A few days before they start arriving at customers, Apple has provided select media outlets and reviewers with models of the new iPhone 13 mini and ‌iPhone‌ 13, giving us a closer look at this year's new ‌iPhone‌ update.

Compared to their predecessors, the ‌iPhone‌ 13 and ‌iPhone‌ 13 mini feature a smaller notch, improved cameras, longer battery life, and better performance. Here's a brief summary of some of the reviews for this year's new handset.

iphone 13 mini verge reviewPhoto via The Verge

Battery Life

Thanks to the efficiency of the new A15 Bionic chip and physically larger batteries, the ‌iPhone‌ 13 and ‌iPhone‌ 13 mini featured improved battery life. The Verge's Dieter Bohn says that battery life this year is "excellent," pointing to his real-world tests.

On one day of my testing, the regular iPhone 13 made it from 7am to midnight before it tuckered out. That was with some camera testing, watching some video, the usual doomscrolling, emails, work, and some games. It was an intense set of work for the five hours of screentime that day, so that's impressive. On another day with lighter usage, I didn't see the battery warning until the following morning. But the iPhone 13's battery isn't magic. When we had a day of a lot more 4K video testing, I was looking for a charger by 7 or 8.

On the smaller ‌iPhone‌ 13 mini, Engadget says that while it is improved, it is "still shorter than the average smartphone." Generally speaking, CNET says that so far performance and battery life have been solid and that the ‌iPhone‌ 13 will be a reliable option for the majority of people.

In terms of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, it's been a good start but we have more in-depth testing to do with the batteries, durability and comparing its cameras against other phones. But right now, the iPhone 13 will be the reliable phone that most people will be more than happy to use for the next few years.

Cameras

Both the ‌iPhone‌ 13 and ‌iPhone‌ 13 mini feature the same camera setup, meaning performance on both devices will be the same. Both models feature a larger camera sensor allowing more light to pass through into photos, improving low-light performance. The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern says that while the improvements are welcomed, they alone are not sufficient enough to convince an iPhone 12 user to upgrade.

iphone 13 mini camera engadgetPhoto via Engadget

"Details are sharp and accurate, colors are rich without being oversaturated, focusing is fast and reliable, portrait mode is good enough to use day to day, and low light and night sight are both exceptional," says The Verge's Dieter Bohn.

Across the entire lineup of ‌iPhone‌ 13 models, Apple is introducing Cinematic Mode, or portrait mode for videos, and we'll have more to share on that in our upcoming hands-on videos. Results in early reviews are mixed, however, with The Verge noting that it's "nowhere near as good as Apple’s own commercials would have you believe" and particularly struggles in low-light situations.

Design

Compared to the ‌iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 12 mini, the ‌iPhone‌ 13 and ‌iPhone‌ 13 mini feature very similar designs. Both handsets are thicker and slightly heavier to accommodate larger batteries, and they both have slightly larger camera bumps on the back. The Verge's Dieter Bohn writes, however, that the design is "still beautiful and modern," and the changes are unlikely to be noticeable in day-to-day use.

Video Reviews

Alongside written reviews, there are a number of video hands-ons and reviews for the ‌iPhone‌ 13 and ‌iPhone‌ 13 mini, which we shared in a separate article. Note that some reviews of the ‌iPhone‌ 13 and ‌iPhone‌ 13 mini are conjoined with the larger iPhone 13 Pro and ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max.

Related Roundup: iPhone 13
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

NIKKG Avatar
18 months ago
If you already have a 12, your just buying the same phone twice.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
18 months ago
Seems like solid reviews. Sounds like Apple nailed it this year again.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mnsportsgeek Avatar
18 months ago
I'll stick with my XS Max for 1 more year.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thermal Avatar
18 months ago

If you already have a 12, your just buying the same phone twice.
- Improved Qualcomm modem
- 10 - 15% faster A15 processer vs A14
- 47% improved light gathering for main camera
- Significantly improved battery life
- Brighter display (800n vs 625n for iPhone 12)
- 1 year longer support for iOS
- Smaller notch
- Cinematic Mode
- Base storage doubles to 128GB for same price
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mainsail Avatar
18 months ago
So, is the iPhone 13 kind of like an iPhone 12s? I always liked the ”S” versions. They seemed solid and reliable.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darmorenoo Avatar
18 months ago
Definetly not worth the upgrade if you have the iPhone 12 or even the 11. The september event was so disappointing.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Pay Later Quick Green Feature

Apple Pay Later Launching 'Soon'

Thursday February 2, 2023 2:10 pm PST by
The Apple Pay Later service that Apple has in the works is set to launch "soon," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC ahead of today's earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2023. Cook said that Apple employees are beta testing the Apple Pay Later feature, which will help Apple boost services revenue. "It will be launching soon," Cook said. Apple Pay Later was first previewed at the...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...