iPhone Pro or iPhone Pro Max - Svendsen Tech
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Date of publishing: 2021-12-08. Made readable on a phone 2022-01-24. 😂 Sorry!

iPhone Pro vs. iPhone Pro Max - As Experienced By Me

I decided to share some thoughts on iPhone Pro vs. iPhone Pro Max. I have owned iPhones since May 2018 (ignoring the year I used iPhone 4 around 2010). I would consider myself an experienced user by now in December 2021.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro Max stacked on top of each other

First off: What is the difference between iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max? It depends on which year's model you have, but the differences are usually miniscule apart from what I mention here.

With iPhone 13, the only differences I have detected after perusing the technical specifications from Apple, are that the Pro Max has a larger screen, a higher resolution on the screen, significantly longer battery life, and a higher weight. This is the norm with Pro/Pro Max.

With 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max there are also some picture stabilization advantages in the larger Max model.

Here are the differences in size and weight (scroll horizontally...):

iPhone 13 Pro weighs 204 grams while iPhone 13 Pro Max weighs 240 grams. The difference is 15 %. In my case, I have an iPhone 12 Pro and an iPhone 13 Pro Max that I am using as references. The 12 Pro, at 189 grams, is lighter than the 13 Pro at 204 grams (7.5 % difference).

I have been a bit less than frugal with Apple purchases, and as such own, or have owned, iPhone 8, iPhone XS, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Obtained in that order chronologically.

As you can see, I have opted for non-Max phones for 3 seasons - and only recently took a chance and got the bigger Max. So far I have mixed emotions, but find it most likely that I will go with non-Max, should I buy another phone later.

I had held an XS Max once and perceived it as a bit big in my hands. With this in mind, I feared I would regret getting a Max phone. I was also concerned that it would not fit well in my pockets. It turns out that it does fit, but with my size pants it sometimes sticks out about 0.5-1 centimeters, depending on the pants (one inch is 2.54 centimeters). In others it fits completely into the pocket.

However, regarding the weight, the reality is that most people use their phones with a phone case. With the Apple leather cases from 2020 and 2021 for iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max respectively, What I'm comparing is 223 grams vs. 268 grams. The difference is 45 grams, about 17 %. I cannot easily overstate how much difference these 45 grams makes! I was shocked to see the weight difference was not bigger.

Be aware that this is for me - my hands, my hand sizes, dexterity, strength, etc. - but the Max feels so much heavier. After about two months of use, my arm muscles seem to have grown stronger to adapt to the heavier phone weight (interesting how we "blend" with our devices in such a manner). The difference is no longer as noticable.

The Max it is a bit clunkier to hold. The grip is different - it feels like I have a little less control and a less firm grip than with the Pro non-Max. Sometimes when taking selfies I feel like it will fall out of my hands, much because of the heavier weight and a less firm grip.

I have fairly average hands; not small, not big. If your hands are big, this likely speaks in favor of the Pro Max phone for you, because it will feel to you more like the non-Max does to me. If your hands are small, consider the possible perceived disadvantages with the bigger Pro Max.

The primary differences you will notice are the heavier weight in your hands and the different grip. That said, I am not sure which is the winner.

I have had thoughts that the Pro Max is too big, but I have also had thoughts that the Pro is kind of tiny. It is as if going from Pro regular to Pro Max feels nice, but also going from Pro Max to Pro. I enjoy the larger screen on the Max while I get such a great grip on the non-Max, and it feels nice and light.

Another thing you will notice is the ridiculously good battery life on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It sports 28 hours of video playback, which is quite amazing, especially for iPhones, which have traditionally been cursed with 'constant charging syndrome', especially on older models. I don't even need to charge my 13 Pro Max every day unless I use it a lot!

With the loss of a nice, light phone, you get a larger screen and longer battery life. In my opinion, it is not really worth it given the size of my body and clothes, but I am not unhappy with my Pro Max. Next time, I suspect I will get a non-Max again.

If my mind changes on this as time goes by, I will update this article. This is based on about 3-4 weeks of (heavy) use. I have both phones in daily use, so I go back and forth a lot. This caused me to notice these differences and inspired me to share my thoughts.

After 8 weeks of use: My lower arm muscles seem to have adapted and grown stronger to support the heavier iPhone Max weight. The non-Max seems tiny now. Still unsure which I like more.

Comment added a year later (2022-11-06): I was dumb and got the iPhone 14 Pro. The answer sheet is in - and I got the non-max version, and was not much in doubt about it. After a full year of trying to get used to the Pro Max, I found it to simply be too heavy and clunky/big to hold. I noticed the 14 Pro regular is heavier than my 12 Pro regular.

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