Apple iPhone 13 review: the flagship iPhone of the year Great cameras and improved battery life.



The iPhones get better with each generation: for Apple, it's a reason to attract new customers, and
for new owners, it's a reason to get excited. A well-designed and comfortable device will last for
several seasons before you need to replace your old phone with a new one.

In the case of the iPhone 12, introduced last year, the story is even more interesting. It's been so
successful and convenient that it's no easy task to beat it and make the phone even better and more

The old design with new colours
From what I know, people tend to switch from an old iPhone to a new one as soon as a completely
new design is released. This was the case when the iPhone 12 came out – it was a welcome update. In
the case of the iPhone 13, you'll get a new experience if you haven't yet held an iPhone 12 in your
hands. Otherwise, there will be no fresh emotion.

It's still the same size, flat edges, aluminium alloy and glass at the back. What about the new body
colours? Apple has revised the colour palette and updated it. In my opinion, the gamut turned out to
be weird and kind of boring. We don't have to paint the cases in screaming acid colours, but we want
some sort of variety, or something like that. Remember how bright and fresh the iPhone XR range
was: lush yellow, coral, beautiful blue.

Then there was iPhone 11 in a calmer colour scheme, then the equally neutral iPhone 12. I thought
maybe the iPhone 13 would somehow shake up the pastel realm, but no.

Basic white is good, but nothing new. The new black – it's terribly stained, but also doesn't look like
the usual black, more like blue-black. It's an unusual colour, but it's a favourite. Judging by sales
statistics, 7 out of 10 iPhones sold in Russia are black, and it is this colour that will account for the
maximum demand.

For all my love of blue, I didn't like the dark blue of the iPhone 12 or the new shade of blue of the
iPhone 13. The soft pink is very pale and easily confused with the white in the photos. I would have
liked to add more saturation and make it brighter. The blood red Product Red looks good, but it's not
a favourite option.

In general, I'm not judging the Apple design team, but the colour scheme is a bit forgettable and
weird. I mean the iPhone XR in blue: how many years have passed and it still looks very nice.

Still a very comfortable phone
Like the iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 13 has also increased the size of the camera unit – the iPhone 12
case won't fit it. Otherwise the case dimensions are the same, it's a little thicker, but it's still a handy
one-handed phone. At the same time it's not heavy, unlike the iPhone 13 Pro, which at a comparable
size feels like a much heavier device.

Of all the current generation iPhones I have tried, it is the iPhone 13 that I like best. The tiny iPhone
13 mini is quite small and not very comfortable for active internet browsing. The iPhone 13 Pro has a
decent weight – it feels just like a heavy brick. Not to mention the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it's huge. The
iPhone 13 is the most comfortable and balanced: it's not big and small, it's not thick and it's not
heavy. It's the perfect phone to use with one hand.

Amazing screen
There's literally one sentence to write about the display: it's the same as the iPhone 12, only the
brightness margin has increased from 625 nits to 800 nits. Unlike the more expensive iPhone 13 Pro,
there's no 120Hz support: we've lived without it for so many years and I don't see any reason to

The picture is bright, the colours are pleasing and the display bezels are small – everything is fine. In
this respect, both the iPhone 12 and 13 compare favourably with the old XR or 11, which no longer
look modern compared to the new generations.

The reduced size of the 'monobrow' on the one hand deserves a mention too, but on the other, we
don't get any practical bonuses. For example, some symbols could be added to the free space.

In addition, when using the phone you don't pay attention to the fact that the "fringes" have become
smaller. Here it is a question of whether there is it in principle, as on the iPhone, or not, as it is shown
by the manufacturers of Android-devices.

Improved cameras: shoot particularly well in the dark
The camera unit protrudes from the casing even more, and at the same time it takes up more space.
Attentive people will notice that the cameras are now placed diagonally instead of one below the
other. This is the main feature of the new iPhone 13, immediately distinguishing it from iPhone 12.

The camera is better compared to iPhone 12, with the 12MP main unit capturing more light, while
the same 12MP wide-angle unit has autofocus and is better suited to low light situations. But it
doesn't shoot macro like the iPhone 13 Pro does.

But the iPhone 13 gets one of the cool features of last year's flagship iPhone 12 Pro Max: optical
sensor-shift stabilisation. I really like the fact that the night mode, when there is a stitching of several
frames, is now triggered only in extreme cases. In most situations, the software doesn't panic in the
dark, taking photos quickly and not requiring you to wait for a shot to be taken.

Six lighting effects are available and photographic styles have been added. They differ from the built-
in filters in that they do not affect the shade of the skin. It is convenient that if you like any of the
styles, then the phone can automatically apply it to the rest of the frames, you will not have to spend
time on processing. Also, the camera is less "yellowing", I can't believe warm tones are a thing of the

Smart HDR 4 works, it now recognises up to four people in the frame and optimises colour settings
individually. I tried it – to be honest, I didn't feel much of a difference, but perhaps more experienced
photographers will be able to see the difference.

The phone also has a special mode called Cinema Effect when shooting video: you move the camera
from one subject to another and the phone automatically changes focus. This works with both
people and inanimate objects. It looks great, so if you like to shoot video creatively, you'll appreciate
the new techniques.

The front camera remains the same, the quality is the same, but more options have been added:
"Movie mode" and photo styles for taking selfies.

Even faster and more powerful
The iPhone 13 features the same new Apple A15 Bionic chipset as the more expensive iPhone 13 Pro,
with the only difference being the graphics. The 13 Pro has five cores and the 13 has four. In gaming I
didn't notice any difference in performance, in everyday use too.

But now Apple has doubled the amount of internal memory: the iPhone 13 is sold with 128GB,
256GB and 512GB of storage. That said, the price is the same as it was on the iPhone 12 a year ago.

Noteworthy is support for two eSIMs at once instead of just one, as was the case with iPhone 12.
Plus we get one physical SIM as well. So you have a choice of either two virtual SIMs at once, or one
virtual SIM paired with a physical one.

Schoolgirl in a video call with her parents during lunch brake

Battery Matters
I went through about six months with the iPhone 12, and I was generally happy with its battery life. It
wasn't a record breaker for battery life, but with my usage it mostly lasted all day, although I did
occasionally recharge it during the day.

Then I switched to the iPhone 12 Pro Max in the hope that the bigger phone would have a bigger
battery and there would be no issues with battery life at all. As it turned out during use, there is a
difference in favour of the Max, but not so critical as to put up with its huge size. Whereas the iPhone
12 gave around 5.5-6 hours of active screen time, the 12 Pro Max gave between 6 and 7, occasionally
around 8 hours.

With the iPhone 13, things have taken a turn for the better, with battery life improving. According to
Apple, it lasts 2.5 hours longer than its predecessor. My own feeling is that it lives at just the same
level as the iPhone 12 Pro Max: enough for a day. On average, it comes out with about 7 hours of
active screen time, which is decent by my standards.

Should I buy an iPhone 13 or save up and buy an iPhone 12?
A perennial topic of discussion: buy the latest model or settle for last year's? I covered the topic in a
separate text, you can read it here:

After using the iPhone 13, I would like to say that the capabilities of the new cameras make a very
pleasant impression. So if you like photography, it's definitely worth paying extra for the capabilities
of the iPhone 13. And that's not counting its other advantages.

Or the iPhone 13 Pro?
There are a lot more differences between the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro this season than there were
between the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro a year ago. So if budget allows, look towards the older model,
which is even more interesting primarily in terms of camera capabilities.

iPhone 13 prices
In Russia, the 128GB iPhone 13 costs 79,990 rubles, the 256GB version costs 89,990 rubles, and for
the maximum 512GB you have to pay 99,990 rubles.

Apple has once again produced a great phone, well-balanced, comfortable and enjoyable in every
way. Perhaps it's too predictable and the improvements over the iPhone 12 seem straightforward
and to be expected: better photos, tweaked battery life, freshened up the design a bit. At the same

time, thanks to such steps, if you look at past generations of iPhones, you can clearly feel the
difference between the new and old models.

So if you were hesitant last year whether to upgrade to iPhone 12 or wait, you can now confidently
prepare to move to the new iPhone 13. It's sure to please and will stay relevant for a long time to
come, receiving regular iOS updates.

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