For the third time in the existence of Apple as a company, it has released two pro models of its ultra-popular iPhone. They are the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. While the visual changes from the last year’s iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are minimal, Apple has made effort to improve the latest models in several ways.
In this review, we look at if the changes make them worth upgrading to.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max design and specs
As already mentioned, the iPhone 13 Pro models carry over most of the features from its predecessor, meaning they boast flat sides, 5G connectivity, and a MagSafe connector for charging.
However, if you look at the front closely, you will notice Apple has shrunken the size of the notch, in width only. The tiny annoyance is that Apple has not used the extra screen at the top for anything. So if it bothered you that you have to swipe down to see your battery level, you would have to live with it if you upgrade.
Another change is the slight thickness of the latest iPhones compared to the 12 series. For people who want to reuse their phone cases from last year, that won’t be possible, as the camera bumps on the new models are bigger.
The screen uses Apple’s proprietary Ceramic Shield, making it more crack-resistant; and sapphire for the camera lens.
There is no doubt the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are among the best-looking models, despite their jumbo sizes. However, the aluminum sides and glass back still attract fingerprints, although most people will slap a case on the phones, making it a moot point.
Inside the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, you will find the latest Apple chip, the A15. The company has a tradition of upgrading its processor every year, which is splendid, as it means they can receive OS updates for years. So you might not notice any speed increase compared to last year, but it doesn’t matter.
The new chips seem to be responsible for a couple of the new features found in the camera, though.
Also, for being the bigger models, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max get five cores instead of the four that the smaller iPhone 13 models get. However, every iPhone model is snappy to operate.
The cheapest iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max come with 128GB of internal memory, which, as you might have known, you can’t augment with an SD card. However, you can go all the way to a massive 1TB ROM, especially if you plan to take lots of photos and shoot plenty of videos.
The 5G radios in the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max support more bands, meaning they are ready for the 5G in most parts of the country.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max display
We decided to make the display a separate entry because of a new feature that Apple has included.
The screen size remains 6.1 inches for the iPhone 13 Pro and 6.7 inches for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Resolution is 1170 x 2532 pixels on the former, while the latter is 1284 x 2778 pixels.
The new feature has existed on the iPad Pro, and it is nice that Apple has brought it to the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. It is high refresh rates, which Apple has slapped the ‘Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion’ branding on.
With ProMotion, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max can adjust the refresh rate from 10Hz all the way to 120Hz, up from the 60Hz from the last models. To make this feature possible, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have a different type of OLED display known as Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide (LTPO) panel, which is also present on Samsung flagships. The advantages of LTPO include higher brightness, a wider dynamic range, and less battery usage.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max battery
Apple has upped the batteries in the recent Pro models significantly. The iPhone 13 Pro has 11 percent more battery, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a whopping 18.5 percent increase. While the 12 series had no problems with battery life, the 13 series adds even more to it. The iPhone 13 Pro has 1.5 hours more, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max will last 2.5 hours more!
Making the two models thicker has advantages, after all!
However, the battery gains don’t come from the battery alone. They are a result of the combination of the more efficient A15 Bionic processor, less power-hungry screen, and bigger batteries.
Even power users shooting videos and playing demanding games will have battery left the next day on both Pro models. If you don’t task your phone as much, your iPhone 13 Pro Max will get you through the second day.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max cameras
The two Pros have exactly the same cameras, and they are among the best you can find on a smartphone. As you would expect from any flagship these days, photos taken in bright conditions are extremely good. You can point your phone at anything and get stunning pictures without adjusting any settings.
However, where the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max set themselves apart is in lowlight photography. The sensor is larger, allowing more light and speeding up processing times. The photos come out with less noise and now handle the black point better.
Macro photography is vastly improved with the camera switching to ultra-wide mode automatically. However, Apple will disable the automatic switch after receiving complaints from users.
There is a new telephoto lens that lets you adjust zoom ratios.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max come with two new camera modes; Photographic Profiles and Cinematic Mode. The former lets you change the tone and contrast before taking the photo instead of waiting to edit after you take it. Note that you can’t remove the adjustments after the effect. The latter brings the Portrait Mode to videos, blurring the background so that the main subject stands out.
One of the most difficult Apple faces when upgrading its phones is how to make an excellent phone even better. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max show the company answered the question well in this iteration.