The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max feature the finest cameras and battery life. Both offer high-end functionality, such as ProRes video recording, to live up to their titles.
The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max are amazing, so we gave them an Editors’ Choice Award. Here’s our September review.
Apple has introduced two Pro models over the past three years. The phones have improved cameras, a larger battery, and an A15 Bionic chip and cost the same as last year’s 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.
It Has High Refreshing Rate!
By giving the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max features like a high-refresh-rate display, Apple significantly differentiated its Pro and non-Pro phones.
Three years ago, Pro felt more like a marketing term than a professional iPhone.
The 13 Pro proves there’s no one-size-fits-all iPhone. Both phones share the same camera array but differ in size, battery life, and pricing.
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The 13 Pro starts at $999 (£949, AU$1,699) and the 13 Pro Max at $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,849) First-ever 1TB iPhone storage. The extra storage costs $1,499 for a 13 Pro and $1,599 for a 13 Pro Max. So much storage… and cash.
iPhone 13 Pro Is bigger!
The phones look like the 12 series. Glossy stainless steel sides, matte graphite, gold, silver, or Sierra blue back. The Sierra blue iPhone looks light grey in some settings and UNC Tarheels Carolina blue in others.
20% smaller notch. There’s a smaller notch. 20 per cent less irritates me.
Thicker, heavier phones. 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max gain 15 and 12 grammes, respectively. The 13 Pro was heavier. Both phones sport Apple’s Ceramic Shield and IP68 dust and water resistance.
iPhone 13 Pro ProMotion Is Great!
13 Pro features a 6.1-inch screen and 13 Pro Max is 6.7-inch. Daily use brightens the screens. Apple’s ProMotion screens provide the iPhone with its first high refresh rate.
The screen’s refresh rate varies between 10 and 120Hz. Similar to the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The screen is amazing. Even basic stuff like scrolling newsfeed appears better.
iPhone 13 Pro’s telephoto camera is longer
The iPhone camera features the biggest sensor ever. Its f1.5 lens improves light gathering. A new autofocus sensor and lens improve ultrawide light collection.
The telephoto camera receives a new sensor and a 3x optical zoom lens.
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Pro iPhones took brighter photos, but the difference wasn’t always noticeable. I noted that images had quick shutter speeds, which helped freeze activity, like when I shot bikers.
Also, the 3x telephoto camera’s Night mode is faster. iPhone 11 and 12 cameras reflected light sources. This peculiarity is still present on the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, especially with string lights, although it’s better.
iPhone 13 Pro Cameras Zoom In Closer!
13 Pro and 13 Pro Max include a new macro mode that activates when you’re close to your subject. I took the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 to Greenville, South Carolina’s Feast of the Field to test the cameras and Macro feature. A nice camera test.
As you move closer to your subject, the camera shifts from wide to ultrawide. With autofocus, the ultrawide can concentrate on objects a few centimetres away.
iPhone macro photography is good in bright and medium conditions. It’s not as good as a mirrorless camera with a macro lens, but it’s one of the best on a phone.
I shot close-up photos of food, coffee, and an ant-infested grapefruit.
I learned two things at the dinner: Gooseberries are tasty. The iPhone uses an ultrawide camera to take macro photos in low light.
It Also Has Wide Angle!
The wide-angle camera can handle low-light settings well. The phone’s proximity to its target filters some light, resulting in unsatisfactory close-ups.
Currently, macros can’t be disabled. In a software update this fall, Apple will add a setting to disable automatic camera switching for macro photos and video.
I love iPhone 13 Pro’s Cinematic mode.
All iPhones get Cinematic mode. The back cameras or True Depth camera array create 1080p video at 30 fps. Everything but your subject is blurry, making the video fascinating.
The iPhone can rack focus. Dramatic, amazing effect.
Like Portrait mode, it changes the depth of field. The phone can do everything, including altering focus. During recording, you can tap to modify focus and aperture. Or do it thereafter.
Perfect cinematic videos? No, but it’s fun to use. Cinematic mode needs enough light. If it’s too dark, a pop-up will tell you to use the flash.
Fast-moving nonhuman subjects, such as water dripping or espresso brewing, were hard to hold in focus in Cinematic mode. In Cinematic mode, the focus keyframe controls are small. Long-pressing expands them, whereas releasing shrinks them.
The cinematic mode won’t always produce great videos. It’s fun, but regular video usually looks better.
What About It Battery Life?
iPhone 13 Pro Max has the longest battery life.
13 Pro and 13 Pro Max feature bigger batteries. Even a hot and humid day spent taking images and films was no problem. The iPhone 13 Pro lasts me a day and the 13 Pro Max two.
Both iPhones feature greater battery lives than last year’s models.
The iPhone 13 Pro lasted 22 hours, 2 minutes and the iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted 31 hours, 19 minutes in CNET’s battery test. CNET’s longest-lasting phone was the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Larger batteries don’t always perform better. The LTPO display’s automatic refresh rate is a major gain. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max feature a fixed 60Hz refresh rate, whereas the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max can dip to 10Hz using less power.
I’ve received all four iPhone 13 models for approximately five days, so I still need to test some features. Let’s discuss the remaining questions.
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iOS 15 is great on 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. It adds features but doesn’t change anything. Focus mode rocks. Our iOS 15 review has more details.
All iPhone 13 models offer Photographic styles, which enables you to choose between regular and four modes: Vibrant, Rich Contrast, Warm, and Cool.
Apple insists they aren’t filters. Your phone analyses your subject to give the desired aesthetic without making your skin look orange. Apple performs all this during photo capture and bakes it into the file.
The first phones to support Apple ProRes. ProRes optimises video files and is beneficial for colour grading or using Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.
ProRes video files have less compression but take up more space, thus that 1TB storage tier is significant. ProRes isn’t ready to test until later this year.
CNET’s crew will undertake camera, drop, and battery tests on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. We’ll update this as we learn more.