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iPhone 13

iPhone 13

At its big September event Tuesday, Apple showed us how powerful chips boosted by software and hardware integration and bespoke machine intelligence can deliver real value to every user.

This year’s models are the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, but this article is just focused on the standard model and the mini. 

Highlights include a powerful new A15 Bionic chipset, some impressive-sounding camera upgrades, and improvements to the battery life and screen.

What Apple said

About the iPhone, Apple said:

“Our customers rely on iPhone every day, which is why we’ve made iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini more powerful, more capable, and more fun to use,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“Both phones have beautiful designs, industry-leading performance, and advanced camera systems with impressive computational photography features, all with incredible durability, water resistance, and a big jump in battery life to ensure customers can depend on their iPhone when they need it. All of this, tightly integrated with iOS 15 and with privacy built-in, make iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini an unbeatable choice.”

About the iPad mini, Apple said:

“With its ultra-portable design and wide range of uses from everyday tasks to creative and enterprise applications, there’s nothing else like iPad mini,” said Joswiak. “With a new all-screen Liquid Retina display, a massive boost in performance, new advanced cameras on the front and back, Center Stage, USB-C, 5G, and support for Apple Pencil, the new iPad mini is a huge leap forward that can be held in the palm of your hand.”

iPhone 13 design and display

The iPhone 13 features a flat-edge design and has the Ceramic Shield glass we saw on the iPhone 12 series. It’s also IP68 dust and water-resistant (to a depth of six meters for up to 30 minutes).

There are five new colors, which are Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and Product Red.

The design is largely similar to the iPhone 12 series, so if you own one of those phones you’ll likely know what you’re getting here. The notch is slightly smaller – Apple says it’s 20% smaller – so there’s a bit more space on the screen.

The iPhone 13 and 13 mini are slightly thicker than last year’s models though, at 7.65mm compared to 7.4mm for their predecessors.

As for the display, the iPhone 13 features a 6.1-inch 1170 x 2532 display while the iPhone 13 mini features a 5.4-inch 1080 x 2340 screen. They’re both Super Retina XDR displays, which use Apple’s own custom OLED technology.

Each phone still features a 60Hz screen refresh rate, which matches the rumors.

MagSafe also makes a return on all the iPhone 13 handsets, so you’ll be able to use any accessories you bought last year for your iPhone 12, while Apple has introduced some new accessories as well.

iPhone 13 camera

The iPhone 13’s camera block has a new design, with the lenses arranged diagonally for the first time, rather than vertically.

There’s a 12MP wide camera, and a 12MP ultra-wide shooter (with a 120-degree field of view). Both feature new sensors, and Apple says they can take better photos than the cameras on the iPhone 12. The wide camera has an aperture of f/1.6, and the ultra-wide camera has an f/2.4 aperture.

Performance in the dark should also be improved, with Apple claiming the main snapper can capture 47% more light than its predecessor, and that the ultra-wide can reveal more detail in dark areas.

The range also benefits from sensor-shift optical image stabilization, which should keep shots steadier.

All of the iPhone 13 models also include a new Photographic Styles camera feature that lets you selectively apply adjustments to add a custom look to your photos, and a Cinematic mode for videos, which lets you create depth effects and focus transitions.

The phones also all include a 12MP f/2.2 selfie camera on the front, like their predecessors.

It’s all about the processor

Apple’s A15 Bionic processor underpins the two main announcements most likely to interest enterprise users. The chip means Apple now sells the fastest smartphone that’s ever existed, and also means the iPad mini has more than enough oomph (and a 5G connection) to make it a shoo-in for almost any mobile enterprise. Want to check the manual when fixing a solar grid? This lightweight device has what you need.

iPad mini balancing
The iPad mini gets Apple’s A15 Bionic processor and 5G.

“The new iPad mini is a major upgrade and arguably more akin to Apple’s iPad Pro category given its design, support for the A15 Bionic chip and a USB-C connector,” CCS analyst Ben Wood said directly after the event. “The iPad mini represents a significant opportunity for the iPad brand to extend deeper into the numerous industry sectors that Apple is already supporting, such as aviation, healthcare, and retail.”

Recently leaked benchmarks had suggested the new chip would give iPhone 13 the power it needs to achieve 10-20% better performance than the iPhone 12 chip.

It turns out this was indeed the case, with Apple pumping up the chip with more cores.

You get nearly 15 billion transistors, a new six-core CPU with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. That makes the chip “up to 50% faster than the competition, the fastest in any smartphone, and handles demanding tasks smoothly and efficiently, while the new 4-core GPU is up to 30 percent faster than the competition and enables more lifelike visuals and lighting effects in graphics-intensive games,” the company said.

The new 16-core Neural Engine is capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second. That means faster machine learning, fast apps, and a plethora of machine vision enhancements, which empower the device with a camera that’s almost equal to high-end video capture devices.

This bodes really, really, well for the future of the Mac and the iPad Pro as well. The road to M-series chips with multiple cores can only end in the Mac Pro. Most enterprise users might want to think about that.

iPhone 13 miniiPhone 13
Screen size5.4-inch6.1-inch
Resolution2340 x 10802532 x 1170
Refresh rate60Hz60Hz
Camera12MP + 12MP12MP + 12MP
Selfie camera12MP12MP
BatteryNot confirmednot confirmed
Storage128GB / 256GB / 512GB128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Release dateSeptember 24September 24

OK, but what about the display?

Apple introduced the display everyone expected. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max introduce Super Retina XDR with ProMotion display, which supports an adaptive refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz. That means fast frame rates when required, better battery life when screen speed is not needed.

Offered in both 6.1-in. and 6.7-in. sizes, the new display leverages a more efficient OLED panel. Apple calls it the brightest display ever on an iPhone with up to 25% higher max outdoor brightness, at 1000 nits. In use, of course, this means better resolution, color, and contrast whatever you do with your device.

Pro Motion on the iPhone is dynamic and adjusts from 10Hz to 120Hz depending on the content it displays. That means you get fantastic visual performance when you need it but aren’t battering your battery life when you don’t.

The Super Retina XDR OLED displays on the iPhone 13 and 13 mini provide a 28% increase in max outdoor brightness at 800 nits, with higher peak brightness for HDR content like photos and videos at 1200 nits, all while being more power-efficient.

The cold truth is that while company critics will always claim Apple should have got these screens out years ago, doing so is, was, and will always be a supply chain issue.

Apple sells a lot of phones and needed a supplier (in this case, Samsung, I think) capable of manufacturing those displays in sufficient quantity and at a consistent quality for the tens of millions it intends to sell.

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About The Author

Akshay Chauhan

Developer of GOGO-Magazine | IBM☁️ | Website Designer | Oenophile | Shutterbug | Content Creator | Video Editor |

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