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iPhone 13 Review: The best of the bunch

At a starting price of Rs. 79,900, the iPhone 13 has a lot to offer. But should you buy one? Let's find out.

Devesh Arora Devesh Arora @aroradevesh
New Delhi Published on: October 14, 2021 13:24 IST
iphone 13

iPhone 13 looks quite premium in the Starlight colour variant.

Just like last year, Apple has launched four new iPhone models this year. While the iPhone 13 Pro series continue to serve the ‘Pro’ users, it is the 13 and 13 mini that grab the most attention. Even though they are similar in terms of design, cameras and specifications, they do target different sets of audiences. 

I have been using the iPhone 13 for more than 15 days now and I feel this is the iPhone that will manage to please every kind of buyer. Here’s why.

iPhone 13 Review: Design and Display

When you look at the iPhone 13 for the first time, you will see a lot of resemblance with its predecessor. The major change here is the diagonally placed dual cameras. While people have been trolling about the way the cameras are placed, little do they realise that it has been done for a reason. The new iPhone 13 sports bigger sensors that ultimately allows the smartphone to take much better photos when compared to the iPhone 12. We will be touching on the cameras a little later.

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iPhone 13 gets a brighter display.

Besides that, it is the notch that can help you differentiate between the two smartphones. The iPhone 13 now sports a smaller notch and it makes room for a little more screen real estate. 

Lastly, the iPhone 13 now comes in a new set of colour variants. I feel the most exciting colour this year is the Midnight colour, which looks like Black but it is a very dark shade of Blue. The Pink colour variant has also attracted many. However, the one we received is the Starlight white colour variant, which in my option looks the most premium out of the bunch. 

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We still have the much-loved alert slider.

In terms of the display, the iPhone 13 comes with an OLED Super Retina XDR screen that is brighter than the iPhone 12. The display looks quite crisp in all types of lighting conditions. It is worth noting that the iPhone 13 lacks the 120Hz ProMotion display as it has been reserved for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. If you are coming from an older iPhone, you will not notice it. However, if you are coming from an Android phone that had a 120Hz panel, you might notice a slight difference.

iPhone 13 Review: Performance

Every time you set up a new iPhone, it runs as smooth as you can expect. The app launch time is quick and the whole iOS interface feels snappy. This remains the case for two or even three years down the line, thanks to the optimisations made by Apple. The same is the case with iPhone 13. With iOS 15, the iPhone 13 feels snappy and is able to manage any task thrown at it.

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The speakers also sound better than the iPhone 12.

For the ones interested in the technicals, the iPhone 13 is powered by the new Apple A15 Bionic chip. It features a six-core CPU with two high-performance cores and four efficiency cores paired with a four-core GPU. Apple claims that the iPhone 13 will offer 50 percent faster CPU performance and 30 percent better GPU performance compared to the competition, which is totally believable. 

Besides using the iPhone 13 for scrolling through Twitter and browsing the web, I also used it to play some games. The smartphone was easily able to handle Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), Call of Duty Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Injustice: Gods Among Us. There was no lag or stutter even with gaming sessions lasting as long as two hours.

iPhone 13 Review: Battery life

Battery life is the segment where I have been impressed the most by the iPhone 13. The battery feels significantly better when compared to its predecessor. Apple claims that the iPhone 13 offers up to 2.5 hours of more battery life than the iPhone 12 and I can totally believe it. 

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iPhone 13 offers a better battery life.

On a full charge, I was able to get a screen-on-time (SoT) of 6 hours and 39 minutes. This was recorded when I still had around 19% battery left. Also, during the day I attended a Microsoft Teams meeting on the iPhone 13, played music for four hours over Bluetooth and even scrolled through Instagram all day. Besides that, I had the constant push of notifications coming from WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram and other apps. 

With that being said, I was truly impressed by the battery life I got on the iPhone 13.

iPhone 13 Review: Cameras

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The camera sensors are now larger than before.

On paper, the iPhone 13 uses the same 12MP dual-camera setup as seen on the iPhone 12. However, the sensor size is now bigger which helps the iPhone 13 gain an edge over its predecessors in terms of photography. With the main sensor now having an f/1.6 aperture, the lowlight performance of the cameras has drastically improved. Due to the sensor being larger, it is able to gather more light and information during both day and night time shots. 

As expected from an iPhone, the colours look natural and images have good detail in them. There is a great level of sharpness in the pictures and even the dynamic range is excellent. Apple has also added sensor-shift optical image stabilisation to the iPhone 13’s main camera, which was exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year. Basically, now the whole sensor moves in the opposite direction to tackle shake resulting in more stabilized shots. 

The portrait mode also feels much better on the iPhone 13 when compared to iPhone 12. Apple has also introduced a new Cinematic Mode with the iPhone 13, which gives a cinematic effect to the videos that you shoot. Even though it is not perfect, it does the job way better than any other smartphone.

iPhone 13 Review: Verdict

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The notch has is now smaller.

At first glance, iPhone 13 looks like a minor upgrade over the iPhone 12. However, it is only when you start using the device you realise that there is a lot more going on under the hood. With the battery life being much better and the new A15 Bionic chip giving you an edge over all the other smartphones, the iPhone 13 is definitely worth buying.

In case you are coming from an iPhone 11 or older model, you are going to notice a significant jump in terms of performance, battery life, display, cameras and more. Also, the iPhone 13 now starts with 128GB of onboard storage so the starting price of Rs. 79,900 is getting you more than before. 

In a nutshell, the iPhone 13 might not be the best buying decision for iPhone 12 users but anyone using anything older than that is going to love the whole new experience that the iPhone 13 will bring to the table. 

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