Apple's iPhone 13 lineup is now on sale, but pretty clear there is only one phone to get if you want to play mobile games. If you're really serious about getting the best out of services like Apple Arcade, though, you're going to want an iPhone 13 Pro Max.
According to benchmarks that have been run by those who have one, the five-core GPU that's part of the A15 Bionic chip powering iPhone 13 Pro makes it the GPU monster that gamers will love. Ir's to be capable of performance that's around 55% faster than the outgoing iPhone 12 Pro, which is mighty impressive. Sure, the standard iPhone 13 is still fast by any measurement, but its one fewer GPU core means it can't quite keep up with the Pro.
So if iPhone 13 Pro is the best iPhone for gamers because of its pixel-pushing prowess, why do I say iPhone 13 Pro Max is the one to get? Well, that's because of screen size, of course. 6.7 inches of gorgeous 120Hz ProMotion Super Retina XDR hotness. And slap that thing into a gaming controller like the Razer Kishi, and you have the ultimate in portable gaming – Nintendo Switch be damned.
That's exactly the setup I've been playing Fantasian on, too. And boy is it great. Yes, you could play on a larger display using an iPad and a controller, but you'd lose the handheld approach that is so compelling. The same goes for playing on Apple TV, too — there's just something about having the game in your hand that really benefits from iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Between the larger display, the extra GPU core, and of course, that massive batter, it's impossible to look beyond iPhone 13 Pro Max if you're in the market for an iPhone that will do double duty as a Nintendo Switch replacement. With Apple Arcade and an App Store full of games, you could argue it's even better than a Switch in some ways!
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.