Let me spoil the review right away: The best reason to upgrade to the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 mini is the improved battery life.
Despite how boring that may sound, it’s a big deal.
I’m coming into this review after using the iPhone 12 Pro as my daily driver for nearly a year. By far my biggest issue with this otherwise great phone was its battery. I’d charge it in the morning and it would barely last me until the end of the day.
Knowing that the iPhone 13 and 13 mini do not bring anything radically new to the table, I was primarily interested in whether Apple’s claims of “impressive” leaps in battery life were real. The answer is yes, they were.
Subtle design changes
This is the new iPhone, so every detail counts. Visually, it boils down to two things: New colors (namely: Starlight, Midnight, blue, and pink, as well as good old red), and the rear camera modules being arranged diagonally instead of one above the other. My iPhone 13 unit came in pink, while the iPhone 13 mini came in the new Starlight color. Both are very subtle — from afar, they might even appear identical. As for the freshly rearranged rear camera modules, I prefer the new look, but let’s face it, most people won’t even notice the difference.
On the front, there’s one change: Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini have a noticeably narrower notch than their predecessors. Functionally, it’s a very small difference — no, the phones don’t show you the battery life percentage in the status bar — but it feels like progress.
Other than that, the iPhone 13 and 13 mini are nearly physically identical to the iPhone 12 and 12 mini. Their displays are exactly the same size (6.1 and 5.4 inches diagonally, respectively) and have the same resolution (2532×1170 and 2340×1080 pixels, respectively). They have the same water and dust resistance rating, IP68. The display is protected by Apple’s Ceramic Shield. The back is made of glass, and the frame is made of aluminum.
There are some…