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iPhone 13 Pro Max or 12 Pro Max?


Which iPhone would you recommend getting now in 2021 and why? The iPhone 13 Pro Max or the iPhone 12 Pro Max?

Chris A. on Swappa
Chris A.

If you're upgrading from an iPhone SE (2nd Gen 2020) or lower (8, 8+, 7, 7+ etc...) I would suggest getting the 13 Pro Max. Even on Swappa, the prices for the 12 Pro Max are not significantly different than the 13 Pro Max. Best to upgrade to most current iPhone that way you have many, many years with it.

Will Verduzco on Swappa
Will Verduzco

Personally, I tend to agree with Chris. They're both excellent phones, and they're more similar than different... But if budget isn't the primary concern, you might as well go with the newer, faster model.

The way I see it, you get a few key advantages by going with the iPhone 13 Pro Max:

  • Newer and faster A15 Bionic Chip
  • Pro Motion (120 Hz high refresh rate display) for smoother scrolling and gaming
  • Slightly better battery life
  • Improved camera features such as Cinematic Mode with Rack Focus for video and Photographic Styles for images.

That said, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is still a phenomenal (and superfast) phone in 2021 -- and it'll get iOS software updates for quite a while. And since used iPhone 12 Pro Max prices start a few hundred dollars cheaper than current iPhone 13 Pro Max prices, you may be better off pocketing the cash and getting the cheaper model instead.

Carlos G. on Swappa
Carlos G.

They’re both great phones but you’re going to get much better battery mileage out of the 13 Pro. I had the 12 Pro Max and it couldn’t even outlast my smaller 11 Pro. Plus the additional upgrades this year really are worth it imo.

Eric W. on Swappa
Eric W.

I never tend to go too far back in technology, because I want longevity and support in my device. Sure, both will probably be supported for quite some time, but features will eventually hone in on the newest models.

Jeff R. on Swappa
Jeff R.

I love my 13 Pro... and I had the 12 Pro Max. I do notice some differences, however, it's definitely not a must upgrade. I was expecting massive camera upgrades and it's just not that different (and I shoot semi-professionally... looking at all details in the outputs).

If you have the money to blow... go for it. If not... then wait. You aren't going to notice huge differences... simple as that.

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