The new iPhone 13? Here’s what you should know if you’re in the market

What works best for you is down to what you use it for and personal choice

Apple put its new iPhone 13 range on sale on Friday, with four different models available. But what is the difference between the iPhone 13 and the 13 Pro? Is the iPhone 13 Pro Max worth the extra cash? And which iPhone 13 should you go for?

For the best camera

Go for the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max. The camera on the Pro models is a triple affair, with a 77m telephoto lens, a wide angle camera and an ultra wide one. The iPhone 13 has a dual camera, but skips the telephoto lens. The Pro and Pro Max also have a LiDar scanner for night mode portraits and better autofocus in low light, and they have a 6x optical zoom compared to the 13 and 13 Mini’s 2x zoom capabilities.

Add into that the macro photography capabilities of the Pro models and you have a camera that can handle almost any eventuality.

The good news though is that the new cinematic mode and photography styles are available across the range.


If size matters:

The smallest iPhone is the iPhone 13 Mini; the largest is the iPhone 13 Pro Max. If compact phones are your thing, the good news is that there are no differences between the capabilities of the iPhone 13 and the 13 Mini. The camera set up is the same, as is the chip on the inside.

For the best graphics performance:

On paper at least, the iPhone 13 Pro has the edge, with five GPU cores versus the four in the regular iPhone 13. One core doesn’t sound like a lot, but early indicators are that the graphics performance in the Pro is superior.

If you want the best display:

All the iPhone 13 models have an OLED display, so it’s a straight tie on that front. The iPhone 13 Pro Max takes the top slot on size, with a 6.7 inch display to the iPhone 13 Pro and 13’s 6.1 inches, and the Mini’s 5.4 inches. The Pro models also feature Apple’s ProMotion display, which adapts the refresh rate up to 120Hz when it’s needed and bumps it down to preserve battery when it is not. It looks very smooth, even when scrolling through apps – and it’s something the iPhone 13 and Mini don’t offer.

If you want the longest battery life:

Go for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Again on paper, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has the longest battery life at 28 hours on the official specs for watching video compared to 22 hours on the iPhone 13 Pro, 19 on the 13 and 17 on the Mini.

It will ultimately come down to what you use the phone for; if it is lots of GPS navigation, watching video or sending emails, it will all impact battery life. But the paper specs show a clear winner.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

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