A new iPhone model is released each year. This time, it’s the iPhone 13’s chance to take center stage and try to persuade us that it’s the best iPhone since, well, the previous one.
To be fair, it has a huge task ahead of it. The previous version included major improvements, such as a redesigned design, CPU, and OLED screen. So, with the iPhone 13, all of those features are already in place, but has Apple managed to take the game forward once again, or is this more similar to a slightly modified ‘S’ model like we’ve seen before?
Details About the Product (iPhone 13 by Apple)
The battery is bigger, the notch is narrower, and the design is almost the same. Perhaps a bit too closely, the new iPhone 13 resembles the vanilla model from 2020. However, the 12 was the best-selling model of its generation, so it’s not all terrible.
This isn’t the place to go for a completely fresh appearance. Knowing that it has not changed since 2017, shrinking the notch is no easy task. However, the design of smartphones has advanced. In another sense, the vanilla model (as well as the 13 minis) is stuck in the past: its display only refreshes 60 times per second. The two Pro versions switched to 120Hz, making 60Hz seem even more obsolete.
That isn’t to suggest the iPhone 13 isn’t equipped with improvements. For one thing, this year’s show is more vivid than the previous year’s. It also features a new rear camera with a bigger sensor and sensor-shift image stabilization, which was previously only available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
You’d assume the bigger pixels (1.7m vs. 1.4m) would affect picture quality. The iPhone 13 captures pictures almost similar to the iPhone 12, as Will demonstrates in our video review below.
However, the new phone takes much better selfies. In fact, this may be the greatest selfie camera we’ve ever used. The Apple A15 chipset, which is more powerful, allows features like Cinematic mode, shown in the movie.
The iPhone 13 maintains its flat-sided appearance and is available in five different colors.
The squared-edged appearance of the new phones is similar to that of the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini. Blue, starlight, Product red, midnight, and pink are among the five hues available. The delicate pink hue may seem nearly white under certain lighting.
The iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch screen on the front, while the iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch screen. Like the 12 and 12 Mini, both have OLED displays. The Pro versions received an update to their screens, which now have high refresh rates, while the 13 and 13 Mini saw a significant brightness boost.
There are two noticeable design modifications in addition to the colors. The dual-rear cameras are now diagonally housed in a redesigned camera bump. It’s amazing how one little adjustment may lead to a significant shift in perception. Several folks asked if this was the “new iPhone” while I was testing it.
An A15 Bionic chip powers the iPhone 13!
The A15 Bionic processor is Apple’s charge of all iPhone 13’s camera wizardry and everything else. During my time with it, it was capable of handling a wide range of tasks, including gaming, video and picture editing, FaceTime conversations, and augmented reality applications. The 13 and 13 Mini have a four-core GPU, while the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max have a five-core GPU. I couldn’t tell the difference while I was using them. Benchmark tests, on the other hand, are a different story. The four phones all scored the same in GeekBench 5, but the Pro versions outperformed the others in the 3D Mark gaming performance test.
The iPhone 13 keeps the iPhone 12’s design!
The notch is also narrower. It’s still up a notch, and I’m still torn between like it and despising it. However, I’ll accept 20% less.
Aside from that, the phones feature a Ceramic Shield coating over the display and IP68 dust- and water-resistance certification, which means they can withstand being immersed for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 6 meters (approximately 20 feet). A midday summer rainfall had little effect on the models I tested.
Both phones are heavier in weight, but I didn’t know that until I read the specifications page. We appreciate the additional weight if the 7 to 10 grams come from the larger battery. I only used the phones for five days, but the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini easily lasted a day on a single charge. I have a 12 Mini and am familiar with the reality of a 3 p.m. charge, but I haven’t had that experience with the 13 Mini yet. I’ll run both phones through CNET’s battery testing and report back on the findings.
You can customize how the iPhone 13 takes your pictures!
Photographic Styles, which alters how your camera develops pictures to fit your preferences, is another useful feature. Vibrant, Rich Contrast, Warm, and Cool are the four styles of photography. These aren’t post-production filters. You choose your favorite, and your iPhone uses that style in its photo-editing process.
Set the Camera app to Rich Contrast, for example, if you frequently alter your pictures after they’ve been taken to add more contrast. Your phone evaluates your topic and applies the style selectively rather than increasing the contrast across the board. Your subject’s skin will not become orange when you choose the Warm Photographic Style. When you click the shutter button, though, it will add warm tones to other areas of the image.
What’s even more interesting is that you may adjust the amount of tone and warmth for each style to your liking. You may also keep your camera in normal mode if you don’t want to utilize any of these styles.
Several major camera improvements have been made to the iPhone 13!
The sensor on the wide-angle camera is bigger, and sensor-based stabilization is available. The cameras were placed diagonally to allow for the larger camera module, according to Apple. To put things in perspective, the iPhone 13’s primary camera sensor has the same pixel size as last year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max, which featured the biggest sensor on an iPhone at the time. With its new sensor added to the ultrawide camera, allowing it to collect more light.
These enhancements don’t make a huge impact in terms of performance, but they make a difference in appearance. In pictures taken in medium illumination, image noise is reduced. Furthermore, the ultrawide lens performs better in low-light situations. Check out some of my favorite iPhone 13 and 13 Mini pictures below.
The iPhone 13’s cinematic mode is a lot of fun.
Cinematic mode is one of the most talked-about new camera functions. Cinematic mode is similar to Portrait mode for video in that it may concentrate from one topic to another. In contrast, Portrait mode simply blurs the backdrop artistically. The backdrop or foreground will be out of focus as a result of this. The result is stunning, and almost everyone I showed a Cinematic film to was blown away.
Cinematic mode captures 1080p footage at 30 frames per second using the two cameras on the rear stereoscopically. The iPhone can select who to concentrate on and when to switch to another person. Still, you may also alter the focus while the video is in progress. Best of all, you can modify the aperture to increase or reduce the depth of field after you’ve recorded a video and alter who’s in focus, when to shift focus from one person to another, and who’s in focus.
The results are excellent, and I think that after a while of using it, you’ll have a feel of what’s possible. There are, however, certain limitations to consider. For starters, Cinematic mode is not available in low-light situations. You’ll be prompted to use your flash via a message.
Next, although creating a Cinematic movie is simple enough, the controls for changing focus keyframes are tiny. Long-pressing the timeline expands it, but as you let go, it shrinks back down, making it hard to maintain a zoomed-in view of those small focus keyframes.
Unboxing your iPhone 13
With the iPhone 13, there isn’t much to unbox since Apple has removed everything from the retail packaging, save the USB cord from reducing electronic waste, with the additional profit being a bonus. This year, Apple has gone greener by previous plastic packaging instead of using paper stickers wherever wrapping was required.
The iPhone 13 and a USB-C to Lightning cable are thus contained inside this slim and light package.
Apple has yet to adopt USB-C on iPhones for various reasons, the most important of which being accessory compatibility and electrical waste. The EU Commission is pushing for this shift, so we’ll either witness the end of Lightning-capable iPhones or the end of iPhones with any kind of USB connection, given Apple’s track record.
Some documentation, the SIM-ejection pin, and one Apple sticker are stored in the tiny paper container.
- Long-lasting battery.
- Improved cameras and a brighter display
- Outperforms the competition.
- Cinematic video mode is enthralling.
- The display does not support 120Hz.
- The maximum resolution in cinematic mode is 1080p.
- Charges at a slower rate than the competition.
It doesn’t seem to be particularly new when you first glance at the iPhone 13 (starting at $799). When you start using this flagship, though, you’ll see that it offers much more than just a reduced notch.
The display on the new iPhone is brighter than previous models. It has longer battery life. And Apple has enhanced an already excellent camera by adding additional sensors and computational photography capabilities that make you feel like an expert photographer (even on a non-Pro phone).
Yes, the A15 Bionic processor that powers the iPhone 13 is the fastest in the world once again. But it’s about what you can accomplish with this chip. This features Cinematic mode, which adds depth of field to your movies while adjusting focus automatically, and Photographic Styles, which lets you change your photos’ appearance.
The iPhone 13 offers the greatest value for money because of its brighter display, longer battery life, and strong cameras. However, we wish it had quicker charging and a 120Hz adaptive display like the iPhone 13 Pro.