There are a lot of iPhones on the market right now, and they’re pretty much all good. Apple currently sells eight great models, from the $ 399 iPhone SE to the $ 1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max. We’re not going to recommend everyone because we’re here to help you make purchasing decisions, which means narrowing down the choices. So the admirable iPhone 13 Pro (starting at $ 999) doesn’t quite take the honors this year. It’s a great phone, especially for content creators looking for a top notch photo and video experience. But for most people, we more highly recommend the standard iPhone 13 (starting at $ 799) for its balance of performance and price, while business users would be better off spending an extra $ 100 on the Pro Max for its more. long battery life.
iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max
While there is a distinct feature difference between the iPhone 12 Pro and the 12 Pro Max, with the 12 Pro Max’s higher zoom camera, better image stabilization and better low-light performance, this which makes it an easy choice, the iPhone 13 Pro is much more similar to the 13 Pro Max.
The 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max have the same four cameras, three on the back and one on the front, as well as the same 120Hz display refresh rate, same upgraded A15 processor with better GPU than on the standard iPhone 13, and they come in the same four colors. Read my iPhone 13 Pro Max review for all of these details.
From left to right: iPhone 13 mini, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max (Photo: Molly Flores)
So you’re probably wondering if the phones are pretty much the same, why not save $ 100 and go for the Pro instead of the Pro Max? And the answer, of course, is the flagship improvement of the iPhone 13 line: battery life.
The iPhone 13 Pro has very good battery life – in our tests, that’s about on par with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. But the iPhone 13 Pro Max has absolutely amazing battery life, the best we’ve seen on any iPhone. So this year we more highly recommend the Max; we think it’s worth the extra $ 100.
iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 13 Pro looks a lot like the 12 Pro. It measures almost exactly the same, at 5.8 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches, although it is half an ounce heavier at 7.2 ounces. IPhone 12 Pro cases don’t fit the 13 Pro due to the much larger camera bump on the back, so you’ll want to check out our roundup of the best compatible cases.
The iPhone 13 Pro (right) has a noticeably smaller front camera notch than the iPhone 12 Pro (left) (Photo: Molly Flores)
The first noticeable major change is the 6.1-inch, 2,532 x 1,170-pixel, 120Hz, 120Hz screen, which, like the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s display, has dropped from 800 cd / m2 in brightness to 1 000 cd / m2. The display now changes to 120 Hz in native Apple applications. (Creators of third-party applications will generally need to update their applications to use the new refresh rate.) The smoother scrolling is especially noticeable in Safari, which feels jittery when you roll back to an older iPhone (or base iPhone 13) from it.
It might have a smaller notch, but the iPhone 13 Pro (right) has larger camera lenses than the iPhone 12 Pro (left) (Photo: Molly Flores)
Find out how we test phones
The zoom camera lens is also facing a major change. The iPhone 11 Pro and 12 Pro have 2x zoom lenses, while the iPhone 13 Pro has 3x zoom. This brings the smaller Pro on par with its sibling Pro Max, which wasn’t true last year when the 12 Pro Max had a 2.5x zoom.
This, in turn, gets you closer to the action. Here is the 3x zoom of the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra compared to the 2x zoom of the iPhone 12 Pro:
Switching from 2x zoom with iPhone 12 (left) to 3x zoom with iPhone 13 Pro (center) or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (right) lets you get closer to details
There is also a new macro photography mode, which allows the iPhone 13 Pro to focus on objects very close to the camera. The 13 Pro Max and the latest Android flagships also have macro modes; standard iPhones 13 and earlier don’t.
The iPhone 13 Pro (left) and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (center) have macro modes, while the standard iPhone 13 (right) does not.
The improvements to low-light photography are more subtle. The iPhone 13 Pro has much larger sensors than the iPhone 12 Pro, Apple says, but in photos like the one below I find it hard to see a big difference.
It is quite difficult to tell the difference between these pictures taken with the 13 Pro (left) and the 12 Pro (right)
You also won’t feel much of a difference in app, 5G, or Wi-Fi performance between last year’s phone and this one. The added GPU power of the iPhone 12 Pro is going to primarily run this 120Hz display, which will be great for games and other apps once third-party developers update their software. In terms of 5G, I have seen the same effective speeds on all iPhone 13 and 12 models; their modems are currently ahead of American networks.
iPhone 13 Pro vs Android phones
How does the iPhone 13 compare to Android phones in the same price range, like the intriguing Samsung Galaxy Flip or the OnePlus 9 Pro? Much depends on iOS services compared to Android services and Apple compared to Google services, as each of these Android devices has its own advantage over the iPhone. The Galaxy Flip has a short battery life, but its form factor is absolutely amazing – it folds into your pocket. The OnePlus 9 Pro has terrific cameras, fast performance, and a bigger screen for about the same price as the iPhone 13 Pro, but that won’t matter if you want iOS camera apps or bubbles. blue iMessage.
The iPhone 13 Pro is a bit easier to use than the Pro Max for people with small hands (Photo: Molly Flores)
It might be right for you
I’m not saying don’t buy the iPhone 13 Pro. We just have to have preferences, and I think serious content creators will be more pleased with the large-screen viewfinder and two-day battery life of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, while the average buyer is ‘iPhone will be happy to balance price and performance with the main iPhone 13. But if you want the best iPhone camera in a more compact form factor, not to mention better battery life than the standard iPhone 13, you’ll be fine. satisfied with the 13 Pro – it has no major drawbacks. It just doesn’t stand out from its crowd of competitors.
The bottom line
Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro offers the same great features for content creators as the larger Pro Max, its battery just doesn’t last as long.
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