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Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Review

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In September 2021, Tech giant Apple released its iPhone 13 series to the world. You’ll remember the iPhone 12 Pro Max had bigger camera sensors that give it better lowlight performance and 3x optical zoom, rather than 2x. It’s a different story from the new iPhone 13. The iPhone 13, while smaller and when it comes to screen size and battery capacity has the same features as its big brother, the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The battery life is the best we’ve seen in Apple’s Pro iPhone, add into the mix the powerful A15 Bionic processor, 120Hz ProMotion display, and excellent camera performance, and you have the best iPhone 13 model in the entire lineup.

Design

The iPhone 13 Pro comes in five different colors, including Sierra Blue, Alpine Green, silver, gold, and graphite. Both the front and the back are protected by Apple’s Ceramic Shield glass, and a squared-off stainless steel strip runs along the sides, setting it apart in quality from the cheaper aluminum of the iPhone 13. Unlike the iPhone 13 Pro Max, this is a more realistic size for one-handed use. If you’re looking for a new, mid-sized iPhone, this handset, or the iPhone 13, should suit you perfectly.

The iPhone 13 Pro is slim at 7.65mm, but quite heavy at 203 grams. The right-hand edge of the handset houses the power button, while the left-hand side is home to the mute slider, volume buttons and SIM tray. On the bottom edge of the handset are the speakers, and a Lightning port for charging.

COPYRIGHT_NOVA: Published on https://www.novabach.com/apples-iphone-13-pro-review/ by Daniel Barrett on 2022-09-04T12:07:52.000Z

Display

Like the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Pro comes with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. It features a 2,532 x 1,170 resolution, and 460 pixels per inch (ppi) density. It’s sharp and bright, viewing angles are great, and it can hit 1,000 nits in brightness with a boost to 1,200 nits for HDR content.

A significant upgrade here is the introduction of a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, which means the on-screen image refreshes 120 times a second for a more fluid experience than we’ve seen on previous iPhones; it’s most noticeable when you’re scrolling through menus or system apps.

It’s a dynamic refresh rate, so it’s automatically adjusted depending on which apps you’re using – for example, most games will use a 120Hz refresh rate, while if you’re reading an ebook the rate could drop as low as 1Hz. The idea here is to save battery life when you’re using apps that don’t benefit from the high refresh rate.

Software

iOS 15 is running on the iPhone 13 Pro out of the box. It’s a minimal upgrade over iOS 14 – the 2020 update changed the look and feel of the iPhone platform, while iOS 15 only brings a few tweaks and extra features. The notable features include improved notification summaries, support for text scanning in the camera app, tabs for Safari, and future support for storing immunization records and other data.

Battery Life

Battery life on the iPhone 13 Pro is better than we’ve seen on previous Pro handsets from the brand, but it’s not as good as you’ll get from this year’s top-end iPhone, the 13 Pro Max. With all its power and the large, bright screen, the iPhone 13 Pro’s 3,095mAh battery manages to keep up for a sensible amount of time. It’s not quite as strong as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but it will happily last for a full day of hard use. If you push your phone slightly harder, you may find that it needs recharging before the end of the day.

The phone supports fast charging up to 20 watts (depending on what type of charger you use), which should be able to charge the phone from empty to full in just an hour. We found that 15 minutes of charging gave us 25% battery, while 30 minutes got us to 53%.

Where it does suffer is when it switches between Wi-Fi, 4G, and 5G connectivity, and when you use it for power-intensive apps like GPS navigation. Put these two situations together and the battery can struggle to last a working day. The iPhone 13 Pro supports 5G, Ultra Wideband, sub-6GHz, and mmWave, plus dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. Connection and signal have always been faultless.

Camera

The camera setup on the iPhone 13 Pro comprises three 12MP shooters: the primary wide camera with an f/1.5 aperture, a telephoto camera with f/1.8 aperture that’s capable of 3x optical zoom, and an ultra-wide camera with an aperture of f/1.8 and a 120-degree field of view.

There’s also a 3D LiDAR scanner, which measures depth. This helps to make autofocus more accurate and improves the precision of Portrait mode bokeh effects by distinguishing between a subject and their background. Away from photography, the scanner also works with various augmented reality apps.

The iPhone 13’s camera easily beat the OnePlus 10 Pro, but it couldn’t quite match the Google Pixel 6 Pro, and although it also won against the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, it was a very close battle. It was also close when put up against the older Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The biggest surprise was how it performed against the iPhone 12 Pro, where the older phone won against it. Although software updates seemed to have improved the 13 Pro’s camera over time, it still never quite reaches the heights of the 12 Pro’s excellent camera system.

Specs and Performance

Like all the new iPhones, the iPhone 13 Pro runs on Apple’s A15 bionic chipset, which the company claims is the best smartphone processor on the market right now. It comes with 6GB RAM, along with a choice of various storage options, including 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. We recommend getting as much storage space as you can afford. If you run out, there’s no way to add more physical storage space to an iPhone, but you can pay for additional iCloud storage.

Performance is superb, regardless of what you do. It plays demanding games like Genshin Impact and Asphalt 9 without a problem, apps run smoothly and start immediately, the camera is always superfast, and animations throughout the operating system are faultless. Even after eight months, performance hasn’t diminished, and it easily keeps up with the very latest Android smartphones — and in many cases still surpasses them. The iPhone 13 Pro will handle everything you can throw at it, and then some.

Price and availability

The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 for the 128GB version, but you will pay more for additional storage. To get 256GB you’ll pay $1,099, or $1,299 for 512GB. The largest 1TB iPhone 13 Pro costs $1,499. If you decide you want the larger iPhone 13 Pro Max, add $100 to all these prices. This is the first time we’ve seen a 1TB iPhone, and that price is correspondingly high.

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About The Authors

Daniel Barrett

Daniel Barrett

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