iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: A Detailed Comparison

Apple‘s latest iPhone lineup features two stellar flagship phones with the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. At first glance, they may look nearly identical. But the Pro model justifies its higher price tag with some marked improvements that power users will appreciate.

In this in-depth comparison guide, we‘ll examine all the key differences and similarities between these two phones to help you decide which iPhone 13 model best fits your needs and budget.

Overview and Key Differences

Before we dig into the nitty-gritty details, here‘s a high-level overview of how the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro compare:

Release Date: Both released September 24, 2021
Size and Weight: Identical dimensions. iPhone 13 Pro slightly heavier at 7.19 oz vs 6.14 oz
Display: Same 6.1" size OLED display. Pro model has ProMotion adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
Cameras: 13 Pro has triple lens rear (telephoto, wide, ultra wide) + LiDAR scanner vs dual lens (wide, ultrawide) on iPhone 13
Chip: Both powered by Apple‘s latest A15 Bionic
Storage: 13 Pro available up to 1TB, 13 up to 512GB
Battery Life: 13 Pro lasts 1.5 hours longer (22 hrs vs 20.5 hrs video playback)
Price: iPhone 13 from $799, 13 Pro from $999

As you can see, there‘s definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to separating these two latest iPhone models. Keep reading as we compare every specification in detail.

Design and Display

Physically, both phones measure 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm with near-identical flat-edge designs that allow them to share cases. The Pro is ever-so-slightly heavier at 204g vs 174g on the standard iPhone 13. Both models have the same improved IP68 water and dust resistance ratings over older models as well.

The most noticeable design difference comes in the form of material finishes. The iPhone 13 uses durable aluminum rails while the Pro uses stainless steel for its more premium look and feel. Color options also differ between the models:

iPhone 13 Colors: Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink, Red
iPhone 13 Pro Colors: Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue

Moving to the front, both models feature a 6.1" OLED Super Retina XDR display with slim bezels all around and no notch on top thanks to the small front camera cutout.

However, the Pro model has a key advantage with its ProMotion technology display. This enables the screen to dynamically adjust its refresh rate all the way from 10Hz to 120Hz for major power savings and smoother scrolling/transitions when that faster refresh rate is needed. By contrast, the iPhone 13 display tops out at 60Hz.

The ProMotion display unlocks interface fluidity that‘s especially welcome when using the Apple Pencil for drawing/note-taking. It also enables the iPhone 13 Pro to better handle fast-paced games. So while the displays may seem similar at a glance, ProMotion on the 13 Pro is a game-changing addition.

Cameras

Let‘s move to one of the areas where the Pro model really starts to distance itself: cameras. The iPhone has long been renowned for its imaging excellence, and the Pro pushes the boundaries even further.

Rear Cameras

  • iPhone 13 Pro: 12MP wide (f/1.5) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/1.8) + 12MP 3x telephoto (f/2.8)
  • iPhone 13: 12MP wide (f/1.6) + 12 ultra-wide (f/2.4) dual lenses

Apple equipped the 13 Pro with an extra rear telephoto lens, providing true optical zoom range from 1x out to 3x. This makes a world of difference for distant subjects like wildlife or sports photography.

The wider aperture on the main wide camera means better low light performance on the 13 Pro as well. And both rear camera arrays on the Pro support sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OIS) while the 13 only offers this on its primary camera. Expect clearer, sharper shots especially in suboptimal lighting conditions with the iPhone 13 Pro thanks to pro-level stabilization.

Let‘s also not forget that the LiDAR scanner makes an exclusive return on the iPhone 13 Pro after debuting in last year‘s 12 Pro models. This measures light distance and enables features like instant autofocus even in very dark settings (up to 6x faster in Night mode). LiDAR also unlocks vastly improved AR experiences.

So if photography excellence is a priority, there‘s absolutely no contest against the triple threat and LiDAR-boosted camera system on the 13 Pro.

Front TrueDepth Camera

Both models actually share an identical 12MP f/2.2 front-facing TrueDepth camera that enables Face ID facial authentication and Portrait selfies. The cameras themselves are 100% equal – though the iPhone 13 Pro does gain access to Smart HDR 4 over Smart HDR 3. This means your selfies should show better highlight and shadow details on the Pro model.

Performance and Battery

One area where buyers will be delighted to learn just how closely these two iPhone 13 models match is with internal performance. Both phones feature:

  • Apple‘s latest A15 Bionic chip: 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
  • Next-gen 5G cellular connectivity
  • WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Interface storage from 128GB up to 512GB on iPhone 13, 1TB max on 13 Pro

In fact, benchmark test results revealed just a slight 2.3% average performance gain for the 13 Pro over the standard model. What accounts for this small edge? It comes down to the extra 2GB of RAM available on the Pro: 6GB vs 4GB on the base iPhone 13.

More memory means the iPhone 13 Pro is able to keep more apps and browser tabs active in the background for super fast switching. So if you‘re a demanding power user, you may appreciate the headroom for smoother heavy multitasking. But for most everyday tasks, both models are spec‘d so similarly that you‘d be hard-pressed to actually feel any speed difference.

The other performance metric to analyze closely is battery life. Despite identical 2815 mAh battery capacities, Apple managed to coax better endurance out of the 13 Pro model:

  • iPhone 13 battery life: Up to 19 hours video playback
  • iPhone 13 Pro battery life: Up to 22 hours video playback

Over three additional hours of runtime per charge is quite significant. It seems much of those power efficiency gains can actually be attributed to ProMotion display enhancements. By scaling down to 10Hz when full frames aren‘t needed, this adaptive refresh rate ultimately serves video playback time. The stellar A15 Bionic chip also no doubt plays a role in maximizing every last drop of juice.

So if you‘re trying to decide based on electric vehicle-like efficiency paired with Ferrari-esque speeds, the iPhone 13 Pro is looking like an increasingly smart option over the standard model.

Unique Features

We‘ve covered all the major points of differentiation by now with respect to displays, cameras, performance, and battery life. A couple smaller features remain that are also exclusive to the higher-end Pro model:

  • ProRes video capture (coming later via software update)
  • Macro photography mode for crazy close-up shots

Additionally, with double the base storage (128GB) along with pricier material construction, AppleCare+ theft/loss coverage comes included standard for paying iPhone 13 Pro owners. This adds peace of mind protection against device damage or misplacement.

Pricing Breakdown

Let‘s tackle the almighty question of pricing and value comparisons. Here‘s a breakdown of iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro pricing for every storage configuration:

Model128GB256GB512GB1TB
iPhone 13$799$899$1099N/A
iPhone 13 Pro$999$1099$1299$1499

As listed above, the iPhone 13 sees a price hike of $100 for each doubling of built-in storage. Jumping to the iPhone 13 Pro at an equal capacity tacks on $200 more in each scenario over the regular iPhone 13.

The maximum 512GB configuration most buyers would ever need costs $200 extra on the standard model versus grabbing the entry 128GB iPhone 13 Pro for the same $999 price. For that $200 difference, you‘re getting:

  • Telephoto optical zoom lens
  • Sensor-shift stabilization on all rear cameras
  • ProMotion 120Hz adaptive refresh rate display
  • Extra 2GB RAM (6GB total)
  • 1.5 hours longer battery life per charge
  • Durable stainless steel chassis
  • ProRes and Macro mode support

All those upgrades seem well worth a couple Benjamins. But doubling up to 1TB of storage for true pro photographers and videographers becomes an easy choice with the Pro model as this tier is unavailable on the iPhone 13.

The Verdict: Which Model is Best For You?

When all aspects are factored together comprehensively, the iPhone 13 Pro asserts itself as the decisive winner in our comparison. But power users shouldn‘t scoff at the immense capabilities packed into the cheaper iPhone 13 either.

The iPhone 13 hits the performance and features sweet spot for most buyers. Unless you absolutely need the very best photography chops or care deeply about display quality/refresh rates, saving $200+ and going with the standard model is perfectly reasonable.

For shoppers who demand peak versatility from creative shooting to gaming and longevity per charge, get the iPhone 13 Pro. The faster screen, 3x optical telephoto zoom lens, LiDAR scanner, macro mode, and video production prowess justify this Pro device living up to its name for discerning customers with professional needs.

In the end, evaluating your specific priorities based on how you plan to use your phone should steer the decision between these two fantastic options in Apple‘s latest series. The above iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro comparison only scratched the surface of all these devices offer. But by breaking down their most important differences and similarities, hopefully you‘re feeling better equipped to pick the best iPhone 13 model to perfectly match your needs.

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