Hey, Think Twice Before Buying an iPhone 13 Pro Max Now

Before you grab that iPhone 13 Pro Max at what seems like a stellar discount, let‘s carefully weigh whether it‘s truly a smart purchase in 2023 or if you‘d be better served with an alternative.

I‘ve analyzed the latest market data and can walk you through the four biggest reasons why Apple‘s 2021 flagship may not be the right fit anymore: its unwieldy size, inflated price tag, aging components already outclassed by the next model, and imminent replacement just months away.

By the end of this guide, you‘ll have a data-backed case for dodging the 13 Pro Max and finding a more future-proof iPhone or iOS device instead.

It‘s a Total Brick – Too Bulky for Comfortable Use

The first thing you‘ll notice unboxing that shiny iPhone 13 Pro Max is its sheer size and weight. At 6.33 inches tall and nearly 8.5 ounces, this is one of the largest and heaviest flagship phones ever released.

For context on why that‘s problematic, take a look at how it measures up against other recent plus-sized phones:

iPhone 13 Pro Max6.33”3.07”0.3”8.47oz
Galaxy S23 Ultra6.43”3.07”0.35”8.25oz
Galaxy S22 Ultra6.43”3.07”0.35”8.04oz

As you can see, it‘s taller, thicker and heavier than even Samsung‘s famously oversized recent phones. I don‘t have Shaquille O‘Neal hands, so I can tell you that one-handed use quickly becomes precarious.

You‘ll also feel its size while moving around with it in pockets and bags. Those nice stainless steel sides look sleek but get slippery, causing fumbles. Trying to workout or job with this brick weighing you down is less than pleasant. For a mobile device, the 13 Pro Max stretches the boundaries of practical portability.

Ultimately unless you have a specific need for the largest possible iPhone display, I‘d caution that living with the 13 Pro Max long-term may be more cumbersome than you anticipate.

The Price is Still Sky-High for a 2 Year Old Device

Now for the reality check on pricing – the iPhone 13 Pro Max still demands ultra-premium cost despite launching way back in September 2021. How pricey are we talking?

  • Launch price in 2021 – $1,099+
  • Current price for unlocked/used – Approximately $850

For comparison, take a look at what other 2021 Android flagships sell for currently:

  • Galaxy S21 Ultra: ~$500 used
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3: ~$650 used
  • OnePlus 9 Pro: ~$300 used

The latest market analysis also shows 2021 iPhone models retaining unusually high resale values compared to competitors. Experts cite Apple‘s unmatched brand cachet and 5+ years of guaranteed software support driving these elevated used prices.

But in my view, paying 2022/2023 flagship-level pricing for a two year old device is questionable, regardless of software updates. Which brings me to my next point…

The 14 Pro Max is a Clear Leap Ahead on Features

If you‘re going to invest flagship money in a top-end iPhone right now, the smarter call is opting for the iPhone 14 Pro Max instead of its predecessor. Here‘s a quick look at some of the biggest areas where the latest Pro Max pulls far ahead of the 13 model:


  • Main: 48MP vs 12MP
  • Front: 12MP TrueDepth (autofocus) vs 12MP
  • Video recording: 4K 60fps vs 4K 30fps


  • Always-On Display with 1Hz refresh vs 10Hz
  • 2000 nits max brightness (outdoor) vs 1200 nits


  • Apple A16 Bionic (4nm) vs A15 (5nm)
  • +11% faster CPU performance
  • +3% faster GPU performance


  • Dynamic Island
  • Satellite Emergency SOS
  • Crash detection
  • Bluetooth 5.3 vs 5.0

As you can see, the iPhone 14 Pro Max touts camera, display, power and feature upgrades making it a superior buy over its predecessor if you‘re after the latest tech.

My philosophy is if you‘re going premium, don‘t settle for yesteryear‘s flagship when better exists for nearly the same money.

Wait 6 Months – The iPhone 15 Arrives Soon!

Last but not least is the imminent launch of the next iPhone generation just around the corner. Apple is again expected to announce their iPhone 15 lineup, including updated Pro Max model, around September 2023.

While changes may not be revolutionary, you can likely anticipate the usual speed bumps and camera improvements. But more exciting are several rumored additions like:

  • Slimmer bezels with curved edges
  • More scratch/shatter resistant titanium frame
  • Upgraded periscope zoom camera
  • USB-C charging port instead of Lightning
  • Interactive action button (like Apple Watch)

My rule of thumb when buying any Apple device is never jump the day before next-gen gets announced. While iPhones seem to launch nonstop, timing your purchase even 6 months strategically helps guarantee minimal case of buyer‘s remorse.

In 2023 specifically, I suggest waiting on iPhone 15 launch before pulling the trigger on any Pro Max model.

Two Better Bets than the iPhone 13 Pro Max

Now I get it – you want a top-shelf iPhone with all Apple‘s ecosystem benefits. But I hope showing the compromises around price, ergonomics and aging components change your mind about the 13 Pro Max as your next device.

Here are two better options I recommend considering instead if set on sticking with Apple in 2023:

Splurge For the iPhone 14 Pro Max

If budget isn‘t too tight and you want the latest and greatest iPhone money can buy, then going for the current 14 Pro Max makes more sense. You sidestep every shortcoming around the 13‘s size, cost and technical lag – getting improved ergonomics, modern specs and longer lifespan for roughly the same dollars.

As I showed earlier, those camera, display and performance gains with the 14 Pro Max are substantial too. Unless every $100 matters, this year‘s model is absolutely worth the modest extra investment.

Forget Phones – Apple Watch Ultra Instead

My personal pick if insisting on an Apple product today would actually be the Apple Watch Ultra smartwatch rather than any iPhone. Hear me out!

For Starters, it circumvents the common iPhone pain points like bulkiness and diminishing returns from annual upgrades. The Watch Ultra‘s rugged titanium body is both lighter and smaller than even the base iPhone 14.

You still get fantastic deep integration with Apple‘s ecosystem too – fielding calls and notifications, accessing Apple Music, utilizing iOS apps, syncing with other Apple devices, unlocking extensive health tracking, and even availing emergency response features like fall detection and sirens.

While the Watch Ultra commands a premium $799 price, it‘s built to last longer than iPhones with a specially engineered casing and screen. Resell data indicates high retention too, with Ultra models selling for 70%+ of original retail over a year later.

If desiring Apple prestige and connectivity without the iPhone baggage, I‘d suggest giving the Apple Watch Ultra an earnest look.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max undeniably seemed like an incredible device upon launch in late 2021 – though reality in 2023 looks less appealing. From its unwieldy construction to inflated costs and aging internals, this last-generation iPhone is tricky to recommend anymore with better options now on market.

My guidance after evaluating the extensive analytical data is advising most buyers dodge the iPhone 13 Pro Max at this point and consider either its successor or exiting iPhones entirely for Apple Watch instead. But of course final choice depends on your budget, priorities and personal preferences.

Hopefully laying out these four compelling reasons to avoid Apple‘s 2021 flagship gives you bargaining power walking into negotiations and ensures your next luxury iOS device delivers maximum long-term happiness. Feel free to reach out with any other questions!

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