Apple, like most phone manufacturers, has maintained a yearly update cycle for its phones and this year saw the launch of the iPhone 13 series. Launched on September 14th, the lineup delivers some delightful upgrades from the iPhone 12, that’s especially so for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. However, some may argue that the phone feels more of an iteration of the iPhone 12, which raises the question, should you upgrade to an iPhone 13? Let’s take a look at what this smartphone has to offer.
The iPhone 13 lineup pricing doesn’t differ much from that of the iPhone 12 series. The iPhone 13 mini, which is the cheapest of the bunch, starts at $1,199 AUD, while the base iPhone 13 starts at $1,349 AUD. Apple dropped its 64GB models for this lineup, and so for those prices, you will be getting a 128GB model. Of course, prices increase with storage. Therefore, if you prefer a 256GB variant, for instance, it will cost you about $1,519 AUD for the base iPhone 13.
As expected, the iPhone Pro and Pro Max are much more expensive as they come with better specs. These are not the cheapest phones on the market. But if you must have one but your budget won’t allow it, you can buy a second hand or use one from the reliable retailers in Australia.
Apple went a notch higher with the iPhone 13 display, adopting OLED panels across the range. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini come with a 6.1-inch display and 5.4-inch display, respectively. However, the company let us down in regards to the refresh rate, which is only 60Hz. For a flagship, this is rather low, especially if you consider that the soon-to-launch Samsung Galaxy S22 is rumoured to feature a 120Hz refresh rate for the base model. Apple, however, does make up for this by giving the phone a noticeable upgrade in brightness, which peaks at 1,200 nits.
The pro models don’t differ much in size from their siblings. The iPhone 13 pro stands at 6.06-inches, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max is 6.68-inches. They boast a more impressive refresh of 120Hz, making them the first iPhones to have this. For this reason, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max promise a smoother user experience when multitasking or playing heavy games. Nevertheless, the iPhone 13 range delivers clear and bright images, and the phones can hold up against other smartphones in direct sunlight. Plus, the entire lineup supports features like HDR and True Tone.
The iPhone 13 follows the same design philosophy as the iPhone 12, and so there’s little about the design that makes it stand out. It sports the same flat edges as the iPhone 12, a striking improvement to the rounded edges of previous models. The iPhone 13 range also comes with a glass front and rear as well as an aluminium housing. Apple redesigned the camera bump, which houses the cameras diagonally. On the subject of weight, the iPhone 13 weighs slightly more than the iPhone 12, a worthwhile upgrade if you are coming from an older iPhone.
Regarding durability, the iPhone 13 range is IP68 dust and water-resistant. Don’t go swimming with it, though, as the phones aren’t completely waterproof. They can only survive in water up to 6 meters for 30 minutes. We get new colour options with this range. The iPhone 13 and 13 mini come in red, midnight black, pink, blue, and white. The Pro and Pro Max, on the other hand, are available in gold, Sierra blue, silver, and graphite.
Everyone loves a good camera, and Apple doesn’t disappoint. The iPhone 13 and 13 mini come with the same diagonal dual camera setup. You get a 12MP wide camera with an f/1.6 aperture plus a 12MP ultra-wide camera with an f/2.4 aperture. Their counterparts in the iPhone 12 range feature the same specs, so there’s isn’t much of a difference. However, Apple made some upgrades to the ultra-wide camera to offer better low light performance while the wide camera allows in 47% more light.
Comparatively, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max feature a triple camera configuration: a 12MP main camera with an f/1.5 aperture and image shift stabilization. The telephoto camera is also 12MP but with an f/2.8 aperture and 3x optical zoom, while the ultra-wide camera is 12MP with an aperture of f/1.8. In this case, we get better zoom capabilities compared to last year’s pro models.
Video recording is excellent, with all the models offering 4K video recording support to up to 60 frames per second.
Performance and Battery
Under the hood, we have an A15 bionic chip and larger batteries, which promise improved battery life. The iPhone 13 mini supports up to 17 hours of playback, and the battery lasts for up to 1.5-hours longer than the iPhone 12 mini. Delivering 19 hours of playback, the entry-level iPhone 13 lasts 2.5 hours longer compared to the base iPhone 12. The Pro models are even more impressive, reportedly offering 28 hours of playback for the Pro Max and 22 hours for the Pro model.
The iPhone 13 range might not come with some revolutionary upgrades, but Apple does focus on the most important aspects. With this phone, you get better cameras, longer battery life, and excellent performance. However, there are no new ideas implemented on the iPhone 13. Therefore, if you already own an iPhone 12, it may not be worth upgrading to an iPhone 13.