Sales of the new, thirteenth iPhones have started in Russia, of which there are four again this year:
13, 13 mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. Meduza journalist Maxim Ivanov spent more than a day with the
smallest and largest phone Apple – and tells you how to talk yourself into buying a new device (if you
need it, of course!).
1. They've added a 120Hz screen refresh rate to the Pro line. And that's a-a-a-a-ah!
Not even that: A-A-A-A-A!!! Of course, android fans will say that Apple is a couple of years too late.
But what a thrill it is to feel like an iPhone is instantly responsive. It's not that Apple smartphones
used to slow down, it's just that responsiveness has really improved noticeably.
The biggest impact of the increased screen refresh rate has been on the experience of scrolling
through menus and scrolling through social media. On the 13 Pro Max, everything is VERY smooth.
Speaking as someone who scrolls through a Twitter feed at supersonic speed.
Best of all, the Pro's don't waste energy – if you're reading a book or an article, they automatically
reduce the refresh rate down to 10Hz so as not to consume the battery.
2. Let's talk a bit about the screen itself. It's gotten even better (make a surprised face)
The thirteenth iPhones have a custom OLED display with the clever name Super Retina XDR. In fact,
the only thing you need to know about it is that its maximum brightness has become even higher.
And this means that in summer you won't have to put your palm to your phone to see a video or text
message. And HDR content, of course, looks nicer than ever.
Direct sunlight still wins out, but Apple keeps fighting. Then again, combined with 120Hz on the pro
models, it's a delight!
3. good news for those who were pissed off about the "fringes". In the new models it has been
reduced by 20%.
In order to do so we had to raise the selfie camera to the left and the talkback speaker higher.
Admittedly, Apple doesn't make any use of the free screen space. And you could, for example, show
the battery percentage – now you have to swipe up and open the control centre bar to do so. Also,
some apps have gone crazy with the new fringes.
The same Instagram, which on the 13 Pro Max right now looks like this (note the icons at the top of
4. Let's move on to the coolest part – the updated cameras. First of all, let's talk about the macro
mode in the pro versions
The regular 13 and 13 mini can't do that. When you approach objects up to two centimetres, the
iPhone itself switches to macro mode, you'll know by the slight blinking of the screen. This mode
allows you to pick out and emphasise amazing details. For example, I was able to discern, in the
smallest detail, how much life has battered the tyre swan in the yard.
Macro photography allows you to photograph even the thinnest strands of spider web, which are
almost impossible to see with the naked eye (I myself only saw them through the lens of my iPhone).
Bear in mind that the leaves were shaking in the wind when doing this.
In general, macro photography seems to arouse curiosity. One wants to immediately find out what
hides a dog's nose or a cat's whiskers. Alas, the only cat I met immediately ran away at the sight of a
new iPhone (or me).
Well, if all that doesn't sound convincing enough, just think of how nice your landlord will now be to
look at the meter readings! It's a shame the macro photography doesn't work so well with the dim
5. The 13 Pro gets three new cameras at once. And the 13 and Mini get optical image stabilisation by
shifting the sensor
If that doesn't tell you anything, just know that the younger models in the thirteen range are as
capable as only the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max used to be. Trust us, this really is fire, not news! But
there's a nuance: because of the improved camera system, the old cases won't fit on the new
devices. Alas, you'll have to buy them separately.
Daytime pictures taken with the thirteenth iPhones are difficult to distinguish from pictures taken
with last year's models, especially if you don't know where to look. But on the whole, photos are
6. But in night photography the difference with the iPhone 12 and even the 12 Pro Max is obvious
Thanks to the new sensor, iPhones capture even more light. As a result, the devices switch to night
mode less frequently and think less when trying to take a picture in low light. Images also look more
natural. Noise is also significantly reduced.
Technology publication The Verge calls the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max cameras the best on the
market and doubts that Google's new flagship – i.e. the yet-to-be-released Pixel 6 – will be able to
surpass this result.
7. The thirteenth range of iPhones has introduced photographic styles. This is a separate button in
the camera app
Essentially, Apple has added settings that allow you to personalise the processing of your shots while
you're still shooting with computational photography. There are five preset modes: standard (as
iPhones normally shoot), saturated contrast, colourful, warm and cool. You can adjust the tone and
warmth of each. The iPhone will remember everything – the styles don't need to be adjusted for each
Apple says it's not the same as applying filters. Photographic styles analyse the surroundings and
separate people from inanimate objects. In this way, high contrast doesn't affect the tone of your
skin (it stays natural), whereas filters are applied all over the frame.
8. Another new feature and separate button – Cinema Effect mode
In Apple's words and advertisements, it seems like some kind of magic: the thirteen iPhones
automatically blur the background, making ordinary videos look like movies. The phones detect faces
in the frame using information from multiple cameras. And they themselves switch the focus to other
people if one of the participants in the video, let's say, turns away or leaves the frame. The camera
keeps the focus on the person even if he or she is moving (along with the camera!!).
The "movie effect" does work, but not as well as I'd like it to. Firstly, shooting in this mode is limited
to 1080 resolution and 30 frames per second. It's not serious. Secondly, in low light, Cinema Effect
may not switch focus from person to person if the person turns away. Of course, you can adjust the
focus yourself, but then the magic is lost. Thirdly, the standard camera app in iPhones is becoming
more and more like Android – now it's even easier to get confused in the menu.
9. Portrait mode is easy
I know, I know, Jellyfish praises the portrait mode in the new iPhones every time. But what can you
do, it really does get better from year to year!
This time we purposely tested it on a life-beaten lion in the entryway (don't ask, I've got an altar full
of sad stuffed animals). Appreciate the soft blurring of the background and the way the iPhone neatly
separated the toy's fur from its surroundings in a semi-darkened room. Admittedly, the texture is a
bit washed out. But once upon a time, iPhones in portrait mode couldn't handle cat ears even in
normal light. By comparison, here's how the same portrait mode works on people during the day.
10. The time has come: let's discuss battery life!
Generally speaking, it's always been boring to read (and write) about batteries in iPhones. But this
time Apple increased the battery size and got a really noticeable increase in battery life. Which of
course affected the weight of the devices, but who's going to complain!
According to the company, the gain was between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half hours. And
that's with brighter screens and 120Hz pro-versions.
Perhaps the small 13 mini benefited the most from the increase in power capacity. Of course, it still
can't handle more than five to six hours of active use. But given its size and (not the best) battery life,
the 12 mini is a win!
11. And this is the best moment to declare my love for the 13 mini once again
I tested its predecessor last year, but had already forgotten how good it was. The mini has the
perfect size. It fits perfectly in the hand. It's perfectly nimble. It's a pleasure to walk around with – and
the cameras are wow. It got to the ridiculous point: I went to the shop with the 13 mini and simply
forgot it was in my pocket (try forgetting the 13 Pro Max!). And panicked. All in all, I recommend it,
especially if you're not intimidated by life tied to a powerbank.
12: Apple has been generous this year, with the base 13 and 13 mini getting 128 gigabytes of storage
for the same price
That's twice as much as before. And they've added a terabyte of storage to the pro-line for the first
time in iPhone history. And it even makes sense, considering that a minute of 4K video shot in the
ProRes format (used by professional filmmakers) weighs around six gigabytes. Except that ProRes
support has not yet appeared, it will be implemented in future updates.