The iPhone 13 Pro is the best of 2021 thanks to its 120Hz ProMotion display, improved camera and two days of battery life – but keep in mind that the best Android competitors are still winning in terms of charging speed and low-light camera performance.
Of the four phones in the iPhone line, the 13 Pro has a difficult task: to justify why it has to pay extra for the Pro, it must prove itself not only against fierce Android competition, but also against the iPhone 13 itself. . features that are basically the same on the phone
This is a test that last year’s 12 Pro failed, and the cheaper 12 is clearly a better buy. This year the schedules have changed and 13 Pro 2021 iPhone seems to be the winner of the ranking. The reason for this is that Apple’s development of the 13 Pro, or not retreating from the usual 13, will largely depend on your innocence, but the result is the same: This is the best iPhone of the year.
Is the best iPhone good enough now? For iOS fans, Apple has done significant work this year, especially improving battery life, while those who are open to changing sides have found more powerful cameras and thinner devices in the best Android phones.
Premium stainless steel design A smaller notch Excellent water resistance Apple continues to be cautious in 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 your 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 one of last year’s phones, 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 while the change is welcome, it’s not big enough for everyone to keep improving.
The reduced notch has the same Face ID technology as before – it’s just compacted – but Apple couldn’t find a place to match one of the Touch ID power buttons found on some 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’s 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, and I have to admit that I like it a little bit, but I know it has 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.
The smoother 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate remains a 6.1-inch OLED with excellent color notches and thick frames. For many, the display will be the reason for the upgrade to the Pro 13, 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, 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 120 Hz refresh rate means more frequent screen refreshes and higher frame rates in games. gives (e.g., answering). game) and smoother, smoother animations for 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 in simple tasks like home screen navigation or open apps.
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 those behind the 13 Pro’s impressive battery life improvements.
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 – though 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. I can’t be wrong about the quality of the panel, it finally returns 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 Each new iPhone series brings an updated chipset, and it’s no different from the 5nm A15 Bionic.
Comparing iPhone chips with Android seems a bit counterproductive, but neither side can agree that the iPhone 13 Pro will withstand the pure 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, while we saw a 19% increase in our graphics performance. Benchmark scores are consistently higher than 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 latest experiment revealed a noteworthy wrinkle: 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, developers are trying to provide full support
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 quite 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 as 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 at this point we are really arguing
Battery and charging
Exceptional two-day battery life Slow (23W) wired charging MagSafe (15W) and Qi (7.5W) wireless charging In the last few years, if Apple has certainly lagged behind Android, this is battery life. So you will forgive me for being a little sarcastic when the company promises “the best battery life on the iPhone” this time. Some words are true
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 keeps it comfortable all day, and I expect it to stay that way for a few years despite the battery failing.
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 systems, but also leaves many behind – I don’t remember the last time
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said when it comes to backing up a 13 Pro backup.
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%. within half an hour
In fact, enterprising testers have found that the 13 Pro looks limited at 23W – partially better, but still. So, if you plan to pair the Pro with a new charger, you shouldn’t look for anything more than 25 watts as you won’t 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 still supported, 7.5 W faster than the universal Qi standard and 15 W faster charging via Apple’s special MagSafe technology for the iPhone
Camera upgrades since last year Fight with such bright light sources for those who suffer from daylight Apple’s Apple buyers are primarily pushing Pro models based on camera features, and while this year’s 120Hz display upgrade is great for many, the added cost is a regular iPhone. According to 13, this really makes sense if you expect to get the most out of your phone’s photography capabilities.
At a glance, the rear camera here looks like the 12 Pro – except it’s bigger – and you’ll find a more basic lens, an ultra-wide, and a 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 help the camera get more light. 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 dim light, where the new sensor and aperture should make all the difference. Here, the 13 Pro does a great job of stabilizing shots and capturing details, but low light creates a random problem during the day: dynamic range
The 13 Pro’s main camera – and indeed its other lenses, but we’ll get to them – constantly exposes bright light sources to constant exposure to other elements of shooting. This is most noticeable when shooting sunsets or street scenes at night, but the glare of the day can also be distracting.
The result is not only over-exposure and explosion of light sources, but sometimes other objects are often darker and less exposed, especially when the phone is focused on the brightest point, including the sky.
This is the kind of problem that Apple can fix over time, but any promise that this is the best camera phone will wear off quickly.
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 at the same level as the main lens, but it cannot capture details at the same level without any optical image stabilization, especially in low light. Again, if you are trying to capture wide views and cityscapes, this subtle detail is often less important and will retain its main lens when it comes to capturing scenic sunsets and holiday scenes, albeit with 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 concentrate, 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 have been improved compared to their regular iPhone 13 counterparts, there is a third lens that really sets the 13 Pro apart: telephoto
A 3x optical zoom lens (more than 2x on last year’s model) is a mixed benefit. A longer zoom distance is a definite advantage when shooting distant objects, but I find it more difficult to use for portrait photography – you’ll have to move away from your subject a bit. It’s still a long way from the 5x and 10x lenses found in some Samsung and Xiaomi flagships, but you can’t object to that.
I was worried that the narrower f / 2.8 aperture would also limit the lenses, but it stays the same even in telephoto, low light, and Night mode shooting. It has the same problems with blowing light sources as other lenses, but often shares their strengths as well.
If the 13 Pro is mostly compatible with the best frames on Android, no matter which lens you use, Apple will easily hold the crown when it comes to video that is at least crisp, smooth, and stable. The cameras here are still limited to 4K @ 60fps – no 8K, who needs that? – but soon Apple will also support its own ProRes video format, but unfortunately it is not ready yet
A great addition here is the Adjustable Focus Movie Mode, which is basically Portrait Mode for video. This is another feature that is already available on several Android devices, but Apple’s app puts them mostly in the dust; with excellent object detection and natural bokeh nausea
The camera program will do its best to intelligently select the best focal point, select faces and animals during shooting, and adjust it immediately. This aspect of the technology is not yet perfect, but the ability to quickly and easily change the focal points in the video after shooting makes it a controversial point. The only downside is not the 4K, but the HD resolution limit, but that’s far from the deal.
As you would expect, a selfie camera is also great. This 12Mp, f / 2.2 camera is still one of the best front-facing cameras on the market, and has the same software tricks that help set it apart from others, including 4K video and Cinema mode.
Software and updates
New iOS 15 notification management tools Guaranteed long-term software The iPhone 13 series is the first iPhone to ship with iOS 15 – but of course, if you already have an iPhone, it will now be available to users. You. (at least 6 seconds)
Like the iPhone 13 series itself, this year’s iOS update doesn’t make any major changes to the system, but the updates here are welcome.
Notification Digest is perhaps the biggest improvement and the next step in Apple’s ongoing efforts to improve iPhone notifications – a long-standing weakness of the platform. You can now collect custom notifications (news updates, Netflix content drops, or Instagram follower pings) as summaries that come in regularly throughout the day, and release the highest priority notifications that only appear when they are first published.
Similarly, the new Focus Modes allow you to create individual profiles (work, home, sleep, gym, etc.), each with its own home screens, notification settings, and Anxiety configurations.
Newer features for smaller changes, including FaceTime, iMessage, and Apple Maps, and the ability to capture text intelligently from photos. These are unlikely to radically change the way you use your iPhone.
Eventually, iPhone owners will find familiar things, and anyone who goes through Android will face a learning curve, but there’s a lot to finally get rid of hesitation.
The only major drawback is the always-on screen – I miss being able to see the time and notifications at a glance without waking up the phone. This is another area where Apple has strangely lagged behind in time, and with supported dynamic update speeds and improved battery life, there is no longer any hardware justification for the lack of this software.
Of course, such small mistakes are offset by Apple’s commitment to long-term software support. While most flagships now offer two- or three-year Android updates, and everything improves elsewhere, no one can beat Apple in terms of longevity. If you want to buy a phone now and continue to use it for five years, it must really be an iPhone.
price and availability
- 128 GB: 949 pounds / 999 dollars / 1159 euros
- 256 GB: £ 1,049 / $ 1,099 / € 1,279
- 512 GB: £ 1,249 / $ 1,299 / € 1,509
- 1TB: 1,449 pounds / 1,499 US dollars / 1,739 euros
At each storage point you will pay around £ 170 / $ 200/250 for the Pro over the regular iPhone 13 (but there is no 1TB option for this model), but this 120Hz display seems like an acceptable reward for a telephoto lens. and other additions with dots. I would say that a single screen is an additional expense for many, but think about how much you would really appreciate the add-ons.
There is also a 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 also expect a slightly better battery life. Similarly, the 13 Mini matches the features of the regular 13, but in a smaller form factor
Otherwise, its main competitors are Android flagships such as the Galaxy S21, Xiaomi Mi 11, Oppo Find X3 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro. All will be compatible with the iPhone 13 Pro in terms of basic performance and camera cuts, but will be different elsewhere. Most offer faster charging than Apple, some have more versatile camera arrays, and some are even better than the improved display seen here. None of them have a notch, and many will eventually be cheaper, especially for equivalent storage.
To better understand the competition and how the 13 Pro is assembled, take a look at our current flagship iPhone ratings to learn how we rank the best flagship phones in both operating systems or how other Apple models compare.
The iPhone 13 Pro is the best iPhone of the year. The 6.1-inch screen is the most comfortable size for most users, and the combination of the 120Hz refresh rate and all the camera upgrades makes it worth the extra cost compared to the basic iPhone 13.
By Android standards, the comparison is more difficult. In pure performance, the 13 Pro stands out against any phone and is unique for video recording. The best phones from Samsung, Xiaomi, and Vivo have now beaten Apple in photography, but there isn’t much these days, and it remains an excellent camera to find on your phone.
By adopting 120Hz and improving battery life, Apple has finally overcome its two biggest weaknesses recently, and charging speed remains the biggest difference between the best iPhones and the competition – but for many, Apple’s offer is completely adequate.
Finally, iOS 15 and Apple’s design language will attract people to the iPhone 13 Pro just like everything else. If you’re a fan of Cupertino’s work, this is a good example of what any company can do with mobile equipment, and as long as you can afford it, the downsides are now minimal.