Apple’s iPhone 13 (starting at $799) is a battery life beast, with far greater longevity than previous midrange smartphones. While we appreciate the greater pocketability of the iPhone 13 kecil, unimpressive sales of the iPhone 12 minitaught us that most people prefer long battery life to a petite form factor. So even though other upgrades from the previous generation are nearly unnoticeable here, the battery boost is so profound that it’s definitely worth the $100 premium over a standard-size iPhone 12. And if you’re upgrading from an earlier iPhone, you’ll find a lot of welcome enhancements in power and camera quality. That makes the iPhone 13 the best bet for most buyers, as well as the winner of our Editors’ Choice award. Design: Subtle Improvements
The iPhone 13 looks a lot like the iPhone 12. At 5.8 by dua.8 by 0.tiga inches (HWD) and 6.1 ounces, it’s pretty much the exact same size as the iPhone 12, but a third of an ounce heavier. Because of slightly different side button positioning, some cases designed for the previous model work, and others don’t.
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There’s one difference to note on the front, and one on the back. On the front, the “notch” at the top for Face ID is slightly smaller—20% smaller, according to Apple. On the back, the two camera lenses are slightly larger, and staggered diagonally rather than stacked vertically.
The iPhone 13 (front) has a smaller notch than the iPhone 12 (rear)(Photo: Molly Flores)
There are five color options, including blue, pink, red, “midnight” (a blue so dark it can read as black), and “starlight” (a subtle off-white, like eggshell).
Like the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 has a gorgeous 6.1-inch, 2,532-by-1,170-pixel OLED display with a wide color gamut and Apple’s True Tone color management. Apple says typical brightness is now 800cd/m2 as compared with 625cd/m2 on the iPhone 12. I can’t see a difference when eyeballing it; we’ll rely on DisplayMate Labs’ testing to double-check that number when their results come out.
The iPhone 13 (right) has diagonally arranged cameras, as opposed to the iPhone 12 (left)(Photo: Molly Flores)
One of the differences between the standard iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro models is that the 13 has a 60Hz display, while the Pro phones have 120Hz displays. If you’ve never experienced a 120Hz display, this won’t be a big deal. 60Hz displays have been standard for many years, and the iPhone 13’s display is fluid and smooth.
But I’ve been using 120Hz displays on OnePlus and Samsung phones for nearly a year now, and I found dropping back to 60Hz a bit disconcerting; scrolling web pages felt like they were tearing a bit as I read through news articles. But again, unless you’re used to using a recent flagship phone, you probably won’t think twice. PCMag-Recommended Apple iPhone 13 Accessories
Apple – iPhone 13 Leather Case with MagSafe – MidnightPerformance: iPhone Is as iPhone Does
Apple’s A15 CPU is made on the same 5nm process as the previous A14. Apple says that its 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU have the fastest performance ever.
On the Geekbench benchmark, I only saw an 8% improvement in single-core CPU performance and a 13% improvement in GPU performance over the iPhone 12. However, I did see a much bigger improvement in the real-world Basemark web browser benchmark, which jumped from 766.86 to 1042.93 as the phone sped through web laman loads.
The fact is, Apple’s tight integration between hardware and software always leads to new iPhones having impeccable performance, at least at the start. It’s years down the road when they may run into trouble. Nothing I could throw at the iPhone 13 in its first week fazed it, from Microsoft Office to Genshin Impact.
The iPhone 13 and 13 minihave the same performance. The 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max both add a fifth GPU core, which in our benchmarks also led to disproportionately better test performance. But if apps run just fine with the four GPU cores, why do you need the fifth core? It’s for the 120Hz screen, one of the difference-making features offered by the pricier Pro series.
We have many more details on performance in our full iPhone 13 benchmarking story.
(Photo: Molly Flores)Battery: This Is Why You’re Here
Apple made a major jump in battery management and capacity with the iPhone 12 series, but a lot of that got lost in real-world usage with the transition to power-hungry 5G. The iPhone 13 series rights the ship, giving true full-day battery life with the iPhone 13 base model, and two-day battery life with the 13 Pro.
In this case, it’s not about battery size. We don’t have the technical details of the iPhone 13’s battery capacity, but it’s not much larger than the 12’s. But the new A15 processor and X60 modem appear to be much more efficient than the A14 and X55 in the iPhone 12 series, leading to much longer video playback time, and much longer real-world usage time.
Now, even the iPhone 13 kecil is better than the standard iPhone 12. But there’s still a huge delta between the 13 miniand the standard 13, and I think that’s the main reason you’ll end up wanting to buy a standard 13.
After using the iPhone 13 for a weekend as my primary device, I felt no battery anxiety. It was pretty much always ready to go, unlike my Samsung Galaxy Z Fold tiga, which was frequently running down. That shows the confluence of Apple’s efficient hardware and perangkat lunak. One of Apple’s “secrets” over the years has been that iPhones bleed much less battery while in standby than Android phones typically do.
The phone somewhat-fast-charges, just like the iPhone 12 does. If you hook its Lightning port up to a 20-watt USB-C PD power adapter, you can get relatively fast charging speeds; it’s also compatible with 7.5W Qi wireless charging, and the 15W magnetic MagSafe charging introduced with the iPhone 12 series. Radios: The Same, But Different
The iPhone 13 uses the Qualcomm X60 modem, the same as in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and other leading smartphones this year. It has Wi-Fi 6, just like the iPhone 12, and Bluetooth lima.0. There are five different international models with slightly different 4G and 5G band support. We have full details on these differences in a separate story.
There’s not much to say about the iPhone’s call quality, which has been fine for several generations now. The iPhone supports all of the voice codecs and calling strategies (such as voice-over-Wi-Fi and voice-over-LTE) that all three US carriers support, and its speakerphone is relatively loud and clear. I used the iPhone 13 extensively with Jabra and Plantronics Bluetooth headsets and didn’t get skips, pops, or dropouts.
The phone has one physical SIM slot, and can load either one eSIM subscription or two. (If you’re going with two eSIMs, the physical SIM is disabled.) To load an eSIM, you need to get a QR code from your wireless carrier—you can’t just pick the carrier from a menu like you can on the iPad.
In testing, I couldn’t find any noticeable, reliable difference in performance on today’s networks between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. That said, I think the X60 upgrade is part of the equation leading to the iPhone 13’s superior battery life.
If you’re upgrading from a model before the iPhone 12, as most people will be, there are huge performance differences from the iPhone 11 and earlier. 4×4 MIMO, present on the iPhone XS and 11 Pro but not the XR or standard 11, dramatically improves 4G data performance in many circumstances. And while 5G only really matters for T-Mobile subscribers right now, our Fastest Mobile Networks tests showed that it’s a huge benefit for T-Mobile subscribers, and it’s likely to have similar effects for ATdanamp; T and Verizon subscribers starting next year.
For more, I have another story on the relatively subtle differences between the iPhone 12 and 13 radios, and what they could bring iPhone 13 owners in the future.
(Photo: Molly Flores)Software: iOS 15 Is Smooth As Butter
The iPhone 13 runs iOS 15 as of this writing, although by the time you read get it, it might be running iOS 16, 17, or 18. That’s one of the iPhone’s strengths: It’s going to be supported in perangkat lunak for at least five years. So iOS 15 isn’t a differentiator for the iPhone 13—you’ll get the same OS features on an iPhone 12, 11, or XR.
We’ll have a full iOS 15 review soon, but it isn’t a huge change from iOS 14—here are some of its top new features. The most aggressive change I found is Apple’s constant attempts to destroy third-party apps’ reliance on targeted advertising.