Apple has just unveiled the new iPhone 13 series, which promises performance Fastest iPhones yet, up to two and a half hours more battery life, noNew cinematic video options and twice the fluidity of viewing on Pro models. But as someone who just put a bunch of money on iPhone 12 Pro , these upgrades are not enough for me to make the switch yet. And, even for those coming from a particularly old phone, last year's model has become even better value.
Here's why I'm skipping the iPhone 13, and why the iPhone 12 series is still worth the money a year later.
What's new with the iPh seriesone 13 - and why is not enough for me
A smoother 120Hz screen
Don't get me wrong, the iPhone 13 isn't without some cool new updates, especially when you take a look at the more premium iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max . I am particularly intrigued by the new Super Retina XDR with Pro Motion display, which has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. These are a lot of fancy words to explain that the screen of the iPhone 13 Pro can move twice as easily as that of recent iPhones with 60hz displays. In everyday use, we have found that 120Hz displays are an immediately noticeable upgrade - page scrolling Web and photos are faster and smoother, and games and movies can look smoother and closer to what you would see on a TV.
This is a feature that Android phones concurrents have been around for a long time, and which we have really enjoyed using on devices like the Galaxy S21 . But as I slowly become a highrefresh rate convert (especially after testing a gaming laptops ), getting a super-smooth iPhone screen looks more like a nice to have than a something that fixes a real problem with my iPhone 12 Pro.
The promise of better battery life and better performance
The entire iPhone 13 lineup promises better battery life, which Apple says is made possible in part by the phone's efficient new A15 Bionic. processor. These phones would last up to two and a half hours longer than their iPhone 12 series counterparts, which is convincing - if my current iPhone still wasn't holding up very well.
My The battery iPhone 12 Pro still holds up well after a year of use, giving me more than enough juice to go through a whole day after an overnight charge. Rarely do I get a low battery warning. All versions of the iPhone 12 also lasted quite a long time in our more formal battery tests, with the standard iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro both support over 12 hours of continuous 4K video playback.
The same goes for the general performance of the iPhone 13. Apple calls the A15 Bionic "the fastest chip in a smartphone ", and if our benchmark tests of previous Apple phones do any indication, this could very well turn out to be true. But I do not haveyet come across nothing that the A14 Bionic processor in my iPhone 12 Pro can't handle after a year of heavy use, furiously switching between Slack chats, running demanding Apple Arcade games, or watching videos in picture mode. picture mode when browsing the web.
A compelling camera update ade
Thanks to larger sensors, improved aperture and zoom and the A15 processor The aforementioned iPhone 13 Pro is set to be the best iPhone yet for taking photos. Without listing every bit of technical jargon in these cameras, Apple's latest high-end smartphone is designed to excel. in low light, lets you zoom in more without sacrificing detail and lets you create your own photo presets (think filters) with photographic styles. The Cinematic mode of the iPhone 13 lets you record video, then adjust the depth and focus afterwards, letting you create dramatic moments like you would see in movies and shows. And on the iPhone 13 Pro, you can even record in ProRes, an advanced video codec ggenerally used for s and movies. Even on the more basic iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, you should still expect better overall detail and low-light performance.
All of this is convincing, but not enough to make me give up the excellent cameras of my iPhone 12 Pro. Aside from letting me post an abundance of highly detailed food and pet photos on Instagram, the iPhone 12 Pro's tri-camera setup is still so impressive that I use it as a device. main photo to take high quality photos for my product reviews. And when I'm out for a night out stroll, the 12 Pro's Night Mode always does a surprisingly good job of making low-light photos look like they are.been taken during the day.
The colors are nice, but not much new
I was delighted to receive my iPhone 12 Pro Pacific Blue, which was a refreshing change from the Space Gray iPhones I had bought for years. EIf I was just based on the aesthetic, there isn't much in this year's lineup that appeals to me. The iPhone 13 Pro's colors are mostly a riff on last year's options (a lighter "Sierra Blue " replaces Pacific Blue this time around), and that's mostly the case with the 'iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini cheaper. In fact, the only color I would really change for is purple, which is currently exclusive to iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini . And while there are a few design changes this time around, including a smaller notch on the screen, you'd be forgiven for confusing the two models at a glance.
The upgrades I wantare not here yet
Michael Andronico / CNN
Besides being a convincing but not essential upgrade for me, the iPhone 13 is unresponsive not some of my biggest issues with my current iPhone 12 Pro either. I have already written about my problems with the iPhone 12 's lack of Touch ID in the age of face masks, eI'm disappointed that the feature still hasn't returned for the 13-series.
But what gets even more frustrating is the fact that the iPhone 13 still hasn't adopted USB- C: The now ubiquitous charging standard that's used with just about everything except Apple phones at this point. I wish I could declutter my desk a bit by charging my Mac and iPhone with the same cable, and the USB-C connectivity would open up the iPhone to a whole range of USB-C accessories that could help expand its usefulness. Considering that Apple has just launched a new iPad Mini with both Touch ID and USB-C, I'm more and more impatient for an iPhone that brings the two together.
IPhone 12 is cheaper than ever
Jacob Krol / CNN
Now is not just the right time to grab your iPhone 12 - it is also the best time than ever to buy a new one if you need to.upgrade or downgrade from Android. The arrival of the iPhone 13 series hit the iPhone 12 mini up to $ 599 from only, with the standard iPhone 12 starting at $ 699. That's a $ 100 discount off their introductory prices, and practically makes the iPhone 12 mini - which offers flagship-level performance and great cameras - a budget phone.
One thing to note - Apple is phasing out the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max in favor of the new Pro options, but as of this writing you can still find the models of '' iPhone 12 highest in gaeven at iPhone refurbished via Decluttr, you can save 15% on your purchase using our exclusive code "CNN15" until September 19 at midnight.
Mike Andronico / CNN
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro have a lot to offer, including better processors and some especially Major display and camera upgrades on Pro options. We'll have to test the latest Apple phones ourselves to make a final verdict, but if you haven't upgraded your iPhone in a few years (or if you just need the latest and greatest). best), they are shaping up to be a compelling buy. on paper.
But as a person coming from the iPhone 12 Pro from the Last year I am more than happy to be using my current handset for at least the next few years. It still runs fast, lasts all day on a charge and takes some really great photos, and will still have access to all of them. targets big new iPhone features coming via iOS 15 this month -Here. And now that the iPhone 12 starts at just $ 599, our pick for the the best smartphone has become even easier to recommend to anyone who needs a new, quality phone and doesn't care about being in cutting edge technology.