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An honest review of iPhone 13

Apple Event: 5 Minute Recap

Lauren Miller, Head of Mobile Sales, reviews the new additions to the Apple family: 


If you didn't have time to watch Apple's Keynote this month, here is the rundown on what happened and our advice on what to do about it.

iPhone 13:

In a nutshell, not for iPhone 12 users, but if you have an older model and use your phone a lot – go for it…

Pricing * (retail)
  • iPhone 13 Mini £679 - £979
  • iPhone 13 £779 - £1079
  • iPhone 13 Pro £949 - £1449
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max £1049 - £1549

Available 24 September.

Key things to note

Storage – up to 1TB and starts at 128GB
Design – very similar to iPhone 12. A wider range of colours
Screen – faster refresh rates available
Cameras – improved
Battery Life – improved
Performance – improved
Network – same (5G, but better antennas may make a difference)

Our View

If you have an iPhone 12, you really don't need to upgrade. Although there are improvements, it's a bit like making a Tesla go a little bit quicker to 60mph – it is probably quick enough already for today's use.

If you have an older model, it is probably time to consider a new phone – especially with IOS 15 just around the corner as the CPU performance in the Apple ecosystem is excellent.

If you get a new one, buy the most you can afford and probably the iPhone pro max. It may stop you from needing to get a tablet. You should be able to keep it for years and reduce the cost of replacing it every couple of years.

As for storage? Always bump up by one from the minimum amount. Yes, you keep lots of things in the cloud these days, but if you want to load up your iPhone or iPad with music, or films or photos, you want to have enough storage. But don't get carried away as extra storage is expensive.

As for 5G? The speed increase is imperceptible, and the iPhone with 5G defaults to 4G. At some point, you'll get a 5G phone, but you don't need to rush to do so today.

iPad Basic:

In a nutshell, very similar to the old one. If you need an iPad, get a Pro. It is more expensive, but the M1 chip will keep it flying for years, so don't get this unless you are really on a budget or for the kids.

Pricing (retail):

£319 - £579

Available 24 September.

Key things to note

Storage – up to 256GB and starts at 64GB
Design – very similar to old iPad – including Touch ID. Silver and Grey only.
Screen – introduction of Apple's TrueTone tech, so the on-screen image will be adjusted to suit the ambient lighting; when you're outdoors, for example, the screen will become brighter, and the colours will be tweaked. Supports Apple Pencil 1.
Cameras – front-facing improved, rear the same and gets the Center Stage feature found on the iPad Pro (2021)
Battery Life – Unclear if improved
Performance – improved by 20% A13 (same as iPhone 11)
Network – Wifi and 4g (no 5g)

Our View

The basic iPad, at £319, is a vast improvement. However, don't forget you're getting the A13 Bionic chip when state of the art is the A15. In other words, you're already two generations behind, which means you'll have to replace it sooner.

iPad Mini:

In a nutshell, overpriced unless you really need a small device with a pencil. If you don't, get a pro max.

Pricing (retail):

£479 - £759

Available 24 September.

Key things to note

Storage – up to 256GB and starts at 64GB
Design – Slightly larger than the series 5. Touch ID on the Lock Button. USB C for charging etc.
Screen – Liquid Retina 8.3-inch display. Supports apple pencil 2
Cameras – upgraded to 12MP and f/1.8, and it can record video in 4K, while the front-facing camera has been upgraded to a 12MP ultra-wide with a 122-degree field of view and gets the Center Stage feature found on the iPad Pro (2021)
Battery Life – Unclear if improved
Performance – an A15 Bionic chipset, a 40% CPU and 80% GPU upgrade,
Network – Wifi and 5g

Our View

A significant upgrade on previous versions, but you need to think about how this model fits your requirements. This is for you if you want both a small(ish) phone (iPhone 13 or 13 Mini) with a very portable tablet, especially if you want to use a pencil as an input. For anyone who doesn't want to trade size for performance, the 11-inch iPad pro is probably a better bet as an extra £130 gets you double the storage and an M1 processor.


Apple Watch 7:

In a nutshell, different enough if you like to stand out a bit, but only for those who don't have a 6.

Pricing (retail):

starts at £399

Available later this autumn.

Key things to note (vs series 6)

Storage – up to 1TB and starts at 128GB
Design – rounded edges but with thinner bezels for 20% more screen area than the Apple Watch 6 – and new sizes of 41mm and 45mm.
Screen – 70% brighter Always-On display while indoors, IP6X dust resistance
Battery Life – The battery is the same (18 hours expected), but recharges 33% faster.
Performance – Same
Network – same

Our View

If you have never tried an apple watch, maybe now is time to get one. The health applications are the biggest bonus for me, and Apple really owns this market.

If you are running series 5 or earlier, I would look and see if there is enough here to tempt you. If you already have a 6 – there is no massive reason to upgrade unless you like having the latest everything.

As yet, the release date is unclear as supply issues seem to have delayed things a bit.

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