iPhone 13 Pro Review – A Few Things Apple Hasn’t Told You

You’ve seen all the news and all the features. You’ve seen all the tests, so we’re here now to bring it all together. There are two sides to this story. Let’s start with the dark side. The iPhone 13 pro and pro max are purposefully not as ambitious as they could be. You could very quickly see these not really as new phones in themselves but more as a continuation of the iPhone 12 pros.

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iPhone 13 Pro Review

They look almost the same and feel nearly the same. The software’s almost the same, and you can understand why there’s this strong sentiment that Apple isn’t.

Trying their best, especially next to companies like Samsung and Xiaomi, who practically reinvent themselves each year, and there’s a good reason for this.

Apple is hyper-aware of how smartphones, at least ones that look something like this, can only get so good. There are plenty of upcoming phone features that include a 200-megapixel camera, more advanced battery technologies, and so on, but from apple’s perspective. Who’s not trying to sell a few million phones to enthusiasts but hundreds of millions to the masses? A lot of these things that you might be excited about.

In the future, Apple could start dialing up its screens to 4k resolution, but what proportion of people will be able to tell? Yes, they could further upgrade the speakers for surround sound, but the only thing that the majority will notice is how this has suddenly just made the bezels thicker. It’s not that thick, but they could start adding an even more battery, but all the iPhone 13s have enough battery. 

Most users are concerned their phone would be unnecessarily bulky, but we’re pretty sure Apple has the money, research, and development teams. The direct control of every aspect of how their phones run has made more sweeping changes than they did this year for the 13s, but why would they take meaningful steps. They can take with the iPhone before an average consumer stops caring, like the day they get rid of that iPhone’s notch. That will sound crazy the day they make the cameras utterly flush with the body and finally increase the megapixel count from 12. These will feel like something new, but once you’ve made all of these significant changes, what then given that an average user is now only considering an upgrade once every three years and that current iPhone users are probably going to be buying an iPhone next anyways as long as it’s better than their last one.

Apple Next Land Mark Product

iPhone 13 PRO

Apple has very little incentive to rush getting these features onto their phones, we’re not saying technology’s dead at all, but these iPhone 13s have solidified. This idea is that Apple is well on its way to planning out its following landmark product. Probably something to do with augmented reality and the importance they’re going to give to their smartphones as the main desirable product, and it is going to fall. 

This is happening even they package their phones. Now, as if they’re replacement devices for if something goes wrong as opposed to products. That is bringing something entirely new to the table.

Apple already has a complete roadmap of which features they’re saving for iPhones for at least the next five-six years. This is almost definitely timed so that it will lead them to when the next big thing is good enough to release and so how this differs from most companies like Xiaomi and Samsung. These companies don’t have the brand loyalty to be able to withhold features like this. They’re competing much more directly with each other, and so they need to make sure that each phone is as packed as they can with whatever technologies are available at the time on the market. 


Apple does have an incentive to purposefully hold back, which does mean that new things get added at a reasonably slow measured pace. Let’s be honest most people would have to look twice to make sure that they are using a 13 pro and not a 12 pro, but the benefit of the way they do things is that it gives them the time and the space not to have to rush these features. 

iPhone 13 Pro flawless

The fact that Apple is in this powerful position that they’ve managed to distance themselves from other companies who have to fight toe to toe to see who can pack their feature list with as much stuff as possible allows them to make sure that when they do deliver something, it’s good. Just compare apple’s cinematic mode to the portrait mode video on literally every other company’s phone. 

Cinematic video is not a finished product, but there is a clear gap. It just so happens that they’ve decided to focus on this time with the 13 pros are essential things, and they’ve genuinely made those things so good that most people would struggle to even correctly take advantage of them, especially with this pro max.

There have been four key improvements, so first up the battery life. The 12 pro last year was pretty good battery life. 

The normal 13 pro is getting at least 30 minutes more screen time than 12 pro max, and the 13 pro max is getting closer to three more hours. It’s so good that you would struggle to use it all even if you tried. You could keep a youtube video on for your entire waking day from the second you woke up to the second you slept.

Graphics Performance

iPhone 13 pros are not just more powerful than last-gen. They are a hell of a lot more potent in the entire year. These new phones coming in are a further 60 improvement in graphics performance. 

iPhone 13 Pro Performance

Use Kenshin impact to show the improvement because it is one of the most demanding games you can play, but we’re going, being honest, even with this last year’s iPhone already plays it without a hitch, so we can’t tell it’s perfect.

iPhone 12 Pro was already more powerful than a base ps4. This year’s iPhone 13 pros are approaching the power of a ps4 pro whose whole premise was to play advanced games in 4k resolutions, and yet most mobile games still look like this.

You should see a considerable improvement in emulators, like if you want to try and play Nintendo Wii games or something but ios isn’t exactly emulator friendly. If anything, all this power is a reassurance more than it has any immediate benefit.

What About The New Screens

The new screens are incredibly bright again, almost brighter than you need. We’re not exaggerating when we say that side by side with literally any other flagship. It makes them look dim, including last year’s iPhones.


iPhone 13 Pro Display

That works for the entire year using the 12 pro max. It never once occurred to me that this phone wasn’t bright enough, but when you have both sides by the side, the 13 almost makes the 12 look like it has a layer of haziness over it, and of course, you’ve heard this a hundred times already the screens of these new phones.

Finally, refresh at 120 hertz did apple take their sweet time. Introducing this feature, they’re at least two years late with it, but now that it is here, it doesn’t feel like a first-generation implementation. It works more or less.

How you’d expect a 2021 flagship to work, the frame rate of these screens is continuously ramping up and down depending on what exactly you’re doing on your phone and based on your finger movements. What the phone thinks you’re about to be doing on your phone. They do this to save battery.

Apple is a little too aggressive with this, especially in third-party apps or, in other words. Apple is switching down the frame rate to 60 in some situations where it should be at 120, but the only thing that we would say is that Samsung’s 120 hertz while it is the same level of fluidity. It can feel a little faster. Thanks to higher scrolling speeds that take advantage of it. It was another one that was reassuring to have and to know that it is still a sizable notch. 

Cameras and Photos 

The cameras though this is where Apple has focused its efforts. This time probably fifty percent of the improvements to the iPhones this year are camera-related. If you think about it, the fact that they’re also so much bigger makes them the most significant design change, but like with many things on this phone, an average user might struggle to realize, and it’s not because they’re perfect cameras. 

iPhone 13 Pro Camera

It’s just yet another example of how apple’s past phones were already able to execute the experience they wanted to create meaning by the iPhone 11s. Apple already had an obvious idea of what they wanted their images to look like, and their phones were tuned well to achieve that. 

So with these new ones, even with supposedly much better hardware, the main difference for you is just a slight neatening up a little bit less or graininess, a little bit more brightness or a little bit more background blur. Taking regular photos, videos, slo-mo’s or portraits is hugely exciting to the untrained eye that said.

If you are all about those minor refinements, then these cameras are technically very impressive. This 12-megapixel iPhone camera almost consistently gets more detail than Samsung’s 108 megapixels.

One is assuming you’re both on auto mode. It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting portraits in broad daylight or 4k video in low light. It never seems to mess up or have weird software artefacts. It is continuously good. Still, at the same time, it’s rarely exceptional even though these iPhones are in the top bracket for most aspects. If you break each specific type of scenario down, they’re very rarely the best. It’s an operational decision that apple’s made for their cameras to be a well-rounded experience instead of specialist cameras, and there are times when there’s a real plus. Other smartphones can barely handle low-light video.

Cinematic Mode

Cinematic mode is this new professional-style video that all iPhone 13s can take. Interestingly, this is one of the first times that Apple has released a half-baked feature on their phones. At the same time, it is ahead of what other phones are doing in this field.  The key reason to get an iPhone 13 is that it’s on track to be something huge. It reminds us of how portrait mode first looked when that came out five years ago—slightly wonky detection, soft edges etc. But look at where portrait mode is now.


While most Android phones seem to be fighting this battle to see who can cram the biggest image sensor onto the back of their phones to come as close as possible to this whole, crisp foreground and blurred background style of a DSLR camera, the cinematic mode is a statement that Apple isn’t going to do that. They’re not going to try and fight DSLRs with optics. They’re going to do it with computation.


The fact that Apple has made this feature entirely separate to regular video combined with what we know about apple strategy of fewer features but more emphasis on those features makes us almost sure that this is going to be a game-changer that sometime in the next couple of years they will walk on stage and announce cinematic mode 2.0. It’ll support 4k resolution, it’ll use the lidar sensors for better edge detection, and they’ll have spent millions of person-hours using machine learning to make the blur as realistic as possible, and bam all of a sudden for every single casual creative on the planet.

Worth It?

iPhone 13 pro and pro max are uncomfortable to hold why even with the smaller notch. We still have no option to see our battery percentage at the top. The lens flares you get when pointing the camera at bright objects are distracting. It would have been nice to see a fingerprint scanner for when we wear masks and can’t use face id. The notch on the more minor 13 pros is just a tiny bit too deep and cuts into videos even when you don’t full screen them—also just a couple of minor bugs.


iphone 13 pro phone

These are not big complaints the things that Apple has focused its efforts on this time are battery, power, display, and cameras. They are pretty much the four critical pillars of a phone, so they’re not just pretty good but abnormally good here potentially.

The exception of the camera, whose improvement will feel anywhere from game-changing to negligible depending on how much you obsess over. The details make these phones challenging to argue against as long as you’re okay with the traditional apple being an apple thing.

These phones use lightning connectors, that’s how they’re more limited with the customization and also they don’t come with chargers.

Final Word

We don’t have hesitation in recommending the iPhone 13 pro and 13 pro max, but the point is iPhone 13 pro max was pretty painful to watch, but the reason is that it is something called shock spread. Its material that rhino shield uses on its cases, and what they’re saying is that this one material combined with the honeycomb lattice on the inside has all the protection of a dual-layered case without needing two layers.

It means that the minimum safe drop distance using one of these cases is 11 feet or more than 11 feet. All good and 11 feet unless you ate a lot of spinach as a child is more than the height you’re going to be dropping it, and that’s why they give you a lifetime replacement warranty. You can also choose your buttons, your rim colors, your backplate. There are a million different ways you can make it look everything from NASA to naruto. 

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