Alexandra Garrett | CNET.Com
Troy Warren for CNT #Technology
A spec-by-spec comparison of the four models in Apple’s 2021 lineup.
Apple announced its new iPhone lineup at its September event alongside the Apple Watch 7, iPad Mini 6 and updated entry-level iPad. The new lineup, named the iPhone 13, mirrors last year’s iPhone 12 collection with standard, Mini, Pro and Pro Max versions. The updated iPhone runs on iOS 15, which will be publicly available to install next week, and features a few camera upgrades, upped storage, a new A15 Bionic processor and more. (Here’s how you can preorder the iPhone 13.)
We were fairly certain there would be four iPhone 13 variants in advance of Apple’s big event, just like last year’s iPhone 12 lineup (though the future of the iPhone Mini is not so certain). The four-model lineup for the iPhone 13 was predicted by industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The iPhone 13 lineup was also spotted in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission for a revised MagSafe charger. The filing referenced the four new iPhone models alongside the four “legacy” iPhone 12 models: the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max ahead of Tuesday’s event.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini: Check out the redesigned camera module and smaller notch
The iPhone 13 models vary in a number of key ways. First of all, storage size. Not only is the iPhone 13’s starting storage impressive — the standard and Mini model are offered in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB options — but the Pro and Pro Max storage is downright huge. You can get one of the Pro models with a whopping 1TB of storage.
Although the iPhone 13 lineup mirrors the iPhone 12, Apple’s 2021 iPhones features a slightly new design, updated camera and feature upgrades for a similar price as 2020’s iPhone 12 models.
Here’s everything we know about the iPhone 13 collection after Apple’s September event, and how each model differs from each other.
Price: iPhone 13 line (mostly) matches the cost of its predecessor
The iPhone 13 lineup mostly mimics the pricing for the iPhone 12. Although Apple has since done away with the 64GB storage option for its standard and Mini options, the pricing of the iPhone 13 have stayed the same. The iPhone 13 Mini starts at $699 for 128GB of storage. The standard iPhone 13 starts at $799, the Pro starts at $999 and Pro Max at $1,0999.
The prices for the Pro versions are similar to other high-end smartphone models like the Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra, which cost $1,000 and $1,200, respectively.
The prices for the new iPhone increase as you go up in storage, especially since the iPhone features a 1TB storage option for the first time. The extra storage is only available on the Pro models and ups the price of an iPhone 13 Pro Max to $1,599.
Storage: iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have 1TB options
Apple has ditched its 64GB storage option for its new iPhone. The standard iPhone 13 and Mini now come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options, while the Pro and Pro Max also come in a 1TB storage option. This is the first time you have the option to get 1TB of storage on an iPhone.
The storage upgrade was previously spotted in an investor report from Kuo and reported by 9to5Mac.
Size and design: All iPhone 13 models have a 20% smaller notch
All four versions of the iPhone 13 are thicker and heavier than their counterpart in last year’s lineup, but with a smaller notch. Apple has included a notched display on every iPhone since the 2017 iPhone X, as a place for the selfie camera. In March Kuo predicted that the iPhone 13 will have a smaller notch than its predecessors. At the event, Apple confirmed that the iPhone 13’s notch is 20% smaller than it was on the iPhone 12.
Before the event, some people thought we got a glimpse of a notchless iPhone during an episode of the popular Apple TV Plus series Ted Lasso. In two brief scenes of episode 6 in season 2, we see an iPhone without a notch running iOS. Some speculated that the phone in question could have been the iPhone 13. But, despite the buzz generated by shots of the phone, it now seems like it was a CGI imperfection in postproduction rather than a sneak peek of Apple’s new iPhone.
The design of the camera setup shifted for the iPhone 13 Mini. The camera lenses are now situated diagonally from each other, rather than one atop the other like on the iPhone 12 Mini. The change was previously rumored by leaker Sonny Dickson on Twitter in June.
The iPhone 13 lineup ranges in screen size from 5.4 inches to 6.7 inches. The iPhone 13 Mini is 5.4 inches, the standard iPhone 13 and Pro models are both 6.1 inches and the Pro Max is 6.7 inches.
iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max camera testing: Photos from Apple’s highest end 2021 phones
Display: Only iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have a 120 Hz refresh rate
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models both feature a 120Hz display, as predicted by Kuo in March. The number of hertz a phone screen is able to display refers to its number of frames per second, which determines how fast and smooth the screen feels when you’re scrolling through apps and web pages. The standard and Mini models, however, don’t feature the 120Hz display.
Apple seems late to the game, since other high-end smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9 Pro, already have a 120Hz refresh rate.
Camera: All the upgrades for each iPhone 13 model
The iPhone 13 lineup features a few new camera upgrades, including the addition of cinematic mode and macro photography.
But, similar to the iPhone 12 lineup, the lidar scanner is still only available on the Pro and Pro Max. This was previously rumored by leaker Dylan on Twitterand proven to be true. This is the second generation of iPhones to only feature a lidar scanner on its higher-end models.
The scanner, which made its debut in the 2020 iPad Pro, can be seen on both the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The scanner is used to help with autofocus and taking pictures in low lighting. (You can also use lidar to measure your friends’ heights at parties, which is kind of cool.)
iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini camera testing: See how Apple’s new phones take photos
Apple’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini have two improved 12-megapixel cameras with a 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide lens. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have three new rear cameras with a 12-megapixel wide, ultrawide and telephoto lens. All of the iPhones in Apple’s 2021 lineup can also take Night Mode shots for the first time.
Apple also unveiled that the Pro models will get a more advanced version of ProRes video later this year.
Battery: The iPhone 13 is said to have more battery life than before
The exact battery specs for each iPhone 13 model are undisclosed, but Apple says the new iPhones will sport longer battery life than the iPhone 12 lineup. The extended battery life results from a combination of a bigger battery, iOS 15 and the A15 Bionic chip, according to Apple.
Apple says the iPhone 13 and iPhone Mini hold a charge for 17 and 19 hours of video playback, respectively. The iPhone 13 Pro is said to live for 22 hours, and the iPhone Pro Max for 28 hours.
Rumors prior to the September event suggested each model would get a battery boost. According to leaker L0vetodream on Twitter, reported on by 9to5Mac, the iPhone 13 would house a 2,406-mAh battery, the standard and Pro models would have a 3,095-mAh battery and the Pro Max would have a 4,352-mAh battery. Since Apple hasn’t disclosed the battery specs for its latest iPhone lineup, we don’t know if this speculation turned out to be true. We may only find out when the new phones are subjected to teardowns.
Regardless, just note that it’s possible that a boost in battery size will not directly translate to longer battery life, since battery life isn’t the same as battery capacity.
If you’re itching for more about the iPhone 13, take a look at which color you should buy and how to preorder the new iPhone. You can also check out everything that was announced at Apple’s September event, including the Apple Watch 7, iPad Mini 6 and updated entry-level iPad. And, here’s how to download and install iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.
iPhone 13 Mini
Starts at $699
The iPhone Mini 13 is the entry-level model in Apple’s new 2021 iPhone line. It’s the most affordable model, and offers the smallest screen size of the four — 5.4 inches.
Starts at $799
The standard iPhone sports a 6.1-inch screen and two rear cameras. For 2021, Apple is pledging longer battery life, improved cameras and better durability versus the iPhone 12.
iPhone 13 Pro
Starts at $999
The Pro version of the iPhone 13 adds a third rear camera with 3x optical zoom (up from 2x on the iPhone 12), a stainless steel body and a ProMotion screen with refresh rates up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling.
iPhone 13 Pro Max
Starts at $1,099
The Pro Max is Apple’s largest iPhone, with a 6.7-inch screen. It’s basically an upscaled version of the iPhone 13 Pro. Like that model, storage options for the Pro Max extend to a whopping 1TB for the first time.
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