The iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are two of the best smartphones ever made and the most expensive ones in their lineups. If you are looking for a premium phone which has the most advanced hardware and features, it may be tempting to choose the 14 Pro Max over the 13, which is the most recent model. However, is this a good idea? Could the previous model be enough? In this blog post, we’ll review the key differences between the iPhone 13 Pro Max vs. the iPhone 14 Pro Max so you can make an informed decision.

Reasons to buy the iPhone 14 Pro Max

  • An unbeatable 48MP camera
  • Cinematic video mode up to 4K HDR at 30 FPS
  • Much better pictures in low-light conditions
  • Over-the-top performance with the A16 processor
  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Always-On display
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Premium design
  • Dynamic Island

Reasons to buy the iPhone 13 Pro Max

  • Cinematic video mode
  • Superior performance with the A15 chip
  • Excellent battery life
  • Bright display
  • Good durability
  • Price is more affordable

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: Upgrades and differences

  • Faster performance with the A16 Bionic chip
  • The smart Dynamic Island replaces the notch
  • Always-On display
  • Improved 48MP main camera
  • The Cinematic video mode can record up to 4K HDR at 30 FPS
  • Much brighter display
  • Lack of SIM card slot

Specs comparison table

FeatureiPhone 13 Pro MaxiPhone 14 Pro Max
ReleasedSep 24, 2021Sep 16, 2022
Dimensions6.33 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches (160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm)6.33 x 3.05 x 0.31 inches (160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85 mm)
Weight8.47 oz (240 g)8.47 oz (240 g)
Screen size6.7 inches6.7 inches
DisplaySuper Retina XDR OLED
120 Hz refresh rate with ProMotion technology
2778×1284-pixel resolution at 458 ppi
Super Retina XDR OLED
120 Hz refresh rate with ProMotion technology
2796×1290-pixel resolution at 460 ppi
ProcessorA15 Bionic chip
6-core CPU with 2x performance and 4x efficiency cores
A16 Bionic chip
6-core CPU with 2x performance and 4x efficiency cores
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear cameras12MP main; 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto48MP main; 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto
Front cameras12MP (f/2.2)12MP (f/1.9) with autofocus
Battery size4,323 mAh4,323 mAh
ChargingWired: PD2.0, 50% in 30 min (advertised)
Wireless: MagSafe (15W), Qi (7.5 W)
Wired: PD2.0, 50% in 30 min (advertised)
Wireless: MagSafe (15W), Qi (7.5 W)
ColorsGold, silver, graphite, Sierra Blue, Alpine GreenSilver, Gold, Space black, Deep Purple
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6
Bluetooth 5.3
Release price$1,099$1,099
Price (refurbished)Starting at Starting at

Design and display

Say goodbye to the notch with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. At first sight, the most recent model may seem similar to the old one: 6.7 inches, OLED display flat edges, stainless steel construction, and an all-screen design. However, Apple replaced the notch with a new pill-shaped area in the top-center of the display, which the company branded as Dynamic Island.

The Dynamic Island contains the front camera and Face ID sensors, but it will also show you alerts and notifications that will pop out of it. This goes along with iOS 16.1 and the Live Activities feature, which will display live data and notify you of everything you want quickly and comfortably.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Dynamic Island
iPhone’s Dynamic Island

Almost unnoticeable, the 14 Pro Max is slightly thicker and narrower than its predecessor, with a bigger camera module. Even if sizes are similar, the iPhone 13 case wouldn’t fit in the new model.

As for the display, they both have the same refresh rate ProMotion technology. While the iPhone 13 Pro Max could only go from 120Hz down to 10Hz, the iPhone 14 Pro Max can go as low as 1Hz. This helps conserve battery if you use the Always-On display feature.

Lastly, the color selection is also a bit different. The blue and green color options are no longer available on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but you can choose the new Deep Purple one.

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This is a key point in this comparison since the camera quality is a central point in a purchase decision of a high-end smartphone. The primary camera is one of the most notable changes we saw in the iPhone 14 Pro Max compared to its predecessor. Yes, it features wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses, but it now offers 48MP instead of the 12MP of previous Apple phones, finally making the leap and catching up with Android phones.

The differences are significant. When shooting at night or in low-light environments—the major test of these cameras—the result looks sharper and less noisy in the 14 Pro Max due to the 65% larger image sensor. The extra megapixels will help you zoom in and out without losing much less quality than previous models.

See the video below for a camera test of both phones at night.

Let’s get a bit technical and compare the features of both cameras.

iPhone 13 Pro Max main cameras

  • Main camera: 12MP f/1.5, dual-pixel PDAF, sensor-shift stabilization
  • Telephoto lens: 12MP f/2.8, 3x digital zoom, OIS
  • Ultrawide camera: 12MP with f/1.8 aperture (120-degree FoV), macro photography
  • Front camera: 12MP f/2.2, PDAF, supports 4K video at 60 FPS

iPhone 14 Pro Max main cameras

  • Main: 48MP f/1.8 aperture, sensor-shift OIS, dual-pixel PDAF, supports 4K video at 60 FPS
  • Ultra-wide camera: 12MP f/2.2 (120-degree FoV), dual-pixel PDAF, macro photography
  • Telephoto lens: 12MP f/2.8, OIS, 3x digital zoom
  • Front camera: 12MP f/1.9, PDAF, supports 4K video at 60 FPS


The main performance difference is the upgraded A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The new processor packs a 6-core CPU with 2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, along with a 5-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine. It’s worth noting that Apple’s A16 chip is only included in the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, not in the regular iPhone 14.

In addition, the A16 Bionic chip means a jump to 4nm technology from 5nm. The CPU cores will be more efficient, but the extra performance might not be as noticeable as, let’s say, the camera quality. The scores on Geekbench are as follows:

Although it’s a significant improvement, the difference may not be worth it to consider the 14 over the 13. Lastly, both phones have 6GB of RAM, which makes them superb for multitasking, gaming, and any other app nowadays.

Battery life and charging

There are no major changes in the battery life of the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. When the 13 Pro Max launched, it was praised or advertised for having the best battery life of any smartphone. Although the most recent model has a 4352mAh battery, the Always-On display can drain it quicker than its predecessor.

The charging speed, nonetheless, is still the same. Both phones can charge at 50% in about 30 minutes using a 20W adapter. They also support MagSafe and Qi wireless charging with slower but sometimes more comfortable charging processes.

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Final thoughts

In conclusion, both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are exceptional smartphones. The iPhone 14 Pro Max offers notable upgrades over its predecessor, such as a 48MP main camera, a new Dynamic Island design that replaces the notch, an Always-On display, and the powerful A16 Bionic chip. These improvements result in better camera performance, enhanced display capabilities, and improved overall processing power.

On the other hand, the iPhone 13 Pro Max still holds its ground as a reliable and high-performing device. It features a Cinematic video mode, the powerful A15 chip, excellent battery life, a bright display, and a more affordable price tag compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Choosing between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize having the latest camera technology, advanced performance, and the most cutting-edge features, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a clear choice. However, if you’re content with slightly older but still impressive specifications and want to save some money, the iPhone 13 Pro Max remains an excellent option.

Head on to RefurbMe to compare the best Apple deals on refurbished devices, including the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Buying refurbished will allow you to save money on these premium smartphones while having the same factory-new performance and functionality.

Check prices in real time below:

Good luck!