iPhone 13 Pro review – “Improvements galore”


The mobile phone landscape has changed a lot over the past few years and while the names at the top have remained the same, there has been a lot of movement outside of the top two or three names. As such, big names like Apple and Samsung can’t afford to get complacent. When you’re at the top, it’s incredibly easy to get overconfident, and there are always people who throw around terms like “coup” or sayings like “David versus Goliath” when it comes to the brave underdog. that people like to see increase in sales. graphics.


big step forward

It turns out, however, that with the iPhone 13 Pro, the giants are hitting as hard as they always have, if not harder. It’s an incredible step up from the previous generation and a phenomenal leap from the 11th generation. Upgrading from the 11 Pro Max to the 13 Pro shouldn’t have really been a big step, especially since most people have multi-year contracts so normally end up with a new phone once their old one is on the way to be obsolete. I can’t imagine the dread if someone were to upgrade from a 9th or 10th gen to this one because as I said it was a major step up right after the 11 Pro Max.

iPhone 13 Pro design

The most noticeable differences are speed and screen quality, which happen to be two extremely visible elements of how the phones work. Perhaps it’s the fact that these improvements are so immediately apparent that makes it so impressive. Most people won’t know what a difference a 120Hz OLED display will make when they notice it in the feature list, or what a phone with an A15 Bionic processor means, but the bottom line is – simply – that every transition screen shots and every swipe are smoother, and images are sharper.

In fact, these two areas make up three of the main areas for improvement in this generation, with the cameras being the third. Screen resolution and processing power have clearly been the focus, and I don’t see myself willingly moving away from 120Hz OLED as my primary phone after this experience.

Although there is naturally always the discussion of high frame rate, FPS or HZ being useless because the human eye can only absorb a limited amount of information at a time (what is what is it, a screen for hummingbirds?), their increase always makes for a smoother experience as we absorb smoother information in the moments we receive it.

Back view of iPhone 13 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro gaming performance and hardware

The iPhone 13 Pro features the same sized OLED components as its predecessor, however, the screen size changes (the node at the top is shrunken) and the new frame rate has many side effects; It seems to light up much brighter, and the colors and contrast really stand out compared to previous iterations. It’s a much more powerful chipset. The A15 Bionic, which has a six-core processor and a 5-core GPU, running with 6GB of RAM, makes it probably the most powerful phone on the market, which is reflected when it’s is to run intensive applications like top games or editing software. .

That said, it’s incredibly hard to know how much better it is than the competition, as Apple still won’t let us sample frame rates, but running COD: Mobile, Alien: Isolation, and Genshin Impact does offer a smooth and elegant experience. But, as things stand, there aren’t many games that can really challenge the high-end device category, and so it’s unlikely we’ll see a huge chasm over a few years because nobody wants to lock out the majority of players.

About things where there are no massive chasms. Visually, the iPhone 13 Pro isn’t much of a design change from the 12 Pro. Perhaps the most obvious design change is that the camera nest on the back of the device seems to protrude even more, and the screen dead zone around the front cameras seems to be a bit smaller in width. , although it extends lower. screen a bit. The latter is a sign of long-awaited changes, and I hope it continues to decrease, there are still a lot of games and apps that have shallow notifications on the top screen that get lost in the darkness of this area.

Cat photo taken with iPhone 13 Pro


Now for the ultimate sequel. On the subject of darkness, we absolutely have to talk about the night mode of the iPhone 13 Pro. It gives a really clear picture, by far the best I’ve seen on any phone I’ve tried in the last year. In fact, the 13 Pro is incredibly good at handling different light levels, likely due to the increased aperture lens on the main camera. Perhaps most impressively, Night Mode now also works on ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, a much-needed evolution for Apple.

Their camera array has undergone some improvements, it now consists of three 12MP rear cameras, one of which is the previously mentioned telephoto (77mm, 3x zoom). The ultra-wide camera has not only received the night mode upgrade, it has also added a new sensor as well as an autofocus feature which works great in low light and really helps it extract a little more detail.

Overall, the improvements to the main camera, as well as the ultra-wide sensor are truly remarkable improvements. However, the macro camera turns on and off automatically, which first caused a bit of confusion and then caused me a bit of frustration. It’s a great little macro camera, but since I spend a lot of time taking macro photos and manually adjusting the focus, this meant I had to adjust how and where I held the phone in order to keep it from move. There’s reportedly a fix in the works, but it’s confusing how this was included when it first went on sale.

Photo of flowers taken with iPhone 13 Pro

But, shift-Macro aside. The iPhone 13 Pro has probably the best set of cameras I’ve handled on a phone, the night mode on the other lenses is a big improvement, and the portrait lens and telephoto lens have improved color recognition and I’m very impressed with the bokeh effect in the first one. As a side note, I exported some photos to my computer for inspection, because – perhaps obviously – they would look much better on the 120Hz screen than the photos on a non-120Hz screen.

iPhone 13 Pro video quality

Speaking of photography, it makes sense to move quickly to video. I don’t spend a lot of time making or taking videos on my phone, so I might not be the most technically appropriate person to talk about it, however, I think the cinematic mode that was added deserves a mention. ‘to be famous. It basically takes the effect of portrait mode and adds it to video, simulating the pulled focus effect we often see used for attention grabbing in movies. It also tracks as well and therefore can handle the moving camera or subject while maintaining the effect.

Not only that, but there’s smart AI at work. If the subject of the recording turns around and looks behind him, the focus shifts; it also works when people are looking and gesturing. Although it’s a bit strange, it really intensifies the effect and when it works – which it does almost 100% of the time – it is impressive.


I’m reviewing the 512GB version of the phone which, unlike the 128GB version, can record in ProRes mode at 4K, 30FPS. The 128GB can only muster 1080p at this FPS. ProRes lends itself well to editing, which the phone is more than capable of due to its power. Outside of ProRes, the entire lineup includes Dolby Vision HDR at (up to) 4K, 60FPS.

iPhone 13 Pro battery life and charging speed

With all this talk about processing and recording, it makes sense that we’re discussing one area where Apple occupies a bit of an odd spot: battery life and charging speed. Battery life is improved and I don’t need to charge it every other day assuming it has light use, however, the phone still charges very slowly. I reviewed some of Xiaomi’s lineup late last year, and while their 120W charging rate is definitely an outlier, the iPhone 13 Pro only charges at a sixth of that. It’s fine if you’re working at a desk or charging your phone overnight, but it’s definitely an area where the giant needs to improve in the future – perhaps we’ll see the next generation move from Lightning to USB-C cable.

The iPhone 13 Pro is easily one of the most powerful phones on the market, and in several areas it easily beats the competition. Price is an obvious elephant in the room, but I’m sure anyone reading this knows that iPhones are premium priced largely due to the ecosystem you’re buying into, but – as this review points out – also the fact that they hit hard in every area they try to fight.


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