iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores this Friday, September 24, and ahead of time, reviews of the devices have now been shared by several tech websites and YouTube channels.
Key features across the iPhone 13 lineup include a faster A15 Bionic chip, camera improvements, longer battery life, and a smaller notch. The two Pro models also feature a ProMotion display with a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz, up to 1TB of storage, and additional camera features like Night mode portraits and ProRes video recording.
The only differences between the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max relate to their respective 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch display sizes, battery life, and the weight of the devices, as the Pro and Pro Max have identical camera systems this year.
We've already rounded up unboxing videos of the devices, and we've shared some highlights from written reviews below.
The Verge's Dieter Bohn said Apple did an "excellent job" with its implementation of a ProMotion display on iPhone 13 Pro models. While previous iPhones are limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, ProMotion enables iPhone 13 Pro models to have an adaptive refresh rate between 10Hz and 120Hz depending on the type of content that is displayed on the screen, resulting in smoother appearing content while watching videos, gaming, and scrolling text.
When I scroll on the iPhone 13 Pro, the text stays readable instead of turning into a blur. Things moving on the screen are smoother. It feels more like a direct interaction with my finger because the iPhone can literally change its refresh rate to match my movement.
Longer Battery Life
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said all four iPhone 13 models last at least an hour longer than the equivalent iPhone 12 models.
In my daily use, all four of the models lasted at least an hour longer than their predecessors. The Pro Max could easily go until the next day. If you want to stretch battery life further, you can turn off 5G. (Power savings aside, it's a fun experiment to see how little 5G really adds to the smartphone experience right now.)
Stern did recommend that customers consider replacing the battery in their current iPhone if they are experiencing shorter battery life, as that would certainly be a more economical option than upgrading to a brand new iPhone.
CNET's Patrick Holland was particularly impressed with the new Cinematic mode, which is available on all four iPhone 13 models.
All of the iPhones 13 get a new feature called Cinematic mode. It uses the rear cameras or the True Depth camera array to create a 1,080p video at 30fps. What makes the video compelling is that everything but your subject is out of focus. The iPhone can even execute a rack focus from one subject to another. The effect is dramatic and impressive.
Holland did note that Cinematic mode needs a good amount of light to work best. If conditions are too dark, users are notified to turn the iPhone's flash on.
As we saw in early benchmark results, the A15 Bionic chip in iPhone 13 models is around 10-15% faster compared to the A14 Bionic chip in the iPhone 12 lineup. CNET's Patrick Holland shared a chart with Geekbench 5 scores for comparison.
- Wired's Julian Chokkattu
- MobileSyrup's Patrick O'Rourke
- The New York Times' Brian X. Chen
- CNBC's Todd Haselton
MacRumors will have our own hands-on iPhone 13 review in an upcoming video, so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.