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iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Compare all four models here

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

The long-awaited announcement of the iPhone 13 has finally happened, with the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max available to pre-order from Friday and set to be released on 24 September. Yesterday's Apple event saw the company announce a whole new roster of features for the iPhone 13 family, including the new Cinematic Mode and some fresh updates to the rear camera modules. 

To help you decide which one will be right for you, we've rounded up each new iPhone 13 model below, from the pocket rocket iPhone 13 Mini, to the powerhouse iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

• Read more: Best iPhone for photography

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Build and design

The iPhone 13 comes in five colors, including Product Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue and Pink. The base iPhone 13 features a 6.1" OLED Super Retina XDR display with rounded corners and a curved design. It weighs 173 grams (6.10 ounces) and has a depth of 7.65mm. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 Mini features a 5.4" OLED Super Retina XDR display and weighs 140 grams.

Both models also include True Tone, Haptic Touch, a HDR display and is capable of up to 1200 nits maximum brightness. Just as the iPhone 12 before it, all of the iPhone 13 models are rated IP68 for splash, water and dust resistance. 

Under the hood is where the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Mini really get exciting. They both feature the brand new A15 Bionic chip, which has a new six-core CPU with two performance and four efficiency cores. It also has a new four-core GPU, which enables 30% faster graphics than "the leading competition". Meanwhile, the new 16-core Neural Engine is capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second. This will enable faster machine learning, giving the iPhone 13 improved Siri and Live Text in Camera performance. 

Camera

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini both feature a similar dual 12MP camera system with a wide and ultra wide camera as the iPhone 12, so there are no major updates for the base iPhone 13 models. However, it's worth noting that the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini's main wide camera sensor have been upgraded, inheriting the iPhone 12 Pro Max's larger 1.7-micron pixel sensor.

There are a few other incremental changes that users will be able to enjoy. This includes the addition of sensor-shift optical image stabilization (a feature that was previously available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max) to the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini's wide angle camera. This technology, as suggested by the name, shifts the sensor to counteract the effects of camera shake and provide smoother footage and sharper photos. 

All iPhone 13 models models will also have the new Photographic Styles feature, which will essentially enable users to customize their images from the point of capture with a set of filter-like styles. We also saw the introduction of the new Cinematic Mode yesterday – and you can read our full explainer to this video capture mode here.

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

(Image credit: Apple)

Build and design

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models come in four shades, including Graphite, Gold, Silver and the brand new Sierra Blue. Both handsets feature a Ceramic Shield front and a textured matte glass back and stainless steel design. The iPhone 13 Pro features a 6.1" OLED Super Retina XDR display, weighing 203 grams and with a depth of 7.65mm. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a larger 6.7" OLED Super Retina XDR display and weighs 238 grams. 

Both models now include ProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates of up to 120Hz. This means that if you're playing a graphics–intensive game, then the refresh rate will be higher to ensure a buttery-smooth experience. However, if you're simply scrolling through your phone, then the iPhone 13 Pro models will automatically reduce the refresh rate to help save battery life. 

Both iPhone 13 Pro models also feature the same A15 Bionic chip that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini use as well. 

Camera

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max both feature significant camera upgrades, with all–new Wide, Ultra Wide and Telephoto cameras. While the Pro models feature the same Photographic Styles and Cinematic Mode upgrades as the base iPhone 13 models, there are also some interesting physical changes as well.

The brand new Wide angle camera features up to 2.2x improved low light performance thanks to the new larger sensor that has a 1.9–micron pixel sensor, which is the largest ever on an iPhone. This enables less noise and faster shutter speeds in darker lighting conditions. Combined with the new wider f/1.5 aperture, it looks like we'll see a significant improvement in low light shooting. 

Meanwhile the new Ultra Wide camera features a much wider f/1.8 aperture and a new autofocus system. According to Apple, this brings an incredible 92% improvement in low light environments. Excitingly, the Ultra Wide camera is now capable of macro photography for the first time ever on an iPhone (see an example of the iPhone 13 Pro models' macro capabilities below). 

(Image credit: Apple)

The final physical upgrade concerns the new 77mm Telephoto camera, which offers 3x optical zoom. This is definitely a welcome upgrade from the iPhone 12 Pro's 2x optical zoom – although it still doesn't quite compete with the 10x optical zoom on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra!

Other camera upgrades include Night Mode now being available on all cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro models, including the Telephoto camera. We'll also be seeing Apple ProRes support coming to the iPhone 13 Pro models – but this won't be until later this year. 

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models haven't been the biggest upgrade from the iPhone 12 series, but we still saw some interesting updates. If you're wondering which iPhone 13 model you should choose, the biggest differences really come down to the 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and the upgraded cameras on the Pro models. 

If you're not a super keen smartphone snapper (the iPhone 13 models still feature a fantastic camera array – you'll just miss out on the upgraded sensors and the macro and telephoto capabilities) and you don't often play games or watch movies on your handset, then you might feel that the base iPhone 13 models might suit you better. Plus, if you prefer a phone that fits nicely in your pocket, the deceivingly diminutive iPhone 13 Mini could be the one for you. 

The iPhone 13 Mini will start from $699 and the iPhone 13 will start from $799, with the base models featuring 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 Pro will start at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will start at $1,099 with storage options including 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and a brand new 1TB option.

You'll be able to pre-order all four iPhone 13 models this Friday, available from 24 September.

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.