Hello, iPhone 13! The First Test Results Are There

iPhone 13 is still being tested. But the first results are already there. BLOCK PRESS was particularly excited by the results of the battery measurement.

iPhone 13 goes on sale – and testing in the BLOCK PRESS lab is in full swing. The first results about the screen and battery life were surprising. By the way: If you are thinking of buying yourself, you will find the cheapest offers of the service provider in our iPhone 13 pre-order article.

iPhone 13 design

The first impression is familiar. The iPhone 13 is similar to the iPhone 12 in an angular aluminium frame (Pro models use stainless steel). However, a look at the back reveals a newcomer: the two camera lenses are now arranged at an angle to each other. You have to get used to it. The casing is water-resistant to IP68, and the screen is protected by a robust glass (“ceramic shield”). But this was also the case with the iPhone 12. Accordingly, nothing changed in the scratch test (MOHS value level 7) and the water column immersion test (passed).


What colours does the iPhone 13 come in?

Some colours added: Apple introduced the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini for the first time in a pink (pink) colour and a new, darker blue variant – the blue of the iPhone 12 was stronger than a slight hint of purple. Also in the range: black-blue (“Midnight”), white (“Polarstern”) and “Red Product”. iPhone 13 and 13 mini have a softback. If you want faded colours and a little more muted, you should use the Pro models.

These are the four iPhone 13 models.

There are four models of the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 and 13 mini, and two Pro models that are technically very similar apart from the size. It was already evident in practical testing: all versions of the iPhone 13 are heavier than their predecessors, and the weight gain of the iPhone 13 – from 140 grams for the iPhone 12 to 170 grams – is the largest. The heaviest model is the 13 Pro Max with 238 grams (12 Pro: 226 grams). These are the four models and their sizes:

  • iPhone 13 (6.1″ / 15.5cm)
  • iPhone 13 mini (5.4 inch / 13.7 cm)
  • iPhone 13 Pro (6.1 inches / 15.5 cm)
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max (6.7″ / 17cm)

New OLED display in iPhone 13

Apple promises: The new Super Retina XR display should shine brighter than its predecessor. And it is: Instead of 627 nits with the iPhone 12, the COMPUTER BILD test lab has now measured up to 1,185 nits (when viewing HDR images), with a standard display of 833 nits. The iPhone 13 almost catches up with top models like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which comes with 1,190 nits of HDR display, but it still shines a bit brighter with 1,000 nits without HDR. Neither the virtually identical iPhone 13 nor the iPhone 13 mini offers a higher screen refresh rate of 120Hz for a smoother display, only Pro models. In terms of sound and very natural color reproduction, the iPhone 13 is on the same high level as the iPhone 12. Image sharpness is excellent at 462dpi.

Apple is working to reduce the notch.

As expected by many, the iPhone 13 comes with a discounted notch. This is narrower but also higher. To make this possible, Apple has scaled back the TrueDepth camera system behind Face ID but continues to promise “the most secure face authentication available on a smartphone.” However, users hardly take advantage of the nominally more significant screen space. Because very few apps use the space to the right and left of the notch. Unfortunately, even Apple itself does not use the extra space for more information. Only the percentage charge status can still be seen in the Control Center (which appears after swiping sideways from the top right).

Apple A15: a new chip that’s hardly faster

The iPhone 13 series gets a new processor, the Apple A15 Bionic. This is manufactured in an energy-efficient 5nm process and has six CPU cores (two fast and four energy-efficient). It is capable of 15.8 billion operations per second. What is much quicker than its predecessor, A14, works in detail, Apple did not reveal. But benchmarks show that the lead in typical applications that use only one processor is only about 10 percent. When all CPU cores are used, the new generation is about 25 percent ahead. The iPhone 13 unpacks the turbo for graphic applications only. For example, in the “3D Mark Wildlife” benchmark, the iPhone 13 mini scores about 9000 points compared to only 2200 with the iPhone 12 Pro. An exciting detail: Although all iPhone 13 variants work with the A15 processor, there are two versions of the A15. In the Pro versions, the A15 works with five instead of four GPU cores. The result: In the Geekbench Metal graphics test, the 13 Pro outperforms the regular 13-series models; In other tests like 3DMark Wildlife, the progress is only slight.

Apple itself is aware that the A15 has become faster than the A14 in certain areas. So, the group notes the A15’s clear leadership over the Android camp (50 percent faster CPU, 30 percent faster graphics engine). Apple also emphasizes energy-efficient operation and better performance with artificial intelligence (AI) thanks to an accelerated “neural engine,” for example, for offline recognition of text in images and speech-to-text translation. There’s also a new Image Signal Processor (ISP), new display control, new video decoder, and better support for on-chip compression formats. These advantages pay off in image processing, for example, for bokeh effects in video and night shots.

iPhone 13: Camera improvements in detail

The camera inherits some technology that was reserved for the Pro models of the previous year. Optical image stabilization works with complex sensor shift technology, in which the moving sensor compensates for vibrations and vibration. In addition, the primary camera (normal wide angle) has a new sensor with a larger pixel size of 1.7 μm compared to the 1.4 μm in the iPhone 12. In terms of pixel size, the iPhone 13 catches up with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which will be the largest sensor in 2020. The primary camera should collect 47 percent more light, thus capturing more brightness and reducing image noise. Picture quality in low light (night mode) should be better – for photos and videos. However, for the sake of fairness, it must be added: the 13 Pro models have better light output thanks to a stronger aperture (f / 1.5 instead of 1.6) and a larger sensor (pixel size of 1.9 μm).

How good is the camera?

The test shows in practice: there are hardly any differences between the iPhone 13 camera and the 13-Pro model in daylight. There are no significant differences compared to the predecessor, but there are promising improvements in the details. However, the iPhone 13 and 13 mini can’t be used when zoomed in, and that’s where the 13 Pro’s 3x optical telephoto hits.

More freedom for photo designs

There are new ways to influence the composition of the image creatively. Picture settings can be adjusted via “Shooting Modes”; This makes the videos look more natural and attractive. The AI ​​recognizes and focuses on faces, animals, and particular objects – if someone moves away from the camera, the focus automatically changes to the person in the background. Exciting: The guide can also be altered at a later time. To do this, select the video in the gallery and click Edit, after which you can focus on an area in each video scene with a flick of your finger.

Camera: iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro

If you want the best iPhone camera, go for the Pro models: the iPhone 13 also has a slightly improved Ultra Wide-angle camera, but the Pro offers more here — including the option for macro shots. The Pro’s wide-angle camera is also surprisingly bright (f/1.8 aperture instead of f/2.4 on the iPhone 13). For the first time on both Pro models, there’s also a separate telephoto lens with up to three times optical zoom.

Battery: More power, more running time

Apple promises a longer battery life for the iPhone 13. In the BLOCK PRESS test scenario, a robot’s finger is used to determine how long the smartphone battery will last with continued use. The result even trumped Apple’s promise: the iPhone 13 lasted about 12 hours (11:51 hours: minutes) — nearly three hours more than the iPhone 12 (9:10 hours: minutes). However, as usual, the difference varies by behaviour. Due to the 120Hz display, the uptime advantage can be less noticeable with heavy use of animated content. Battery capacities are not official yet, but Chemtrec lists the watt-hour data in an official safety document, from which the following values ​​will result if the volt number remains the same:

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro: 3266/3150 mAh (iPhone 12/12 Pro: 2815 mAh)

iPhone 13 mini: 2458 mAh (iPhone 12 mini: 2227 mAh)

iPhone 13 Pro Max: 4,408 mAh (iPhone 12 Pro Max: 3,687 mAh)

Fast and convenient shipping

Upon shipment, lab tests provided exciting details. With the same 20W USB-C power adapter (which Apple no longer includes), the iPhone 13 charges simultaneously despite the larger battery. A complete control took 2 hours 15 minutes, 6 minutes less than the iPhone 12. On the other hand, the iPhone 12 battery was 30% full after 15 minutes, and the iPhone 13 battery was only 26% full. But one thing is for sure: Apple has no place on the podium in the ranks of the fastest-charging mobile champions. For example, the Xiaomi 11T Pro fully charged the battery in just 25 minutes in the test – with a 125W power supply.

MagSafe wallet optimization

In 2021, Apple improved its credit card portfolio. As before, it magnetically sticks to the back of the iPhone, but similar to airbags, it can be found via the “Where is it?” grid. Thanks to the NFC technology, it is reported when it was dropped or removed from the iPhone. The new wallet also worked on the iPhone 12 in the test.

5G Enhanced, wifi 6E

Apple has upgraded 5G technology further, and it now includes more frequencies and higher speeds. The iPhone 13 will likely support upcoming 5G Standalone (SA) networks via software updates in the future, as tedious changing to and from LTE is no longer necessary for network login and dial-up. So far, there is no information about WLAN (wifi 6E?). More details should appear here only after the test.

The new iOS 15 is pre-installed

All iPhone 13 models ship with the latest version of iOS 15. The new operating system is also available for older models from the iPhone 6S and later. It includes changes such as moving services from the cloud to the device and new FaceTime-related functionality, and more. Basic Siri tasks and dictations with speech recognition also work offline with iOS 15.

iPhone 13 price

Good news: The iPhone 13 is not more expensive than the price that Apple charged for the iPhone 12 at its launch. The iPhone 13 costs 899 euros and the iPhone 13 mini 799 euros. W: Apple is doubling the memory of the entry-level versions. Instead of 64 GB, the cheapest model now has 128 GB of memory. The iPhone 13 model with a capacity of 256 GB costs 1019 euros; the model 512 GB is 1249 euros. For comparison: the iPhone 13 Pro starts at €1,149, the iPhone 13 Pro Max at €1,249, and for the first time, offers a variant with 1TB of storage for a whopping €1,829.

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