iPhone 13 review: Not the most balanced model of the series

The iPhone 13 is powered by a 3,227 mAh battery unit. And, given the battery life improvement, it seems the change was definitely worth it


Manik Kakra

When it comes to phones, Apple seems to be aware of its target audience- the “Pro” group that wants every feature and top-notch hardware available, and the “not-so-Pro” group that’s satisfied with whatever is on the table. The new iPhone 13 sits somewhere in between the two. Let’s try and find what the new iPhone 13 offers and whether it justifies the hype.

The new iPhone 13 follows the 12 series design in terms of materials and looks. The device is slightly heavier and thicker than its predecessor (same width and height). The phone feels very much like the iPhone 12 in the hands, which is a good thing. Aluminium sides, hardened glass front (Ceramic Shield) and back, and clean curved edges. It’s still a combination of the iPhone 5 and iPhone X aesthetics, with the notch on the front just slightly smaller than before. The right side houses the Power/lock button, while the left side sports the volume buttons below the sound switcher. The bottom has the loudspeaker, lightning port, along with two screws neatly placed near the centre. The back has a protruding camera setup that has become more noticeable with iPhones over the past few years.

The device boasts a 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR OLED display (2532x1170) that’s a little brighter than iPhone 12. The display supports colour gamut P3 for a more colour accurate output. It isn’t a high refresh rate display like the Pro series, but on its own, this is a really good, bright, colour balanced display that handles videos really well, perhaps better than most smartphones. This phone does justice to it in terms of contrast and brightness when used for HDR content consumption.

The iPhone 13 is powered by a 3,227 mAh battery unit. And, given the battery life improvement, it seems the change was definitely worth it. More often than not, the previous iPhones’ lasted about a day with moderate to heavy use.

On the back, the device boasts a 12 MP standard camera and 12 MP ultrawide camera. The rear cameras perform slightly better than iPhone 12 in the portrait mode and in low-lit scenes. Another area of improvement seems to be macro shots, near objects appear a little better in terms of handling focal length. If kept steady enough, the cameras can capture detailed shots in dim light, and really detailed and sharp photos in bright light. The cinematic mode, however, feels more like a gimmick, and works strictly in well-lit scenes. Photographic Profiles have been added for the camera app, where you can choose warmth and contrast for your photos by default instead of the pre-selected settings.

Call quality and network reception on the device is nothing complain of, including for VoWiFi that seems to work better than many rival devices.

The device is powered by the new A15 chipset (six-core CPU along with four-core GPU) coupled with 4GB of RAM. The phone is smooth to operate, games play just as you would expect and the snappiness is there for a new device. Switching between apps, searching from Homescreen via Spotlight, scrolling through widgets work just as they should without any hiccups. You don’t really have to think twice in terms of the device handling apps and multiple tasks at once.

Coming to the software side of things, the devices come with iOS 15 out of the box. Some of the biggest changes include a new bottom-placed address bar in Safari (can be changed back) and a DND mode with Focus mode. FaceTime has been updated with a grid view, better audio for group calls, and the ability to call Windows and Android users (they need to use a Web browser). In terms of overall look and feel, you’re not going to see many changes here. Most of the popular and most used apps have already been updated for iOS 15 use. Some of the previously-announced features like SharePlay and Universal Control (for Mac) are yet to be released.

All in all, the iPhone 13 is a successor to a successful and redesigned smartphone. It is a dependable photo shooter with improved battery life, similar great design, crisp and clear display. But the 13 isn’t the most balanced model of the series, something the 12 was, especially due to the 13 Pro and its new display; other than that, this is another well-rounded device from the company that ranks more than good enough on most things it’s supposed to do.

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