a monstrous battery life and paired with variable refresh rate display, we are expecting over a day’s battery life without gaming or intense camera usage. Watch this space for more updates on the battery life figures; will the iPhone 13 Pro Max beat the galaxy S21 Ultra’s stamina?

iPhone 13 Pro Max first impressions

iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro Max (HT Tech)

In just a few hours, the iPhone 13 Pro Max seems Apple pulled out all the stops for this one. If you love phones, you are likely to love admiring the smallest of details that Apple’s designers have nailed (again). In comparison, Samsung’s S21 Ultra does not come as close to impart that special feeling this iPhone delivers. The early glimpse into the cameras has got my inner shutterbug excited while the smoother display makes we want to look for excuses to use this phone even more.

Stay tuned for our full review of the iPhone 13 Pro Max in the days to come. You can also check out our first impressions on the teeny tiny iPhone 13 Mini, with the full review to follow soon after.

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