Every year, we hear Tim and his band of merry engineers assert that this is: "Apple's best phone ever," with "superior [add high-tech spec here]." And, while it might well be true, these new designs and features sound incredibly familiar, which is why for many, choosing to upgrade is a well-thought-out decision.
The temptation to grab the newest iPhone is there. But so is the hesitation.
If you're considering upgrading to the iPhone 13, but haven't entirely made up your mind yet, let me guide you through some areas that can make your decision easier.
Who Should Upgrade to the iPhone 13?
1. If you're a videographer or photographer that needs a better camera
What impresses me the most about the iPhone 13 is the Cinematic mode. Focus switches automatically between people, pets, and objects while you record. The clip demoing the new feature looks like it's from an actual film shoot. What's more incredible is that you can change focus after capture. Coupled with the Photos app and iMovie for iOS, the new iPhone 13 lineup is the only series of phones able to edit depth-of-field in a video even after recording.
Cinematic mode is made possible thanks to "the most advanced cameras ever on iPhone" and the A15 Bionic chip. Whether it's a dual or triple-camera system, the sensors and aperture are larger, allowing you to take photos with more detail, even in the dark. There are also other new camera features such as Photographic Styles, and ProRes, indispensable features for photographers and videographers alike.
In a nutshell, taking smooth and incredible photos or videos with the new iPhone is now more manageable. So, if you're using a phone to produce TikTok or Instagram content or shooting educational video courses, the iPhone 13 Pro is worth the upgrade.
2. If you want a longer battery life
The extended battery life was one of the most talked-about rumors circulating the iPhone 13. Luckily, that leak was correct; the iPhone 13 lineup features bigger batteries and a faster chip, offering longer battery life. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max last nearly 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Max, respectively. At the same time, the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro will benefit from an additional 1.5 hours compared to their predecessors.
If the iPhone 12 battery size was an issue for you, the iPhone 13 might ease your low battery anxiety. However, if battery life is your only headache, you might choose a MagSafe battery pack as the more economical option.
If you have an older iPhone experiencing battery issues, you can also consider replacing the battery. This is free if your iPhone is still under warranty, but paying for a new battery is undoubtedly cheaper than a new phone.
3. If you are a gamer or binge-watcher
The long-awaited 120Hz display for iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max is great news for those who interact with the phone screen a lot.
A 120Hz display refreshes itself up to 120 times a second, twice as fast as a 60Hz screen of previous iPhones. When the screen refreshes more frequently, it produces smoother motion and transitions, so there's a noticeable difference in gestures and animations. Gameplay and web page browsing are much faster and more responsive.
While a panel with a higher refresh rate sounds great, I was concerned that it would drain the battery faster. Fortunately, the feature is adaptive, so it's not active when you're not using it. For example, when you're reading something on the screen and not scrolling.
Reasons to Hold On to That Old iPhone:
1. 5G is not a big deal yet
The faster 5G networks work on millimeter waves and aren't widely used because they're susceptible to obstacles. The available 5G networks tend to be slower and only slightly better than 4G LTE.
So far, only the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineup support 5G. And, while the world is moving steadily towards 5G, it's not part of our everyday life yet. If you're thinking about buying an iPhone 13 just because your iPhone 11 Pro lacks 5G support, hold your horses for now.
2. Your old iPhone still works fine
Apple creates smartphones that have a solid shelf life. One of my colleagues is still using an iPhone 7. He changed out the charging port, but other than that, it works fine. I asked him if he was thinking of upgrading to the iPhone 13? He shook his head, "Maybe next year."
His smartphone has the basics like social media, chatting, and emails. While he's happy to get some new features from time to time, he doesn't feel the need for much more.
3. The iPhone 13 looks familiar
If you have an iPhone 12, you know exactly what I am saying. The new iPhone has some minor design refinements, such as a smaller notch, but not in a way that makes you go 'wow.'
On a side note, iPhone 13 has much larger camera lenses, which might turn some people off. I was hesitant to include this as design refinement, although when you consider the camera specs of the iPhone 13 series, this is probably to be expected.
If you are looking for a better-looking device than the iPhone 12, think twice. If you're still holding on to your iPhone 7 but find the new iPhone attractive, you'll need to get used to the lack of Home button and Touch ID.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the iPhone 13 is entirely subjective. It's not just about how it looks, but also about personal budget and needs. Whether you purchase an iPhone 13 Pro Max for its larger screen and impressive camera or the iPhone 13 mini in Pink, because you have small hands and you love pink (yes, that's me), that's the right choice for you.
Hopefully, the suggestions above make that decision easier for you. If you decide to come on board, don't forget to pick a slim, protective, and stylish case for your iPhone 13 Series.