Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 series at its September launch event, and we now know the specifications, pricing, and availability of the next-gen iPhones. Today, we will be comparing the iPhone 13 Pro against the Pro models of last year’s iPhone 12 lineup. If you currently own an iPhone 12 Pro, we have also discussed if an upgrade to iPhone 13 Pro lineup is worth it or not. So without any further ado, read our iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro comparison on the basis of display, performance, cameras, and more.
iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: In-Depth Comparison (2021)
Design and Display
If you couldn’t visually differentiate new iPhones due to the similar notch design so far, this year’s iPhone changes that. While the iPhone 13 Pro models do not feature punch hole camera cutouts that are rumored to arrive with iPhone 14, you get a smaller notch. According to Apple, the notch on iPhone 13 models is 20 percent smaller than their predecessors. You still get Ceramic Shield protection at the front and a surgical-grade stainless steel frame.
Before we get to the display, it’s worth mentioning that the new iPhone 13 Pro models are slightly heavier than last year’s iPhone 12 Pro models. Compared to the 6.66 ounces (189 grams) weight of the iPhone 12 Pro and 8.03 ounces (228 grams) for the 12 Pro Max, the new iPhone 13 Pro weighs 7.19 ounces (204 grams) and 13 Pro Max weighs 8.46 ounces (240 grams). You are likely to notice the weight difference in the iPhone 13 Pro Max model.
The display size of the new iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max remains unchanged. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch display sizes, respectively. However, what’s different here is the presence of ProMotion technology, Apple’s term for adaptive refresh rate. The Super Retina XDR display on iPhone 13 Pro lineup offers up to 120Hz refresh rate. With these new iPhones, Apple has officially entered the league of smartphones with high refresh rate displays. It’s also worth mentioning that the Pro lineup offers 1200 nits of peak brightness, up from the 800 nits on the iPhone 12 Pro series.
iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: Performance
As is the case with every new generation of iPhones, Apple has used an upgraded chipset on the iPhone 13 Pro lineup. The new A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max offers a hexa-core CPU with 2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. That’s coupled with a 5-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine. To put that in perspective, the iPhone 12 Pro series packs the A14 Bionic chip with a hexa-core CPU with 2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, quad-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine.
A15 Bionic features 15 billion transistors, as opposed to 11.8 billion on the A14 Bionic. A15 Bionic uses the 5nm fabrication process like the A14 Bionic, but will utilize TSMC’s improved N5P node. While Apple doesn’t directly compare A15 Bionic to A14 Bionic, the company says the chipset is up to 50 percent faster than the competition. And oh, both the iPhone 13 Pro and 12 Pro support 5G connectivity.
In terms of optics, iPhone 13 Pro uses a 12MP triple camera system with an f/1.5 wide-angle camera, an f/2.8 telephoto lens, and an ultra-wide lens with an f/1.8 aperture. That’s an improvement over the f/1.6 wide, f/2.8 telephoto, and f/2.4 ultra-wide sensors in the 12 Pro. Apple says the larger aperture will help the iPhone 13 Pro models shoot better images in low-light conditions.
The optical zoom range in the iPhone 13 Pro series is 6x — 3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, and up to 15x digital zoom. To recall, iPhone 12 Pro offers a 4x optical zoom range (2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out) and up to 10x digital zoom. Last year’s 12 Pro Max is capable of 5x optical zoom range (2.5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out) and up to 12x digital zoom. You also get sensor-shift optical image stabilization across iPhone 13 Pro series, unlike the iPhone 12 Pro series where it was limited to the Pro Max model.
The f/1.8 aperture ultra-wide lens in the iPhone 13 Pro lineup offers autofocus, which should come in handy for macro photography (up to 2cm from the subject). Other new camera features in the iPhone 13 Pro includes Photographic Styles, Night mode in telephoto lens, Night mode portraits, Cinematic mode, and ProRes videos.
The Cinematic mode records in Dolby Vision HDR and allows you to seamlessly switch the focus between different subjects when recording a video. The feature is currently capped to 1080p at 30fps and will work on people, pets, and objects. You also have the option to change the subject focus and adjust the bokeh level from the Photos app and iMovie for iOS.
The support for ProRes codec, on the other hand, is coming to iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max in a future iOS 15 update. It supports up to 4K at 30 fps. However, do keep in mind that you will be limited to 1080p at 30fps in the base 128GB storage variant.
Apple promises up to 22 hours of video playback (up to 20 hours of streaming) and up to 75 hours of audio playback on the iPhone 13 Pro. That’s noticeably better than the promised 17 hours of video playback (up to 11 hours of streaming) and up to 65 hours of audio playback on the 12 Pro.
As far as Pro Max models are concerned, the promised times are up to 28 hours, 25 hours, and 95 hours for the 13 Pro Max, and 20 hours, 12 hours, and 80 hours for 12 Pro Max when it comes to video playback, streaming, and audio playback respectively. On stage at the event, Apple claimed that iPhone 13 Pro offers 1.5 hours of extra battery backup over the iPhone 12 Pro. The 13 Pro Max, on the other hand, offers 2.5 hours more battery life than its predecessor, which is amazing!
Having said all that, the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 and Pro Max is available at a starting price of $1099. Check out the exact prices below:
- 128 GB iPhone 13 Pro – $999 (Rs. 1,19,900 in India)
- 256 GB iPhone 13 Pro – $1,099 (Rs. 1,29,900 in India)
- 512 GB iPhone 13 Pro – $1,299 (Rs. 1,49,900 in India)
- 1 TB iPhone 13 Pro – $1,499 (Rs. 1,69,900 in India)
- 128 GB iPhone 13 Pro Max – $1,099 (Rs. 1,29,900 in India)
- 256 GB iPhone 13 Pro Max – $1,199(Rs. 1,39,900 in India)
- 512 GB iPhone 13 Pro Max – $1,399 (Rs. 1,59,900 in India)
- 1 TB iPhone 13 Pro Max– $1,599 (Rs. 1,79,900 in India)
As you can see here, the iPhone 13 Pro is priced similar to last year’s 12 Pro lineup. That’s because Apple has officially discontinued the 12 Pro series with the launch of the iPhone 13 Pro series. However, you will likely be able to purchase the 12 Pro series at a discounted price from authorized resellers until stocks last.
iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: Specifications Comparison
|Specs||iPhone 12 Pro||iPhone 13 Pro||iPhone 12 Pro Max||iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Dimensions||5.78 inches (146.7 mm) x 2.82 inches (71.5 mm) x 0.29 inch (7.4 mm)||5.78 inches (146.7 mm) x 2.82 inches (71.5 mm) x 0.30 inch (7.65 mm)||6.33 inches (160.8 mm) x 3.07 inches (78.1 mm) x 0.29 inch (7.4 mm)||6.33 inches (160.8 mm) x 3.07 inches (78.1 mm) x 0.30 inch (7.65 mm)|
|Weight||6.66 ounces (189 grams)||7.19 ounces (204 grams)||8.03 ounces (228 grams)||8.46 ounces (240 grams)|
|Display||6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display||6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with up to 120Hz ProMotion||6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display||6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with up to 120Hz ProMotion|
|Processor||A14 Bionic (6-core 5nm CPU)||A15 Bionic (6-core 5nm CPU)||A14 Bionic (6-core 5nm CPU)||A15 Bionic (6-core 5nm CPU)|
|GPU||4-core GPU||5-core GPU||4-core GPU||5-core GPU|
|Internal Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Rear Cameras||12MP f/2.0 telephoto + 12MP f/1.6 wide + 12MP f/2.4 ultra wide||12MP f/2.8 telephoto + 12MP f/1.5 wide + 12MP f/1.8 ultra wide||12MP f/2.2 telephoto + 12MP f/1.6 wide + 12MP f/2.4 ultra wide||12MP f/2.8 telephoto + 12MP f/1.5 wide + 12MP f/1.8 ultra wide|
|Front Camera||12MP f/2.2||12MP f/2.2 with Photographic Styles, Cinematic mode, ProRes video||12MP f/2.2||12MP f/2.2 with Photographic Styles, Cinematic mode, ProRes video|
|Colors||Pacific Blue, Silver, Gold, and Graphite||Sierra Blue, Silver, Gold, and Graphite||Pacific Blue, Silver, Gold, and Graphite||Sierra Blue, Silver, Gold, and Graphite|
|Operating System||iOS 14 (upgradable to iOS 15)||iOS 15||iOS 14 (upgradable to iOS 15)||iOS 15|
Choose the Right iPhone 13 Pro Model For You!
It’s evident that this year’s iPhone 13 Pro series focuses on bringing incremental upgrades vs last year’s iPhone 12 Pro lineup rather than flashy new features. However, Apple playing it safe also means that there’s not a lot of reasons to upgrade to the newest iPhone. Sure, the ProMotion display is tempting, but iOS already offers a smooth experience with fluid animations, even on 60Hz displays.
Unless you truly value the new camera features, you are better off with your current iPhone 12 Pro. Moreover, if you are planning to buy a new iPhone, you are likely to find enticing discounts on the iPhone 12 Pro lineup right now. It offers a better overall value for the money compared to the new iPhone 13 Pro lineup. Are you planning to upgrade just for the faster refresh rate, camera improvements, and slightly better battery? Let us know in the comments section below.