iPhone 13 review: Long battery life

There were many big changes made to the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini. They now have new cameras, a bigger battery, more storage, and a better screen. The iPhone 13 is a great addition to the already great iPhone 12 family from last year.

Some people will be let down that it’s not very different from earlier models, but that’s part of the appeal. Apple’s iPhone has been very successful because it is easy to get used to. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are the same trusty friends that don’t seem to change.

The iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro are pretty much the same phone that Apple released in 2021. An iPhone 13 Mini is what you need if you want a small iPhone 13. Get the 13 Pro Max if you want an iPhone 13 Pro with a bigger screen and battery.

I tried all four phones for five days and chose to write two reviews about them to share my findings. It’s about the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini. I wrote a different one about the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. You can also use this page to compare all four iPhone 13 types.

You can still get the iPhone 12 from last year for less money. If you’re moving from an iPhone 11 or earlier, keep in mind that the iPhone 12 with 128GB of storage costs only $50 less than the iPhone 13. That makes it easy to move up from an iPhone 12 to an iPhone 13. Even without Apple’s smart price, the 13 is a better phone in more ways than one.

iPhone 13 Price with Storage

The iPhone 13 is now on sale and starts at $699 for 128GB of storage. This is more than the iPhone 12’s 64GB of storage, and the prices go up to $799 for 256GB and $999 for 512GB. Check out our page of Apple Store freebies for the newest deals. 

For example, in the UK, the base model costs £779, the 256GB model costs £879, and the 512GB model costs £1,079. 

You won’t find these phones for very little money, but you can save money by trading in an old phone or getting a discount from a wireless service. Check out our page with iPhone 13 deals for the most up-to-date deals.

iPhone 13 Full Specification

AnnouncedSeptember 14, 2021
First ReleaseSeptember 24, 2021
Dimensions146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7 mm
Weight174 g
BuildGlass front (Corning-made glass)
Glass back (Corning-made glass)
Aluminum frame
SIMNano-SIM and eSIM
TypeSuper Retina XDR OLED
Dolby Vision
Size6.1 inches, 90.2 cm2 (~86.0% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1170 x 2532 pixels
ProtectionCeramic Shield glass
Operating SystemiOS 15, upgradable to iOS 17.1.1
ChipsetApple A15 Bionic (5 nm)
GPUApple GPU (4-core graphics)
Card SlotNo
Internal128GB/ 4GB RAM
256GB/ 4GB RAM
512GB/ 4GB RAM
Dual12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide)
12 MP, f/2.4, 120˚, 13mm (ultrawide)
FeaturesDual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)
Single12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide)
LoudspeakerYes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jackNo
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, hotspot
Bluetooth5.0, A2DP, LE
USBLightning, USB 2.0
SensorsFace ID, accelerometer, gyro
TypeLi-Ion 3240 mAh, non-removable (12.41 Wh)
ChargingWired, PD2.0, 50% in 30 min (advertised)
15W wireless (MagSafe)
ColorsStarlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink, Red, Green
ModelsA2633, A2482, A2631, A2634, A2635, iphone14,5
DisplayContrast ratio: 1544:1 (nominal)
CameraPhoto / Video
Loudspeaker-25.5 LUFS (Very good)
Battery lifeEndurance rating 89h
iPhone 13 Full Specification

Read More: iPhone 12 Review: Best in Apple Series

iPhone 13 Battery: Longer-lasting

Apple likes to keep iPhone battery numbers secret, but we know that the iPhone 13’s battery can hold 3,227mAh thanks to people who take devices apart and Google. It’s about 400mAh more than the battery in the old iPhone 12.

But it’s still a lot less than the 4,000 to 5,000mAh batteries that most $800+ Android phones have. Apple says that compared to the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 has about 1.5 hours more battery life. Is that enough to battle?

During tests that took place over several days, we found that the iPhone 13 regularly went from 7 a.m. to midnight, and it still had some power left over.

The bigger battery in the iPhone 13, the A15 Bionic processor, and power management software are all fine-tuned to make sure that iPhone users get the most battery life out of their phones. Screen-on time averaged about six hours and fifteen minutes, which is about the same as other Android sub-flagships that cost about the same.

Apple’s tools for managing batteries aren’t quite as good as those on new Android phones. The phone has a low-power mode that turns off all background tasks. You can set this mode to turn on automatically or whenever you need it.

There are no different levels of success that can be set because it’s either all or nothing. You can also keep an eye on the battery’s health in general. You can’t change how much juice apps use at the app level like you can in Android.

Fastest Charging

You can charge the phone with a cord or wirelessly. Because it is wired, the iPhone 13 can be charged quickly as long as the charger is at least 20W. Remember that Apple no longer ships iPhones with a charger, so you’ll need to get one on your own.

For the fastest charging times, look for a power brick that supports USB Power Delivery. A 20W charger can fully charge the phone in 30 minutes, as Apple says. We were able to confirm this with a 20W charger. An 80-minute charge on a 20W PD charger fully charges the phone.

If you use an Apple-made or an approved third-party MagSafe charger, you can charge the iPhone 13 family wirelessly at 15W. No matter what speed it’s listed for, any other third-party wireless charger can only send 7.5W to the iPhone 13.

We don’t have a MagSafe wireless charger, but we do have an 18W wireless charger. The iPhone 13 took 2.5 hours to automatically charge, which was about what I thought it would take.

Many of the best Android phones and tablets today can charge very quickly. Whether they are plugged in or not. When it comes to battery life, Apple’s iPhones are definitely behind the times. Apple says that the iPhone will have more charge cycles over time than the fast-charging Android devices because of the choices it made. That still needs to be proven.

The iPhone 13 has a battery life that is about the same as its competitors. But it can’t be charged as quickly.

iPhone 13 Design

  • It has mostly the same appearance as the 12.
  • The cameras on the back have been slightly changed.
  • Not very big for a smartphone.

It’s not possible that you’ll notice a big difference between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13. There will be some changes, though, if you have an older iPhone or an Android phone.

The new iPhone has flat edges, which were first seen on the iPhone 12 line. That makes the design a bit more angular than earlier versions, which had a smooth finish. However, the phone is still easy to use with one hand.

Both the front and back of the phone are made of glass, but only the front has Apple’s patented Ceramic Shield technology, which was first used on the iPhone 12 last year.

Apple says this is four times stronger than the glass on older iPhones when it comes to drop protection, but we still don’t think you should test this claim.

Even though we haven’t dropped this phone yet, it’s nice to know that the Ceramic Shield technology is there to protect it. It would be even better if it was on the back of the phone, though.

As for how long they last, the iPhone 13 series is IP68 dust and waterproof, which means it can stay dry for 30 minutes in water up to six meters deep. This phone isn’t completely waterproof, but it will work after a few drops.


The power keys, the silence button, and the SIM card slot are all on the left side of the phone. The power button is on the right edge, making it easy to reach with your thumb or finger when you need to wake up the phone.

On the bottom are the speakers and the Lightning port, which lets you charge and send data.

We found that the 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7 mm iPhone 13 was easy to use with one hand. However, the iPhone 13 mini may be a better choice if you want a truly one-handed device or if you have smaller hands.

At 174g vs. 164g, the iPhone 13 weighs a little more than the iPhone 12. You won’t notice the difference in everyday use, though, and it’s about like other phones in this class.

The back of the iPhone 13 is simple, but it looks classy. The camera module is in the upper left corner, and the Apple logo is in the middle. This year, Apple has made a small change by putting the main camera lenses diagonally instead of vertically as they did on previous iPhones.

For the iPhone 13, you can get it in Blue, Midnight, Starlight (a cream color), Product Red, or Pink, which is the color you’re seeing here.

These colors are pretty neutral, so if you don’t like any of them, you might want to wait and see if Apple releases more colors later. For example, the purple iPhone 12 came out about six months after the orange one.

If you have an iPhone 12, you should know that the covers for that phone won’t work with the new one. 

iPhone 13 Display

  • Screen size of 6.1 inches and resolution of 2532 x 1170.
  • The OLED screen looks good in the sun.
  • Not 120Hz like Pro, only 60Hz.

The Super Retina OLED screen is 6.1 inches, which is big enough that text, apps, and the keyboard never feel crowded. This was a problem for me with the Mini. The 2532 x 1170 Super Retina OLED screen is very clear, has 460 pixels per inch, and is certified to work with HDR10 and Dolby Vision for a wider color range.

The bottom-firing speakers were also surprisingly loud, and they didn’t distort much even at the highest volumes. This means they’re more than good enough to use as your audio output when you don’t want to pair your headphones.

You won’t notice that the screen has a refresh rate of 60Hz if you’ve never used one with a faster rate. It’s still a little upsetting that ProMotion doesn’t work on all of the phones, especially since the phone costs $800.

In this price band, you won’t find an Android phone that doesn’t have a higher refresh rate, and even more affordable midrange phones do too.

The viewing angles are great, the colors are true to life, and the 800 nits of peak light make it easy to see outside. Even brighter, up to 1,200 nits, can be seen on HDR pictures and videos on the phone.

I could read text, use Google Maps, and see through the camera lens without any problems, even when it was bright outside.

iPhone 13 Performance

The A15 CPU from Apple is made using the same 5nm process as the A14. Apple claims that its 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU are the fastest ever.

I only saw an 8% increase in single-core CPU performance and a 13% increase in GPU performance over the iPhone 12 on that test. On the other hand, the real-world Basemark web browser score got a lot better. It went from 766.86 to 1042.93 as the phone sped up web page loads.

The truth is that Apple’s tight combination of hardware and software means that brand-new iPhones always work perfectly, at least at first. They might have trouble in the future. I tried everything I could think of to break the iPhone 13 in its first week, from Microsoft Office to Genshin Impact.

Both the iPhone 13 and the 13 mini work the same. This is because both the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max have a fifth GPU core, which made them perform much better in our tests. Why do you need the fifth core if the four GPU cores are enough for apps to run? It’s for the 120Hz screen, which is one of the things that makes the Pro line more expensive.

Our full story on rating the iPhone 13 has a lot more information about how it works.

iPhone 13 Cameras

The cameras on the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are the same. There is a normal wide-angle camera and an ultrawide camera. Both have been made better, but the wide view is the biggest step forward. 

The wide-angle camera sensor can be made better in the same way that the battery can: it just needs to be bigger. It is possible for a bigger camera lens to take in more light faster and give better results. A sensor like this was sitting around at Apple. It was from the iPhone 12 Pro Max from last year.

This is interesting because last year, the 12 Pro Max stood out from all the other iPhones because it had a bigger sensor. This year, all iPhones come with the same sensor. Since it came out, the 12 Pro Max has had the best camera for both pictures and videos of any smartphone on the market. 

I’m happy to say that the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini get the same or better results. It focuses quickly and reliably, the colors are rich without being oversaturated. The portrait mode is good enough to use every day, and both the low light and night sight are great.

The video quality is very good. Sensor stabilization helps when you’re moving around with the main camera. In terms of 4K and slow motion, it can do all the important modes and does them all very well. 

It seems like the only way you could possibly be upset with this camera is to compare it to an iPhone 13 Pro. And even then, I think you’d need to do it on a big screen with dark photos. 

Ultrawide Camera

The ultrawide camera was also updated to work better in low light, but it’s not a big deal. When I put it in night mode, I mostly see better color and white balance. I’ve noticed that everywhere, in fact. If there isn’t much light, the colors look a little more like real life than they did last year.

The main thing I wish is that the sensor in the selfie camera had been improved. Not only does it have better software than the other cameras, but it’s also inside a smaller notch. The selfie camera is too important for Apple to leave the same for another year.

There are also two new camera settings on the iPhone 13 from Apple: Photographic Profiles and Cinematic Mode. Because I wrote a full review of the iPhone 13 Pro, I went into great length about both of these features. You can read all about how they work there. But I’ll also quickly talk about each one here.

Photographic Profiles

It has a new feature called Photographic Profiles that lets you change the way the picture looks by default. You can change the tone and contrast of every picture you take, instead of having to edit them after the fact. 

You may already know that Samsung phones take pictures that are very bright and that Google Pixel phones take pictures that are more contrasty and blue. With Profiles, Apple is admitting that some people may like those looks and giving them a way to get them instantly.  You can also change the settings on each one to suit your needs.

A profile is not the same as a filter in that it does not change the whole picture’s tone and color. The iPhone tells the difference between grass, faces, and sky, and changes how it uses color choices accordingly. This way, you don’t get skin tones or skies that look weird. 

After taking a picture with a Profile, you can’t change or remove adjustments (beyond standard editing), and you can’t use RAW at the same time. Sometimes it helps to think of them as settings, and I plan to use them sometimes.

According to Apple, the Profiles feature can’t work without the A15 Bionic. However, I think this feature should be able to be added to older iPhones.

Cinematic Mode

The new Cinematic Mode is a lot like Portrait Mode, but it works with videos instead of photos. Like a lens with a big aperture, it focuses on a face and blurs the rest of the scene.

On the other hand, it tries to change the attention whenever it wants, like to a face in the background if a face in the foreground turns away. There are two ways to change the focus: while you’re shooting the video or afterward in the edit. However, you can only do this in Apple apps like Photos or Final Cut.

Movies made in Cinematic Mode are not even close to being as good as Apple’s ads make them look. You may remember that Portrait Mode pictures used to have the same problems: weird cutouts around hair and glasses. It doesn’t work well (or at all) in low light. You can only use 1080p at 30 frames per second.

This mode isn’t as good as people say it is, but don’t let that stop you. The cameras on the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are very good. As of this writing, they would be the best phones out there if there wasn’t also the iPhone 13 Pro.

iPhone 13 Speakers and Audio Quality

The iPhone 13 has two sets of speakers: one in the earpiece, which also works as a speaker, and one next to the Lightning port that projects sound downwards. 

While watching movies, playing games, or listening to music, the two work together in stereo speaker mode to make a sound that is as full as it can be from such small noise-makers. We were interested in how the calls would sound.

As for the iPhone 13, the speaker is on the top frame instead of in the notch like it was on earlier iPhones. Has the sound changed? We’re happy to say that the call quality on the iPhone 13 is still great. The other end said that the three iPhone 13 microphones picked up our voice very well, and the voices were clear and strong.

The three mics do a good job of canceling out noise, but they had trouble isolating and amplifying our voice narration during video capture. It was pretty windy, which is tough on any microphone and noise-canceling algorithm.


  • Performance that is quick and fast
  • Very good camera and video features
  • Batteries that last a long time
  • Most premium tools can be used


  • There is still no USB-C
  • There is no telephoto lens or faster update rate

Should I get an iPhone 13?

If you can handle the extra cost, you should get the iPhone 13 Pro instead. We think the extra $200 might be worth it to get the better main sensor. The fast-refreshing screen on the iPhone 13 Pro. The ultrawide camera can also be used as a macro lens, and the real 3x optical zoom instead of the fake 2x digital zoom on the iPhone 13.

Along with more memory and an extra GPU core, the iPhone 13 Pro has record-large pixels for the best low-light photos. The extra GPU core really shines when you are taking and refocusing in the new Cinematic mode.

If you find a good deal on an iPhone 13 or wish to get a color that the iPhone 13 comes in but not the iPhone 13 Pro, you might want to choose the slightly less expensive choice. 

There is an Android phone called the Galaxy S21 that has similar specs to the iPhone 13. For the same price, it has a higher display refresh rate and better photo zoom quality. 

Although these pros are nice, they shouldn’t make you leave the iOS ecosystem if you’re already a fan. They should only make you think about leaving Android for Apple’s newest but not best product.

After reading our full review of the iPhone 13, we think that buying the 13 is not worth it since the Pro has a 120Hz screen and many other great features for only $200 more. You would also lose all credibility in an instant if your friends found out that, oh no, your iPhone only has two cameras on the back.

iPhone 13 Verdict

It’s clear that the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 small work well. If you want to keep your iPhone small and are currently using an older model, the iPhone 13 mini might be a good choice. On the other hand, the iPhone 13 fits better with the market right now and should be more useful for many people.

The decision between the two sizes comes down to personal preference, budget, and ease of use. However, keep in mind that the battery life is different.

There are a lot of things that these phones have that the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have, but they cost a lot less. Still, they’re very pricey, and they don’t come with some of the best features, like a 120Hz screen.

You might be fine without Cinema Mode or Photographic Styles if you don’t need them. The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max aren’t being sold by Apple anymore. But you can still find them for sale at prices that are about the same as the iPhone 13.

On top of that, the official prices for the iPhone 12 and 12 mini have gone down, and there have been some amazing deals during recent online sales.

The models from last year are a huge bargain because they cost just over half as much as the new iPhones. Things will also stay new for a while with iOS 15 and the patches that come after it.

That means the new iPhone 13 and 13 mini are kind of in the middle between the newest Pro models and the models that came before them. They also have to compete with Android-based phones that offer similar or even better features at much lower prices.