From the rumors we’ve heard so far, there seems to be still quite a lot of the iPhone 12 in the iPhone 13, despite the upgrades that leakers and rumor-mongers have detailed. There’s one thing in particular that I hope Apple leaves behind for its 2021 flagship range: the division that has opened up between its Pro and Pro Max models.
In the first two “Max” edition iPhones (iPhone XS Max and iPhone 11 Pro Max), the only difference between it and the smaller model was its display size and battery capacity. However, with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple offered superior cameras to the iPhone 12 Pro, upping the optical zoom from 2x to 2.5x, and adding sensor shift stabilization to the main camera instead of the usual OIS.
As a fan of Apple’s smaller-bodied phones, I don’t like that these excellent features didn’t appear on my iPhone 12 Pro.
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I haven’t gone for Max-sized iPhones in the past because I like having a smaller phone as my daily driver. It fits in my pocket easier; I can use the handset one-handed; and it’s a touch cheaper. I accept in return that the screen isn’t quite as impressive, and that the battery will be smaller as a result. Having inferior cameras, because I’ve picked out the Pro rather than Pro Max model goes against the pattern that Apple established back when it introduced the Max label.
Apple has done this before. A few years ago, from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 8, Apple did offer the “Plus” version of each iPhone model. These started out as just larger models like the Max models did, but eventually Plus handsets sported an extra camera and in some cases more RAM than their basic counterparts.
While this name has apparently been retired since 2017, perhaps it should have been revived last year to make it clear that the largest iPhone 12 Pro available was superior to the other Pro model. While calling a phone “Pro Plus” can be a mouthful, I feel it would have better represented the difference between the two iPhone 12 Pro models.