iPhone 13 features better battery life and more storage from €829

Focus for watch is faster charging and iPad Mini gets overhaul

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 13, featuring longer battery life and more storage, at a virtual event from its California base.

The company also showed off two new iPads, including an updated iPad Mini, and the next generation of its watch. The Fitness+ service also got some new features, including group workouts and new classes aimed at pilates and skiing fans.

There were few surprises in the iPhone 13 launch, some details of which had been leaked in the run up to the event. Sticking with the pattern established last year with the launch of the iPhone 12, Apple unveiled four new iPhones with a “powerhouse” A15 Bionic chip, new camera systems and more advanced displays.

Described as the “most pro iPhone ever”, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max come with more powerful graphics, and stretched storage to one terabyte.


The phones feature a new display that is not only 25 per cent brighter than the 12 Pro, but also supports Apple’s Pro Motion technology, that allows the display to adapt its refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz, matching content requirements and adapting to preserve battery life.

Battery life has been improved across the range, with phones getting between an hour and half and two and half hours of extra usage time.

The entire iPhone 13 range will be available to pre-order from Friday, and will go on sale on September 24th. The iPhone 13 Mini starts at €829, with the iPhone 13 costing from €929. The Pro models start at €1,179 for the 13 Pro, and €1,279 for the Pro Max model.


The overhauled camera system on the Pro models includes a new wide angle camera with larger pixels and a wider aperture to improve low light performance. All three cameras have night mode, a first for the iPhone. The ultrawide camera is also capable of macro photography, while the telephoto lens has been bumped up to 77mm.

"This is our biggest camera advancement ever," said senior vice-president of of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak. A new "Pro-res" video feature coming later in the year, aimed at professional video editing apps, will offer high colour fidelity and more efficient encoding.

The chip that powers the iPhone 13 range uses 5 nanometre technology, a six core CPU and a 16-core neural engine for machine learning tasks. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini have a four-core GPU, while the Pro version of the phone gets a five core GPU.

As expected, the cameras on the iPhone 13 have also been upgraded, with a wider aperture on the ultra-wide camera lens that allows more light and produces more detailed images. The iPhone 13 and 13 mini will also get sensor shift optical image stabilisation, which was introduced with the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

A new cinematic mode for shooting video was also introduced for the iPhone 13, with focus tracking subjects, transitions and Dolby Vision HDR.

iPad Mini

Apple chief executive Tim Cook introduced the first overhaul to the iPad mini in a number of years, unveiling a redesigned device that comes with a bigger 8.3 inch screen while making it lighter and thinner than ever, and support for the Apple Pencil. Apple has also swapped out the lightning port for USB C, following the lead of the latest iPad Air.

Both the front and rear cameras have been upgraded to 12 megapixels, with the front-facing camera getting the “centre stage” feature introduced with the iPad Pro that follows subjects as they move around the field of vision. It can also record in 4K and will be 5G enabled.

“iPad Mini is in a class of its own,” Mr Cook said, describing it as the biggest upgrade the Mini has had.

The new iPad is an update to last year’s 10.2 inch model, with an A13 Bionic chip that makes it 20 per cent faster than its predecessor. An upgraded front-facing camera includes a 12 megapixel sensor

The device, which will start from €399 for Irish customers, also has the TrueTone display that measures ambient light and adjusts the white balance of the screen to match. It also supports the Apple Pencil.

Apple also debuted an updated version of its Apple Watch with a larger screen and a tweaked design. However, although there were rumours of a larger capacity battery, Apple introduced faster charging instead, via a USB C cable, with a eight minute charge giving wearers enough time to get eight hours of sleep tracking.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist