Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: Should you upgrade?

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(Pocket-lint) – Apple announced its iPhone 13 series during an event in September 2021, with four devices to choose from: the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The models succeed the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max that were revealed in October 2020.

You can read about how all four iPhone 13 models compare to each other in our separate feature, but here we are looking at how the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max compare to their predecessors, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.

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Design

  • iPhone 13 Pro: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm, 204g
  • iPhone 12 Pro: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, 185g
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65mm, 240g
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm, 228g

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature a similar design to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max, retaining the flatter frame, a frosted glass rear with three camera lenses housed in the top left corner and MagSafe magnets beneath the surface.

All devices have a polished stainless steel frame and all have a notch at the top of the display with Face ID, though the notch is smaller on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, which makes up one of the main design differences between the 2021 and 2020 models.

The 13 Pro models and the 12 Pro models are all charged via Lightning – none of which come with a wall plug in the box – and all models are IP68 water and dust resistant.

Display

  • iPhone 13 Pro: 6.1-inch, 2532 x 1170, 460ppi, 1200nits, 10-120Hz
  • iPhone 12 Pro: 6.1-inch, 2532 x 1170, 460ppi, 1200nits
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: 6.7-inch, 2778 x 1284, 458ppi, 1200nits, 10-120Hz
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6.7-inch, 2778 x 1284, 458ppi, 1200nits

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super XDR Retina display with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution, offering a pixel density of 460ppi. It also has ProMotion technology on board that offers a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, like Apple’s latest iPad Pros.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch Super XDR Retina display with a 2778 x 1284 pixel resolution for a pixel density of 458ppi and it too has ProMotion.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super XDR Retina display with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution, offering a pixel density of 460ppi, but it offers a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch Super XDR Retina display with a 2778 x 1284 pixel resolution for a pixel density of 458ppi, and it too has a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

All four models have HDR support, True Tone technology, a maximum brightness of 1200nits and Haptic Touch. 

Hardware and specs

  • iPhone 13 Pro: A15 chip, 5G, 128/256/512GB/1TB, wireless charging and MagSafe
  • iPhone 12 Pro: A14 chip, 5G, 128/256/512GB/1TB, wireless charging and MagSafe
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: A15 chip, 5G, 128/256/512GB, wireless charging and MagSafe
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: A14 chip, 5G, 128/256/512GB, wireless charging and MagSafe

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max both run on the A15 chip with the next generation Neural Engine and they both offer a five-core GPU. They are both available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options and they both offer wireless charging and MagSafe charging.

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max have the A13 chip under their hoods with the fourth-generation Neural Engine and four-core GPU. They are available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options – so no 1TB option – but they both offer wireless charging and the MagSafe feature.

All four models are 5G compatible and Dual SIM.

Cameras

  • iPhone 13 Pro/13 Pro Max: Triple rear, 6x optical zoom range, Night Mode, Cinematic Video mode, Photographic Styles, Macro
  • iPhone 12 Pro: Triple rear, 4x optical zoom range, Night Mode 
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: Triple rear, 5x optical zoom range, Night Mode

There are three camera lenses on the back of all four of the iPhone Pro models being compared in this feature, but while all models have a 12-megapixel main wide sensor, 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor, their specifications differ.

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max’s camera systems are made up of three new lenses, comprising an f/1.5 aperture main sensor, f/1.8 ultra-wide sensor and an f/2.8 telephoto lens with 6x optical zoom range.

Both the main lens and the ultra wide angle lens feature sensor-shift optical image stabilisation and there are a number of new features, including a Cinematic Video mode, Photography Styles, Night mode portraits, macro photography, as well as a feature called ProRES, which is coming soon.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro meanwhile is made up of an f/1.6 main sensor, f/2.4 ultra-wide sensor and a f/2.0 telephoto sensor with 4x optical zoom range. There is no sensor-shift optical stabilisation, though this model does have features like Night mode, which the iPhone 13 models also offer.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has the same main and ultra wide sensor as the iPhone 12 Pro but a different telephoto sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and 5x optical zoom range.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max meanwhile, has the same telephoto lens as the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, but its main wide angle lens has an aperture of f/1.6, like the iPhone 12 Pro. It offers sensor-shift optical image stabilisation on the main sensor only.

All four models have a 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera on the front with Night Mode on this camera too, as well as Deep Fusion. As mentioned though, the notch is smaller on the iPhone 13 models.

Conclusion

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max feature a similar design to the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, though the latest models reduce the notch at the top of the display, which is the first time this has happened since the notch first appeared in 2017 on the iPhone X.

The iPhone 13 Pro models also have more powerful hardware, battery improvements, faster displays and some extra camera features and improvements, including a completely new system on the iPhone 13 Pro models.

The reduced notch may be enough to make you want to upgrade, but the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are still a very powerful devices so well worthy of consideration if you want to save a bit of cash and you can get hold of them.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle. Originally published on .





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