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iPhone 13 Pro review

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Although the iPhone 13 Pro isn’t Apple’s most expensive handset, it provides a great all-round experience. It has the longest battery life and the fastest performance of any iPhone. This, plus a few small upgrades, makes it an exceptional smartphone.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is a great option for those who want the best Apple smartphone. However, it’s also slightly less expensive at $999 / PS949 / AU$1,699.

It is worth noting that the iPhone 14 lineup, which includes the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Max, will be available on September 7. You can’t go wrong with an iPhone 13 Pro.

The iPhone 13 Pro is a major upgrade for those who already own an iPhone.

The design of the iPhone 12 Pro is an exception. The handset feels premium with a matte finish on its rear and stainless steel edges.

The A15 Bionic chipset and 6GB RAM provide enough power to run the most complex apps. The phone comes with 128GB storage with additional options up to 1TB available for those who require more space.

The iPhone 13 Pro offers an excellent camera experience with a wide range of cameras that can be used for both daytime and evening shooting. You can also shoot from a wide range of distances thanks to the macro and telephoto cameras.

The iPhone 13 Pro’s battery life is the most important upgrade. We found it was capable of last a whole day no matter what we did to it. Although it won’t last as long as the iPhone 13 Pro Max Max, it will last much longer than any iPhone before.

The iPhone 13 Pro is a remarkable smartphone, but so are all iPhone 13 handsets. If you don’t have the budget for the Pro, you might find that the standard iPhone 13 has fewer features and specs. You may also like the more affordable handset.

If you are captivated by the iPhone 13 Pro’s 120Hz screen, better cameras, and more RAM or storage, then this may be the best iPhone, especially if the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a smaller screen.

iPhone 13 Pro price and release date

The iPhone 13 Pro was announced on September 14th. You can purchase the handset from Apple as well as from many retailers and carriers. The iPhone 13 Pro was released on September 24, 2021.

It costs $999 / PS949 / AU$1,699 and gives you 128GB storage. You can also choose from a 256GB model for $1,099 / PlayStation1,049 / AU$1,869 or a 512GB model for $1,299 / PlayStation1,249 / AU$2,219 or the 1TB model for $1,499 / PSP1,449 / AU$2,569.

We have never seen a 1TB iPhone before and the price is quite high. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is a higher-specced iPhone with a bigger screen and battery. It starts at $1,099 / PlayStation1,049 / AU$1,849.

Design

The iPhone 13 Pro, the company’s premium device, doesn’t have a Max in its title. It is also smaller than the iPhone 13 Pro Max Max and is more practical for one-handed usage. This handset or the iPhone 13 should be your best choice if you are looking for a mid-sized iPhone.

Apple’s design is much the same as the iPhone 12 Pro but there are very few differences.

The edges are made of stainless steel, the back is matte and the front and back have Apple’s Ceramic Shield Glass. Apple claims that the protection makes it four-times less likely to be broken if dropped than an iPhone without it.

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Although we wouldn’t advise dropping your phone to see if it’s true, it can give you some extra peace of mind in the event that your phone does fall.

The matte finish on the back feels premium, especially when compared with the normal glass on iPhone 13.

We have had the opportunity to use the iPhone 13 Pro and found it to feel comfortable in the hand. It has a bit more weight than the iPhone 13 which makes it easier for us to hold it in our hands.

Although the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 are nearly identical in size, you cannot switch between them because they have different rear camera housings.

The iPhone 13 Pro’s rear array does protrude from its body a little bit. This may cause some to have issues.

The power button is located on the right-hand edge. On the left-hand side, the volume and mute buttons, as well as the SIM tray, are found on the left. The speakers and Lightning port are located at the handset’s bottom.

You can get the phone in Graphite or Silver as well as Sierra Blue, Silver, and Gold – see photos throughout this review. This year’s Sierra Blue option is brand new and one of the most striking Apple colors in a while. This Pro phone is an excellent choice if you are looking for something that really stands out.

Display

The iPhone 13 Pro also features a 6.1 inch Super Retina OLED display. The screen does not have the highest pixels-per-inch rating in the iPhone 13 range. For that, you can look at the iPhone 13 mini. However, it does have 460ppi and image quality is comparable.

The 120Hz maximum refresh rate has been a significant improvement. This means that the screen image refreshes 120x per second. It’s noticeable most when scrolling through menus and system apps.

This dynamic refresh rate is adjustable based on the apps you are using. For example, most games use a 120Hz refresh speed, but if you are reading an ebook, it could be as low as 1Hz. This is done to conserve battery life by not using high-refresh rate apps.

The new screen tech has been well tested, but it is not yet widely available as many apps aren’t optimized for 120Hz. This feature is available to developers, and we anticipate seeing it in more software.

It worked well for apps that support it, and you’ll notice it when scrolling through Apple apps or menus. Although it isn’t enough to justify an upgrade, it’s still a useful feature that will be more valuable as more apps are added.

Apple also decreased the size of the iPhone 13 Pro’s notch. Although there is no under-display cam, the notch on the iPhone 13 Pro is 20% smaller than the iPhone 12 Pro. This means that you have more screen real estate.

It’s a small thing that makes a difference, but you won’t notice it unless you compare the phone to the last year’s model.

Camera

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The iPhone 13 Pro’s camera setup includes three 12MP cameras: a primary wide camera with an F/1.5 aperture and a telephoto camera that has an f/1.8 aperture and is capable of 3x optical zoom. There is also an ultra-wide camera, which has an aperture of F/1.8 and 120-degree field-of-view.

A 3D LiDAR scanner is also available, which measures depth. This allows autofocus to be more precise and helps improve Portrait mode bokeh effects by distinguishing between subjects and backgrounds. The scanner can also be used with augmented reality apps.

It is a great main camera, and although it might not look much different from the iPhone 12 Pro’s primary, it offers some significant upgrades that make it one the best smartphone cameras.

The overall picture quality is great. Images taken in good lighting show lots of detail and color. There’s also a wonderful night mode for shooting something darker.

The iPhone 13 Pro’s telephoto camera can achieve 3x optical zoom. 2020’s phone only has 2x. However, we were impressed by the quality of zoomed in images.

Apple also added sensor shift optical image stability to the Pro model. This makes it much easier to snap a quick photo without blurring the image. This was noticeably more effective than the iPhone 12 Pro’s optical image stabilization, although we should also note that the iPhone 13 has the same option.

The macro mode, which allows you to take stunning close-ups and photos of insects, flowers, and other small subjects, is a major upgrade. This feature is something we have seen on many Android phones and it’s wonderful to see Apple add it.

A good example of the potential power of the macro mode (Image credit to TechRadar).

You can activate macro mode by simply moving the camera lens near a subject. Although it can be difficult to hold the camera still while taking macro shots, we were able to capture some great photos.

The iPhone 13 Pro also includes Photographic Styles, which allows you to create custom looks for your images using Rich Contrast and Vibrant options.

These adjustments are applied to individual elements of the image, not the whole photo like a filter. This allows you to create a unique look for your images, such as warming up portraits or changing the colors in landscapes.

Although it won’t change how you use your main camera, this is a fun tool that you can experiment with. Although it’s hard to tell how this differs from a standard filter, it might be something that you could include in your photography arsenal.

  • Continue reading: iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13: The 7 best new camera features

The phone’s front has a 12MP f/2.2 camera. (The term “wide” is what Apple refers to its primary phones cameras. It works well for video calls as well as taking selfies. Although it isn’t as feature-rich as the rear camera’s, you can easily fire up Portrait mode to get great shots.

If you have a new iPhone, don’t expect any major changes to your selfie camera. However, you will still be able to get excellent picture quality in all scenarios.

The iPhone 13 Pro can record 4K video at 24, 30, and 60 frames per seconds, and Full HD at 30, 60 and 120 frames per second.

Dolby Vision HDR supports makes video pop. Apple’s Cinematic Mode allows you to capture video with a blurred background and subject focus. It also automatically switches focus between subjects for an ‘focus pull’ effect.

This worked well in our testing. The camera was able to identify the focus point of a scene and accurately focused on it. You can adjust the focus of the video to make it work as you wish.

This feature is sure to be popular among filmmakers, vloggers, and other content creators. However, it may not be as interesting to those who only occasionally shoot video. It’s not quite the same as the original Portrait mode for photos at the moment, but it will improve quickly over the next few years.

Apple’s ProRes video is another option. This feature is not yet available for testing, but Apple has stated that it will arrive in 2021. This video format is easier to edit and will be less demanding on your computer when you transfer footage from your smartphone to a computer to make edits.

One word of caution: If you are looking to capture 4K ProRes video with your iPhone 13 Pro, don’t purchase the 128GB storage model. Apple has stated that this format is not compatible with the device. ProRes footage can take up lots of space so you will likely need to choose 512GB or 1TB models if you are interested in this feature.

Camera samples

Performance and specifications

The iPhone 13 Pro, like all new iPhones, runs on Apple’s A15 Bionic Chipset, which Apple claims is the most powerful smartphone processor currently on the market.

It was able to open all the apps we tested with no stuttering and it ran them smoothly. The phone also handled gaming smoothly, loading every game quickly.

If you have an iPhone12 handset, or an Android phone that is more recent than this one, you won’t notice a significant change. However, if your iPhone 12 handset is older than the current model, you will see the difference. You can keep everything running smoothly with the 6GB RAM that comes with the A15 chipset.

We benchmarked the iPhone 13 Pro and found that it scored 4718 in Geekbench 5, which is slightly higher than the iPhone 13 Pro’s score of 4688. It is also significantly higher than the iPhone 12 Pro’s score of 3669.

These differences aren’t noticeable when you use your phone every day, but you might notice them if you push it to the limits.

The iPhone 13 Pro offers a choice of 128GB to 256GB, 1TB, or 512GB storage. If you don’t need the extra storage, we wouldn’t recommend it. However, if you do have a lot to shoot video, you might find 128GB too restrictive for some users. But most users will be happy with either the middle or the top options.

The iPhone 13 Pro supports 5G, so you can use the next-gen connectivity standard provided your plan supports it and you are in an area with coverage.

Software

iOS 15 runs on an iPhone 13 Pro straight out of the box. It is a minor upgrade to iOS 14; the 2020 update has changed the appearance of the iPhone platform. iOS 15 brings only a few extra features.

The new Focus mode, for instance, allows you to customize the notifications you receive at specific times of the day. So, if you wish to limit Twitter notifications during work hours, you can do this here.

The software runs well on the iPhone 13 Pro. We didn’t encounter any bugs.

We expect the iPhone 13 Pro to be supported by new software updates in the future. iOS 15 is compatible even with iPhones as far back as the iPhone 6S of 2015. So you can look forward at least five more years of updates.

Battery life

The iPhone 13 Pro’s battery life is much better than what we have seen with previous Pro handsets by the brand. However, it is not as good this year as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has a top-end iPhone.

The iPhone 13 Pro can last a whole day with normal use, according to our tests. You might find your iPhone 13 Pro needs to be charged if you push it a little harder.

The phone will usually have between 10-20% battery remaining when it is used less frequently. This is an amazing battery life, which is far better than what we’ve seen with the iPhone 12 Pro or other Pro handsets.

The phone can be charged quickly up to 20W depending on the charger used. This should allow you to charge your phone in less than an hour. After charging for 15 minutes, we were able to charge 25% of the battery. 30 minutes gave us 53%.

It’s not the fastest smartphone charging we’ve ever seen, as some Android smartphones can reach 120W or faster. But it will be sufficient for most users.

You should note that the box does not include a charger. Apple is continuing its fight against e-waste so you will need to buy one. You can find our top iPhone chargers guide if you aren’t sure which one to buy.

Wireless charging is also available on the iPhone 13 Pro. It can charge up to 15W using Apple’s MagSafe chargers or up to 7.75W using standard Qi wireless charging plates.

Should I Buy the iPhone 13 Pro?

 

It’s a good deal if…

You like the latest camera features

The iPhone 13 Pro’s macro mode offers a unique and exciting photography option. New features such as Cinematic Mode or ProRes will appeal more to video shooters who are looking for more advanced tools.

Good battery life

The iPhone 13 Pro’s battery life is much better than any other handsets by Apple. It can last for a full day of normal use.

A powerful smartphone is required

The iPhone 13 Pro is the most powerful of all the iPhone 13 models. This could be your handset of choice if you are looking for a device that can push the limits every day.

It’s not worth the risk if…

Do you own an iPhone 12 Pro?

Although there are many changes to the iPhone 12 Pro’s design, they are minor and unlikely to result in a significant upgrade. For your next upgrade, you might want to wait until 2022.

Want a less expensive alternative?

The iPhone 13 Pro is just as good as the iPhone 13 Pro. The iPhone 13 Pro is a great alternative to the Pro model, but it also offers many of the Pro’s features. Compare the Pro to the iPhone 13 if you are unsure.

A 120Hz display is required to work with your favorite apps

Although the introduction of 120Hz refresh rate for iPhone was long anticipated, we have found that it is not supported by many apps. For those who are desperate to have this feature on their next phone, you can look to Android.

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