IPhone 13 Pro Review
We’re back in that part of the year when Apple launches its iPhones, again this year four, and we’re all trying to figure out what’s new and if it’s worth the move to the new model. And as always, when Apple’s flagship smartphones are discovered, the truth is in the details, whether they are the usual or the news.
The packaging of the iPhone 13 Pro holds no surprises. It is, therefore, the same sparse packaging as last year. The reason is ecological, but the result is still a bit alienating. No power supply in the box, just the USB-C / lightning cable for charging. On the other hand, the sticker with the apple is inevitable.
Construction And Ergonomics
It remains undeniable how the build quality of the iPhone 13 Pro is undoubted, as for all the Pros to date, one of the critical points of this model. The frame is made of very sturdy steel, and on the back, we find again the excellent satin glass of last year. Always present the Ceramic Shield glass with front protection (whose only natural enemy is the sapphire glass of the cameras of another iPhone).
On the other hand, iPhone 13 Pro is a bit heavy with its 204 grams of weight, but it conveys an incredible feeling of quality in a body that is all in all compact. At least by current standards. This variant is also resistant to water and dust according to IP68 standards.
If there’s one thing Apple always pushes the throttle on, even if no one can put their breath on its neck, it’s the processor. Here we have the latest 5-nanometer Bionic A15 with a maximum frequency of 3.2 GHz (6-core). The power provided by this processor, as we said, will undoubtedly be “in excess” for anyone but what distinguishes it are the improvements in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Compared to the past, we have noticed a little more warmth on the body during the most intense operations (such as the cinematic mode of the camera), but this does not seem to significantly impact autonomy (which is the most important thing). We then have 6 GB of RAM and 128, 256, 512 GB memory cuts, as well as a new 1 TB cut, designed only for those who will use this iPhone as a video recording tool in an intense way. Present 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, ultrawideband support, NFC (always limited), and eSIM support. Instead, as always, the audio jack is missing.
Many were hoping for the return of the fingerprint reader: an “extra” that we would have appreciated but that we never really believed to be in the “home” straight. Always present the excellent Face ID with secure 3D face unlock in the hope that the bezels will soon be a distant memory, probably the best biometric unlocking system out there.
Although the resolution of the three photosensors of this iPhone 13 Pro remains 12 megapixels for all, a lot has changed under the body. The primary camera (with sensor stabilization) has a ƒ / 1.5 aperture and an enormously larger sensor (capable of collecting 220% more brightness than before). In contrast, the ƒ / 1.8 wide-angle is now stabilized and has the automatic focus with the possibility of taking photos and macro videos up to 2 centimeters away. Too bad there is no way to force the disablement of the function, but we admit that this macro shooting system is among the best around.
The zoom camera becomes dimmer, but it is now 3X. Then there is the ToF sensor for fast focusing and depth-of-field calculation. However, it is not exploited in the much-publicized new cinematic mode. Let’s get our teeth out and talk about it immediately: forget the cinema results of the promotional video, but also forget all the “sketchy” experiments of the competition. This mode works much better and rarely suffers (if not a little more with glasses). That the result is artificial, however, is undoubtedly still noticeable. You can manage the focus of subjects in videos even after recording. Too bad that the resolution, in this case, is only in Full HD.
In “classic” videos, you can instead record in 4K at 60 fps, and once again, we believe that iPhone 13 Pro is by far the best smartphone in video recording for detail and stabilization. However, it is at night that the difference from the competition becomes more evident, even if the sporadic problem of flare in the recording remains. There are steps forward if we talk about the photographic field, but they are slightly less impactful (on an already excellent camera).
Here, too, the big difference can be seen at night and in software management, with an exceptional ability to focus and color management, especially in the most challenging situations. The wide-angle camera has also been improved, and the introduction of photographic profiles has been excellent, allowing you to give a more “personal” mold to all your shots. The 12-megapixel ƒ / 2.2 front camera is still perfect, always supported by the ToF sensor. Here, too, you can take advantage of the cinematic mode.
The display retains many of its specifications unchanged from the past. We have a 6.1-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels. The interruption due to the notch for the Face ID is now less invasive, but it is almost impossible to notice a real difference in daily use. Always compatible with HDR10 and Dolby Vision standards. The big news this year is the introduction of Pro-Motion with refresh rates up to 120Hz.
Last year we called this absence “a real shame.” We confirm this opinion, and we are finally happy that this specification has been brought up to par with the competition. Still, we must, however, recognize that the expectations were largely unmotivated. Now that we are in front of the 120 Hz of the iPhone 13 Pro, we realize how iOS was already so fluid and optimized to make the difference from the past invisible in certain situations.
A completely different story than what happens in Android smartphones, and this is thanks to Apple. However, there are tangible advantages of this technology. One is that apps that can take advantage of this fluidity will do so with future updates. The second is that the screen can now update at all intermediate refresh rates down to a minimum of 10 Hz, for example, by adapting to 24 fps of a European film or going down to the lowest value in the case of a text on a website, saving battery.
Inside the iPhone 13 Pro, we find iOS 15 with all its new features. We, therefore, have the new notifications grouped at predefined times thanks to the scheduled summary or Full Immersion, according to myself, the best news of this software version. You can create different profiles to use in different situations, for example, to be disturbed only by certain people or by certain apps or even to hide some apps from our view. For the rest, iOS 15 is the usual exceptional operating system and is much criticized by those who love the opening of systems like Android. Very fast, stable, and with excellent integration with other Apple products. Much less with “the others.”
The real news and what we believe is the key to those who ask, “should I switch to iPhone 13 Pro” is the battery. It grows up to 3,125 mAh. This novelty, together with the new refresh rate that can go down to 10 Hz, guarantees this smartphone excellent autonomy—both for smartphones in general and even more so for smartphones of this size. We have always reached the end of the day with a single charge, even on the most intense days of use and the most “casual” users (can they exist with a Pro smartphone?) It could even reach two full days. The charging is always to 20W and the 15W MagSafe wireless.
The iPhone 13 Pro is expensive, although not more expensive than last year. Finally, leaving aside the cut from 64 GB of internal memory, we have a price of € 1189 for 128 GB, € 1309 for the 256 GB, € 1539 for the 512 GB, and finally € 1769 for the exaggerated 1 TB version. High prices, but for some years now, not the highest on the market (and this in our opinion is a big problem for the competition).