iPhone 13 Pro Max - Apple’s Olympic-size mistake, but you'll still buy it

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
iPhone 13 Pro Max - Apple’s Olympic-size mistake, but you'll still buy it
Let's do a short rewind before jumping into the iPhone 13 Pro Max chit-chat.

It's late November 2020; you've received your iPhone 12 Pro Max, you set it up and start using it. You see, it's a big phone! But it's OK - that's what you wanted anyway. A week or two later, you start realizing that there's something else that makes it feel… different.

The weight? Maybe… but not quite. The iPhone 11 Pro Max and even the iPhone XS Max were quite heavy already, and so are Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi flagships. The size - height and width? Perhaps. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is bigger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max in every single way. However, it's thinner! That sure must make it feel "good in the hand".

Well, surprise! It doesn't. It's the flat sides, folks. No matter which iPhone 12 you have, and I've used the standard iPhone 12 for a while, the sharp edges dig into your hands. Even with the iPhone 12, which was refreshingly compact and fairly light, the edges are always there to remind you of two things:

  1. You have the new iPhone. Congratulations on not being broke!
  2. You want the old iPhone. Congratulations on being basic!

Now, don't get me wrong - the iPhone 12 design is beautiful, but that's about as far as it goes. The flat sides don't serve any purpose, while curved sides do.

As smartphones continued to get bigger, manufacturers realized that they needed to do something to make them feel easier to handle. Samsung helped by pointing towards the direction of curved displays, and many other manufacturers jumped on board. We also started seeing more and more curved rear panels, which was the ultimate win for big smartphones. It simply makes them feel "normal," when let's be honest - they aren't.

Recommended Stories

iPhone 13 Pro Max: Bigger doesn't always mean better?

So, what's the fuss about? Well, Apple's iPhone 13 series is expected to become official in about a month and a half (yes, we are that far into 2021!).

To put your mind to rest - the flat design will stick around for years to come. Apple is a company that likes to stay behind its decisions, and in this case, history will repeat itself. Unfortunately.

While the lineup is expected to get some long-anticipated improvements like bigger and better camera sensors and 120Hz displays for the Pro models, there's one iPhone that's said to see more significant gains - of course, that's the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max battery size:

  • iPhone 12 series
  • iPhone 13 series
  • iPhone 12 mini - 2,227 mAh
  • iPhone 13 mini - 2,406 mAh
  • iPhone 12 - 2,815 mAh

  • iPhone 13 - 3,095 mAh
  • iPhone 12 Pro - 2,815 mAh
  • iPhone 13 Pro - 3,095 mAh
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max - 3,687 mAh
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max - 4,352 mAh

According to leaks, the battery sizes on the iPhone 13 series are going up to accommodate the more power-hungry components. We assume that would be a brighter display on the 13 & 13 Mini, and of course, the 120Hz ProMotion displays on the Pro models. Of course, the 5G modem is another battery-drainer, but that’s a topic for a different story.

While the smaller iPhone 13 models get a decent increase in battery size, which might turn out to be a lifeline for the iPhone 13 Mini, it’s the iPhone 13 Pro Max that gets an 18% bump. That’s a big difference, compared to the 8% battery increase on the iPhone 13 Mini and 10% increase on the iPhone 13 & 13 Pro!

Obviously, Apple knows that the iPhone 13 Pro Max will need the extra juice to power the big 6.7-inch 120Hz screen and rumored Always-on display.

Fair enough. However, this comes with side effects. It’s expected that the iPhone 13 Pro Max (like the rest of the lineup) will be getting thicker - anywhere from 0.17-0.26mm. The increase in thickness also applies to the camera square, which will be housing larger sensors, especially on the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

To recap, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is:

  • Getting thicker
  • Getting a much thicker camera bump
  • Getting a significant bump in battery size, so also heavier
  • Keeping the flat edges

All of this could make the iPhone 13 Pro Max unusable for most people, even those with bigger hands. Of course, if you love the big size and redesign, you'll still go for it. However, I feel like Apple might be crossing the “common sense” line here, which might turn out to be the biggest (literally) gamble they’ve ever taken.

You might think: “Just get a case with round edges!”. Well, while this might make the iPhone 13 Pro Max feel more comfortable to hold, it comes with another set of compromises. If the case is going to be of good quality (you know - to protect your $1100 phone), with rounded sides, and meant to protect your huge camera bump from contact with surfaces - this case will also have to be rather thick and heavy.

And - who doesn't use a case? Especially with such an expensive device...

"Just a few added grams and millimeters - how is that going to make a difference?” Yes, it’s going to. While this wouldn’t make any perceivable difference on a laptop or even a tablet, “a few added grams and millimeters” will always make a smartphone feel different. Edgy without a case on; thicker and heavier than ever with a case on.

I’m very curious to see how this might reflect the sales and popular opinion about the Max model. Although the iPhone 12 Pro Max wasn’t a failure when it comes to sales by any stretch of the imagination, many have concluded that it’s too uncomfortable to use compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max or other curvy flagships.

Anyway. We’ll find out the answer in September 2021!

Check out our smartphone size comparison tool now!

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless