iPhone 13 review: Apple delivers a delightful upgrade

The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini obtained various important upgrades together with new cameras, a bigger battery, more storage and a brighter display screen. The iPhone 13 is a pleasant improve to final 12 months’s already great iPhone 12 household. Some can be upset as a result of it isn’t radically completely different from earlier fashions, however that is really a part of the appeal. Familiarity has been one of many keys to Apple’s success with the iPhone, and the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are those self same dependable buddies that seemingly by no means change.

The iPhone 13 begins at $829 (£779, AU$1,349) and the 13 Mini at $729 (£679, AU$1,199). That is for the bottom mannequin, which comes with 128GB of storage. In the event you purchase and activate your cellphone on a provider plan, that worth drops by $30, and that is earlier than including on the impressive deals from carriers.

Learn extra: iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max review: Damn, these cameras

For all intents and functions Apple launched two telephones in 2021: The iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro. If you need a small model of the iPhone 13, get an iPhone 13 Mini. In the event you want an iPhone 13 Professional with an even bigger display screen and battery, get the 13 Professional Max. I spent 5 days testing all 4 telephones and determined to share my leads to two opinions. This one covers the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini; I wrote a separate one on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. You can too compare all four iPhone 13 models here.


  • New cameras
  • Cinematic mode
  • iOS 15

Do not Like

  • Nonetheless want the notch was smaller

Last year’s iPhone 12 is still around at a lower price. In the event you’re upgrading from an iPhone 11 or older, bear in mind the iPhone 12 with 128GB of storage is barely $50 lower than the iPhone 13. Meaning it is simple to climb that improve ladder from an iPhone 12 as much as a 13. Apple’s intelligent pricing apart, you positively get greater than $50 of enhancements with the 13.

I am completely happy the iPhone Mini lived to see another year. If the iPhone 13 is simple, the 13 Mini simply needs to be the shy child within the nook of the sandbox. As a proud iPhone 12 Mini proprietor, I am tempted to improve simply to get the additional battery life. However whether or not you are due in your two-year (or more) upgrade or have been sitting on a a lot older cellphone, the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are each strong selections.

The iPhone 13 retains the flat-sided design, is available in 5 colours

The brand new telephones have the identical squared-edged design because the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini. They come in five colors: blue, starlight, Product pink, midnight and pink. In sure lighting, the tender pink shade can virtually look white.

On the entrance of the iPhone 13 is a 6.1-inch show, and there is a 5.4-inch display screen on the 13 Mini. Each are OLED panels similar to the 12 and 12 Mini. The Professional fashions acquired an improve and added excessive refresh charges to their shows, however the 13 and 13 Mini acquired a noticeable improve in brightness.

Apart from the colours, there are two conspicuous design adjustments. A brand new digicam bump homes the dual-rear cameras diagonally. It is humorous how one change can clue individuals in. After I examined it, a number of individuals stopped to ask if this was the “new iPhone.”

iPhone 13 and 13 Mini

The iPhone 13 embraces the acquainted design of the iPhone 12.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The opposite distinction is that the notch is slimmer. It is nonetheless a notch and I nonetheless have a love-hate relationship with it aesthetically. However I will take it being 20% smaller.

Apart from that, the telephones have a Ceramic Protect masking over the show, an IP68 ranking for dust- and water-resistance means they’ll survive being submerged 6 meters (about 20 ft) for as much as half-hour. The fashions I examined had no bother surviving an sudden drench from a day summer time rainstorm.

Technically each telephones are heavier, however I did not understand that till I learn the specs sheet. If the additional 7 to 10 grams come from the larger battery, I welcome the additional weight. I solely had 5 days with the telephones, however each the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini had no bother making it via a day on a single cost. I personal a 12 Mini and know the fact of the three p.m. recharge, however to date I have not skilled that with the 13 Mini. I am placing each telephones via CNET’s battery checks and can replace this evaluation with the ultimate outcomes.

The iPhone 13 will get a number of huge digicam upgrades

The wide-angle digicam has a bigger sensor with sensor-based stabilization. Apple says the cameras had been organized diagonally to make room for the larger digicam module. To offer you some perspective, the principle digicam sensor on the iPhone 13 has the identical sized pixels as the principle digicam on final 12 months’s iPhone 12 Professional Max, which on the time had the biggest sensor on an iPhone. The ultrawide digicam will get a brand new sensor that helps it collect extra gentle.

In use, these upgrades do not make drastic variations, however I positively seen the enhancements. There’s much less picture noise in photographs I soak up medium lighting. And the ultrawide is healthier at taking photographs in dim lighting. Check out a few of my favourite photographs I took with the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini beneath.

Cinematic mode on the iPhone 13 is a blast

One of the-hyped new digicam options is Cinematic mode. It is sort of like Portrait mode for video, however whereas Portrait mode solely offers the background a creative out-of-focus blur, Cinematic mode can focus from one topic to a different. This leaves both the background or foreground out-of-focus. The impact is dramatic and almost everybody I confirmed a Cinematic video to was awestruck.

Cinematic mode makes use of the 2 cameras on the again stereoscopically to seize 1080p video at 30 frames per second. The iPhone can select who to give attention to and when to alter focus to another person, however you too can change the main focus in the course of the recording. Better of all, after you report a video, you’ll be able to return and alter who’s in focus, when to shift focus from one particular person to a different and modify the aperture to extend or lower the depth of subject.

The outcomes are good, and I think about after utilizing it sufficient you will have your individual sense of what is attainable. However there are a number of limits to pay attention to. First, you’ll be able to’t use Cinematic mode when it is darkish. You may be greeted with a message prompting you to show in your flash.

Subsequent, modifying a Cinematic video is simple sufficient, however the controls for the keyframes the place you alter focus are small. You’ll be able to long-press to develop the timeline, however it shrinks again as quickly as you let go, making it unattainable to maintain a zoomed-in view of these tiny focus keyframes.

The iPhone 13 helps you to personalize the way it captures photographs for you

One other good addition is Photographic Types, which adjustments the way in which your digicam develops photographs to fit your desire. There are 4 Photographic Types: Vibrant, Wealthy Distinction, Heat and Cool. These kinds aren’t filters added after the actual fact. You select which one you want, and your iPhone incorporates that type into its workflow for creating a photograph.

For instance, should you normally edit your photographs so as to add extra distinction after you are taking them, you’ll be able to set the Digital camera app to Wealthy Distinction. Your cellphone will not simply amp up the distinction throughout the complete picture, it analyzes your topic and applies the type selectively. In the event you use the Heat Photographic Model, it will not make your topic’s pores and skin orange. However it is going to add heat tones to different components of the picture as quickly as you press the shutter button.

What’s fascinating is you’ll be able to dial within the quantity of tone and heat for every type to fit your desire. Additionally, should you do not need to use any of those kinds, you’ll be able to depart your digicam set to plain.

iPhone 13 has an A15 Bionic chip

Computing all this digicam magic and all the things else you do on the iPhone 13 is the A15 Bionic chip. In my time it dealt with all the things from gaming, video and picture edits, FaceTime calls and AR apps nicely. One specific element is that the A15 chip on the 13 and 13 Mini has a four-core GPU whereas the A15 on the 13 Professional and 13 Professional Max has a five-core GPU. In use, I could not discern the distinction. However in benchmark checks you’ll be able to. The 4 telephones had an equivalent GeekBench 5 rating, however the Professional fashions had a better rating within the gaming efficiency take a look at 3D Mark.

Geekbench v5.0 single-core

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency.

Geekbench v.5.0 multicore

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency.

3DMark Slingshot Limitless

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency.

The brand new iPhones run iOS 15, which in my time labored nicely. iOS 15 is not a drastic overhaul and looks like a continuation of iOS 14. It isn’t outlined by a few large flashy options. As an alternative, iOS 15 is made up of a whole bunch of small and medium additions that add as much as one thing extra important. From extra methods to personalize your Memoji to the bigger visible enhancements in Maps, iOS 15 is a major enchancment in your cellphone.

If you need a deeper dive into iOS 15 and my expertise with options like Focus mode, be careful my run-down of iOS 15’s best features.

I do need to point out that I used evaluation telephones that Apple lent me. Throughout my 5 days, the iPhone 13 Professional Max powered off unexpectedly twice and the iPhone 13 Professional Max shut down as soon as. I do not assume this can be a main situation or something to be alarmed about, however I wished to share my expertise.

By way of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, it has been a very good begin however we now have extra in-depth testing to do with the batteries, sturdiness and evaluating its cameras in opposition to different telephones. However proper now, the iPhone 13 would be the dependable cellphone that most individuals can be more than pleased to make use of for the subsequent few years.

iPhone 13 specs vs. 13 Mini, 13 Professional, 13 Professional Max

iPhone 13 Mini iPhone 13 iPhone 13 Professional iPhone 13 Professional Max
Show measurement, decision 5.4-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6.7-inch OLED; 2,778×1,284 pixels
Dimensions (Inches) 5.18×2.53×0.3 in 5.78×2.82×0.3 in 5.78×2.82×0.3 in 6.33×3.07×0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 132x64x7.65 mm 147x72x7.65 mm 147x72x7.65 mm 161x78x7.65 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 4.97 oz; 141g 6.14 oz; 174g 7.19 oz; 204g 8.48 oz; 240g
Cell software program iOS 15 iOS 15 iOS 15 iOS 15
Digital camera 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Entrance-facing digicam 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video seize HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60 fps HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60 fps ProRes video recording as much as 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128GB storage)* ProRes video recording as much as 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128GB storage)*
Processor Apple A15 Bionic Apple A15 Bionic Apple A15 Bionic Apple A15 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Expandable storage No No No No
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 19 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 22 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 28 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor No (Face ID) No (Face ID) No (Face ID) No (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Particular options 5G enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) ProMotion expertise with adaptive refresh charges as much as 120Hz; lidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) ProMotion expertise with adaptive refresh charges as much as 120Hz; lidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Value off-contract (USD) $699 (128GB), $799 (256GB), $999 (512GB) $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB) $999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB), $1,499 (1TB) $1,099 (128GB), $1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB), $1,599 (1TB)
Value (GBP) £679 (128GB), £779 (256GB), £979 (512GB) £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB), £1,079 (512GB) £949 (128GB), £1,049 (256GB), £1,249 (512GB), £1,449 (1TB) £1,049 (128GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB), £1,549 (1TB)
Value (AUD) AU$1,199 (128GB), AU$1,369 (256GB), AU$1,719 (512GB) AU$1,349 (128GB), AU$1,519 (256GB), AU$1,869 (512GB) AU$1,699 (128GB), AU$1,869 (256GB), AU$2,219 (512GB), AU$2,569 (1TB) AU$1,849 (128GB), AU$2,019 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB), AU$2,719 (1TB)

https://www.cnet.com/tech/cellular/iphone-13-review/ | iPhone 13 evaluation: Apple delivers a pleasant improve


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