The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro were released at Apple’s California Streaming event on Tuesday, as predicted by rumors and leaks for nearly a year. The new iPhone models have narrower notches, tuned cameras and… nothing else. Apple held its typical keynote-style event, which, while virtual by necessity, was not lacking in superlatives and praise for every little detail. But while the gap between the Pro and regular models has narrowed, the fact is, there wasn’t much to get excited about.
The new iPhones are exactly the same shapes and sizes as their immediate predecessors, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro series, plus or minus a few millimeters. They come in different colors for sure. At the front, we have slightly narrower (but taller) notches, and I don’t think that’s a significant improvement. I’d love to be able to see my battery level percentage again if that’s allowed, but given how quickly the Android world realized it wasn’t worth copying the notches, Apple doesn’t really come out ahead here.
On the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, there are still only two rear cameras, and now they’re in an awkward diagonal arrangement – a rare example of Apple going with something so anti-minimalist. Non-pro models don’t get a dedicated optical telephoto camera and also can’t use their wide-angle cameras to take macros, something even cheap Android phones have been able to do for some time now.
Cinema Mode and Photo Styles are the two big new features on the camera, and it doesn’t seem like they’re making it to older iPhones with future iOS versions. Both are of great added value for anyone really interested in the art of photography or cinematography, but they aren’t for situations where you simply pick up your phone to quickly capture what’s happening around you, or even for photos and videos that you would take. regularly from people, places and events. They’re for times when you can carefully consider how to frame a subject, what kind of expression to capture, and what nuance you, as a photographer, want to bring to your work.
Will this be interesting for amateurs and filmmakers with financial constraints? Right. Does the average person want to put so much thought into everyday photos? Unlikely.
Of course, generational camera quality improvements are always a good thing, especially when you get new devices at the same prices as the outgoing models. Low light performance should be good in all respects, and sensor displacement stabilization will make a subtle difference in all sorts of situations.
Fortunately, there aren’t any major camera functional differences on each pair of iPhones – the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini have identical specs, as do the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Professionals don’t just have an additional telephoto camera; its wide and ultra-wide cameras aren’t the same ones you get on non-pro models. Reviews will show how much difference there will be in real-world usage. However, while you no longer need the biggest and best iPhone to get the cutting edge features, please note that ProRes video recording is limited to 1080p rather than 4K on the 128GB storage variants – likely due to read and speed speeds. flash memory recording – so you still have to spend a little more than the base price to get all the best features.
When it comes to raw power, while the new A15 Bionic SoC is at the heart of all four new iPhones, both Pro models get an additional GPU core. As with many recent Macs equipped with Apple’s M1 SoC, the power of the GPU is being used to differentiate price tiers. This should have some effect on gaming as well as video encoding performance. Apple doesn’t go into much detail about SoC frequencies or thermal characteristics, just telling us that there are two high-performance cores and four low-power cores. Remarkably, this talk was also light on performance comparisons – except that Apple considers itself several generations ahead of its competition, which tells us that last year’s products are still great.
What else do new iPhones bring to the table? Battery life is improved by up to two and a half hours, which is great. If you want a 120Hz refresh rate, you’ll have to opt for one of the Pro models, as this is inexplicably a differentiating factor between families. Ceramic Shield’s front, IP68 rating and compatibility with MagSafe accessories appear to be anticipated from last year, unchanged.
Then, of course, there’s iOS, the iCloud ecosystem, the easy integration with Apple Watch, Macs and AirPods, and Apple’s familiar appeals to security and privacy. Software updates are promised for years to come; far beyond what any Android phone manufacturer has so far been able to offer. All four phones will be superbly constructed, with high quality materials and finishes. The iPhone’s screens always look great, the speakers are good, and there’s nothing to complain about in terms of call quality.
iPhone prices tend to go down over time, and we can often find eye-catching discounts on older-generation models when major e-commerce sites maintain their sales. Even if we consider the new official MRPs, the iPhone 12 family still looks great. The iPhone 12 mini (Review) now costs Rs. 59,900 for 64GB, Rs. 64,900 for 128GB and Rs. 74,900 for 256 GB, compared to iPhone 13 mini, which costs Rs. 69,900 for the 128GB, Rs. 79,900 for 256 GB and Rs. 99,900 per 512 GB.
There is some overlap when you consider the iPhone 12 (Review) which now costs Rs. 65,900 for 64GB, Rs. 70,900 for 128GB and Rs. 80,900 for 256 GB, against the iPhone 13 which costs Rs. LOL. 79,900 for 128 GB, 89,900 for 256 GB and Rs. 1,09,900 for 512 GB. Do you prefer to buy the newer iPhone 13 mini or the bigger iPhone 12 for the same price? This will be an interesting point to consider in our full review.
The iPhone 12 Pro (Review) and iPhone 12 Pro Max (Review) are officially discontinued, but we’re sure they will continue to sell for a while. If it drops to less than Rs. 1,000,000 (as the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max did recently), will be worth considering even over the non-professional iPhone 13.
The iPhone 13 Pro will cost Rs. 1,19,900 per 128GB, Rs. 1,29,900 for 256 GB, Rs. 1.49,900 for 512 GB and Rs. 1,69,900 for 1TB. The iPhone 13 Pro Max costs exactly Rs. 10,000 more per level, making the 1TB variant at Rs. 1,79,900 the most expensive iPhone ever. You probably don’t need 1TB of space unless you’re a filmmaker, but 128GB will limit your video recording aspirations so intermediate options make more sense. If you want the latest and greatest, this is what it will cost.
On the other hand, there are still annoying restrictions iPhone users have to live with – limited UI customization, locked file system, easy Bluetooth file transfers, expensive accessories, and proprietary Lightning port (no charging adapter in the box ). More than all that, it’s incredibly hard to dismiss the fact that you can get a lot of equivalent or better features on Android phones priced from Rs. 15,000 to BRL 45,000.
Despite all that, iPhones will always have buyers. It’s hard to counter the appeal. In India, even old models are on the rise because of the brand’s appeal. With Apple including India in the first wave of countries, this launch is just in time for this year’s festival shopping season and major e-commerce sales events. There’s just this one question you should consider before you buy: Have the iPhone 13 models finally crossed the point of diminishing generational benefits? We’ll have the answer to that question shortly as we do our in-depth reviews of these new iPhones.
See the latest Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360 on our CES 2022 hub.