The Apple iPhone 13 tries to bridge the gap between its regular and Pro series. But unlike last year, this year, the difference between both parts of the lineup is greater.
Design and build
At 174g and 7.65mm, the iPhone 13 is slightly heavier and thicker than the iPhone 12 but in practice, the change barely noticeable. It comes with Ceramic Glass on the front, a glass back and an aluminium frame. And full IP68 water and dust resistance. There are no other outstanding design elements as far as design is concerned, aside from the slightly larger camera bump.
On the front, the iPhone 13 packs a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. There is no difference in display size although it is now brighter, rated at 800 nits over last year’s 625 nits. And finally, the notch is 20 per-cent smaller than last year yet still packs the prowess of Apple’s Face ID, which is a welcome change. But the display is still a 60Hz panel, which is slightly disappointing. But this is the biggest differentiating factor between the regular and Pro lineup of the iPhone 13, with the upgrade to 120Hz ProMotion reserved only for this year’s Pro lineup.
The iPhone 13 is equipped with Apple’s latest A15 Bionic CPU. This sports a new 6-core CPU and a 4-core GPU alongside a 16-core Neural Engine. Quite frankly, we have not had much time to put the processor through its paces but with 4GB of RAM and the optimisation that iOS 15 brings, performance feels snappy. Moreover, the base variant of the iPhone 13 will now start at 128GB of storage which is a welcome change. Over the next few days, we will be sure to put the smartphone’s processor through its paces with real world scenarios.
The biggest change with the iPhone 13 is with camera. It retains the dual 12MP camera setup, but its sensors are different. The primary wide sensor comes from the iPhone 12 Pro Max of last year, with sensor-shift stabilisation technology. And the ultra-wide angle camera also sees some big improvements. You will notice that ultra-wide images look sharper especially towards the edges in low-light. But unfortunately, you are still restricted to only 5x digital zoom given the lack of a dedicated telephoto camera.
Video capture on the iPhone 13 is also naturally better given its sensor upgrade but also due to Apple’s Cinematic mode. While you are restricted to 1080p 30fps here, you can use this feature to essentially capture portrait mode video. Depending on how subjects behave in frame, the smartphone automatically adjusts blur and focus. Although with our initial testing, it seems like the cameras need ample light to work properly. But it does give off a nice cinematic effect when capturing videos.
We have not had an extensive amount of time with the iPhone 13. But according to Apple, it should give you an extra 1.5 hours of juice over last year’s model. We assume Apple managed to pack a larger battery on the smartphone and hence the improvement. But we are not sure of exact numbers when it comes to battery size. Only time will tell how well real world performance lives up to Apple’s claims.
Pricing and availability
The Apple iPhone 13 starts at Dh3,399. It is currently available to pre-order and will be available to buy starting September 24 in five different colours. Stay tuned for our full review coming shortly.