Apple iPhone 13 Pro review: Many small upgrades together make a big package

The 13 Pro has brought several upgrades over the 12 Pro, including many that might seem only incremental when looked at in silos. However, this premium smartphone is by no means a minor upgrade. That is because these upgrades – whether big and small – together form a big package. Among the most noticeable are the upgrades with respect to display, imaging and on-battery time. Interestingly, these are also the areas where this smartphone has an edge over others simply because the upgrades influence the overall user experience in a positive way.

Starting with the display, it has got a fair bump in brightness, with the peak level now in the ballpark of 1200 nits for HDR content and 1000 nits in typical scenarios. Besides, the display gains significantly from the ProMotion technology, which breathes life into the user interface elements like transitions, scrolling, animations, etc. For the uninitiated, the ProMotion technology is Apple’s fancy name for adaptive display refresh rate. The 13 Pro is capable of automatically adjusting the display refresh rate between 10Hz and 120Hz, based on the on-screen content requirement. Lastly, Apple has reduced the notch area on the top side of the screen by 20 per cent. The notch now seems smaller but it is still big enough to be seen as a distraction on the screen.

Moving to imaging, the iPhone 13 Pro has got a new set of three 12-megapixel sensors on the back. Though they seem lacking on paper in terms of megapixel count, their performance and output are top-notch. The primary wide-angle sensor is a stellar performer, irrespective of lighting conditions. The ultra-wide-angle sensor is as good and doubles up as a macro camera for close-up shots, thanks to the auto-focus system. The telephoto lens enables up to 3x optical zoom and is a solid performer – especially in daylight conditions. Overall, the iPhone 13 Pro’s camera system matches the best of cameras in other premium smartphones currently available in the market in terms of still photography.

As for videos, the iPhone 13 Pro easily outdoes the competition with its video recording capabilities. The smartphone can record 4K videos at 60 frames per second (fps) from all available camera sensors, including the front-facing one. At 30 fps, you can even switch between the wide, ultra-wide and telephoto sensors while recording the video. Besides, the iPhone 13 Pro can also record high dynamic range (HDR) videos in Dolby Vision. While many of these features have been carried over from the iPhone 12 Pro, what’s new in the iPhone 13 Pro is the ability to record videos in the ProRes format. Important to note that the ProRes video function will be available later this year. Apart from ProRes, Apple has added a new cinematic mode (1080p at 30fps) for videos with the iPhone 13 line. The cinematic mode applies a depth-of-field effect which keeps the focus point on the subject (human and pets) while creating a smooth blurred foreground and background. Interestingly, the focus point and level of background blur can also be changed and adjusted manually afterwards through the Photos app.

Rounding up the iPhone 13 Pro package is its stellar on-battery time. The smartphone easily sails through a day and more on regular usage. It hits an excellent nine hours of screen-on time even when used for power-intensive tasks, including gaming, video recording, music streaming, and video editing.

The display, camera, and battery-related upgrades alone make the iPhone 13 Pro a solid all-round smartphone. The cherry on the top is the iOS 15 (details), which brings several new features to make life easy amid the ongoing pandemic, and thereafter too.


Priced Rs 119,900 onwards, the iPhone 13 Pro is a solid all-round premium smartphone with something in store for everyone. Sure, it does not look any different from the iPhone 12 Pro, but do not let the looks deceive you. The iPhone 13 Pro is a meaningful upgrade with a bright and smooth display, stellar cameras with industry-first video-centric features, swift performance, and solid on-battery time. It is easy to recommend to existing iPhone users who might be planning an upgrade. For Android users, it may be a new experience worth a try.

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