iPhone 13 Pro Review: Better Than You Think!
and one of them you could argue, maybe not that many people Are actually going to notice, but the other two are pretty big jumps, and so this feels like a pretty big, upgrade disguised in the same design as last year, so ive reviewed the iphone 13 already it was earlier this week. There i go over cinematic mode and the new a15 bionic and a smaller notch, etc. This pro phone has all of that, but then, on top of that, the three major things that this phone does better than the regular 13 would be the screen, the battery and the cameras and everything in wait. Marquez thats, the same list of three things you said was better about the 13 than the 12 youd be right, but this takes a bigger leap in all those things. So, to start with the screen, the 13 pro is the same size as the 13 and the 13 pro max is bigger, again same sizes and resolutions as last year, but now theres a smaller notch. Neat, okay looks a little better on the bigger screen, even though there is no more information on that extra screen. But then the display is actually noticeably brighter here even versus the 13.. It hits a thousand nits max brightness versus the 800 on the 13 and even 1200 in its peak with hdr and its really good, its viewable everywhere, outdoors, great, responsive, auto brightness and its still one of the most color accurate oled panels out there.
But what were really here for finally is apples. Pro phones now getting pro motion, meaning an adaptive high refresh rate display its about damn time now. This has been really interesting to watch unfold because its not just a matter of dropping 120 hertz display into the phone and then calling it a day, theres a couple, different considerations and nuances and things to be able to do to do it well and then theres. Whether or not people even notice thats, two different things so as a self proclaimed pixel enthusiast, as someone whos seen, a lot of phones apple has done this really well and its, of course, an oled, but its also an ltpo display, meaning its an adaptive variable refresh Rate that can ramp up to 120 hertz, but also now down to as low as 10 hertz. It actually has 12 different, refresh rates that it cycles between which is seven more than the ipad pro. So this helps it respond to exactly whats happening on the display. So if youre watching a 24 fps movie, the display only needs to refresh 24 times per second. But if youre scrolling through a website or social media itll be nice and smooth, maybe if youre gaming, its pinned at 120 hertz. But if youre just sitting on a home screen or reading some text like an email, nothings happening on the screen, it can go all the way down to 10 hertz which can save battery.
So this tech has been around for years and other phones and its great. So the interesting part is different phones ramp up at different times and for different reasons and different amounts. So an example is like no matter how high refresh rate of an android phone – i have its always 60 hertz for google maps anytime. I open google maps the whole rest of the phone notification panel using the app its all 60 hertz, probably to save battery, because its a gps, heavy app but thats one thing it always does so it turns out. There have been a lot of places where people have noticed the iphone doesnt ramp, all the way up to 120 hertz. In fact, a lot of places in third party apps, where it still stays at 60., now ive noticed just from using a whole ton of different apps. I was actually pretty impressed by how many are already using 120hz animations, and all these apps inside and out felt smoother and more responsive. Also, all of ios is smoother and more responsive, but for those that dont apple has put out detailed instructions on how to make it easy for developers to update their apps to fully support promotion exactly the way they want to. So when your favorite apps get updated. Hopefully, the developers include it, but all that being said will regular people who get this phone even notice promotion. This is something ive thought a lot about, especially since the announcement you know.
Of course, lots of other phones have gotten higher fresh rate in the past, but because its an iphone, this is for millions of people who have only ever seen a 60hz phone, their entire lives. This will be the first time they ever see a high refresh trade screen on a phone, and so this is this. Is the thing ive been talking about for so long? So when i actually first got this phone, i started handing it to people. You know, discreetly, of course, but handing it to them like hey. Do you notice anything different about this phone like swipe around, maybe hold it next to your current phone? Do you feel like it feels any different and ill be the first to admit not as many people immediately noticed it? As i was hoping like you know, different people had different things about it that they noticed like theres, a really good video by joshua chang, where he did that same thing. He handed the phone to a bunch of people and they all had different ways of explaining what they noticed, so some of them didnt notice, but some of them noticed things like text staying more crisp on the screen, while youre scrolling some people just straight up, noticed The better smoothness and touch responsiveness and called that out so ill put it this way. Not everyone will notice promotion right away, especially if theyre not looking for it, but but i dont have im not crazy its not like.
I have special eyes or anything. So i guarantee you this: if you get somebody used to 120 hertz or just high refresh rate in general, and they use this phone for a couple weeks a couple months and then you hand them back a 60 hertz phone. They will notice that difference and they wont want to switch back to it. Basically, i think people who buy this pro iphone and get used to promotion wont want to switch back to a 60hz iphone. Just like people who switch to a higher fresh rate. Android phone dont want to switch back either, but also im kind of hoping apple doesnt ship, another 60hz iphone next year. They definitely could but im hoping like 90 hertz, at least something like that, either way. Thats, my stance on the higher fresh rate, the promotion in the pro iphones. Clearly, the implementation, technically speaking, is pretty great. Its super color accurate, its very bright. It looks great and its very smooth. So despite the notch and some apps needing to be updated, its one of the best looking screens on any phone right now and going with ltpo let these phones with their new higher fresh rates, also be battery champs. So this is the second big thing about these new phones, which is holy smokes man. The batteries got really good, now theres a couple different compounding factors that all pile on top of each other. To make this happen, the fact that the pro motion dips below 60 hertz to save you battery when you dont need it is number one but number two.
The a15 bionic is more efficient than last year and then the fact that these phones are actually slightly thicker and heavier to support an actually larger battery is a really big number three. So the battery inside the 13 pro is about 11 larger than the 12 pro, and the 13 pro max cell is about 18 larger than the 12 pro max thats, not a small amount, and you cant actually feel it in the weight. These new phones are about 20 grams heavier than last year and probably heavier than the phone youre holding right now, and the results have been dope. Ive mostly been dailying the 13 pro here and getting six seven hours of screen on time. No problem never really killing the phone in a day id consider that an a and davids been testing the 13 pro max here at the studio and getting crazy endurance numbers. He had a day with five hours of screen on time with 50 battery left, which is nuts so im gon na go ahead and put the iphone 13 pro max right up at the top of the battery champ 2021 power rankings right now, alongside a bunch of Other phones with, like the super massive batteries like the rog phone 5 and the moto g power, so screens check batteries check, but once again, the biggest change with these new pro phones is the cameras again. So, first of all, i really like that. The 13 pro and 13 pro max have the exact same set of cameras between them, so the phones are basically identical, except for screen size and battery size, so thats, nice uh, but yeah once again.
Big leap up with the pro phones and their cameras and theyve got the camera bump to go with it, and it really is a massive, like three layer, camera bump with this phone. If you dont have a case on the phone youll immediately notice, it sits up higher. It rocks more from certain corners on a table, and it just kind of looks at you funny remember when we thought the iphone 12 pro had huge cameras yeah. No. This is next level. These are much larger sensors and cameras in here, so weve got triple cameras, still got lidar and a mic and a flash, and each of these cameras is better than last year in its own way. So the primary 12 megapixel camera with that even larger sensor shift stabilization is excellent, its remarkably consistent through various lighting and indoor and outdoor scenarios, theres. Also, of course, the photographic styles to choose. From that i talked about in the previous video. I landed on rich contrast as my favorite and honestly just left it there for most of my photos, main thing, youll notice that makes it better is the big sensor look that we had only in the pro max last year, so this natural bokeh is so easy. Now that you might find yourself having to tap to focus just a little bit more just to make sure youre focused on the right thing and youll find that you can get that natural background blur much easier.
Its not always perfect, theres its still tiny smartphone optics. But the natural blur is better than fake portrait mode blur every time, so it does a great job, not fringing. Also, like some other big smartphone sensors do. The telephoto is also better this year, so its once again a bigger sensor and its also now a 3x optical zoom, instead of a 2x or 2.5 x from last year, and it looks almost as good as the main sensor. So you love to see that that consistency between different cameras gives you the confidence to be able to switch between cameras like it doesnt, even matter which one youre using and thats more true this year than ever before. Now its no s21 ultra, you know youre not going to do that. Deep, double digit zooming very well. Some of the best periscope zooms literally look crisp at 10x, while the iphone is maxing out at 15 and it looks like a watercolor painting there. So its going to be up to you to decide if thats something you care about having in your phone or not and then last but not least, the ultra wide again closing in on the corner to corner sharpness of the main camera, its not quite there. But this is this is one area where i was maybe hoping to see a higher resolution, because youre spreading this pixel count over such a wide focal range, maybe 16 24 megapixels even would have been cool to see just to get that true matching sharpness.
Nevertheless, the photos and videos from the ultrawide are world class literally tops among any ultrawides in any smartphone and its now also capable of macro photography, unlike the ultra wide in the 13 and 13 mini and honestly, its pretty good. So you can get pretty close right up to about two centimeters: minimum focus, distance and theres. A pretty good amount of you know: chromatic, aberration and fringing and artifacting around the outside of the frames. But as long as you tap to focus, you can get a pretty good, close up right in the middle and its way better than any crappy 2 megapixel macro camera has ever dreamed of being now i mentioned during the impressions video. The pro phones are doing this auto switching where, if something comes within about 14 centimeters of the camera, it automatically switches to the ultra wide in macro mode, doesnt tell you and doesnt. Let you manually switch back honestly, its the most annoying part of using this camera. To me, i take plenty of close ups of objects, because i have no friends, i guess, and every time i switch to the ultrawides macro. It produces an objectively worse, looking photo so apples reached out, and they have said sense that they do plan on adding a toggle to let you manual out of that macro mode. I hope it gets added soon. It should be a software update, cant, wait for it, because my photos are suffering. You know theres still no astrophotography mode in the iphone, even though in night mode you can sometimes see some stars if you hold the phone still for long enough and theres, no pro mode for manual control over photos or for videos, thats still going to require a Third party app to really dig into that stuff.
What they did add is cinematic video mode, which i talked about in the 13 review to summarize its a 1080p 30fps hdr video portrait mode, and i really dont think its the answer when it comes to taking the reins and making the best videos possible on your Iphone at least not yet i mean, if you want to tailor a whole entire shoot around focus racking then, yes, the iphones will punch above their weight class, but i found myself using the regular video mode or even third party apps to get the best video out Of the iphone still, but you know it would actually help to get better video out of the iphone prores video giant asterisk thats, not in the phones yet so the pro iphones should also, ideally in a software update, be getting prores video for those unfamiliar thats, a High quality video codec thats used all over the professional industry. Its a pretty sweet should be awesome to be able to shoot prores video from your phone mix. It with other cameras, bring it into your editor and just start chopping. That couple other small asterisks, though one prores video, would be 4k 30 on every pro iphone except the 128 gig base storage versions. Those will max out at 1080p 30fps its unclear if this is because youd just fill up the storage too fast, and they didnt want to. Let you you know there could be some merit to. That. 4K is big files, its like six gigs per minute.
You could theoretically fill up the whole phone in two hours if you just shot all day, but also it could be because the slower storage thats typically used in lower pricing, lower tiered models of less storage might not have supported it. In the first place, its a high data rate, one or the other – maybe both i dont know but just know as long as, if youre planning on getting a pro iphone just to shoot 4k prores video youll have to get at least a 256gb version, and you Can actually go all the way up to one terabyte of total storage, but the tough part about having a one terabyte iphone 13 pro full of huge prores files is offloading that to your computer via lightning at those awful speeds is going to take forever its. Not exactly a pro workflow, its so brutal, that for all the big game, apple always talks about usbc and the ipad and every other thing they do and thunderbolt its just, never made it to the iphone matter. Of fact, let me use this as a segue for all the things that i wish this iphone pro had for a thousand dollars number one, usb type c, probably never gon na happen, but i can still dream and then faster charging, and i dont mean the 27 Watts that the pro max can apparently support from a higher powered brick thats, not included in the box. I mean like real 50 65 watt, maybe even higher wattage charging someday.
That, again, is probably never gon na happen and ive made a whole video about why apple hasnt done that and some other things like high resolution, cameras, etc. Ill leave a link below the like button, but nevertheless, pro maxs huge battery still takes a very long time to charge, and i wish there was an all black option. Ah minor detail, theres always a case or skin for that, but theres, a couple other minor things that didnt quite fit into this full review. So you can turn down the refresh rate of the display to 60 hertz limited, but its not in the display settings like in every other phone, its in accessibility settings under motion and then limit frame rate. I havent tested this for more than about a few minutes, but i have a feeling it wont actually save that much battery on this phone, considering its actively bringing you down below 60 hertz all the time anyway, then, if, if youre using a magsafe duo charger, which I actually do when im traveling the new camera bump on the 13 pro is so big that it actually gets pretty close to the wireless charging coil to the point where, if you have a case on your phone, it actually pops the phone up slightly off the Charger now it still works, but id be careful what case you buy just in case you get one with a camera bump, thats too big, and now suddenly it doesnt make contact with the charger anymore and then the new sierra blue color.
Just so, you know is a little paler in person than it looks in the press, materials and on apples site. Just warning you, you know its a slightly bluish silver, not that thats a bad thing, just a warning ill! Try to show it as best i can, with all the footage from the shiny new raptor camera, so the minor upgrade turns out to be pretty solid. After all, spoiler alert every iphone upgrade from here till the end of time is its gon na, be a minor upgrade thats. The way smartphones are but look theres, nothing wrong with a small upgrade, in my opinion, thats. How you eventually get great at something is by getting a little bit better. Every time you do it. I would know thats how ive gotten better at making videos and thats exactly what i went over in my skillshare course. So skillshare is an online learning community for creatives, where you can find thousands of classes for creative and curious people on all kinds of topics. Illustration photography and now making mkbhd videos like ive, said before im self taught at pretty much everything we do here and thats. Like the number one comment i get anytime, we try something a little new or different like car videos or something theres always comments like oh youre, not good at that just stick to regular tech videos. But how do you think people who are good at car videos started? They had to get started somewhere and just get a little bit better over time.
So ive taken some skillshare courses myself and theres, even one on animating four youtube videos uh by evan from the polymatter channel that im super into, and he is also self taught so hey if you start seeing. You know slightly better animations here and there on the channel. Maybe some of that is michael whos, of course, doing world class animations here, but maybe some of that is me chipping in which would be nice but yeah for my skillshare class, its my fundamentals for how we put together these mkbhd videos thats, what its all about. So skillshare is also curated, specifically for learning, so theres no ads, so you can stay focused and its less than 10 bucks a month for an annual membership so heres the deal. Skillshare was kind enough to sponsor this video and give the first thousand of you that click the link below in the description, a free trial to a premium membership. And what can be better than that. So you can get started with your learning and your creativity. But thats pretty much it for the 13 pro.