The iPhone 13 has finally landed: today Apple unveiled its newest iPhones, and as expected, there are four of them.
The iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max are the same size and shape as their predecessors, but there are some differences. Let’s dive in.
Improved Pro display, smaller notch
One of the main complaints tech reviewers and early adopters have had about the last few iPhones is that the screen hasn’t changed much. This year, Apple slimmed down the notch on all four iPhone 13 models so it’s not quite as intrusive as previous generations – it’s 20% smaller than previous iPhones. Of course, this isn’t quite the full implementation of a completely notch-free iPhone (which should be in the works for next year), but it is definitely noticeable.
The screens are the same size this time around as last year: the iPhone 13 Mini is 5.4 inches, the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro are 6.1 inches and the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a gigantic 6.7 inches. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini have brighter displays than ever before and achieve a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits.
But the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have brand new LTPO screens that allow for a faster refresh rate of 120Hz. This is adjustable which means that while browsing content or playing games, the phone can adjust from 10Hz to 120Hz and everything will look like silk. If you’ve used an iPad Pro before and noticed how smooth the ProMotion screen is, you’ll be happy. Of course, Apple is far from being the first smartphone manufacturer to use adaptive refresh rates – Android phones have had this feature for a long time – which goes without saying.
New camera functions
So if the new iPhones look pretty much the same then why upgrade? This year it’s all about the cameras.
The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini have improved dual lenses, a 12 MP main and a 12 MP ultra-wide camera, which are now arranged diagonally. As usual, the 13 Pro and Pro Max have a trio with support for night mode in all three lenses. (You don’t get a telephoto lens with the 13 and 13 Mini.)
The improved 77mm telephoto lens supports up to 3x optical zoom. Perhaps one of the coolest new camera features is support for macro photography with a minimum distance of 2 centimeters, which should definitely appeal to a certain type of photographer. You can also record macro videos.
Apple has built in some new tricks that make taking photos and videos a little more cinematic – literally. The iPhone 13 series now has a feature called Cinematic Mode that allows you to take pictures in portrait mode. The function can detect when a subject enters the picture and shifts the focus to that person, and even detects when the focused person looks away to follow their gaze. You can tap the screen to move focus and tap again to activate a tracking lock. In Apple’s iPhone event demo, the focus shift went incredibly quickly. You can adjust the cinema mode in the Photos app or in iMovie after the capture. Cinematic mode is available for both the front and rear cameras.
All four models also have an optical sensor shift image stabilization, which should make recordings in night mode even better.
The Pro models can also record in ProRes – the video equivalent of Apple’s ProRAW photo format for higher quality recording and editing. You can record up to 4K at 30 frames per second in ProRes directly in the camera app.
Better battery life
One of the biggest complaints I had about the iPhone 12 Mini was the catastrophic battery life that was made worse by the 5G connectivity. Apple has made the batteries in its latest iPhones bigger and the improvements give the 13 Mini an additional 1.5 hours of battery life over the 12 Mini. The iPhone 13 promises an additional 2.5 hours compared to the iPhone 12.
The iPhone 13 Pro also has better battery life: the 13 Pro lasts 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro, and the 13 Pro Max lasts 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. That means the iPhone 13 Pro Max has the longest battery life of any iPhone.
The iPhone 13 series runs on Apple’s newest A15 Bionic processor, which has two high-performance and four efficiency cores, and everything is faster. Apple claims it’s 50% faster than the competition, which is Qualcomm’s newest Android phone. The quad-core GPU of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini promises to be 30% faster than the competition. The iPhone 13 Pro models have a 5-core GPU that promises to be 50% faster. The 16-core neural engine is faster and there is also a new image signal processor.
iPhone 13 release date and pre-order details
When can you get your hands on these new phones? Pre-orders will start on September 17th and go on sale on September 24th.
The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini come in five colors: Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and Red. The Mini starts at $ 699 for 128GB (double storage) and the iPhone 13 starts at $ 799. The iPhones now also offer a 512 GB option for the first time.
The 13 Pro and Pro Max come in four colors: a stunning Sierra Blue (which is more sky blue than the iPhone 12 Pro’s Pacific Blue hue), graphite, gold, and silver.
The 13 Pro starts at $ 999 and the 13 Pro Max starts at $ 1,099. In addition to 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB storage options, there is a new 1 TB storage option in the Pro range.
If you’re not interested in upgrading to the latest and greatest version, the iPhone SE stays for $ 399, the iPhone 11 for $ 499, and the iPhone 12 for $ 599.
I know, I know: we’re already hearing rumors about the iPhone 14 next year. But if your old iPhone is on its last legs, the new iPhone 13 range of camera features might be worth upgrading. Stay tuned for our full reviews of the latest iPhones.