Though an incremental upgrade from last year’s iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 offers a beefier processor, improvements to the camera, better battery life and greater storage.
At its latest launch event, Apple pulled the curtains back on the iPhone 13, the newest flavor of its core mobile product. Following in the footsteps of the iPhone 12, the new version is available in four variants: the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. And though the new phone is more evolutionary than revolutionary, it does offer several features that should appeal to business users. Some of the new features are available for all four models, but several apply only to the two Pro models.
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Different sizes of the iPhone 13
As with the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 comes in four models and three different screen sizes to fit a variety of budgets and pockets.
Starting at $699, the iPhone 13 mini is the smallest with a 5.4-inch screen. Though the iPhone 12 mini failed to truly catch on with consumers, this size may attract anyone who doesn’t need a big screen to watch videos or play games. Plus, the mini model fits comfortably in small pockets, so it’s easy to carry with you.
The $799 iPhone 13 and $999 iPhone 13 Pro both weigh in with a 6.1-inch screen, providing a “Goldilocks zone” for mobile phones. Not too large, not too small, and just right for viewing photos and videos and still squeezing into most pockets for portability.
Tipping the scales is the $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max, sporting a 6.7-inch screen. This one is geared for people who want the largest possible display and don’t mind if the phone won’t fit in their pocket.
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The iPhone 13 lineup is powered by the new A15 Bionic chip, the successor to last year’s A14 Bionic from the iPhone 12. Built using 5-nanometer technology and equipped with six cores (two for performance and four4 for efficiency), the A15 kicks in a faster performance and greater efficiency over its predecessor. The four-core GPU in the iPhone 13 and 13 mini and the five-core GPU in the two Pro phones help speed up the graphics. All of this means a faster and smoother performance overall.
The iPhone 13 family continues with the Super Retina XDR display from last year’s model. But the display is brighter. The iPhone 12 offered a maximum brightness of 625 nits. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini improve that with a max of 800 nits, while the Pro models up that to 1,000 nits.
Dynamic refresh rate
For the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, Apple has doubled the maximum refresh rate to 120Hz from the 60Hz built into previous iPhones and still used in the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini. The refresh rate determines the number of times per second that the screen redraws itself. The higher the rate, the more fluid the motion appears on the screen. Another key benefit is less flickering, which reduces eye strain.
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However, one drawback of a high refresh rate is that it can chew up battery power, especially if it’s on all the time. To address this issue, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max use an adaptive feature called ProMotion to dynamically adjust the refresh rate depending on the screen content and user interaction. For example, a rapidly changing app or video could stick with a high rate, while a static screen with little or no movement would get drilled down to a lower rate. The end result is greater life from a single battery charge.
The iPhone 13 lineup offers the same camera setups as on the iPhone 12: 12MP ultrawide and wide cameras on the rear of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini and 12MP ultrawide, wide and telephoto cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. But the cameras themselves have been enhanced with several features designed to improve your photos, particularly on the two Pro phones.
The wide camera on all four phones comes with a bigger sensor able to take in almost 50% more light, according to Apple. The wide camera is also outfitted with sensor‑shift optical image stabilization, a feature usually found on DSLRs that stabilizes the sensor rather than the actual lens so that your photos are steadier. The ultrawide camera boasts a new sensor capable of picking up greater details in darker areas and with less noise.
The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max enjoy even more camera enhancements. For the first time, the ultrawide camera on the Pro models gets autofocus to help you take sharper photos, especially in low-light conditions. The telephoto camera on the Pro models comes with a new 77mm lens to get even closer to your subjects.
For capturing small items up close, the ultrawide camera on the two Pro models introduces a macro photography mode with a focus distance of two centimeters (0.79 inches). Further, a night mode feature is now available on all three cameras of the Pro phones to capture better photos in low-light conditions.
All four new iPhones offer another helpful option dubbed Photographic Styles. With this feature, you can more easily bounce among different preset and customized modes to quickly change the tone, warmth and vibrance of a scene. Apple cited this new feature as more advanced than a simple filter as it can intelligently adjust different parts of the photo to make sure important elements are preserved.
If you’re a professional or even amateur videographer, you might gravitate to any of the four iPhone 13 models for the new Cinematic mode. Using rack focus to change the focus from one subject in a scene to another, Cinematic mode can help you easily and automatically alter the focus just as you’d see in a motion picture or TV show.
For example, this mode can shift focus from someone or something in the foreground to a person or object in the background. It can even change focus if a person in the foreground simply looks at something in the background. You decide when and how to use Cinematic mode, opting to change the focus during or after shooting a video.
The iPhone 13 and 13 mini have increased the minimum and maximum storage options, starting you off with 128GB of space and capping with 512GB. The two Pro models offer a 1TB option to provide more space to store your photos, videos and other hefty content.
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Thanks to a larger battery and the more efficient A15 Bionic chip, the iPhone 13 offers better battery life than in previous models. The iPhone 13 offers up to two and a half more hours per day than the iPhone 12, while the iPhone 13 mini provides up to an hour and a half more in a day than the iPhone 12 mini.
On the Pro side, the iPhone 13 Pro will last up to one and a half hours longer per day than the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will hold out for two and a half hours longer each day than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Finally, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini come in five colors: (Product) red, starlight, midnight, blue and pink. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max come in graphite, gold, silver and Sierra blue.