iPhone 13 Pro & Pro Max Review: The Ultimate iPhones?!
, And this year we didnt really get that.. We got a group of smartphones of which their names are barely being accepted., But like it or not, these are the iPhone 13 Pros. And regardless of it being more of a mundane update this year. I think this is easily the best flagship smartphone you can buy right now, if youre impartial towards different operating systems. And heres why.. The 13 Pro honestly leaves very little to be desired as far as the designs concerned., The 13 Pro represents the second iteration of the stainless steel flat edge with a frosted matte, glass back., And I got ta say its still. Such a clean design, overall. Feel in the hand and usability is generally better for me with some sort of case because of the hard edges., But outside of that it feels really great.. I will say that the experience on the Max is slightly different because of how big it is. Keep in mind that the 13 Pro Max is my personal, daily driver.. But I feel as though it could be a bit skinnier. So people with smaller hands can have better usability.. This is definitely something Ive heard. Many different people say that the Pro Max is just too wide to use, especially one handed.. That hasnt really been the case for me, but I can totally understand why. With that being said, I think Apple should definitely consider tweaking the proportions a bit for the Max in the next generation.
. The notch housing, the earpiece speaker, camera and FaceID. Sensors has gotten about 20, smaller this year. In my initial top features video. I said that this is a pretty negligible change. And as far as functionality, that remains to be the case for sure. Theres. Nothing Apples done from a software perspective to take advantage of this small increase in space on the display., But the visual appearance of the notch is pretty noticeable if youve got a 12 series model to compare.. That being said, the selling appeal of this change to the average consumer is likely going to be trivial., And I think more people will pay attention once the notch actually goes away in some form.. The camera lenses have also gotten slightly larger in size., And I think this was more of a symbolic move on Apples. Part more than making room for better hardware. Apple always goes heavy on the camera system, with the Pro model iPhones, and I think they want this phone to be very camera dominant from a design perspective.. They want people who see this phone through the Apple store window. To think that this has got a killer camera system on it., And you do that by having big, pronounced lenses.. One way I judge a products design is by how well it holds up over time. And after nearly a year of using the 12 Pro its still as clean as ever., And that same structure is being carried over to the 13 Pros.
. The display on the iPhone has been really good for a while now., But we all know that the flagship models were lacking on the refresh rate. Front. Apple introduced their high refresh rate tech called ProMotion years ago on the iPad, Pro. And now weve finally got it on the iPhone.. The display is now capable of a 120Hz refresh rate., But with the way ProMotion works, it isnt necessarily constantly running at that high refresh rate. ProMotion, utilizes an adaptive refresh rate so for certain tasks the display could be at 30Hz or 120Hz, depending on what youre doing.. The main benefit and purpose of an adaptive refresh rate is to preserve battery life., Because if the displays run at 120Hz, nonstop youre not exactly going to have a battery that lasts the whole day. And because of this Ive seen people saying things along the lines of This not being a true high refresh rate smartphone compared to its Android competition., And I dont agree with that at all., When using the phone on a day to basis, you can tell the difference in comparison to the Pro. Scrolling through timelines swiping around on my homescreen Or watching the keyboard appear all have this enhanced smoothness. ProMotion is definitely doing its job. If you ask me. Were going to dig into battery life a little bit later, but I will say that ProMotion does not compromise battery performance on either models. And that this is a no compromise feature that everyone should appreciate as they get to use it.
Outside of Promotion, the only new change to the display is the increased maximum brightness.. The display on the 12 Pros went up to 800 Nits for standard content and 1200 nits for HDR.. The new max for standard content is 1000 nits, which is a noticeable increase.. But as far as daily usability is concerned, it wasnt something I felt the iPhones needed. 800 nits of brightness on a display is not dim at all. And outdoor visibility was never a real problem. I experienced on the 11 12 Pro., So I honestly wonder why Apple bothered., But Im not going to complain about it. While to some these updates seem somewhat mundane. You have to keep in mind that these are merely additions to an already fantastic screen., Colors sharpness, brightness and viewability on the 12 Pros were already fantastic. And so adding what they have has just made it even closer to perfect for everyday use.. You cant tell me that youre buying a new iPhone for better performance., You just cant.. This phone is already so smooth and so fast, 95 of the time. For games, web browsing, social media, capturing photos and videos.. You cannot tell me that youre buying the iPhone 13 because of the A15 Bionic.. This processor is about 10 faster than the A14. And thats due to a new 6 core GPU with a 5 Core GPU and 16 core neural engine., And this update as far as visual performance differences are so minimal that I think ProMotion makes the phone feel faster Than the A15 does.
Now theres always more to the story with a new processor than pure performance figures., You must always factor in any improved efficiency or software, optimization that the chip, provides. And thats kind of the way I see this A15 update.. I think this processor is probably doing more on the efficiency and optimization front than on the performance. Front., The new camera software features and ProMotion all need a processor capable of optimizing it., Not to mention the ProRes, video, optimization, youll get. And the A15 is doing a great job at that.. If all youre looking for is better performance, wait until next or year.. Besides there not being any revolutionary features being added this time, around. The iPhone 13 Pros camera is overall, the best stock camera system on a smartphone in my opinion. And heres why., The 13 Pro and Pro Max retain the triple lens camera setup. This time, around. And theyve added to this experience, even further. On a hardware front, very little has changed for the most part.. The main wide angle lens now has an f1.5 aperture instead of an f1.6 aperture., And the Ultrawide Lens now has an f1.8 aperture. Instead of an f2.4 aperture., But then the Telephoto lens has actually dropped down to f2.8 from f2.0 in the 12 Pro.. But I think the main reason for that is because the focal length has gone up to 77mm from 58mm in the 12 Pro.. So overall depth of field feels extremely similar to the 12 Pro.
. As far as pure differences in image quality between this year and last year, youre going to be hard pressed to find any major differences for regular photos., And I think one, the biggest let downs of the 13 pros camera is that Apple didnt fix the light. Artifacting issue., The iPhones camera, still gives off this weird light, artifacting effect when the cameras facing a direct source of artificial light.. I thought this was something highlighted enough by the press for Apple to resolve the issue, but its still here, which is definitely disappointing., But besides that issue, this is more or less the same quality camera as last year. And thats. Nothing to be sad about because the 12 Pro has a great camera system.. My personal favorite camera feature this year is the addition of a macro mode for the ultra wide angle. Camera., You simply place the iPhone extremely close to a subject and youll notice, a jump in the detail of what youre focusing on.. I havent tried a bunch of macro lenses on smartphones, but this is by far the best Ive tried.. The detail coming out of photos on this lens is honestly incredible. And I think thats ironic, given the fact that the Ultra Wide angle lens is generally the lowest quality lens of the three. When out and about taking photos. I personally found myself getting extremely close to a lot of objects to capture a bunch of macro photos., Its a lot of fun and something that I think will catch on in a huge way in the future.
And thats partially. Due to the fact that macro mode works for video as well., So you can capture some really interesting stuff being able to get that close to objects and people. Photographic styles. Is the big software feature for the iPhones photo system this time around. And you can basically think of photographic styles as live and customizable photo filters., Theres 5 different presets to choose from. And within those presets you can tweak the tone and warmth.. I think for preplanned photos being taken. I think this is a pretty neat feature.. It gives you a basic sense of what photos could look like with an edit before you fully commit to it. Its something I dont think Ill use most of the time, because Im so snap and go with my photos. A lot of the time Im. Thinking of just getting the moment captured, rather than seeing how it can be tweaked before the photos are taken.. If this were omitted from the iPhone altogether, I wouldnt miss it quite honestly., But I think its a neat addition overall. On the video end of the things. The hot new feature for the 13s is cinematic video., And this is effectively portrait mode, video with new focus, locking features.. This is entirely a software driven process., And so you can actually edit what the camera focuses on after the fact.. I dont think this feature is as interesting as Dolby Vision, HDR video recording, which was introduced last year.
, But I think that this feature could introduce a whole new wave of mobile videography.. You can definitely bet on other companies trying to emulate this effect for their future. Smartphones., The tracking works pretty well overall from my testing. For a subject that isnt moving at an abnormal speed. Itll stay locked on until you pick another focus point. And if the subject view is being blocked temporarily, it usually has no problem finding it again and locking on. This mode. Also lets you adjust the aperture of the lens., But its basically an intensity slider for the digital blur being applied to the video. Youre, not actually letting in more or less light.. The biggest thing that people have pointed out with this mode is that, while this is recording video in HDR, its locked to 1080p at 30fps., The 1080p part of this is pretty negligible. If you ask me., Because when Im looking at cinematic videos, Ive taken Im thinking about how it looks like a 1080p video because it doesnt. It just looks like a video taken on a smartphone.. But the framerate part of this is interesting, because the standard for cinema is 23.98 frames per second.. So what is apple trying to insinuate Is Apples definition of cinema 1080p at 30fps. I dont think any of Apples. Tv shows are filmed in 30p, so the messaging here is a little inconsistent., But other than that. I think this feature is really cool and genuinely fun to use.
ProRes Video recording was announced for the 13 Pros, but were still waiting on actually getting that feature.. So, unfortunately, covering that will have to be a video of its own.. But, as many have said, you shouldnt buy a product for a feature that isnt available., You dont know how well its going to work if its actually going to be beneficial for your workflow., Its a big question mark.. So, for now, its better to act as if Apple never announced ProRes video when factoring in your purchasing decision., But I am looking forward to seeing how well it works.. But once again these are all of the things being added to an already great camera system.. Youve got DolbyVision HDR video recording up 4K at 60fps, great low light capability, portrait mode and portrait lighting and built in RAW for photos.. There simply arent any other smartphones that provide this experience for photos and videos in one package. And thats. What makes the 13 Pro the best camera system on a smartphone.? Arguably my biggest complaint with the standard 12 Pro from last year, was battery life. Coming from the 11 Pro Max to the 12 Pro. I was not feeling the overall battery performance I got. And thats. Why I stuck with Max as my daily. The battery on the Max phones have always been great, and this year is no different.. Even with the 120Hz panel battery performance seems even better than last year., The 13 Pro Max pretty much no matter.
What is a true? All day battery smartphone., I can easily get 6 7 hours of screen on time with light to moderate usage throughout the day.. The battery improvements on the 13 Pro Max are noticeable, but not necessarily significant, given the 12 Pro Maxs already great battery performance. Its the smaller 13 Pro. That has the much more noticeable jump in battery life., The 13 Pro still isnt, quite on the same level as the Pro Max., But the overall battery performance is far more usable for my needs than last years. Pro.. I can easily get five and a half to six hours of screen on time, which is a very noticeable improvement., And I think that this improvement puts the 13 Pro and Pro Max at a somewhat even playing field.. Now there arent exclusive camera features on the Pro Max and because of the improved battery., Everything is close to the same on both models., And I think this is how it should be. One Pro model shouldnt be more pro than the other. Unless youre coming from a 12, Pro or Pro Max, these devices are a pretty huge update. If coming from an 11 Pro or earlier youre going to get the new design loads of new camera features, Better performance ProMotion and the best battery life, the iPhones ever had., Theres, always stuff. That can be improved and added to a smartphones featureset., But I think everything on these phones just works so well.
Leaving very little to be desired from a hardware standpoint.. The 13 Pros feel, like top of the line premium smartphones from end to end. Youve got an Industrial grade, design that feels premium and durable. A display, thats, bright, vibrant and super smooth best in class performance and the best camera system on a smartphone. And thats. Why, if youre impartial to operating systems, the 13 Pro and Pro Max are the best overall flagship phones.