iPhone 13: Everything we know about Apple's new 2021 phone line
Apple's new iPhone 13 line made its debut Tuesday, with four new models shown off.
Patrick HollandManaging Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Without a carrier discount, the iPhone 13 starts at $829 (£779, AU$1,349) for 128GB, which is twice the storage of the base iPhone 12 model. The iPhone 13 Mini starts at $729 (£679, AU$1,199) for the same 128GB of storage. Like the iPhone 12, if you buy an iPhone 13 or 13 Mini tied to a US carrier, you'll receive a $30 discount.
The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 (£949, AU$1,699) and the 13 Pro Max at $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,849) for 128GB of storage. For the first time, you have the option to get 1TB of storage on an iPhone. The extra storage is only available on the Pro models and pushes the iPhone 13 Pro Max's price to $1,599. Below is a breakdown of prices (without a carrier discount) and storage options.
The four iPhone 13 models have the same size screens as the iPhone 12 series. The iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch display, the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro have a 6.1-inch screen, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display. All the new phones have brighter screens.
Does the iPhone 13 Pro have a 120Hz refresh rate?
Both Pro models now get a higher 120Hz refresh rate, which makes animations and scrolling look smoother and gaming more immersive. Android phones, whether they are expensive or not, commonly feature a high refresh rate screen. Up to now, the only Apple device to offer such a refresh rate was the iPad Pro, which uses an LCD screen instead of the OLED found on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. Here's some more information on the iPhone 13's 120Hz refresh rate, ProMotion and why it may not work exactly the way you think.
How long does the iPhone 13 battery last?
Probably the most welcomed feature announced for the iPhone 13 is a bigger battery. Apple didn't share the size, but claims that the new battery along with iOS 15, the A15 chip and updated display adds 2.5 hours of battery life to the iPhone 13 (compared to the iPhone 12).
The iPhone 13 Mini should get an 1.5 hours more than the iPhone 12 Mini. That's a significant increase: The battery life on the iPhone 12 Mini was a compromise some people weren't willing to make. So it's exciting to see the new Mini get such a big bump in just a year.
Apple says that the Pro models should see a similar increase in battery life with the iPhone 13 Pro getting 2.5 hours more and the 13 Pro Max getting an additional 1.5 hours.
How many cameras does the iPhone 13 have?
The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini get an updated camera system, which is apparent from the new diagonal orientation of the two rear cameras. In fact, Apple says the new orientation is a result of making more room for a new sensor-based stabilization system -- which previously was only on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. (The cameras on the iPhone 12 were stacked vertically.)
All four models get an improved 12-megapixel main camera and a better ultrawide lens and sensor. The new hardware, along with the new A15 Bionic chip, means a handful of improvements and new features, including being able to capture 47% more light.
The iPhone 13 Pro also has a new triple-camera system with better lenses and sensors. The telephoto lens comes with 3x optical zoom, which is 1.5x longer than the camera on the iPhone 12 Pro and 1.2x longer than the tele lens on the 12 Pro Max. Take a look below at the different telephoto lenses the Pro models of the iPhone 13 and 12.
To put things in perspective, this is an enormous improvement for the iPhone, but it still pales in comparison to the telephoto cameras on the Galaxy S21 Ultra and phones from Huawei.
iPhone 13 Pro telephoto lens specs vs. 13 Pro, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
35mm lens equivalent
iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro
iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro
Watch this: Review: iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max are Apple's best
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