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iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Honestly, which model to choose?

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Honestly, which model to choose?

Another test report for the iPhone 13 (Pro)? No, in the following lines I would like to share my subjective experiences with you alone and at the end answer the question: iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro? Which current Apple cell phone is the better upgrade for me and perhaps also for one or the other interested party?

In the past few weeks, an iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 have accompanied me in everyday life. My goal was not an imposed test report, but an experience report aimed at me. So if you miss topics, you shouldn't be surprised. They probably didn't play a big role for me, I'm less into gimmicks - sorry.

iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 13: Which model will win?

It was already clear to me in advance that after my iPhone 7 was dismantling itself more and more into its individual parts after a last, violent fall, I would probably treat myself to a new Apple cell phone at the end of my test weeks. From the outset, however, two model variants of the iPhone 13 are ruled out. That would be:

iPhone 13 mini: Too small and too bad for my eyes. Actually, I've always been a fan of small cell phones, but as previously documented, the small screen (5.4 inches) causes problems for me in connection with the easy onset of presbyopia and my nearsightedness (glasses). iPhone 13 Pro Max: Actually optimal in terms of screen size, but unfortunately not in terms of weight and dimensions. Somehow it should still fit halfway in your pocket.

In short: The 6.1-inch screen of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro seems to me the best compromise. In the basic configuration, the two separate 250 euros and what else? What empirical values ​​could I collect?

Apple's number 13: the pluses and minuses of the Pro version

I start with the iPhone 13 Pro. Of course, if you have already received both models from Apple for the test period, you first resort to the expensive Pro model. I noticed positively:

The camera, with slight drawbacks, is undoubtedly the best camera from Apple in an iPhone to date. The telephoto lens, which is only available in the Pro, is a real plus, as you will see in the following example photos. Especially in the interaction with the AI ​​(Artificial Intelligence), the iPhone gets a lot out, more than the optics would allow. But there are also noteworthy references on my part.

The macro function actually focuses razor-sharp from 2 centimeters, but the scenery should then be reasonably well illuminated. In the twilight it is more likely to come out of mud - light becomes a duty! Speaking of which: when it gets dark, the iPhone can get a lot out of it in normal operation, but in spite of the optical image stabilization of the camera, additional external stabilization (tripod, gimbal) doesn't do any harm. Because even if the camera is impressive, it still cannot do magic and overturn the laws of nature.

I say this very consciously. Because quite a few inexperienced users might otherwise expect too much from Apple. In the end it is still the photographer who takes the pictures, even if more and more people are helping out. One more word about cinema mode , Apple's interpretation of the portrait function for video recordings. It looks good at first glance, but for me personally just a nice toy and not a must. I'm currently not doing post-processing or cutting films anyway - nice to have, nothing more.

A completely different caliber is the battery life. I have not measured with the stopwatch now, but before that I had to "refuel" every day. The iPhone 13 Pro, on the other hand, can do without a power supply for two to three days - with moderate use. This is progress that cannot be seen directly, but is felt all the more - wonderful.

On the other hand, you can clearly see the OLED screen. For those who, like me, were used to the "LCD funzel" of the iPhone 7, this is a revelation. But how much do you notice the maximum refresh rate of up to 120 Hz? Since I'm not necessarily the big player on the iPhone now, the feature is useful for "scrolling orgies" in Safari. In this case, you actually only notice it when you compare it with the iPhone 13, which has to be content with 60 Hz.

Worlds are not in between, because the screen of the small sister model is bright and clear, the slight motion blur can only be seen if you look at it like me and become aware of it. Android phones benefit more clearly from the 120 Hz display, while the iPhone is a nice extra. A gimmick that can also save electricity, because if necessary and possible, images are updated more slowly - so energy is not wasted unnecessarily.

I was also impressed by the sheer speed of the iPhone 13 Pro , which you can feel in a direct comparison with my old iPhone 7 even with simple things like building a website - there are actually several years in between.

And what bothered me about the iPhone 13 Pro? Actually, almost nothing ... at least nothing that has to do directly with the model itself, rather with the peculiarities of the Apple phones as we have known them since the iPhone X. So I had to get used to the notch first, not because of the display notch itself, but because of the lack of information in the menu bar. For example, I have to use the control center or a widget for the battery level in percent and I can no longer tell whether an alarm is active, the alarm clock symbol is missing.

And yes, I miss Touch ID. In times when masks are part of everyday life and cancel out facial recognition, a fallback technology like the fingerprint sensor would be a good thing. Unfortunately, Apple sees this a little differently with the iPhone 13.

All models of the iPhone 13 from us at a glance:

iPhone 13: How does the standard variant fare?

So far and so well does the iPhone 13 Pro in everyday life. But what do I do now with the normal iPhone 13? I also used the cheaper sister model, after all, I'm interested in the direct comparison of the siblings.

The form factor is almost identical to the Pro, apart from the fact that the case surfaces of the 13 series are shiny and the side edges are matt, with the Pro model it is exactly the other way around. But I feel something immediately: the iPhone 13 is much lighter, the iPhone 13 Pro, on the other hand, looks more massive. A look at the data sheet confirms my assumption: 173 grams vs. 203 grams. The 30 grams difference does not sound like much, but it feels much like more.

I have to do without the macro function and telephoto lens. But I really miss it in normal everyday life, when I'm not testing smartphones, rather less. Tip: At least the macro function can be imitated with tricks - see for example the "Halide" app. From then on the camera is identical and takes almost the same good photos as "2. Class "doesn't feel like this.

The Pro has a small lead in terms of battery consumption, but this is not particularly noticeable in practice. Both smartphones are great in this respect and can hold their own against the competition.

My personal conclusion: Reason wins

Back to the original question: iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro? For me personally, the decision has now been made: I will choose the standard version. Why? The lower price and the lighter case speak for the device. In return, I can do without the telephoto lens and the macro function. It is the sensible choice. Specifically, it is like this: What I like about the iPhone 13 Pro, I also find the iPhone 13. The rest are accessories and not decisive for me when buying.

Not that we get ourselves wrong. The iPhone 13 Pro is justified. But ultimately very few of the buyers really "need" it. I would like to agree with the assessment of my dear colleague Stefan Bubeck from 2019. Even back then, when he tested the iPhone 11 Pro, he summed up: "You don't need it. I do not need it. Nobody needs it. But we all know: "Need" and "will" are two different things - because you have to have a little differentiate, right? "Well," will "I now under control, with me prevailed reason and that? iPhone 13.

Based on my personal experience, I have actually bought the iPhone 13 in the meantime. In the version with 256 GB memory, color variant "Polarstern" - optically very classic and yet with a certain pinch of extravagance. The aluminum frame doesn't just look silver, with a touch of bronze it becomes almost a little "golden" in the end. This brings back memories of my iPhone 5, which was with me for many years before the iPhone 7. Its DNA is unmistakably anchored in the iPhone 13.

Note: I received an iPhone 13 Pro and an iPhone 13 from Apple for the corresponding period of time for the experience report.


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