If you are one of those folks that thinks all iPhones are the same, I don’t blame you. At a glance, they almost all look the same.
They run the same iOS (so the apps are the same), have the same features (at least the ones you care about), and the differences can be difficult to understand (because everything is marketed as great and the best).
When Apple released four new iPhones in the iPhone 13 series, things got even murkier.
Put them side by side and all you can see is a difference in size and the number of cameras.
Let’s instead look at who the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max is for and compare them to each other to see how each one is unique.
The iPhone 13 mini & The iPhone 13
The iPhone 13 mini is for people who don’t need a display that is at least half a foot across. If you are someone who considers a smartphone as a tool that works for you and not the other way around, the iPhone 13 mini could be perfect for you.
The 13 mini is just as capable as the iPhone 13 but its 5.42in display is easier to navigate with a single hand.
Its smaller screen encourages quick engagements and is most at home in the pocket.
It could still be used to aimlessly scroll or watch videos on, but if that is what you want to do, you would probably be happier with the 6.06in screen on the iPhone 13.
The iPhone 13 mini is best for those those love phones that are lighter and has smaller screens without sacrificing performance. For example: the young, the elderly, and those who like efficiency in their devices.
The iPhone 13 & The iPhone 13 Pro
I know this is tough to admit but you do not need an iPhone 13 Pro if you are not a creative professional, a hardcore mobile gamer or someone who is particular about the frame rate of your videos.
The iPhone 13 is the perfect fit for most people. Its display is the exact same size as the 13 Pro, they have the same A15 Bionic chip (processor), the cameras on the 13 are just as capable, and it comes in way more colours.
Its Super Retina XDR display is more than good enough to render your photos in full detail and accurate colours.
No, you won’t miss the telephoto lens (just walk closer to your subject), and if you don’t know what LiDAR is, you probably don’t need it either.
On top of it all, a 13 with the same storage is RM1000 cheaper than a 13 Pro.
That said, if you are willing to shell out the money, don’t let me stop you from getting a 13 Pro or the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The iPhone 13 is best for most people. It has the best balance of features that is a match for most people. Example: Urbanites, social media butterfly, amateur mobile photographer, amateur mobile videographer, and probably you too!
The iPhone 13 Pro & The iPhone 13 Pro Max
So what makes the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, ‘Oh. So. Pro’? It’s little things, but once you put them all together, it is quite impressive.
For starters, the Pro has a telephoto lens that gives it 3x optical zoom(up from 2.5), the LiDAR scanner gives it AR and extra camera features especially in low light, and one extra GPU makes the 13 Pro lineup better at rendering graphics for editing and games.
There’s also ProMotion — a high adaptive refresh rate — which is excellent for videos (recorded or streaming), and games.
AppleProRAW which is a professional level photo format, and ProRes video (coming soon) which is a professional level video format are great if they fit in your workflow.
If a majority of what you do with your media is to post it online directly, you’ll be happy with the iPhone 13 or the iPhone 13 mini.
Even for most professionals, the 13 Pro is more than good enough. However, if you need a bigger display your only option in the series is the 6,7in display on the 13 Pro Max.
The iPhone 13 Pro is best for those who are particular about their screen refresh rate, camera features, and want those pro features. Example: Professional content creator, photographers, and gamers.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is best for those who want the iPhone with the biggest display. Other than that, it is identical to the 13 Pro. Example: videographers, creative professionals who work mainly on their device, those who love to use their iPhone as a content consumption device (watching shows)
The iPhone 13 Series & Previous Series iPhones
Don’t be ashamed about picking up an iPhone of a previous generation. You are going to be missing out on some features, but that is alright– as long as it fits your budget.
An iPhone 12 has a better display and durability compared to iPhone 11. It also has 5G. But the iPhone 13 (all the iPhones in the series) has cinematic mode — a background blur mode for videos that you can adjust later.
With each subsequent generation of the iPhone, the performance, features, and camera improve as well.
Recently the folks at DxOMark — the people who grade cameras — gave the iPhone 13 mini a higher score than the 12 Pro Max.
But most of the software features on the various iPhones will be the same across the board because all iPhones that are worth getting right now are compatible with the iOS15.
That said, upgrading to an iPhone 13 from an iPhone X or earlier is a huge leap.
Those who are using the iPhone 11 might still want to upgrade to the iPhone 13 for its durability, 5G, capabilities, and slimmer design.
If you are using an iPhone 6, 7, 8, or 10, it is time to upgrade. If the barrier to get the iPhone 13 is too high, consider the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 11.