This iPhone 13 Pro Max video is so good, even Samsung took credit for it

a close up of the lens for the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future / James Bentley)

Samsung phones have usually had the edge over Apple’s iPhone when it comes to its zoom capabilities. Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S23 had three times the digital zoom as the iPhone 14 — even if the iPhone 15 Pro Max made the fight between the Android and iOS flagships fiercer than ever. However, a recent viral video suggests the gap between the two phone lines isn’t as big as the general public tends to believe. 

Over the weekend, one clip of pop superstar Rihanna performing “All of the Lights” in India went viral on X thanks to a very impressive zoom shot, garnering over 70 million views. “Your phone zoom >>> anything iPhone has to offer” one comment said. “iPhone can’t do this” said another. A repost of the video with the caption “This is unintentionally the greatest ad for Android” is filled with commenters suggesting it could never be “Shot on iPhone” 

As X users continued to share the video around, people started to slowly believe a Samsung phone was responsible, purely from word of mouth. @bob_imp1, an account with over 30,000 followers said it was captured on Samsung S23 Ultra, and @siteptbr, an account with over 600,000, claimed it was shot on S24 Ultra. This is where @SamsungBrasil was tagged in. Samsung responded with “I just came to show the power of my Galaxy S24 Ultra.”

The photographer’s response

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The original photographer @joh_masse called Samsung out, claiming  they had  "recorded this video with iPhone 13 Pro Max.” Some were skeptical that an iPhone 13 Pro Max could do this so Joh gave proof in the form of showing off the original video’s metadata. This proves it was indeed shot on iPhone 13 Pro Max, whilst also giving the location, date, and more. While it is not currently the best iPhone, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is still a very impressive device. 

Though this information is embarrassing for all the users who assumed the exact phone model without any reasoning, there is some light trickery going on here. The video in question goes from fully zoomed-in on Rihanna performing, to a wide-angle shot where the user is sat. As this captures more of their surroundings, it makes them seem further away from the stage than they actually are. However, despite this, it’s still an excellent video that shows how far smartphone cameras have come over the last decade. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.