Bigger battery, smaller notch and… almost the same design. The new iPhone 13 follows in the footsteps of the 2020 vanilla model perhaps a little too closely. But the 12 proved to be the top seller of its generation, so perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.
If you are seeking a radical new look, this isn’t it. Shrinking the notch is no small feat considering it has been the same since 2017. But smartphone design has moved on. The vanilla model (and the 13 mini) lives in the past in another way – its display refreshes only 60 times a second. The two Pro models made the jump to 120Hz, making 60Hz look even more outdated.
That is not to say that the iPhone 13 is without upgrades. The display is brighter than last year’s for one. And it has upgraded main camera on the back – actually, it is the main camera that was exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max with a larger sensor and sensor-shift image stabilization.
You’d think that the larger pixels (1.7µm, up from 1.4µm) would have an impact on image quality. As Will explains in our video review below, the iPhone 13 takes photos that are basically identical to the vanilla iPhone 12, so the new hardware didn’t change things much.
The new phone does take much better selfies, however. In fact, this may be the best selfie camera we’ve tested yet. And the more powerful Apple A15 chipset enables features like Cinematic mode – check out the video for a demo.
You can also head over to our written iPhone 13 review if you want to have another look at the camera samples and other details. We also reviewed the iPhone 13 Pro Max, if you’re curious about the new, upgraded camera or how the beefier A15 chipset performs (the Pro models have 5-core GPUs instead of 4-core like on the vanilla and mini models).