Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are all-new this year, again. Every year, like clockwork, we get new iPhones. Just like last year apple announced four new phones with a new number, 13. Last year’s all new design was a great departure from the rounded bars of soap we’ve had for six years. If you’ve been following iPhones for a while, you may know that they like to do what most people call an “S” year. Starting with the 3GS, then 4S, 5S, 6S, and XS, we’ve come to understand that an “S” year is less new design and more internal upgrades.
The iPhone 13 should have been an “S” year. Not sure why we didn’t see the iPhone 12S, but I was betting on it. Literally, bet lunch on it being named the iPhone 12S.
So in the iPhone
12S 13 we get better cameras, bigger batteries and a new processor. The Pros got 120hz display and even better cameras.
I opted to replace my iPhone 12 Pro Max with an iPhone 13 Pro Max. As long as they’re making giant pro phones, I’m buying them.
I’m not going to go into the new features or what Apple is marketing on the device, you can see that at apple.com/iphone.
- The 120hz display makes motion buttery smooth, and I smile whenever I notice it
- The camera upgrades while minor year-over-year, have a huge impact on everyday photos
- Macro photos are fun and a game changer
Beard Blog iPhone macro photography deep-dive
- Same squared-side design that looks modern and still feels new
- Sierra Blue is a refreshing take on a silver finish
- OLED screen is brighter, which is useful in direct sunlight
The Missed Opportunities
- Moving to USB-C should have happened this year
- The camera / Face ID notch got smaller-ish, but it’s size still feels outdated
- Same software limitations running on a super-fast SoC
- Night Mode could be better with the new camera hardware
Beard Blog iPhone Night Mode deep-dive
- My phone shipped with eSim enabled, but I still have an ugly SIM card slot
- The physical mute switch is great, but someday it’s gotta go
- Speaker holes are still asymmetric
- Front-facing camera feels old and needs updated like other Apple devices
- Rear camera bump is huge, more noticeable on smaller phones
- Telephoto (3x) rear camera has more reach, but less quality
- Face ID hasn’t seen any major improvements since it was debuted on the iPhone X, while iPads can see faces in different orientations
- The back face of the phone is still slippery and fragile
Changing to USB-C, upgrading the front camera, and making it more grippy, might make this a 10 / 10 for me.
We’ll see what next year’s iPhone brings, which I’m sure will be named iPhone 14. Will we see USB-C finally or just no ports at all? Stay tuned, here and only here, for iPhone hot takes.