Apple has announced its new line of smartphones, and the iPhone 13 is almost certainly the most popular of them.
But how does this new phone compare to its immediate predecessor, the iPhone 12? We haven’t had a chance to test the new device yet, but we have all the information on its specs.
Here’s how the two phones stack up.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12: price and availability
The iPhone 13 will hit stores on September 24, 2021. That’s barely a year after the iPhone 12, which landed on October 23, 2020.
Prices remain similar to the iPhone 12, but there are some changes due to changes in storage layouts and currency markets.
You’re considering a starting price of $ 799 / £ 799 / AU $ 1,349 for the entry 128GB model, rising to $ 899 / £ 879 / AU $ 1,519 for 256GB and $ 1,099 / £ 1079/1 AU $ 869 for 512 GB.
At launch, the iPhone 12 started at $ 799 / £ 799 / AU $ 1,349 for the 64GB model, rising to $ 849 / £ 849 / AU $ 1,429 for 128GB and $ 949 / £ 949 / 1,599 AU $ for 256 GB.
As you may have noticed, beyond the starting prices which remain broadly the same, the prices are slightly different for the higher storage capacities. But then these storage capacities were increased, with the introduction of a new top tier of 512 GB.
Additionally, UK prices have benefited from Apple’s recent currency rebalancing, meaning UK buyers are getting a bit more for their money this time around.
Another important note: Apple is keeping the iPhone 12 for a second year and has lowered the prices accordingly.
The 64GB model now costs $ 699 / £ 679 / AU $ 1,199 for the 64GB model, rising to $ 749 / £ 729 / AU $ 1,279 for 128GB and $ 849 / £ 829 / AU $ 1,449 for 256 Go.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12: design
Apple’s phones had taken on a look that was a bit too familiar until the arrival of the iPhone 12. Suddenly, the curves came back for the first time since the original iPhone SE of 2016.
Considering last year’s Angular redesign, it’s no surprise to see the iPhone 13 sporting a very similar design to the iPhone 12.
Based on Apple’s design playbook, we probably won’t see a whole new iPhone design for a few years yet.
They are also proportionate, but not identical. While the iPhone 12 measures 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, the iPhone 13 measures 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm – so a bit thicker. It also weighs 10g more than the 164g iPhone 12.
Both phones have aluminum rims and glass surfaces, but the colors differ a bit. The iPhone 13 is expected to be available in Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and Product Red, while you can get the iPhone 12 in Black, White, Red, Green, Blue, and (optionally) Purple.
The most noticeable difference, besides these new colors, is the move to a diagonally oriented dual camera module. The iPhone 12 went with a vertical stack.
Both phones share Apple’s Ceramic Shield nanocrystalline display technology, making these displays four times more powerful than previous phones.
There are also IP68 ratings, meaning both phones can be submerged in six meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
These rumors of a potential Touch ID return have turned out to be false. You get Face ID with the iPhone 13, just like with the iPhone 12. Still, at least the notch is 20% smaller, so the screen is more visible.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12: display
These phones sport very similar 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED displays, with the same 1170 x 2532 resolutions.
The main difference here, it seems, is that the iPhone 13 can hit a peak brightness of 800 nits, like last year’s iPhone 12 Pro, which makes it 28% brighter than the 600 nits. of the iPhone 12. Both are capable of achieving the same 1200 nits in HDR conditions.
Apple also claims that the iPhone 13’s screen is more efficient than before. However, there is still no high refresh rate, with the iPhone 13 stuck as stuck at 60Hz as the iPhone 12. Unlike last year, there might be a very good reason to go Pro. end of 2021.
Overall, this is sort of a model year of waiting on the front of the display – although you get that smaller, less invasive notch as well.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12: cameras
Both of these phones pack two 12MP cameras – one wide, one ultra-wide. But the iPhone 13’s system is noticeably improved, at least on paper.
The large 12 MP sensor can suck in 47% more light than before and capture large pixels of 1.7 µm compared to the 1.4 µm in the iPhone 12.
You also get the sensor shift stabilization system that made shots incredibly stable on last year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max, which is an impressive addition. We expect the low light shots to be a bit better on the iPhone 13 than the iPhone 12.
The new phone’s ultra-wide sensor also sees improvements, with a wider f / 1.8 aperture compared to its pokey f / 2.4 iPhone 12 counterpart. Again, it promises to provide a breakthrough in low light conditions.
As always, Apple’s camera software is as important as its hardware, maybe more so.
This year, the iPhone 13 benefits from a rack focusing on “cinematic mode” when shooting video, which can intelligently choose and shift its focal point for results that are, well, cinematic.
The way it automatically changes focus when subjects do, and anticipates when a subject will enter the frame, sounds like borderline witchcraft. It will be interesting to see if this works in practice.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12: specifications and performance
A new year, a new Apple A-series processor. It’s as predictable as it is impressive.
With the iPhone 13, this means a switch from the A14 Bionic from the iPhone 12 to a new A15 Bionic. They are both 5nm chips, but the A15 has received a performance boost.
We’re looking at a 6-core processor 50% faster than the leading competition (presumably something from Qualcomm or Samsung – Apple didn’t say), and a 4-core GPU 30% faster than the competition.
Its neural engine is capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second, compared to the 11 trillion operations per second of the A14 Bionic.
Again, there is more differentiation between the iPhone 13 and its Pro sibling this year. The iPhone 13 Pro’s A15 Bionic has an additional GPU core, which significantly improves graphics performance.
Apple also claims that the iPhone 13 supports more 5G bands than before. To be bluntly honest, we can’t see a lot of people worrying about this unless they work for a network operator.
We’ve mentioned this before, but let’s celebrate the fact that Apple has finally done away with the 64GB entry storage layout, which has been looking out of date for some time now.
You have a choice of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage with the iPhone 13, while the iPhone 12 gave you 64GB to start with and peaked at 256GB.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12: battery
The iPhone 12’s 2,815mAh battery was an unfortunate throwback to its predecessor.
Fortunately, the iPhone 13 reverses the slide, packing a bigger battery. Apple has yet to confirm its size, but there are rumors that it is a 3,095mAh cell.
Regardless of the size, Apple is boldly claiming the endurance of the iPhone 13. Apparently, most people will get 2.5 more hours on the iPhone 13 on a single charge compared to the iPhone 12. It does. is awesome, so true.
MagSafe returns for another round, although there has been no word on the second-gen improvements. We’ll put this to the test in our review, but the wireless charging rate remains at 15W.
Again, it looks like you’ll need to get your own 20W wired charger for the iPhone 13.
To take with
We’ll definitely have to spend some quality time with the iPhone 13, but it feels like a solid upgrade to the iPhone 12.
It’s unlikely to have as big an impact as its predecessor, due to this shared design, but we weren’t expecting anything else.
Also, there are some significant improvements here, mainly in the form of a much improved camera system and considerably longer battery life.
Add a smaller notch and higher storage capacities, and we’re sure the iPhone 13 will be a worthwhile upgrade for anyone with a pre-iPhone 12 device.
However, we believe that all iPhone 12 users can rest easy for at least a year. It might turn out to be little more than an iPhone 12S, but barely.
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