Apple iPhone 13 Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Months of anticipation, rumors, and excitement are finally over: Apple unveiled a new iPhone 13 at its September 14 “California Streaming” event, which also saw the launch of two new iPads and the Apple Watch Series 7. If you’re thinking about getting your hands on a new iPhone, here’s everything you need to know.

The iPhone 13 Series

The iPhone 13 Series of phones features four devices. The iPhone 13 Mini is the smallest and most affordable model, reappearing in the lineup despite lackluster sales for the iPhone 12 Mini. The iPhone 13 Mini has many features in common with the basic iPhone 13.

Two premium models, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, offer better performance and larger storage options. All of the phones support 5G connectivity. Here’s a quick comparison:

iPhone 13 MiniiPhone 13iPhone 13 ProiPhone 13 Pro Max
Starting Price$699$799$999$1099
Storage128, 256, 512GB128, 256, 512GB128, 256, 512GB, 1TB128, 256, 512GB, 1TB
Screen size5.4-inch6.1-inch6.1-inch6.7-inch
Battery lifeUp to 17 hoursUp to 19 hoursUp to 22 hoursUp to 28 hours
ColorsPink, Blue, Red, Starlight, MidnightPink, Blue, Red, Starlight, MidnightGraphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra BlueGraphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue

iPhone 13 design

Three iphone 13s with screens on.

The iPhone 13 has an aluminum body with flattened edges, continuing a design trend reminiscent of the iPhone SE. The notch that houses the speaker, front-facing camera, and Face ID technology is narrower, giving you more screen real estate.

A look inside an iPhone 13.

Design improvements allow for a larger battery without compromising the phone’s slim build and light weight. All devices boast a longer battery life than previous generations, with the iPhone 13 Pro Max boasting 2.5 hours of extra battery life compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, for up to 28 hours between charges.

New iPhone 13 Colors: Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, & Product RED.

The iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 models will be available in five color options: The much-anticipated pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and red. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will be available in graphite, gold, silver, and a new light blue tone called “sierra blue.”

iPhone 13 display

iPhone 13 with maps app.

The iPhone 13 features a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone Mini has a 5.4-inch display, making it only slightly larger than the iPhone SE. These models use Super Retina XDR displays with a 60Hz refresh rate.

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max displays both include ProMotion for an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The iPhone 13 Pr0 Max has a roomy 6.7-inch display, while the iPhone 13 Pro is the same size as the iPhone 13 at 6.1 inches. All four models use Ceramic Shield front covers and have an IP68 rating for water resistance.

iPhone 13 cameras

iPhone 13 diagonal dual camera.

All the phones in the iPhone 13 series have 12MP front cameras. On the back, the iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 have diagonal dual-camera systems with wide and ultrawide cameras with 2x optical zoom. The wide-angle camera uses sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OIS) to increase light sensitivity and improve the quality of lowlight photos and videos.

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will feature new ultrawide, wide, and telephoto cameras, all three of which will include Night Mode. These cameras have 3x optical zoom. If you’re having trouble deciding between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro based on camera performance, we have a comprehensive overview of how the two models compare, down to the nitty-gritty aspects of their features.

iPhone 13 camera app text.

Apple’s new operating system, iOS 15, will introduce improvements to the Camera app and photography software, like Photographic Styles and a new Cinematic mode. Photographic Styles will allow you to personalize images with text and other effects in the Camera app. Cinematic mode will enable depth-of-field transitions, macro video, and time-lapse and Slo-mo videos.

iPhone 13 pricing, release date, carrier deals, and availability

The pricing of the iPhone 13 hasn’t increased from last year. The smallest and most affordable device, the iPhone 13 Mini, starts at $699, or 679 pounds in the U.K. The iPhone 13 starts at $799 in the U.S., and 779 pounds in the U.K.

If you’re willing to pay more for 1TB of storage, the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max costs $1,099. In the U.K., those devices are 949 pounds and 1,049 pounds respectively.

Carriers are also clamoring to get a new iPhone in people’s hands.

T-Mobile is trying to secure new 5G customers by offering $800 credit to people with eligible trade-ins, and the credit applies to future phones in perpetuity — that is, forever. Or in T-Mobile’s words: “Every two or more years, upgrade to the latest iPhone and get up to $800 off. And you can repeat that forever.”

AT&T doesn’t want to let its customers walk out the door. It’s offering new and existing customers the iPhone 13 Mini or iPhone 13 Pro for free with an unlimited plan. Either of the other devices will cost $99. For customers adding a new line, AT&T is also offering $200 off the purchase of Apple Watch Series 7 devices if they buy two.

Last, but not least, Verizon is offering $800 off the iPhone 13 lineup with trade-in on select unlimited plans to current and new customers. You can also get up to $500 off for switching carriers, up to a total of $1,300 off any of the new iPhone 13 models.

The new iPhones will be available for pre-order on Friday, September 17, and they’ll officially get into your hands on Friday, September 24.

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