Should I buy an Apple iPhone 13 Pro?
|120Hz ProMotion display||Slow charging|
|Fantastic camera||No always-on display|
|Excellent battery life||Smaller notch doesn’t improve things|
The iPhone 13 Pro is Apple’s best in 2021 thanks to its advanced camera with 120Hz ProMotion display and two days of battery life, but keep in mind that the best Android competitors still win in terms of charging speed and low-light camera performance.
Full review of Apple iPhone 13 Pro
The iPhone 13 Pro has four job in the iPhone line, not only against fierce Android competition, but the iPhone 13 must prove itself to justify that everyone has to pay extra for Pro features on one phone. basically the same
This is a test that failed last year with the 12 cheaper Pros last year, and this year the schedules have changed and the 13 Pros seem to have won the 2021 iPhone rankings. The required features will largely depend on your level of embarrassment. , but the result is the same, it is the best iPhone of the year
The best iPhone is now good enough For iOS fans who are open to changing sides, they will no doubt find more powerful cameras and thinner devices in the best Android phones, but Apple has made significant improvements to battery life, especially this year.
Design and build
- Premium stainless steel design
- A smaller notch
- Excellent water resistance
Apple is wary of updating the design of the iPhone, so the 13 Pro will be very similar to anyone who has used the 12 Pro since last year. This means familiar Apple touches like familiar notches, square stainless steel edges and physical sliding to put the phone in Silent mode.
As you can see from the beginning, the 13 Pro is exactly the same size as its predecessor, but is now a bit thicker and 15g heavier. Along with the square edges, which the company re-introduced last year, it makes the phone feel very thick, but the weight combined with the stainless steel frame gives it a bit of high-quality polish.
This year, Apple has partially narrowed the notch that cuts the top of the screen, but if you don’t put this phone next to last year’s phone, you’ll have a hard time finding it. The phone’s software certainly doesn’t do much with the extra screen space – you’ll see the same notification icons on either side – and the change is nice, not big enough for everyone to worry about upgrades.
The reduced notch has the same Face ID technology as before – it’s simply compressed – but Apple couldn’t find a place to match one of the Touch ID power buttons found on several of the latest iPads. This has always been annoying, but especially considering the well-documented problems with Face ID’s face masks.
While the front camera area is reduced, the rear is swollen. There are still three lenses, but the new larger sensors have pushed Apple to zoom in on the entire camera module, now covering the back of the phone more and more. It has never been the best-looking phone camera in the world, and enlarging it certainly didn’t help, but I doubt it will bother many people.
I was looking at the 13 Pro in gold, I admit it’s a bit chic to my taste, but I know it’s fans. If this isn’t for you, make sure that silver and graphite return to last year’s lineup with the new (and quite surprisingly) Sierra Blue, a lighter alternative to last year’s Pacific color. Alpine Green, which appeared about six months after the initial release, should also be taken into account.
As with all iPhones, you can expect an IP68 waterproof rating; The screen is covered with Apple’s exclusive Ceramic Shield for extra durability.
If you’re hoping for a radical redesign of the iPhone, the 13 Pro will be disappointed – rumor has it that the iPhone 14 series may offer a little more in this regard. But if you’re a fan of the current iPhone design, it’s much more the same: a little smaller here, a little bigger there, but in the end everything works.
- Smooth 120Hz ProMotion update speed
- 6.1-inch OLED with spectacular colors
- Hook and thick bezel remain
For many, the screen will be the reason for the upgrade to the 13 Pro – and it will undoubtedly be the biggest reason to choose this phone over the iPhone 13 of similar size.
Both models have a 6.1-inch OLED display that supports HDR, True Tone and all the usual applications. Only the Pro (and larger, the 6.7-inch Pro Max) has additional brightness and a major improvement: the 120 Hz refresh rate, officially called ProMotion.
Introduced here for the first time on the iPhone (although iPad Pros have the technology since 2017 and even budget Android phones support it), the 120Hz refresh rate allows for more frequent screen refreshes and higher frame rates in games ( for example, responsive) games) and smoother, smoother animations in everyday use.
Like the transition to higher-resolution Retina displays, this is an inexplicable improvement, and some may not even realize it. Although it appears when you return to the 60Hz display; After using the 13 Pro, last year’s iPhone SE slows down even when performing simple tasks such as navigation or open apps on home screens.
Higher refresh rates consume more battery, so Apple has made it dynamic here; It has the ability to adjust up and down between 120Hz and 10Hz if needed. Switching to a lower refresh rate when appropriate can help your phone save energy when looking at static screens; This is undoubtedly part of what lies behind the impressive battery life improvements of the 13 Pro.
While phones like the Oppo Find X3 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro can drop to a slower 1Hz when needed, this dynamic update speed technology is less common on the Android side – albeit unheard of.
Often, as an Android user, the combination of a notch and a thick (by modern standards) black frame surrounding the screen still disappoints me, and I can’t wait to see what Apple has to offer with the next redesign. il. Still, I can’t blame the quality of the panel, which brings it back to where it should be among the best on the market.
Features and performance
- The most powerful phone on the market (currently)
- 25% faster than last year’s iPhone 12 Pro
- 1TB memory option
Each new iPhone series brings an updated chipset, which is no different from the now-shooting 5nm A15 Bionic.
Comparing iPhone chips to Android seems a bit counterproductive, but neither side can agree that the iPhone 13 Pro will withstand the net power of any Android phone on the market and will outperform certain tasks in general, especially videos. .
In our tests, we saw an increase of about 25% in CPU performance over 13 Pro years, and we saw a 19% increase in our graphics performance. The comparison scores consistently surpassed last year’s best Android devices, but keep in mind that the frame rate gap is closer than seen in graphics tests, and Android flagships have higher resolution displays that require more graphics processing power.
This last test revealed a wrinkle worth noting: applications will not be able to make the most of this technology from day one, as 120Hz support must be manually encoded. GFXBench was limited to 60 frames / s instead of hitting the higher frame rates the screen should now allow; this is a possible problem in many games and other applications; at least in the short term, and the developers are trying to fully support it.
This is also the first year that Apple has offered up to 1TB of memory on the iPhone, but Apple is charging several hundred for the upgrade. Anyone who uses iCloud and other cloud storage will probably be satisfied with the 128 GB base option, but if you want to take full advantage of the 13 Pro’s video capture technology, consider more.
5G is certainly back this year, but the exact 5G ranges supported vary by market, especially since mmWave is still only supported in the US.
You can also find NFC (for Apple Pay) and Ultra Broadband or UWB (for advanced Tap My technology that amplifies AirTag) along with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6. None of the last two are necessarily the latest standards. exists, but we are actually discussing it at this point.
Battery and charging
Exceptional two-day battery life
Slow (23W) wired charging
MagSafe (15W) and Qi (7.5W) wireless charging
If there’s one area where Apple has lagged behind Android in the last few years, it’s battery life. So you will forgive me for making fun of me a bit when the company promises “best battery life on the iPhone” this time. A little word, isn’t it?
Reader: I made a mistake.
Whether it’s a larger battery inside (Apple doesn’t officially disclose battery capacity), dynamic update speed and efficiency thanks to the A15 chip, or just software changes, the result is the first iPhone in years with really good battery life. not just good for the iPhone.
With light use, the 13 Pro lasts for two days, but it must be admitted that it falls into single digits before going to bed on the second day. Typical use sees it run smoothly for a full day, and I expect it to stay that way for years even if the battery runs out.
I’m sure a particular person’s battery will run out in a day – intense play or extensive video recording will probably work – but I don’t think the average user will see anything like that anytime soon. It’s a big step forward for Apple, and I see that the new iPhone not only keeps up with the best Android, but also leaves many of them behind – I don’t remember the last time.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said when it comes to backing up the 13 Pro.
While some of the best Android phones can now fully charge in less than half an hour and even offer wireless speeds that aren’t too low, Apple advertises a maximum speed of 20 watts for the 13 Pro, saying it can only charge 50%. After half an hour.
In fact, enterprising testers have found that the 13 Pro looks limited at 23W – partially better, but still. So, if you are planning to pair the Pro with a new charger, you should not look for anything more than 25 watts as you will not see any additional benefits.
And of course, since Apple no longer sends a charger to your phone, you may have to buy it. There is no indication that the company plans to switch the iPhone to USB-C, so it will not use the same charger as any new iPad or MacBook.
Wireless charging is also still supported, 7.5 watts faster than the universal Qi standard and 15 watts faster through Apple’s special MagSafe technology for the iPhone.
- Consecutive camera upgrades since last year
- It struggles with such bright light sources during the day
- The movie mode is impressive
Apple is pushing buyers toward Pro models based primarily on camera features, and while this year’s 120Hz screen update is great for many, the extra cost compared to the regular iPhone 13 makes sense if you just expect to do the same thing in the store. at the same time. most of the phone’s photographic ability.
At a glance, the rear camera here looks like the 12 Pro – except it’s bigger – and you’ll find a more basic lens, ultra-wide, and telephoto sensor. However, each has been improved and the results are undeniably impressive.
The main camera uses both a larger sensor and a faster aperture (f/1.5), both of which allow more light to enter the camera. In good lighting, this lens is expected to be excellent, but these days the same can be said for every flagship phone.
The real test is in low light, where the new sensor and aperture should make all the difference. Here, the 13 Pro does an excellent job of stabilizing shots and capturing details, but low light creates a random problem during daylight hours: the dynamic range.
The main camera of the 13 Pro – and indeed its other lenses, but we’ll get to them – constantly overexposes bright light sources at the expense of other elements of shooting. This is most often seen at sunset or when taking street scenes, but daytime glare can also be distracting.
The result is not only over-exposure and explosion of light sources, but sometimes other objects are often dark and less exposed, especially when the phone is backlit, as the phone focuses its exposure around the brightest point, including the sky.
This is a type of problem that Apple will fix over time, but any promise that this is the best camera phone will soon be broken.
Although there are many lenses here. The “most advanced” award will definitely be given to the ultra-wide camera, which rises from f/2.4 to f/1.8, which will make it one of the ultra-wide cameras with the widest aperture on any phone.
Its light capture capabilities are now almost equal to those of the main lens, but it cannot capture the same level of detail without any optical image stabilization, especially in low light. However, if you are trying to capture wide landscapes and cityscapes, this subtle detail is often less important, and when it comes to capturing natural sunsets and holiday landscapes, it will now retain itself in the main lens, despite the same warnings about the exhibit.
There is another new trick in Ultrawide. Now able to focus on objects up to 2 cm, this objective macro doubles its objective role and manages it very well. Instead of a special low-resolution macro shooter, you can use all the power of the ultra-wide area. The results are still not perfect – it can sometimes be difficult to find attention, and for anything closer than 2 cm, it won’t work at all – but it’s an excellent choice.
The only real concern is that it starts automatically when you approach an object, which is a bit annoying, especially since it is too far from a focal length of 2 cm. If you want to frame the shot from a variable exact distance, this is absolutely useless, because the slightest movement will cause the cameras to constantly move back and forth. Fortunately, Apple offers a switch to turn off this mode, although it is not yet available.
While both the main and ultra-wide lenses here are improved compared to their regular iPhone 13 counterparts, there’s a third lens that really sets the 13 Pro apart: the telephoto.
The 3x optical zoom lens (was 2x in last year’s model) is a mixed benefit. A longer zoom distance is a definite advantage when shooting distant subjects, but I find it more difficult to use for portrait photography – you’ll need to step away from your subject a bit. This is still a long way off from the 5x and 10x lenses found on some Samsung and Xiaomi flagships, but you can’t argue with that.
I was worried that the f/2.8 aperture would also limit the lens, but actually the telephoto holds its own even in low light and at night. It has the same issues as blown light sources like other lenses, but in many cases it also shares the same strengths.
While the 13 Pro is mostly compatible with the best frames on Android, no matter what lens you use, Apple sticks to the top, which is comfortable, smooth and stable, at least when it comes to video. The cameras here are still locked at 4K @ 60fps – not 8K, who needs them? – but soon Apple will also support its own ProRes video format, but unfortunately it is not ready yet.
A great addition here is Kinematic Mode with adjustable focus, which is essentially Portrait mode for video. This is another feature found on a few Android devices, but Apple’s app basically dusts them off; with excellent object detection and natural bokeh nausea.
The camera program will do its best to wisely choose the best focus point, select faces and animals and quickly adjust while shooting. This aspect of technology isn’t perfect yet, but the ability to quickly and easily change focus points in a video after shooting makes it a moot point. The only real downside is the limitation of HD resolutions, not 4K, but that’s far from a bargain.
As you’d expect, a selfie camera also excels. This 12Mp, f/2.2 camera is still one of the best front cameras on the market, and it has the same software gimmicks that really help set it apart, including 4K video and Kinematics mode.
Software and updates
- iOS 15 out of the box
- New notification management tools
- Long-term software guaranteed
The iPhone 13 series is the first iPhone to come with iOS 15 – if you already have an iPhone (after at least 6 seconds), it will definitely be available to you.
Like the iPhone 13 series itself, this year’s iOS update doesn’t make any major changes to the system, but updates here are welcome.
Notification Digest is perhaps the biggest improvement and next step in Apple’s ongoing efforts to improve iPhone notifications – a weakness of the platform. You can now combine specific notifications – news updates, Netflix content drops, or Instagram followers ping – into recaps that come at regular intervals throughout the day, and broadcast only the highest priority alerts during the first broadcast.
Alongside similar lines, the new Focus Modes each have customized profiles that bring their own home screens, notification settings, and Anxiety configurations (work, home, sleep, gym, and more). allows you to create
There are new features for FaceTime, iMessage, and Apple Maps, and smaller changes, including the ability to capture predictive text from photos. These are unlikely to radically change the way you use your iPhone.
In the end, iPhone owners will find familiar things and anyone using Android will face a learning curve, but all in all, there is a lot to overcome for those who hesitate.
The only major downside is the always-on display – I miss being able to see the time and notifications at a glance without waking my phone. This is another area where Apple is interestingly behind the times and where dynamic update rates are supported and battery life increases, there is no longer any hardware justification for this software glitch.
Of course, such minor glitches are rectified by Apple’s long-term commitment to software support. While things have improved elsewhere, most flagships now offer two or three years of Android updates, and no one can beat Apple in terms of longevity. If you want to buy a phone now and continue using it for five years, it really should be an iPhone.
price and availability
iPhone 13 Pro is now available from Apple, Amazon, and more. It’s not even a cheap phone for its starting price, and it quickly becomes a very expensive phone as you add it to your memory.
- 128GB: £949/US$999/€1,159
- 256GB: £1,049/US$1,099/€1,279
- 512GB: £1,249/US$1,299/€1,509
- 1TB: £1,449/US$1,499/€1,739
You’ll pay around £170 / $200 / €250 for the Pro over the regular iPhone 13 at each storage point (although there’s no 1TB option for this model), although this seems like an acceptable reward for the 120Hz display, the dotted telephoto aim and other added features throughout . I would say a single screen is an added expense for many, but think about how much you would really appreciate the add-ons.
There’s also the slightly more expensive 13 Pro Max. Unlike last year, it basically has the same features as the Pro, so it’s worth considering that you’re only willing to pay extra for a bigger screen and a bigger phone; However, you can expect slightly better battery life from it. Similarly, the 13 Mini matches the specs of the regular 13, but in a smaller form factor.
Android flagships like the Galaxy S21, Xiaomi Mi 11, Oppo Find X3 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro are the main contenders. All of them will fit the iPhone 13 Pro in terms of key performance and camera cuts, but will vary elsewhere. Most offer faster charging than Apple, some have more versatile camera arrays, and some still outperform the improved display seen here. None of them have a notch, and many will cost less than that, especially for equivalent storage.
To better understand the competition and how the 13 Pro stacks up, check out our ranking of the best flagship phones in both operating systems or our current iPhone rankings to learn how other Apple models compare.
iPhone 13 Pro is the best iPhone model of this year. The 6.1-inch screen is the most comfortable size for most users, and the 120Hz refresh rate combined with all the camera upgrades make it an added cost compared to the base iPhone 13.
By Android standards, the comparison is more complicated. In terms of clean performance, the 13 Pro stands out against any phone and is unmatched for video recording. Top phones from Samsung, Xiaomi, and Vivo currently outperform Apple’s stills, but not much these days and it remains the dedicated camera on the phone.
By adopting 120Hz and tweaking battery life, Apple has finally patched its two biggest vulnerabilities, and charging speed remains the biggest difference between the best iPhones and the competition – many doubt Apple’s offering will be perfectly adequate. . .
Finally, iOS 15 and Apple’s design language will draw people to the iPhone 13 Pro like everything else. If you’re a fan of Cupertino’s work, this is as good an example as any the company can make with mobile equipment, and shortcomings are now few and far between as long as you can afford it.