IPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Reviews: Major Battery Life Improvements Steal the Show


Before the first orders arrived to customers on Friday, the first tests of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro have arrived. These embargoed press reviews offer our first look at the iPhone 13 in the wild, including new camera hardware, new colors, design tweaks, and more.

Head down below as we put together some of the notable information from the early iPhone 13 reviews …

iPhone 13

Write for the Edge, Dieter Bohn says the real star of the iPhone 13 is its longest battery life:

On one day of my testing, the standard iPhone 13 ran from 7 a.m. to midnight before collapsing. It was with some camera tests, watching videos, the usual doomscrolling, emails, work, and a few games. It was intense work for the five hours of screen that day, so it’s impressive. Another day with lighter use, I didn’t see the battery warning until the next morning. But the iPhone 13’s battery isn’t magic. When we had a day of much more 4K video testing, I was looking for a charger by 7 or 8.

CNET has some details on how Cinematic Mode works on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini:

The results are good, and I imagine that after you have used it enough you will have your own idea of ​​what is possible. But there are a few limits to be aware of. First, you can’t use Cinematic mode when it’s dark. You will be greeted with a message inviting you to turn on your flash.

Then, editing a cinematic video is pretty straightforward, but the keyframe controls where you change the focus are small. You can long-press to expand the timeline, but it shrinks as soon as you release it, making it impossible to keep zooming in on those tiny out-of-focus keyframes.

And some more details about the cinematic mode of Committed:

Apple’s system alone is pretty smart. The iPhone 13 did a great job of identifying faces (human and canine) in my shots, and yellow or white boxes seemed to indicate potential items to focus on. As my subjects looked towards and away from the camera, they became brighter and blurred, respectively. But when I tried to exert more control and adjust the focal point, the system struggled. Sometimes my intended subject remained blurry even after tapping on its rectangle. Other times the iPhone didn’t follow the person I selected after walking behind an obstacle, although that was a reasonable situation.

When working as intended, Cinematic Mode produced a pleasant effect that made videos look professional. But at the default intensity, the blur looked strange or unnatural. The outline of my colleague’s head was striking against the softer background and I had to set the F-stop to the highest (f / 16) to get a more natural feel.

As for the performance of the camera, CNN underlined has some details about the new Photographic Styles feature:

Apple’s new “Photographic Styles” to date is the closest thing to a Pro mode, which allows you to customize the way the phone takes a photo before pressing the shutter button. It’s a bit like filters on steroids, as it dynamically adjusts for any given shot. You can choose from five (standard, vibrant, rich contrast, warm and cool) and adjust the tone and warmth on a slider. Each lens has its own vision, but we especially liked the warm, which doesn’t saturate but realistically distorts colors by adding more gold or orange. Likewise, Cool will add undertones of blue while rich contrast focuses on the darker side of the spectrum for a sharper look. Since this is software, it would have been interesting to see this or some aspect of it come in the form of a software update for the iPhone 12.

Committed on the battery life of the iPhone 13 mini:

Despite their brighter displays, Apple said the iPhone 13 and 13 mini are expected to last up to 2.5 and 1.5 hours longer than their predecessors respectively. While the 13 mini beat the 12 mini by staying almost an entire day on light use, the 13 hour and 19 minute score on our video recap test is still shorter than the average smartphone. That’s a shame; I love the size of the iPhone 13 mini – it’s so much easier to use with one hand. But the biggest downside to any modern phone this small is its lack of stamina.

iPhone 13 Pro

One of the main changes with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max is the new ProMotion display technology. The Edge reports that this long-awaited addition lives up to the hype:

What all of this practically means is that the scrolling and animations look a lot smoother. It also has advantages in terms of battery life, because if nothing moves on the screen, the screen has to refresh less often and therefore consumes less power.

None of this is new to Android users, but if you haven’t used a high refresh rate display on a phone before, it can be a bit difficult to explain why it makes a difference. This is doubly true on iPhones, as Apple has gotten away with not putting a high refresh rate screen on an iPhone for such a long time, as iOS itself is a very smooth operating system without too much. of jolts in its animations.

When I scroll on the iPhone 13 Pro, the text remains readable instead of getting blurry. Things moving around the screen are smoother. It feels more like direct interaction with my finger as the iPhone can literally change its refresh rate to match my movement.

The Edge Also has details on battery life improvements with the iPhone 13 Pro:

I’ve only had the phones for just under a week, so I focused most of my use on the smaller iPhone 13 Pro as a sort of worst-case test. And my results are consistent with Apple’s claims. One day we really pushed the phone with lots of 4K video and peak screen brightness, it still lasted from early in the morning to 11pm with 20% left – with somewhere north of four hours of use. very intensive in screen time tracking app. A day with less intense use clocked me at seven screen hours per hour before the low battery warning went off.

Conclusion: I have a lot more confidence in myself to go out of the house for a long day without carrying an external battery. For me, the line a smartphone has to cross is that I think I can have a normal day without battery anxiety. The 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max achieve this easily.

CNET reports on the new macro photography features of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max:

In bright, medium lighting, I found the macro photography to be solid on the iPhone. It’s not at the level of a mirrorless camera with a dedicated macro lens, but it’s one of the best implementations of a macro mode I’ve seen on a phone. I took some solid close-up shots of food, coffee, and even recorded a nightmarish video clip of ants crawling all over a thrown grapefruit.

In low light, iPhone always switches to the ultra-wide camera to take a macro shot. The best camera on the phone is the wide angle camera, which can also handle low light situations well. And because the phone has to be so close to its subject, it actually blocks out some of the light, resulting in a poor close-up. At this time, there is no way to turn off the macro functionality.

Grab takes issue with the camera’s new auto-switching feature for macro photography. In a statement, however, Apple said: “A new setting will be added in a software update this fall to disable automatic camera switching when shooting at close range for macro photography and video. “

Unlike the standard iPhone 13/13 mini (and all iPhones before it), which uses each individual camera for autofocus, which itself limits its close-range focus distance, the cameras The iPhone 13 Pros’s 1x and 3x actually get support from the ultra-wide 0.5x and its macro capabilities.

So, for example, if your iPhone 13 Pro camera is set to the 1x wide camera and place an object or subject within 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) of it, the viewfinder will keep the framing / 1x composition but will use ultra-wide tandem close-range autofocus. You can literally see the viewfinder blinking / popping and “flipping” to this hybrid viewfinder. The same applies to the 3x telephoto camera; the viewfinder retains 3x framing, but uses ultra-wide for autofocusing subjects closer than 14 centimeters.

Apple claims that this automatic camera switching is intentionally designed to help capture better close-up detail for the three rear cameras on the iPhone 13 Pros.

I don’t agree with that.

I’ll tell you why: because the framing automatically changes from what you – the person taking the photo or recording the video – might intend to capture. I want more detail for close-ups and it’s smart that Apple uses ultra-wide to boost 1x wide and 3x telephoto at short distances, but the camera transition is disorienting. Apple makes no mention of this camera switch / increase on its iPhone 13 Pro website. I understand this is supposed to be one of those “it just works” features. At least that was Apple’s intention, I’m told, but it just isn’t.

The Wall Street Journal was not very impressed with Cinematic mode:

With the videos, my God, I was really excited about the new Cinematic mode. Aaaand gosh, was that a disappointment. The feature, which you might call “Portrait mode for video,” adds an artistic blur around the object in focus. The coolest thing is that you can tap to re-center while you shoot (and even do it afterwards in the Photos app).

Except, as you can see in my video, the software has a hard time knowing where objects start and end. It’s kind of like the early days of Portrait mode, but it’s worse because now the blur is moving and distorting. I have shot footage where the software lost parts of the nose and fingers and struggled with objects such as a phone or a camera. The Apple spokeswoman said cinematic mode is a “breakthrough innovation that will continue to improve over time.”

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