iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max Review
When the word iPhone appears in a conversation, well not much introduction is needed. It honestly speaks for itself. Probably because it’s the most prominent smartphone made and marketed by Apple. What’s even better is the incredible advancement in terms of the announcement of new series released periodically. And this year the iPhone 13 series is the talk
Following the announcement of the iPhone 12 in October last year, Apple promised a new and advanced lineup, and of course, it came to pass—no disappointment. The iPhone 12 featured new technology and a fancy new design which is the Mini-sized version.
Well, not much has changed. The iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max were released on the 13th of September, this year, alongside an updated entry-level iPad, Apple Watch 7, and iPad Mini 6—The event was spectacular. These updated iPhones come with an iOS15 ready to be installed, together with an upgraded camera, a new A15 Bionic processor, an upped storage and so much more.
The improvements, assuming you’re looking for a decent phone, really matter. But do these changes really convince us? Does the new iPhone lineup prove to be the greatest, well, since the last one? —to be fair, they have really brought some revolutionary changes. But a closer look at what the lineup offers and how the 4 versions perform, and their differences are much more important.
So, let’s just proceed to the best part…
With these clever advancements, Apple aimed to make the iPhone Pro Max or either of its siblings, a compelling upgrade made to fit the needs of different individuals—pros and those in need of an everyday consumption phone. So, the question remains, which will suit you best?
There is a lot to read on as far as the iPhone model is concerned. But before we head on to all that:
iPhone 13 lineup prices
One thing about the lineup is that the physical appearance of each isn’t so different from that of its predecessors. And so, is the pricing. This—pricing— is similar in most of the models except in the standard and mini options. This is because the 64GB storage option in the two, has been done away with. And if you are be expecting a price change for this, well, sorry to say, there isn’t.
Generally, the prices of this new lineup increase with the increase in storage. This is mostly seen in the models with the 1TB storage options feature. Available in the Pro Max model, the storage feature ups the price to $1,599.
For the normal prices of the iPhone 13 high-end Pro version—without the extra storage—comes a similarity to that of the Galaxy S Ultra and Galaxy S plus which costs $1,200 and $1,000 respectively.
|128GB storage||256GB storage||512GB storage||1TB storage|
|iPhone 13 Mini||$699||$799||$999||NA|
|iPhone 13 Pro||$999||$1,099||$1,199||$1,499|
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||$1,099||$1,199||$1,399||$1,599|
- Design, size and color
The smartphone offers a similar Ceramic Shield display upfront, flat edges, and a durable glass back. Actually, even the IP68 water resistance is the same. The robust frame in the iPhone lineup together with all the advanced physical features makes the holding feel nice. However, Apple gave a ‘redesigned on the inside and out’ comment pointing at it being different from the others where, honestly, it’s hard to spot the differences.
The most obvious difference is noticeable in the edge. You will notice the volume controls, silent/ring switch and the power button have been slightly switched.
There are two more design changes in the iPhone44. One is the 20% smaller notch. This enables an undistracted time while watching videos in landscape mode with both sides at full screen. And most importantly the reduction in the Mini version is more interesting.
Considering the phone is narrower the notch swoops down a bit more making apps like Gmail—ones with a white background in portrait orientation— more fun to use. Secondly, the cameras on the rear which were placed vertically in the iPhone 12 are now arranged diagonally.
The iPhone 13 mini and13 are available in Pink, Midnight, Blue, Product (RED), and Starlight. While the13 Pro and 13 Pro Max are in Graphite, Silver, Sierra Blue, and Gold.
Unfortunately, there is one thing missing—the touch ID. This is an upgrade that would have been highly appreciated since the face ID, well, with our masks on, can be a hassle to use. Also, the smartphone had some problems unlocking with the Apple Watch. But this isn’t an issue since Apple is working on it.
When it comes to size the iPhone Mini is 5.4 inches, standard 6.1 inches, iPhone 13 Pro 6.1 inches, iPhone 13 Pro Max 6.7 inches.
- ProMotion display
This feature is a brand name for Apple display which means updates and refresh rates that happens often— 60Hz or 60 times per second. But for this new model, they included a 120Hz refresh rate. This, when compared to the screens we have at home i.e., tv, is double the rate since they usually update at 60Hz. The feature has been available on the iPad Pro but has been now launched in the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The refresh rate determines how smooth and fast the scrolling is. And sailing content is a great experience than the smearing one. This feature, however, isn’t available in the mini. But that doesn’t stop it from giving its user an excellent time. In fact, when you compare it to the iPhone 12, there are some noticeable and visible improvements. So, no worries.
All the iPhone models have OLED screen panels.
The brightness increase rate favors people using it in the sun. This is because of the Super Retina XDR display which is 28% brighter than its predecessor—the change isn’t dramatic though. And when it comes to watching a movie, the HDR content can be screened at 1,200 nits on all the siblings.
The display size is also noticeable. The smallest display is on the iPhone 13 mini—5.4 inches with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, 476ppi. This makes this handful version the sharpest display of all. The largest is, of course, the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It has a resolution of 2778 x 1284 pixels, 458ppi, and a display size of 6.7 inches.
The 13 and 13 Pro have a similar display size o 6.1-inches while the resolution is 2532 x 1170 pixels, 460ppi.
There are so many interesting facts about the camera in all four versions. just imaging taking pictures in low lighting. Or better still owning a phone that can help you measure height? Cool, right? Well, the iPhone 13 has a lidar scanner on the Pro Max and Pro versions unlike in the iPhone 12 lineup. Its main purpose is autofocused pictures and videos with low noise as well as quality shots even in low lighting. Additionally, Apple said that there will be a new feature, on the Pro models, called ProRES that includes video recording of up to 4K at 30fps, later this year.
Although the new lens setup is the most common visible change, it has come with a few more advantages. The large camera has 1.7μm pixels and a wider camera that gathers 47% more light. The improved cameras on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini, has an ultrawide lens and are 12-megapixel wide. And for iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, the three rear cameras have telephoto lenses, are 12-megapixel wide, and are ultrawide.
Color temperature is an important fact to check on when buying a phone. Whether you want a rich contrast, vibrant, standard, cool, or warm one, the control should be yours. And alas the iPhone 13 lineup has the Photographic styles feature that is specifically for this purpose.
Wait, here comes the best part…the Macro photography and cinematic mode feature. The macro-Photography helps take pictures with the appropriate camera lens automatically while still offering a focused image. And the cinematic mode, just like the Apple Portrait Mode in the iPhone 7 plus, allows the subject to move around the frame and still remain in focus. This mode can be used while recording one or more subjects, and you can as well tap to the main focus or get a focus mode while editing.
However, as sweet as the deal sounds, there are some limitations. For the cinematic mode to work, there must be good lighting. And if there isn’t the camera app will warn you. The editing of the videos also needs to be done on Apple apps i.e., iMovie. And lastly, the cinematic mode can only be shot in p at frames per second.
- A5 Bionic and performance
The A15 Bionic is a faster chip and an advancement from the A14 Bionic in iPhone12. It offers a 4-core GPU, 6-core CPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. This means the CPU works up to 5% faster and the GPU is in a place to handle rendering graphics that are 20% faster which is quite impressive. The iPhone 13 Pro model has the fastest GPU which is five cores while the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 has our cores.
You can switch between tasks without any issues.
- Battery life
The iPhone 13 has an extended battery life than the iPhone 12 lineup. This is because of the A15 Bionic chip, bigger battery, and iOS 15. Despite Apple not revealing the battery specs, another source showed that there is a significant capacious cell than in the iPhone 12. The iPhone 13 Pro Max has the best battery life of Up to 28 hours. However, the bigger the battery, the bigger the phone. So, if you do mind a handful phone, then the iPhone 13 Pro Max isn’t for you.
The iPhone Mini powers for nearly 17 hours, while the other two—13 and 13 Pro—are at least 19 hours and 22 hours respectively. All these, when compared to the previous lineup, are a sizable leap.
iPhone 13, 13 MINI, 13 PRO AND 13 PRO MAX SPECS
|iPhone 13 mini||iPhone 13||iPhone 13 Pro||iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Storage||128, 256, 512GB||128, 256, 512 GB||128, 256, 512, 1TB||128, 256, 512, 1TB|
|Processor||A15 Bionic||A15 Bionic||A15 Bionic||A15 Bionic|
|Screen size||5.4 inches||6.1 inches||6.1 inches||6.7 inches|
|Rear cameras||Dual 12MP (Wide, ultrawide)||Dual 12MP (Wide, ultrawide)||Pro 12MP (Telephoto, Wide, Ultra-Wide)||Pro 12MP (Telephoto, Wide, Ultra-Wide)|
|Front camera||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth|
|Zoom||None / 5x digital||None / 5x digital||3x optical / 15x digital||3x optical / 15x digital|
|Adaptive refresh||No||No||Up to 120Hz||Up to 120Hz|
|Resolution/ppi||2340 x 1080/476||2532 x 1170/460||2532 x 1170/460||2778 x 1284/458|
|Colors||Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink||Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink||Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue||Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue|
|Size||5.2 x 2.5 x 0.3 inches||5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches||5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches||6.3 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches|
|Weight||4.97 ounces||6.14 ounces||7.2 ounces||8.5 ounces|
|Battery life (video playback||8:41||10:33||11:42||12:16|
Despite the upgrades being mostly under the hood, they are precisely made to give you a more improved experience. Fancy new features, great battery life—except in the mini— who wouldn’t want that? If you are still wondering if it’s worth it getting one, aim to focus on the fundamentals. ‘What upgrades are there?’ ‘Is there a promise that the game will get better?’ — once the debate is over and have a final answer, head on to the store and purchase that dream phone.
But most importantly, don’t forget to get the best screen protector from Tech Armor. A smartphone with such features deserves to be taken care of. And that’s your responsibility.