In-depth Perspective of Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max and Sony Xperia Pro-I

General Comparison

Apple released its flagship phone, iPhone 13 Pro Max on Sept. 14. Less than two weeks later, SONY also released its flagship phone, Xperia Pro-I on Sept. 26, 2021. The replays of the two release conferences are available on Apple and SONY website. For ordinary users and digital enthusiasts, it is very meaningful to learn and compare the two flagship phones. Some of their specifications are listed in the table below.

Specifications Items Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max Sony Xperia-Pro I
Size 6.7 inches 6.5 inches
Resolution 2778 x 1284 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio, 458 PPI 3840 x 1644 pixels, 21:9 ratio, 643 PPI
Techonology OLED OLED
Refresh Rate 120Hz 120Hz
Screen-to-body 87.97% 82.59%
Feature HDR support, Oleophobic coating,
Scratch-resistant glass (Ceramic Shield),
Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
HDR support, Scratch-resistant
glass (Corning Gorilla Glass Victus),
Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
System chip Apple A15 Bionic Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SM8350
Processor Hexa-core, 64-bit, 5 nm Octa-core, 2840 MHz, Kryo 680 Prime, 64-bit, 5 nm
Internal storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, not expandable 512GB (Expansion microSDXC up to 1024 GB)
Operating System iOS 15 Android 11
Battery Capacity 4352mAh 4500mAh
Charging USB Power Delivery, Qi wireless charging,
MagSafe wireless charging
Fast Charging
Max Charge Speed Wired: 27.0W; Wireless: 15.0W Wired: 30.0W
Rear Triple camera Triple camera
Main Camera 12 MP (OIS, PDAF)
Aperture size: F1.5; Focal length: 26 mm;
Pixel size: 1.9 μm
Aperture size: F2.0; Focal length: 24 mm;
Sensor size: 1″; Pixel size: 2.4 μm
Second Camera 12 MP (Telephoto, OIS, PDAF)
Optical zoom: 3.0x; Aperture size: F2.8;
Focal Length: 77 mm
12 MP (Telephoto, PDAF)
Optical zoom: 2.0x; Aperture size: F2.4;
Focal Length: 50 mm; Sensor size: 1/2.9″;
Pixel size: 1.4 μm
Third Camera 12 MP (Ultra-wide, Autofocus)
Aperture size: F1.8; Focal Length: 13 mm
12 MP
Aperture size: F2.2; Focal Length: 24 mm;
Sensor size: 1/4″; Pixel size: 1.12 μm
Fourth Camera ToF 3D depth sensing
Video Recording 3840×2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps),
1920×1080 (Full HD) (240 fps),
1280×720 (HD) (30 fps)
OIS, HDR, Time-lapse video, Continuous autofocus,
Picture-taking during video recording, Video light
3840×2160 (4K UHD) (120 fps)
Front 12 MP (Time-of-Flight (ToF), EIS, HDR,
Slow-motion videos)
8 MP
Dimensions 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.30 inches (160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm) 6.54 x 2.83 x 0.35 inches (166 x 72 x 8.9 mm)
Weight 8.47 oz (240.0 g) 7.80 oz (221.0 g)
Materials Back: Glass; Frame: Stainless steel Back: Glass (Corning Gorilla Glass); Frame: Metal
Resistance Water, Splash, Dust; IP68 Water, Dust; IP68
Biometrics 3D Face unlock Fingerprint (touch)
Keys Left: Volume control, Other; Right: Lock/Unlock key Left: Volume control, Lock/Unlock key, Other
Colors Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue Frosted Black
5G n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n38, n40,
n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n79, n258, n260, n261
n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n28, n38, n40, n41, n66,
n71, n77, n78, SA, NSA, Sub-6
LTE (TDD) Bands 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(AWS-1), 5(850),
7(2600), 8(900), 12(700 a), 13(700 c), 14(700 PS),
17(700 b), 18(800 Lower), 19(800 Upper), 20(800 DD),
21(1500 Upper), 25(1900+), 26(850+), 28(700 APT),
29(700 d), 30(2300 WCS), 32(1500 L-band),
66(AWS-3), 71(600)
Bands 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(AWS-1), 5(850),
7(2600), 8(900), 12(700 a), 13(700 c), 17(700 b),
19(800 Upper), 20(800 DD), 25(1900+), 26(850+),
28(700 APT), 29(700 d), 32(1500 L-band), 66(AWS-3),
LTE (FDD) Bands 34(2000), 38(2600), 39(1900+), 40(2300),
41(2600+), 42(3500), 46, 48(3600)
Bands 34(2000), 38(2600), 39(1900+), 40(2300),
41(2600+), 46, 48(3600)
UMTS Bands 1(2100), 2(1900), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 6(800) Bands 1(2100), 2(1900), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 6(800),
Data Speed LTE-A, HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS LTE-A, HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s
Dual SIM Yes Shared with microSD
SIM Type Nano SIM, eSIM Nano SIM
HD Voice Yes
Headphones No 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Speakers Earpiece, Loudspeaker Earpiece, Multiple speakers
Features Dolby Atmos Dolby Atmos
Screen Mirroring Wireless screen share Wireless screen share
Additional Microphones for Noise cancellation for Noise cancellation
Connectivity & Features
Bluetooth 5.0 5.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, ax (Wi-Fi 6), dual-band; MIMO,
Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot
802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, ax (Wi-Fi 6), dual-band;
Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot
USB Lightning Type-C (reversible), USB 3.2
Location GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS, Cell ID,
Wi-Fi positioning
GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Cell ID, Wi-Fi positioning
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Barometer,
LiDAR scanner
Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Barometer
Other NFC (Apple Pay), UMA (Wi-Fi Calling) NFC
Hearing aid compatible M3, T4
Buyers Information
Price (HKD) 9399, 10199, 11899, 13599 12999
Pre-Sale Date in Hong Kong 17/9/2021 29/10/2021
On Sale Date in Hong Kong 24/9/2021 12/2021

According to Tony & Chelsea Northrup’s comparison test, iPhone 13 Pro Max and Xperia Pro-I have these significant differences:

  • An aperture from 2.0 to 4.0 on Xperia Pro-I is far better than iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone13 Pro Max is better than Xperia Pro-I in daily handheld shooting
  • When shooting like a professional camera (fixed tripod, long exposure), Xperia Pro-I is better than iPhone 13 Pro Max.
  • In bright light scenes, iPhone 13 Pro Max can capture more details than Xperia Pro-I in distant photos and macro photos.

 iPhone 13 Pro Max

As of the date of publication, iPhone 13 Pro Max is out of stock on Apple website and several major e-commerce platforms, and it takes more than a month to wait for the scheduled delivery. It seems to confirm a previous joke on the Chinese Internet: Thirteen is spicy (十三香).

“Wang Shouyi told us thirteen is spicy (better),” many netizens ridiculed before iPhone 13 series released.

A seasoning called Thirteen Spiceries and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Photo by Apple Inc. & JD

Indeed, iPhone 13 Pro Max has some apparent improvements over the previous generation, iPhone 12 Pro Max. The reduction in the area of the front lens module makes the “bangs” shorter, and the screen-to-body rate increases from 86.5% to 86.9%. The rear camera module is also larger and thicker than its predecessor. The chip also undergoes regular upgrades, from A14 to A15, with the number of transistors from 11.8 billion to 15 billion. According to the experimental data from Geekbench, the single-core and multi-core running points of A15 are 1743 and 4709, which are more than the scores of A14, 1595 and 3996. Science and Technology Aesthetics Team believes that the CPU and GPU of A15 are really 20% and 25% than that on A14.

Comparison between iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max on Apple Website. Photo by Apple Inc.

However, the most surprising upgrade highlights are the four listed below:

iPhone 13 Pro Max is equipped with a ProMotion display. This 6.7-inch display can adjust the refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz, making the overall performance and screen display smoother. When users are reading static webpage text, the screen refresh is 10Hz. If users slide the webpage, the refresh rate will increase. If users are playing high-end games, the screen refresh rate can reach up to 120Hz. This adaptive refresh rate technology helps reduce power consumption and save a lot of power.

The Cinematic Mode function is armed to all iPhone 13 series. This function can blur the video background, highlight the subject, and shift the focus according to the change of the subject, so as to achieve the lens language of the movie effect. It can be seen as the biggest boon for short video creators and vlog bloggers.

  • Longer Battery Life

Thanks to a larger battery and optimization of hardware and software, iPhone 13 Pro Max is the iPhone with the strongest battery life so far. According to Apple’s official data, the battery life of iPhone 13 Pro Max is excellent, which can play videos continuously for up to 28 hours. Although PCMag’s test showed that the playback time is 18 hours, it is still the iPhone with the best battery life.

PCMag’s battery life test results of iPhones. Photo by iC
  • Lens Module Upgrade

The main lens of iPhone 13 Pro Max is Apple’s largest camera so far, with a pixel size of 1.9 microns (1.7 microns higher than the standard), and an f/1.5 aperture. The rated light is 49% higher than that of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The ultra-wide-angle camera provides a larger f/1.8 aperture (f/2.4 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max), which can take brighter, high-quality photos while providing a wider field of view. The telephoto lens is also improved with 3x optical zoom, which is 2.5x higher than iPhone 12 Pro Max.

SONY Xperia Pro-I

SONY Xperia Pro-I will start the pre-sale in Hong Kong on the publication day of this article. It is positioned as the emperor of SONY mobile phones, and the masterpiece of SONY phones and cameras. Of course, the price is also the most expensive in the Xperia series. Tsutomu Hamaguchi, the senior general manager of the mobile communications business group of SONY Corporation introduced the “camera” at the conference.

Imagine this: an Xperia, that satisfies performance needs of professional photographers, videographers and cinemagraphers. That adds the ability to communicate and to distribute. An all-in-one device that accelerates both your creativity and how quickly you share it.

Today, SONY proudly introduces to the world: THE Camera. The Xperia Pro-I.

– Tsutomu Hamaguchi

Compared with the previous generations,  Xperia Pro-I has a newly designed body. The most prominent changes are the side indentation design and the reconfiguration of the lens modules. The former can effectively prevent dust, fingerprints, and cool the phone, and the latter is a symbol of photography strength.

Xperia Pro-I publicity picture on SONY Website. Photo by SONY

According to the description of the official website, Xperia Pro-I has the following obvious advantages in the camera system.

  • Large 1.0-type Exmor RS CMOS image sensor with phase-detection AF sensor
  • Highly sensitive 2.4μm pixel pitch
  • Dual aperture gives you more variety
  • Triple lens and 3D iToF sensor for faster focus
  • The first mobile phone supporting 4k, 120fps format video capture

For the average user, the actual effect is more convincing than the parameters. These advantages can bring more visible high-quality photos.

Effectively improve sensitivity and reduce image noise. Photo by SONY
The details of the highlights and dark areas of the image are clearly presented. Photo by SONY
Artistic natural soft blur effect. Photo by SONY

There are also several professional photography Apps offered on the phone: Photography Pro, Imaging Edge Mobile and Transfer & Tagging add-on, which can help users realize, store and transmit the creative inspiration more professionally.

In terms of video shooting, the mobile phone carries Videography Pro to achieve creative control. In addition, it also has functions such as eye autofocus, object tracking focus, optical image stabilization, and a multi-microphone system, which can provide better services for video creators and vlog bloggers. As a competitor of iPhone13 Pro Max, Xperia Pro-I also has the function of cinema photography with Cinematography Pro. High-precision color accuracy, 21:9 aspect ratio, 4k HDR, 24-120FPS provide creators with tools for professional filmmakers. Finally, the shooting, editing, and transmission of photos and videos can be integrated on Xperia Pro-I.

Buyers’ Information

In Hong Kong, iPhone 13 Pro Max started pre-sale on Sept. 17 and was on sale on Sept. 24. It offers four colors, Graphite, Gold, Silver, and Sierra Blue. The prices of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB are  9399, 10199, 11899, 13599 HKD. Customers can choose between online ordering or offline purchases. However, at present, it takes about a month to order online, and there is very little product supply for offline purchases. By the way, the old machines can participate in Apple Trade In to get a lower price for the new iPhone.

Xperia Pro-I can be reserved from Oct. 29, and it will be on sale in December. The only version is 512GB, priced at 12999HKD. Sony will launch Xperia Pro-I pre-order rewards from October 29 to December 31, 2021. Customers who visit the Sony Retail Store, Sony Online Store, Sony sales hotline and authorized retailers to order Xperia Pro-I can enjoy gifts of headphones WF-1000XM4 and additional second-year original factory extended warranty ( Total value HK$2680).

Apple Canton Road, 100 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo by Apple
Sony Store Tsim Sha Tsui, Shop No. 301A, Level 3, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Photo by SONY

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