Apple finally put months of rumors to rest when the company announced the iPhone 13 lineup on Tuesday, Sept. 14. The new phones became available for presale on Sept. 17, and then officially launch on Sept. 24. Since Apple continuously ups the ante with each iPhone release (with some being more jam-packed than others), you probably want to know about all of the best new features on the iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max before you decide to upgrade. There’s a lot to take in when choosing which phone to buy, so here’s a breakdown of the best new features — from major camera updates to improved battery life.
The iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max each offer something different but share one very welcome similarity: the A15 Bionic chip, which is the powerhouse behind each of the iPhone 13 devices. The smallest and most affordable option, the iPhone 13 mini has a 5.4-inch display and starts at $699. The mini’s design is the same as the flagship iPhone 13 — which has a 6.1-inch display and starts at $799 — with a Ceramic Shield front, a glass back, and an aluminum chassis. They’re both available in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB storage options and five colors: pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are available starting at $999 and $1,099, respectively, with a memory capacity of up to 1 TB. They feature a 6.1- and 6.7-inch display, on the Pro and Pro Max, respectively. They both have a Ceramic Shield front, a textured matte glass back, and come in graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue.
Traditionally, if you’re looking for the best iPhone, the Pro and Pro Max offerings will be the best choice, but that isn’t to say the iPhone 13 and 13 mini aren’t worth your time — they also the most advanced dual-camera system ever in an iPhone. Here are all the new goodies you’ll find in iPhone 13 lineup that you won’t see on your current iPhone:
1. Dual-Camera System on iPhone 13 & 13 mini
The dual-camera system of the iPhone 13 and 13 mini is the most advanced for a flagship iPhone yet. For the first time, the flagship iPhone and its mini iteration have diagonal set lenses, a feature that was previously only in the iPhone Pro devices. The diagonal orientation might have something to do with the new camera features. The two cameras include the new Wide camera that houses the biggest sensor ever for iPhone’s dual-camera. The bigger sensor means you can get up to 47% more light in your photos and videos. There’s also the Sensor-shift OIS technology in the Wide camera lens an iPhone-exclusive, which debuted in the iPhone 12 Pro Max). The Sensor-shift OIS provides a clearer, steady shot thanks to stabilizing the sensor rather than the lens itself.
The other lens is the Ultra Wide, which provides photos and videos with less noise and more detail in dark areas.
2. More Battery Life
The entire iPhone 13 lineup has improved battery life thanks to the A15 Bionic chip, larger batteries, and more power-efficient components. The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro both last one-and-a-half hours longer than the 12 mini and 12 Pro, respectively.
For even more time, check out the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro Max, the latter of which has the longest battery life ever for iPhone. Both iPhone 13 and 13 Pro Max last two-and-half hours longer than their respective 12 series predecessors.
3. Cinematic Mode
Cinematic mode on the iPhone 13 lineup, which is on the front and back cameras of all four phones, makes it possible to achieve film-quality videos.
They’re recorded in Dolby Vision HDR with automatic focus changes, the ability to control focus when needed, and the level of bokeh in the capture is adjustable in the Photos app and iMovie for iOS. The bokeh adjustment will also be available in iMovie for macOS and Final Cut Pro soon.
4. Improved Night Mode
Night mode has been a hit with iPhone since it first debuted in 2019 with the iPhone 11, and the new A15 Bionic chip means the Night mode on iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max is even better. Night mode works by bringing in light without using flash, and the new dual camera system on iPhone 13 and 13 mini captures 47% more light than previous models.
The 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max include Night mode on each of its lenses for the first time. That means you can expect to see improved color, contrast, and lighting in any Night mode photos, whether they’re group shots or selfies.
5. Faster 5G
As 5G continues to take over 4G, Apple’s iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max are up to the challenge. Each phone comes with 5G capabilities, which means you’ll experience faster downloads, improved graphics, and better streaming when you aren’t on Wifi.
The iPhone 13 lineup also includes a feature called SharePlay in iOS 15, which lets you watch HDR movies or shows with friends on FaceTime. Plus, when using Smart Data mode, your iPhone will automatically shift between LTE and 5G speeds when needed to optimize your battery life.
6. iOS 15
iOS 15 is eventually coming as an update to iPhone SE (1st generation) and greater. If you’re thinking about upgrading, though, you’ll get the new iOS update with the new phone, and it promises to improve FaceTime calls through spatial audio and a new Portrait mode. The update also includes redesigned notifications, Live Text, and more.
7. iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max ProRes In Videos
The ProRes capability on iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max makes it possible to capture professional-quality videos. ProRes, which is often used for film, TV, and commercial capture, provides video with higher color fidelity and less compression. The result is the ability for iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max users to capture pro videos they can edit and share straight from their phone.
8. Most Advanced Cameras on iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have the most advanced camera system ever on an iPhone, with new sensors and lenses on each of the three rear cameras. The new image signal processor (ISP) in the A15 Bionic chip offers more noise reduction, tone mapping, and more.
The three lenses include the new Wide camera (the largest sensor ever on an iPhone camera), which delivers less noise, more detailed photos, and a faster shutter speed. Additionally, the Wide camera gives the Pro and Pro Max up to 2.2 times better photos in low lighting than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The new Ultra Wide camera makes it possible to capture up to 92% more light in low-light areas, plus there’s a new autofocus capability that brings macro photography capabilities to the iPhone for the first time.
Lastly, the new Telephoto camera gives you the chance to record videos at a closer distance to subjects with its 3x optical zoom range and the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max’s new overall 6x optical zoom range (iPhone 12 and 12 Pro only have 5x).
9. SuperRetina HDR Display on iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max
With the most advanced display ever to come to iPhone, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max’s Super Retina XDR with ProMotion features refresh rates of up to 120Hz, a more power-efficient OLED panel, and a faster, more responsive display for gaming and other activities. It’s also 25% brighter when used outdoors.
10. Photographic Styles
The new Photographic Styles in Camera are available on all four iPhone 13 models. When capturing photo, you can play with different aspects of the photo while keeping others. According to Apple, there are preset and customized preferences that “work across scenes and subjects, and unlike a simple filter, intelligently apply the right adjustments to different parts of the photo to ensure the important elements, like skin tones, are preserved.”
11. Two New iPhone Colors
Aesthetes upgrading to an iPhone 13 model can get one of two new colors — the iPhone 13 and 13 mini’s pink shade or the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max color, sierra blue.
With so many features to love about the iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max, the hardest decision will be choosing which one to buy.