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Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Battery review: A great leap in autonomy

Reading Time: 5 min read
89
battery
Charging Time
2 days 20h
Battery life
Charging Time
1h01
80% Charging time
Charging Time
2h11
Full charging time

Arriving on the market in September 2021, the highly anticipated Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max fits into our Ultra-premium (800€ and higher) segment and comes with a completely reworked triple-camera setup, among other tantalizing features. Apple also highlights that the 13 Pro Max is capable of 2.5 more hours of battery life than its predecessor.  Let’s take a look at some of its key battery test results.

Key specifications:

  • Battery capacity: 4352 mAh
  • 20W charger (not included)
  • 6.7-inch, 1284 x 2778, 120 Hz OLED display
  • Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm) chipset
  • Tested ROM / RAM combination: 256 GB + 6 GB

About DXOMARK Battery tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone battery reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective tests over a week-long period both indoors and outdoors. This article highlights the most important results of our testing. (See our introductory and how we test articles for more details about our smartphone Battery protocol.)

Test summary

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
89
battery
84
autonomy
73
charging
95
efficiency

Pros

  • Excellent autonomy — 68 hours of moderate use
  • Excellent discharge efficiency

Cons

  • Slow charging

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max has posted a new top score in its segment, surpassing the previous top scorer, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, by 11 points. This significant achievement is due mainly to improved autonomy, which is attributable to the 13 Pro Max’s nearly 20% greater battery capacity, along with additional optimization. Other competitors in this review are less efficient and provide less autonomy despite having larger or similar-sized batteries.

We compared the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max’s performance in several key categories with three other Ultra-premium devices, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon), and the Oppo Find X3 Pro; battery capacity, charger, display type and refresh rate, display resolution, and processor specifications for all four devices are shown in the table below.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (snapdragon) Oppo Find X3 Pro
Battery capacity 4352 mAh 3687 mAh 5000 mAh 4500 mAh
Charger 20W, not included 20W, not included 25W, not included 65W, included
Wireless 15W 15W 15W 30W
Display type OLED, 120 Hz OLED, 60 Hz OLED, 120 Hz OLED, 120 Hz
Display resolution 2778 x 1284 2778 x 1284 2400 x 1080 2412 x 1080
Chipset A15 Bionic A14 Bionic Snapdragon 888 5G Snapdragon 888 5G

Autonomy (84)

How long a battery charge lasts depends not only on battery capacity but also on other aspects of the phone’s hardware and software. The DXOMARK Battery autonomy score is composed of three performance sub-scores: (1) Stationary, (2) On the go, and (3) Calibrated use cases. Each sub-score comprises the results of a comprehensive range of tests for measuring autonomy in all kinds of real-life scenarios. 

Light Usage
98h
Light
Active: 2h30/day
Moderate Usage
68h
Moderate
Active: 4h/day
Intense Usage
43h
Intense
Active: 7h/day

In this very demanding segment, autonomy is often sacrificed in favor of ever more high-performing features. But the iPhone 13 Pro Max sets a new standard in its segment, providing an astonishing 68 hours of autonomy with moderate use — far ahead of its competitors, and among the best performers in our database to date.

Stationary

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

90

104

Vivo Y72 5G
Best: Vivo Y72 5G (104)

A robot housed in a Faraday cage performs a set of touch-based user actions during what we call our “typical usage scenario” (TUS) — making calls, video streaming, etc. — 4 hours of active use over the course of a 16-hour period, plus 8 hours of “sleep.” The robot repeats this set of actions every day until the device runs out of power. 

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max reaches almost 3 full days in our TUS test, one day longer than the Oppo Find X3 Pro and 10 hours more than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Further, the 13 Pro Max shows an average drop of only 1% overnight.

It must be noted that the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s autonomy performance and battery indicator behaved erratically during the first iterations of our tests, with the phone showing significant power consumption during idle times — problems that users at large have also reported. The device’s power consumption during long idle periods significantly reduced its autonomy results in the earliest runs of our Typical Usage Scenario — for example, we measured a drop of 9% during the second night’s 8 hours of idle time! Our engineers believe this erratic behavior was indicative of the iPhone’s performing background optimization as part of its initial start-up routine, as the behavior disappeared after several days. The test results published here are based on the measurements we obtained after the device had stabilized.

Typical Usage Scenario discharge curves

On the go

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

75

96

Samsung Galaxy M51
Best: Samsung Galaxy M51 (96)

Using a smartphone on the go takes a toll on autonomy because of extra “hidden” demands, such as the continuous signaling associated with cellphone network selection, for example. DXOMARK Battery experts take the phone outside and perform a precisely defined set of activities while following the same three-hour travel itinerary for each device.

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max came in first overall in our on the go tests among devices in its segment. It handily beat its predecessor and its rivals in all of our tests, with the exception of social apps, where the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon) performed a bit better.

Estimated autonomy for on the go use cases (full charge)

Calibrated

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

78

100

Samsung Galaxy M51
Best: Samsung Galaxy M51 (100)

For this series of tests, the smartphone returns to the Faraday cage and our robots repeatedly perform actions linked to one specific use case (such as gaming, video streaming, etc.) at a time. Starting from an 80% charge, all devices are tested until they have expended at least 5% of their battery power.

Although its performance was a bit mixed in our calibrated tests, once again the iPhone 13 Pro Max came in ahead of the competition overall.

Estimated autonomy for calibrated use cases (full charge)

Charging (73)

The DXOMARK Battery charging score is composed of two sub-scores, Full charge and Quick boost. Full charge tests assess the reliability of the battery power gauge; measure how long it takes to charge a battery from zero to 80% capacity and from 80 to 100%; and measure how long and how much power the battery takes to go from an indicated 100% to an actual full charge. With the phone at different charge levels (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%), Quick boost tests measure the amount of charge the battery receives after being plugged in for 5 minutes. 

Wired
Wired
44%
in 30 min
1h01
0 - 80%
2h11
Full charge
Wireless
Wireless
25%
in 30 min
1h52
0 - 80%
2h41
Full charge

Charging remains a weak point for the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, as it is still stuck using a 20W charger (not included) to fill a battery whose size is finally on par with the competition’s. It scored one point less than the 12 Pro Max, which has a smaller battery and uses the same size charger. Of the devices tested here, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is the clear winner with a score of 100.

Power consumption and battery level during full charge

Full charge

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

73

106

OnePlus 9
Best: OnePlus 9 (106)

Both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the 12 Pro Max reach 80% capacity in about an hour, with the 12 Pro Max just a bit ahead of its newer sibling. The closeness of their charging times is indicative of the 13 Pro Max having been optimized to offer the same charging experience with a bigger battery.

For wireless charging, the 13 Pro Max is even a little faster than the older model, reaching 80% in 1 hour 52 minutes vs 2 hours 16 minutes for the 12 Pro Max.

The Oppo Find X3 Pro is much faster for both wired and wireless charging.

Time to full charge

Quick boost

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

72

108

Oppo Reno6 5G
Best: Oppo Reno6 5G (108)

Same charging speed and efficiency, iPhone 13 Pro Max recovers the same autonomy in a quick 5-minute charge as the 12 Pro Max, about 3 hours, which is roughly half the performance of Find X3 Pro.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon) Oppo Find X3 Pro
Autonomy boost (hh:mm) 20%3:11 3:17 3:24 5:49
40%3:18 3:16 3:22 6:36
60%3:02 3:03 2:54 4:40
80%1:35 1:24 2:11 3:25
Percentage boost 20%6.3 %8.2 %9.2 %18.4 %
40%6.5 %8.2 %9.1 %20.9 %
60%6 %7.6 %7.8 %14.7 %
80%3.1 %3.5 %5.9 %10.8 %
Energy consumed 20%1621 mWh1768 mWh2279 mWh4020 mWh
40%1678 mWh1764 mWh2262 mWh4563 mWh
60%1545 mWh1645 mWh1950 mWh3223 mWh
80%802 mWh761 mWh1468 mWh2360 mWh

Efficiency (95)

The DXOMARK power efficiency score consists of two sub-scores, Charge up and Discharge rate, both of which combine data obtained during robot-based typical usage scenario testing, outdoor mobility testing, charging evaluation, and power measurements, and then take into consideration the device’s battery capacity.

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max showed very similar behavior to that of the 12 Pro Max and outscored the competition in this category despite a very inefficient charge up performance, thanks to its outstanding discharge efficiency.

Charge up

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

56

84

OnePlus 9
Best: OnePlus 9 (84)

Both iPhones have very poor charge-up efficiency, with slow charging speeds that result in very long charging times to go from 80% to full capacity. The Apple devices have an overall charge efficiency of around 65%, whereas their competitors are close to 80%.

Discharge

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

115

121

Apple iPhone 13
Best: Apple iPhone 13 (121)

In direct contrast to their poor charge-up efficiency, both iPhones have outstanding discharge efficiency, with similarly low discharge current in all usages, thus demonstrating significantly better optimization than their rivals.

Conclusion

Apple designs its own hardware, its own chipset, its operating system, and many of its applications, with each piece designed to work with the others. This design optimization means that both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and 12 Pro Max drain their batteries less when in use than many other devices. Now that Apple has furnished its new flagship iPhone with a 4352 mAh battery — a size that is comparable to those of other devices in its segment — it is little wonder that the 13 Pro Max has shown remarkable improvement in our autonomy measurements. We are now eager to see Apple bring out future models with faster charging speeds!

 

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