Apple iPhone 13 review: The iPhone for everyone

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(Pocket-lint) - The Apple iPhone 13 bid has 4 devices to take from: the small-scale iPhone 13 mini; this precise exemplary connected review, the iPhone 13; the more precocious iPhone 13 Pro; and the big-screen instrumentality of the bunch, the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

So is this 'standard' iPhone the champion suited for astir people? Well, the spread betwixt the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro is smaller for 2021 than successful erstwhile iterations. Although it lacks the faster refresh-rate surface of the Pro, the iPhone 13 different inactive brings galore of the features you'd privation and, much importantly, really use. 

Lovely design 

  • Finishes: Midnight, Pink, Blue, Starlight, Product (RED) 
  • Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm / Weight: 174g
  • IP68 water-resistant rating
  • Ceramic Shield front

The Apple iPhone 13 shares a precise akin plan to the iPhone 12, though the eagle-eyed volition announcement a mates of flimsy changes that differentiate the two. The level borderline plan remains - and it's inactive beauteous - similar a flashback backmost to the iPhone 5 from 2012 (remember that?), portion aluminium is retained arsenic the worldly of prime for the framework (the antenna bars that beryllium wrong it are made from upcycled plastic), with a matte finish. It's not arsenic premium arsenic the Pro models, but it's inactive a beauteous finish.  


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On the rear you'll find a solid finish, shown present successful a precise regal-looking blue. It's besides present that you'll find 1 of the defining differences betwixt the 2021 and the 2020 models: the camera lodging successful the apical near country is larger and the camera lenses - which are besides larger - are positioned diagonally alternatively than vertically. The solid besides appears to beryllium much smudge-resistant compared to our older iPhone 12 mini.

The 2nd plan displacement connected the iPhone 13 is connected its front: the notch astatine the apical of the show has been reduced successful size implicit its predecessor. It's not a immense reduction, but a simplification of astir 20 per cent nonetheless, truthful we'll instrumentality that. In a satellite of punch-holes and under-display cameras, though, galore volition wonderment wherefore Apple isn't pushing the envelope successful this department.


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On the whole, the iPhone 13 isn't drastically antithetic to the iPhone 12. It's astir identical successful size - we're talking a specified 0.15mm thicker - but it's worthy noting, however, that aged cases won't acceptable owed to that caller camera arrangement. So thing other to adhd to the buying list. While the iPhone 13 isn't arsenic compact and lightweight arsenic the iPhone 13 mini, it's inactive airy and comfy to hold, whilst offering the benefits of a larger surface and artillery capacity.

Bright display

  • 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display
  • 2532 x 1170 solution (460ppi)
  • 1200 nits max brightness
  • True Tone, Haptic Touch

The Apple iPhone 13 comes with a 6.1-inch display, which is the aforesaid standard arsenic the iPhone 13 Pro, though the exertion is somewhat different. The modular iPhone 13 comes with a modular 60Hz refresh rate, portion the iPhone 13 Pro exemplary moves to an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz - what Apple calls ProMotion - overmuch similar different flagship smartphones.


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That means you'll get smoother scrolling connected the iPhone 13 Pro model, but unless you person the 2 models side-by-side, it's not thing you're apt to miss retired on. That said, with overmuch of the Android competition, specified arsenic the Samsung Galaxy S21, offering 120Hz refresh arsenic a norm, it surely can't beryllium agelong earlier Apple has this exertion crossed its afloat range.

The iPhone 13's solution is the aforesaid arsenic the iPhone 13 Pro (and the aforesaid arsenic the older iPhone 12 and Pro models too), truthful you get the aforesaid sharpness and detail. The newer instrumentality does spot a boost successful brightness imaginable implicit its predecessor though (from 1000nits to 1200nits for HDR) - again, possibly thing you wouldn't announcement unless you were straight comparing the 2 models side-by-side, though other brightness is ever welcomed to assistance antagonistic outdoor brightness connected sunny days, for example.


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Overall, the iPhone 13 has a beauteous display, with punchy and vibrant colours, heavy blacks, crisp whites and large viewing angles. It besides has each the technologies Apple users person present travel to expect by default, including True Tone (automated colour accommodation to ambient light), HDR enactment (for precocious dynamic scope content), and Haptic Touch (long-press power with vibration feedback) - we've got deep-dive features linked if you privation to cognize the afloat ins and outs of those technologies.


  • Dual rear cameras:
    • Main (26mm): 12-megapixel, f/1.6 aperture, 1.7µm pixel size, sensor-shift stabilisation
    • Wide (13mm): 12MP, f/2.4, 120-degree FOV
  • TrueDepth beforehand camera:
    • 12-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture
  • No LiDAR sensor, nary optical zoom lens
  • Night Mode, Cinematic Video, Photographic Styles

The Apple iPhone 13 features a dual rear camera, comprised of a 12-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle. It's the aforesaid camera arsenic you'll find connected the iPhone 13 mini but it's an upgrade from the iPhone 12, with larger pixels connected the main sensor, allowing for amended processing imaginable and higher prime results.


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There's sensor-shift representation stabilisation connected committee for the main camera - arsenic was archetypal introduced connected the iPhone 12 Pro Max - and the iPhone 13 besides offers features called Photographic Styles and Cinematic video (which we'll get into successful a moment).

Extra features aside, the iPhone 13 delivers large results - and this goes for the rear and beforehand camera setups. Images are afloat of detail, with bully colour accuracy and definition. In low-light conditions, we did find determination was immoderate lag aft pressing the shutter fastener earlier Night Mode kicked in, but the results are inactive good. 

However, there's nary Night Mode Portrait connected the iPhone 13, arsenic you get with the iPhone 13 Pro, and you of people miss retired connected that 3rd lens, which is simply a telephoto for optical zoom. You besides miss retired connected the macro mode, and ProRes erstwhile that arrives (Apple's incoming high-quality 4K video seizure format). 

The iPhone 13 inactive has the Cinematic video mode though, which enables you to prime wherever you privation the absorption to beryllium and that object, idiosyncratic oregon favored volition beryllium tracked passim capture. You tin alteration the absorption during the video oregon you tin alteration it aft the fact. It's a amusive diagnostic and 1 that is good worthy of a effort - but bully lighting is indispensable for it to enactment properly.

Also connected the video front, 4K HDR signaling with Dolby Vision is supported astatine 60fps, with Dolby Vision and HDR kicking successful automatically, arsenic was the lawsuit with the iPhone 12.


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The Photographic Styles diagnostic is different 1 that runs crossed the full of the iPhone 13 series, applying a subtle filter to the image. Although beryllium warned: you tin lone use the filter up of taking a representation and erstwhile taken you can't region it. Thankfully the results are subtle, truthful you're not going to extremity up with a ruinous bleach bypass effect oregon thing similar that. There are 4 presets - Vibrant, Rich Contrast, Warm, Cool - that tin beryllium accessed with a swipe up from the bottommost successful the camera app that you tin opt to usage earlier you property the shutter button. 

Performance and battery

  • Up to 19 hours artillery beingness (3240mAh)
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB retention sizes
  • A15 Bionic processor
  • 5G and Wi-Fi 6

The Apple iPhone 13 runs connected the A15 Bionic chipset with Neural Engine and it delivers a large performance. Everything loads quickly, the instrumentality switches betwixt tasks without immoderate issues, portion games and apps tally smoothly. The iPhone 13 Pro is somewhat much powerful, contempt besides utilizing the A15, arsenic it has an further GPU halfway (five versus four) for its setup.


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In presumption of artillery life, the iPhone 13 is claimed to connection up to 19 hours - and that's not acold disconnected the people successful our experience. It offers a much awesome beingness than the iPhone 13 mini, arsenic you would expect fixed its larger capacity, and the physically larger artillery capableness means it's surely an beforehand implicit the erstwhile iPhone 12.

Of course, it does beryllium connected what you bash with the phone, and however overmuch of a powerfulness idiosyncratic you are. But we were near with astir 30 to 40 per cent by bedtime connected days wherever we had been investigating the assorted camera features and watching movies and shows, whilst besides utilizing the video features and 5G.


  • iOS 15

The Apple iPhone 13 runs connected iOS 15, which is disposable for each iPhone devices (from the iPhone 6S and later). There are a fewer other features connected the iPhone 13 that you won't find connected older models, however, similar the Cinematic video mode and the Photographic Styles successful the camera app, but different the acquisition is simply a acquainted one.

There are immoderate large features connected iOS 15 worthy checking out, similar Portrait Mode connected FaceTime and the Focus modes - some of which we emotion - portion Live Text and the Shared with You features are surely useful. There are besides immoderate elements that instrumentality a small clip to get utilized to, similar the caller Safari design.

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You tin work astir each the changes that the bundle physique brings successful our abstracted feature, but the 1 happening we would accidental is that we're pleasantly amazed by however overmuch we similar the slimmer and much timely delivered notifications connected the fastener screen, positive however rapidly we've got utilized to the Safari browser's URL barroom moving. Give it a accidental - sometimes alteration is good.


Although the iPhone 13 isn't drastically antithetic from its iPhone 12 predecessor, it does boost the artillery beingness to present what volition beryllium an perfect prime for those who privation a large surface instrumentality - thing you won't get successful the mini, evidently - with plentifulness of powerfulness and features.

Sure, you bash miss retired connected a fistful of nice-to-have features compared to the iPhone 13 Pro - including the telephoto zoom lens, macro mode, 120Hz fast-refresh display, and 1TB retention enactment - but the iPhone 13 is inactive an fantabulous all-round instrumentality that, importantly, doesn't outgo rather arsenic much.

The iPhone 13 is the balanced prime to marque - without truly having to consciousness similar you're settling for 2nd champion - acknowledgment to that operation of power, large surface and worth for money.

Also consider


Apple iPhone 13 alternatives photograph  1

Apple iPhone 13 mini 

The mini offers each the aforesaid hardware and features arsenic the iPhone 13 but connected a smaller scale, with the lone differences being a smaller screen, smaller artillery and a smaller terms tag.



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Apple iPhone 13 Pro

If you're looking for a fewer other camera features, similar macro mode, Night Mode Portrait, and the optical zoom, you could see the Pro. It's got the aforesaid surface size and resolution, albeit with a faster refresh rate, which sees it spell 1 amended excessively - but you'll person to wage for that privilege.



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iPhone 12

The older hardware is inactive a almighty instrumentality with a large (almost identical) design. The artillery beingness isn't arsenic good, but if you tin find 1 connected a ace woody past it's inactive a logical acquisition to make.


Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 21 September 2021.

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