iPhone 13 Features

| Words by Neil Villadolid

Every year around September, Apple releases their highly anticipated iPhones. This year the iPhone 13 series was released on September 14, 2021 and saw four new phones introduced to the market—iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini. In this article we’ll take a look at the upgrades the iPhone 13 made from the iPhone 12, as well as the differences between four iPhone 13 models. Read the full breakdown in detail below.

iPhone 13 & iPhone 12 Spec Comp

iPhone 13 Pro MaxiPhone 13 ProiPhone 13iPhone 13 miniiPhone 12 Pro MaxiPhone 12 ProiPhone 12iPhone 12 mini
Starting Price$1,099$999$799$699$1,099$999$699$599
Size6.7”6.1”6.1”5.4”6.7”6.1”6.1”5.4”
CameraUltra Wide: f/1.8, Wide: f/1.5, Telephoto: f/2.8, Night Mode, Sensor Shift StabalizationUltra Wide: f/1.8, Wide: f/1.5, Telephoto: f/2.8, Night Mode, Sensor Shift StabalizationUltra Wide: f/2.4, Wide: f/1.6, Night Mode, Sensor Shift StabalizationUltra Wide: f/2.4, Wide: f/1.6, Night Mode, Sensor Shift StabalizationUltra Wide: f/2.4, Wide: f/1.6, Telephoto: f/2.0, Night Mode, Sensor Shift StabalizationUltra Wide: f/2.4, Wide: f/1.6, Telephoto: f/2.0, Night ModeUltra Wide: f/2.4, Wide: f/1.6, Night ModeUltra Wide: f/2.4, Wide: f/1.6, Night Mode
Video4k at 60fps, Cinematic Mode, ProRes 4k at 60fps, Cinematic Mode, ProRes 4k at 60fps, Cinematic Mode 4k at 60fps, Cinematic Mode 4k at 60fps 4k at 60fps 4k at 60fps 4k at 60fps
DisplaySuper Retina XDR display with 120Hz ProMotionSuper Retina XDR display with 120Hz ProMotionSuper Retina XDR displaySuper Retina XDR displaySuper Retina XDR displaySuper Retina XDR displaySuper Retina XDR displaySuper Retina XDR display
MagSafeYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Storage Capacity128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB64GB, 128GB, 256GB,64GB, 128GB, 256GB,
Battery4352mAh3095mAh3095mAh2406mAh3687mAh2815mAh2815mAh2227mAh
ProcessorA15 Bionic chipA15 Bionic chipA15 Bionic chipA15 Bionic chipA14 Bionic chipA14 Bionic chipA14 Bionic chipA14 Bionic chip

Price

The price of the iPhone 13 ranges from $729-$1,399, and correlates with the model and storage capacity of the iPhone. The most expensive phone in this year’s lineup is the iPhone 13 Pro Max with 512GB of storage at $1,399, while the cheapest option is the iPhone 13 mini with 64GB of storage at $729.

Size & Build

The iPhone 13 sizes are nearly identical to last year’s iPhones. At 6.7 inches, iPhone 13 Pro Max is the largest iPhone to date. Consequently, at 5.4 inches, iPhone 13 mini is the smallest iPhone to date. At 6.1 inches, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are a nice middle ground between the two extremes. All iPhone 13 models are slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models by 0.2mm.

The most noticeable design differences are a larger camera, lower button placement, and a smaller the top notch.

The iPhone 13 models also have a ceramic screen with an IP68 rating that withstands dust, sand, dirt, and water.

Camera

Arguably the most anticipated and talked up feature of every new iPhone is the camera. Every year Apple comes out with improvements to the camera and this year is no different. Right off the bat you’ll notice how much bigger the camera is across all iPhone 13 models. Every iPhone 13 model is now equipped with sensor-shift stabilization. This isn’t a new feature, we saw it in last year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max. But this year sensor-shift stabilization is included in all models of iPhone 13. Sensor-shift stabilization helps with auto-focus, video stabilization, and in low-light conditions.

iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro’s ultra-wide camera will have an improved f/1.8 aperture lens which is an upgrade from last year’s Pro model’s f/2.4 aperture lens. And the iPhone 13 and 13 mini have an upgraded wide camera with f/1.6 aperture which captures more light and help the phone's night mode.

A new feature introduced to the Pro models is macro photography. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max's ultrawide camera can get a 6x optical zoom for incredibly close up and detailed images.

Shot with iPhone 13 Pro | Macro Photography

Video

The iPhone 13 series have added some upgrades from last year’s lineup. All iPhone 13 models now offer Cinematic mode which imitates the rack focus effect seen in movies. Rack focus is a video effect that switches focus from one subject to another. Cinematic mode shoots in Dolby Vision HDR.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro now offer HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps and ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30 fps, significant upgrades from last year.

An example of Apple's new "cinematic mode."

Display

The iPhone 13 Pro Max and 13 Pro are now equipped with 120Hz ProMotion Display, which is a significant increase from last year’s 60Hz Display. Hertz (Hz) refers to the phone’s frames per second. iPhone 13 Pro Max and 13 Pro’s 120Hz ProMotion Display will create faster refresh rates, response time, less lag and create an overall smoother interface when scrolling through apps, web pages, or playing games.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will have a 60Hz Display, the same display rate as the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 series.

MagSafe

MagSafe is a magnetic charging mechanism that connects to the back of your iPhone and charges it. Apple first introduced MagSafe with their 2006 MacBook Pro but brought the concept to their iPhone 12 series in 2020.

The iPhone 13 lineup is still equipped with MagSafe, but there weren't any updates from last year. MagSafe will charge your iPhone 13 at 20W.

Processor

This year’s iPhone 13 lineup will use a A15 Bionic chip, Apple's highest performing iPhone chip to date. This upgrade from last year’s A14 Bionic chip will help increase the speed and efficiency of the iPhone 13, elongate battery life, improve text to speech in Siri, video processing, and more.

Storage

The iPhone 13 lineup has a variety of storage options. The iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro will offer the largest storage option at 1TB. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will offer the lowest storage option at 128GB, which is an upgrade from last year's 64GB

The iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro have doubled their storage capacity from last year to support the larger video files that ProRes models can produce.

Which iPhone 13 should you get?

Each phone in the iPhone 13 lineup has a little something for everyone. If you’re passionate about mobile photography or use your phone as a workstation, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is your best bet. No other phone on the market can compete with the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s camera and video spec. And, its large screen and 120Hz ProMotion Display make it perfect for reading graphs, emails, or spreadsheets.

The iPhone 13 Pro functions nearly identical to the iPhone 13 Pro Max without the massive screen. If you like all the high-end features of the Pro models but are not a fan of the bigger phone, iPhone 13 Pro is the phone for you.

iPhone 13 is the perfect middle ground of all the iPhone 13 series. The iPhone 13’s specs and storage capacity are good enough to suit you if you’re a casual user of iPhones.

iPhone 13 mini is the perfect option for anyone that wants the most minimal iPhone setup. Its small build makes it comfortable to carry around all day and still has some amazing features.

Whichever iPhone 13 model you end up getting, make sure you protect it with a reliable case.

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