Forget USB-C: iPhone 13 Pro Max is the first flagship able to last 3 days on a single charge!


At first glance, the iPhone 13 could have been called “iPhone 12S”, and no one would have argued against that. However, if we start digging deeper, we actually come to realize that this upgrade is quite significant, especially when it comes to two of the most important features of any smartphone.

The first, of course, is the display, which now supports ProMotion at 120Hz, as far as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are concerned. And that’s amazing! Apple’s implementation is smart and easy on the battery life.

That being said, this “win” is a little bit bittersweet because it took Cupertino forever to bring the iPhone up to date when it comes to screen refresh rate, and the standard iPhone 13 is still stuck at 60Hz, instead of at least 90Hz. For reference, the upcoming standard Pixel 6 is expected to support a 90Hz refresh rate, while the regular Galaxy S21 goes up to 120Hz.

iPhone 13 Pro Max: Tests and real-life use say that’s the battery life benchmark phone for 2021

Screens aside, the other important aspect of the iPhone 13 series that’s elevated Apple’s devices to new heights is the battery life, which has been much improved across the line. But undoubtedly, it’s the iPhone 13 Pro Max that steals the show, the headlines, and perhaps even the sales – we’ll have to wait and see about that.According to standardized tests which you can check out in our iPhone 13 Pro Max review, and day-to-day use, the iPhone 13 Pro Max can easily last two days on a single charge. For example, our controlled battery tests show:

  • 18:52 hours of web browsing
  • 10:23 hours of YouTube video streaming
  • 10:29 hours of 3D gaming
And that’s not only according to our tests and real-world use but according to almost anyone who’s had a chance to get their hands on an iPhone 13 Pro Max. In fact, Twitter is full of people who are bragging left and right how their 13 Pro Max has incredible battery life, and for once… that’s fair!
To put the numbers into perspective, the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which comes with a 5000 mAh battery (vs 4352 mAh on the iPhone 13 Pro Max), and is regarded as the Android flagship with some of the best battery life around, manages:
  • 16:07 hours of web browsing (-13.2% compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max)
  • 8:52 hours of YouTube video streaming (-16.7% compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max)
  • 8:40 hours of 3D gaming (-18.3% compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max)

iPhone 13 Pro Max: The first iPhone that could last up to three days on a single charge

  • Day 1 – 7h 50min screen on time, around 40% of charge left
  • Day 2 – 11h 49min screen on time, around 10% of charge left
  • Day 3 – 11h 37min screen on time, around 10% of charge left
  • Day 4 – 10h 8min screen on time, around 25% of charge left
  • Day 5 – 3h 15min screen on time (so far), 68% of charge left

As you can see, Joshua was able to hit some absolutely incredible numbers, and he does use his phone a lot!

10-12 hours of screen-on-time combined with Apple’s unmatched stand-by time, when you could put your iPhone on the bedside table, and wake up with only 3-5% battery life loss, are more than good enough indicators that this might be the first iPhone ever (!) able to last for up to three days on a single charge!

But will your iPhone 13 Pro Max last three days before you need to charge it?

Now, before you roll your eyes, no – I’m not talking about users who don’t put their phones down all day, do intense gaming, or use navigation for three hours straight. We’re talking “regular users”. Perhaps someone who works 8-10 hours a day and “has other things to do”. Then the 10-12 hours of SOT can easily be spread between two, or yes – even three days, even if you use your iPhone 13 Pro Max for several hours a day, averaging about 3 hours of SOT.

Does that mean you should leave your charger at home and embark on  a “single charge” weekend trip? Absolutely no. But if you are a little bit more aware of how you use your phone, and perhaps toggle Apple’s Power saving mode on (which by the way will limit the iPhone 13 Pro’s refresh rate to 10-60Hz), you could easily push the biggest iPhone to three days of use!

The incredible battery life that Apple’s managed to achieve is thanks to a variety of factors

  • A super-efficient A15 Bionic chip, which is the unsung hero of the iPhone 13 series’ battery triumph
  • 120Hz refresh rate, which varies depending on your touch – how fast you scroll, what content you are viewing etc.
  • Simply, bigger batteries – especially on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, compared to previous big iPhones

iPhone 13 Pro series: Battery life = WOW, charging experience = LOL

In the end, we have to congratulate Apple on what it’s achieved here. Back in the day, battery comparisons used to be dominated by Android phones. Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro phones managed to achieve incredible results thanks to aggressive background processing management, optimization, and huge (at the time) batteries. However, they didn’t have the super-bright high-refresh-rate screen or the 13 Pro Max’s incredibly powerful processor.

All of that being said, we can’t let some things slide, and although the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s battery endurance is remarkable, we can’t overlook:

  • The (still) painfully slow charging speeds, compared to competitors like OnePlus and Xiaomi
  • The (still) terribly inconvenient Lighting port (given that Apple’s own Macs and iPads have moved on to USB-C)

For example, I pretty much never worry about the battery on my Huawei P30 Pro. The phone is two years old and doesn’t last as long as it used to, but the super-fast charging speeds give me a peace of mind. If I’m in a hurry, I can plug it in for 10-20 minutes, and I’d be good to go. You don’t get that with an iPhone.

We hope Apple will be ready to address both of these concerns with the iPhone 14 series, although it’s not going to be a big surprise if we have to wait for the iPhone 15 to wave goodbye to the Lightning port. Interestingly, it’s rumored that the iPhone 15 might lose the port altogether and stick to MagSafe only. Can’t wait to see how this one unfolds!