Apple made a significant leap with the release of the iPhone 12 in terms of design, marking two consecutive years in which critics have generally praised the company’s smartphones.
With its new iPhone 13 series, Apple is taking a somewhat conservative approach. There isn’t much that is drastically new for the average consumer. Even though Apple no longer uses the ‘S’ moniker, many reviewers have declared that the iPhone 13 Pro belongs to the ‘S’ cycle. Is that the case?
Design And Ergonomics
When you hold the iPhone 13 Pro, you’ll notice how bulky it is. I believe Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro has been Apple’s best iPhone design since the iPhone 5s (which is my favourite iPhone of all time). Regarding weight, design, and ergonomics, the iPhone 13 Pro does not quite hit the sweet spot the way the iPhone 12 Pro did, and there are multiple reasons for that. It weighs 205 grams, and that is a lot for a phone, even without a comparison.
Thankfully, it has not grown taller. It is about two-tenths of a millimetre thicker than the iPhone 12 Pro. Even though Apple has made micro-adjustments to the location of the volume keys, SIM tray, and power key, they’re where they should be. Thus, your muscle memory won’t need to be retrained to the new key layout. It will, however, enlarge your keyboard. Due to larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization, the new cameras are heavier. In addition to being massive, the new iPhones look much bolder with their larger lenses.
On the other hand, you won’t be able to keep the new phone stable on a flat surface using an older back cover on the new iPhone 13 Pro. It’s a bit surprising given Apple’s proclivity towards a good design. As expected, the sides of the iPhone 13 Pro are finished in stainless steel. Despite this, it is an excellent fingerprint magnet, so keeping it clean at all times can be a challenge. If you want it to lay flat and stable on a tabletop, you will probably wrap it within a cover. But doing so defeats the purpose.
Nevertheless, the iPhone 13 Pro is even more impressive due to its much larger sensor itself. The iPhone 13 Pro has a 1/1.255-inch sensor, whereas the iPhone 12 has a 1/1.655-inch sensor. The sensor is now 84 per cent larger, and a lens with an aperture of f/1.5 replaces one with an aperture of f/1.6. These changes make the iPhone 13 Pro’s optical setup capable of producing natural background blur without the software portrait mode.
It is a critical difference between the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro. It results in more detailed textures and better low-light shots, thanks to the more excellent stability of the camera. Although Apple already produced good tonal accuracy in low light, the iPhone 13 Pro has more detailed images.
Combining Sensor-Shift and OIS with the wide camera of the iPhone 13 Pro further enhances the overall textural details with the ability to capture significantly more light. The edges of moving objects and objects shot in low light now have a better definition, and grains are more refined than they used to be. You’ll see less pixelation if you crop an image before posting when you zoom into a frame. In addition, it makes editing photos easier.
The iPhone 13 Pro produces better details in moving shots due to the “faster sensor” promo due to improved rolling shutter artefacts. The new ultra-wide unit has also been improved, which you won’t notice in stock photos. In low light, however, you’ll be able to see its improvements. In addition to the “faster” sensor, Apple has also improved phase detection autofocus compared to the fixed focus camera in the previous generation.
A wide-angle lens on a new iPhone has fewer imperfections than an older one with a wide lens. In addition to the 12-pro’s fixed focus, the new ultra-wide camera is equipped with phase detection autofocus. In addition to improving overall performance over its predecessors, this has also significantly lowered the camera’s cost. If you take enough ultra-wide shots, it will make a big difference to you. The new camera provides a 3x optical zoom effect. OIS and phase detection autofocus are included, in addition to an f/2.8 lens.
Apple introduced ProRes for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, but it has yet to be submitted to the devices themselves and will likely arrive via a future firmware update. Neither 4K nor 1080p are available in 120fps, like many Android smartphones. A higher frame rate is becoming increasingly important to produce better videos, and its absence from a smartphone with a pro camera feels odd.
In the filmmaking world, Cinematic Mode is causing a stir. It attempts to automate the rack focus cinematic technique using Apple’s Neural Engine, obviating the need for focus pullers. It is much to Apple’s dismay (and focus pullers’ delight). As if it were a ‘Portrait Mode’ for videos, only intelligently selecting the correct point of focus and reproducing the bokeh of motion pictures.
Despite having been termed ‘pro’, this is another glaring omission in the iPhone 13 Pro. Cinematic Mode video recording on the iPhone 13 Pro is capped at 30 frames per second, at a resolution of 1080p, which significantly detriment potential ‘pro’ users. Even though you can record 1080p video, the 30fps cap severely limits the creative possibilities. Still, this will suffice for creators who have not utilized a dedicated video camera to its full extent. It is something that they will undoubtedly overcome in future generations.
The future of Cinematic Mode is unclear, as it is not clear whether they will support higher frame rates. The mode itself isn’t yet as adept as Apple’s “Whodunit” teaser, which they played at the unveiling of the feature. A repeated and jarring focus shift in the process indicates the camera is attempting to focus correctly. However, Apple will surely update Cinematic Mode to make it a better video mode to shoot videos.
Performance And Battery Life
According to Apple index mobile processors, the A15 Bionic on the Apple iPhone 13 Pro is the best smartphone processor globally. As a result, the iPhone 13 Pro is the fastest smartphone on the market, and it does perform very well. Even though we’ve only tested the iPhone 13 Pro for one week, and a week is far too short to judge performance deterioration, this smartphone is blazingly fast. Apple Arcade titles like NBA 2K21 load without stutter, which is expected for a smartphone of this stature.
Editing apps like InShot produce video quickly and load smoothly, even the most complicated, heavy ones. They also remain in the phone’s memory, so you can pick them up right from where you left off when you put them on standby – even hours later. For most users, the A15 Bionic may not be capable of handling tasks heavy enough to warrant its use – possibly because it does not perform as well as the A15.
Buying an iPhone 12 today won’t make any difference in performance. Though the iPhone 11 series is noticeably slower than the iPhone 13 series, most users today find it is still fast enough for their needs.
Based on actual usage, this claim is close to reality. When I use my iPhone 12 Pro the most, it lasts about 13 hours before I need to charge it again. With the same amount of usage, the iPhone 13 Pro lasts for about 15 hours. I have to plug in my phone before going to sleep anyway, so it does not make a big difference to me. When I forget the charger, a final couple of hours might help me book a cab when spending more extended than a typical workday outside.
Article Proofread and Edited by Shreedatri Banerjee