General

Spent a month with the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. Praise, scolding and lots of photos and videos

ADVERTISEMENT

Apple unveiled the next generation iPhone in September. Then we shared our first impressions of the
iPhone 13. What has changed five weeks later? Scratches on the glass, pain from Lightning and
excitement about battery life – these and other impressions in a personal experience of iPhone 13
from the Hi-Tech Mail.ru editorial team.

Design: new colours only
Apple has unveiled four models:

The iPhone 13 mini – an eerily cute and compact little guy with a 5.4-inch screen;
iPhone 13 – the most popular smartphone in the range;
iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max – flagships with a focus on the camera and display at up to 120Hz.
This time around, they haven't clamped down on the iPhone 13 Pro compared to the Max version.
The cameras are the same. And that's great: last year, only the iPhone 12 Pro Max got matrix
stabilisation, a large sensor. But many didn't want such a big and heavy brick, had to sacrifice the
camera and take the handy but "cropped" iPhone 12 Pro. Now you can stop spreading your fingers
and rejoice in top-end technology in a compact package.

All models are IP68 water resistant and all have Ceramic Shield protective glass on the front. I've
dropped my iPhone 13 a couple of times hard on a tile from a height of 1-1.5m – whatever. The glass
is intact. But the glass is starting to scratch. Before that I had an iPhone 12 Pro for a year: the top part
is full of annoying scars, it's a mystery where they come from.

The back cover is covered with matte glass, that's the one that doesn't scratch at all. Since the iPhone
11 Pro, I wear smartphones without a case (I will not advise). Although the leather ones are very nice,
with time they are beautifully patinated and acquire a noble pattern. Like aged leather shoes.

All iPhone 13 models are a little thicker, a little heavier, but you'll only feel this in direct comparison.
A week with the iPhone 13 Pro and it no longer feels like a steel bar. Same with the notch: it's 20%
smaller around the edges, but you'll forget that fact in a minute. Smartphones are all just as
comfortable to use on the run. The iPhone bribes you with ergonomics, something Android shovels
lack. This is not the case with the iPhone 13 Pro Max: big, heavy.

 

 

COPPELL, TX, USA-JAN 4, 2022: Apple box and iPhone 13 with Merhaba text (Turkish, Hello in English) welcome screen. Brand new iPhone in new midnight color isolated on yellow background.

 

 

The huge "muzzles" of the lenses look imposing. I used to look at the iPhone 12 Pro camera with awe,
now with laughter. But the camera has also become more protruding, causing the iPhone 13 Pro to
bounce around on the table when typing. The problem is solved by a case.

The new muted sky blue hue of the iPhone 13 Pro pales in comparison to its serious predecessors,
the blue iPhone 12 Pro and the dark green iPhone 11 Pro (subjectively, the most beautiful iPhone).
The iPhone 13, on the other hand, looks better: white, black, blue – take it all, rich and deep hues
everywhere. The brushed aluminium bezel doesn't collect fingerprints. The attitude to the mini-
version hasn't changed at all: the smartphone is adorably comfortable and you don't want to let it
out of your hands. It may not be the most popular model, but it is a ray of light for those tortured by
"shovels".

The display is acknowledged to be the best among smartphones
I won't go into tons of numbers and technology inside the iPhone 13's display. All you need to know:
there are gorgeous, juicy, very bright screens with stunningly accurate colour reproduction. Some of
the best among not just smartphones, but among all gadgets. Too many sweet epithets at once, but
there has never been a complaint about the iPhone screens. The top award from the experts at
DisplayMate and 12 records prove it.

But that doesn't mean the displays on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have turned into pumpkins. They're
slightly less bright in normal mode, but still let you see text under the sun, support HDR, True Tone, a
peak brightness of 1200 nits and are suitable for neat photos and videos.

The main difference between the displays in the Pro models and the iPhone 13 and 13 mini (and
older models) is ProMotion technology. With it, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max matrix produces a
variable frequency of 10-120Hz instead of 13-60Hz. With the increased frequency, animations appear
smooth, the response is lightning fast, and the smartphone seems to speed up. Some people notice
the effect, others don't see the difference. I classified myself as the second type until I returned to
the iPhone 12 Pro a month later. "Glitchy!" – my first thought. No, it just draws fewer frames. But
after 5 minutes, you stop obsessing – iOS has such smooth animations.

The frequency is adaptive, it adjusts to the type of content, to the animations. Here lies the key
difference from Android-flagships with adaptive frequency: there the interface operates at 120 Hz,
you open the reader – it switches to 48 Hz or even 10 Hz. In a jerk. Here the hertz changes even when
scrolling the desktop, when slowing down or accelerating. This has a positive effect on the autonomy.

A small PWM effect (flicker at low brightness) is present. It is a feature of OLED matrixes. I know a
few people who still do not part with the iPhone 11: there IPS panel. But all new flagships (not just
Apple) come with OLED, you'll have to put up with it. The advantages outweigh one disadvantage by
a wide margin.

Next Post