October 28, 2021

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CHRISTMAS is nearly here – so that means it’s time for a new iPhone.

I’ve been trying out Apple’s iPhone 13 ahead of the festive season to see if its up to scratch. Spoilers: It’s fabulous. Hey Siri, FaceTime Santa…

The iPhone 13 is finally here

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The iPhone 13 is finally hereCredit: Sean Keach / The Sun
It has an attractive design that's similar to last year's model

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It has an attractive design that’s similar to last year’s modelCredit: Sean Keach / The Sun

There are four new iPhones this year: two regular models and two Pro versions.

When it comes to value for money, you’ll want the iPhone 13 Mini or iPhone 13.

They start at $699/£679 and $799/$779 respectively – and that’s a £20 price cut versus last year for Brits.

Both models are largely identical, so really you’re choosing screen size: 6.1 inches or 5.4 inches.

The Mini, for me, is too small.

But I’m a fan of the gargantuan 6.7-inch Pro Max, so that’s no surprise. For loads of people, the Mini will be the perfect fit.

Both devices use Apple’s better-than-your-TV Super Retina HDR OLED screen.

It’s extremely colour accurate, and now 28% brighter – up to 800 nits, or 1,200 nits for HDR content.

Of course, the device that surrounds the screen is also very attractive.

It’s the same premium squared-off design with a shiny rear, a slightly smaller “notch” jutting out onto the display, and a brand new colour option: Pink!

Basically, not much has changed. That’s fine. Why fix what isn’t broken?

Power up

Powering the iPhone 13 is Apple’s new A15 chip, which has 15billion transistors – tiny electronic switches that get computing done.

It’s seriously fast and the iPhone 13 absolutely flies. Tests suggest it destroys Android rivals. That’s amazing given the price.

This chip has also paved the way for some hefty battery life improvements.

On the iPhone 13 Mini, you’ll get an extra 1.5 hours versus last year’s model.

And that rises to an additional 2.5 hours for the iPhone 13 proper.

There’s no charging block in the box but you still get a cable – and wireless charging is supported too.

Super snapper

Probably the big news for everyday users is the camera improvement.

The iPhone 13 is now significantly better in low-light, so your late-night snaps and selfies look way better.

It’s very noticeable and I’ve been increasingly impressed with how quickly the iPhone is improving on the low-light front.

There’s also sensor-shift optical image stabilisation to reduce image blur.

And there are new Photographic Styles – special snapping presets created by Apple to make your photos look cooler.

They’re entirely optional, but it’s an easy way to get a bit of flair by changing the contrast or colour tones of your photos.

Cinematic Mode is the other big addition for video, letting you have a Hollywood-style depth of field.

And it also offers a new features that shifts focus between two people in a video – just like in the movies.

It’s very easy to do, because the mode manages all of the work for you.

And you can even change the focuses after the video has been recorded, which is a nice trick.

Oh, and the iPhone 13 shoots in Dolby Vision HDR – very exciting on a phone that costs less than $700/£700.

Impressively, the TrueDepth camera on the front has many of the same features on the back.

So you’ll still get the Cinematic Mode, Apple’s new Photographic Styles, selfies in Night Mode and more.

All-round goodness

The real “sleeper” upgrade here is the fact that base storage on iPhone has now doubled.

It used to be 64GB, but you’ll now get 128GB as standard – which is plenty for most people.

Like last year’s round of iPhones, the new models all support 5G internet.

5G is getting faster and more widely available, so it’s a great time to upgrade.

You might find your existing SIM already supports 5G anyway.

Last but not least is the addition os iOS 15, Apple’s new iPhone software.

It’s got some neat tricks like a Focus mode that lets you shut out distractions from certain apps and messages, as well as Portrait Mode for FaceTime calls.

iPhone 13 review verdict – impossibly good

The iPhone 13 isn’t wildly different from the iPhone 12, but who upgrades their phone every year?

If you’re coming from the iPhone 11 or older, there are huge upgrades to enjoy.

And if you’re using something like an iPhone 8, the iPhone 13 is truly worlds apart.

No iPhone is “cheap”, but the value for money on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini is extremely good when you compare it to Android rivals.

As always, this is a phone that just works – and works very well. That’s what you’re paying for, really.

The Sun says: Apple has refined an already-great iPhone into a truly exceptional mobile. For the price, it trumps any Android rival – and is very hard to fault. 5/5

The iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 are available for pre-order now, and are on sale from September 24. Check out our iPhone 13 pre-order page.

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.

The handset comes in five colour options

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The handset comes in five colour optionsCredit: Sean Keach / The Sun
Even the standard iPhone 13 uses a high-spec OLED screen

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Even the standard iPhone 13 uses a high-spec OLED screenCredit: Sean Keach / The Sun
The iPhone 13 release date is September 24

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The iPhone 13 release date is September 24Credit: Apple

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Where to buy the iPhone 13

UK

You’ll find the SIM-free handsets available to buy on Amazon:

  • Apple iPhone 13 256GB (midnight), Amazon – buy here
  • Apple iPhone 13 Mini 256GB (midnight), Amazon – buy here
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro 256GB (graphite), Amazon – buy here
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 256GB (graphite), Amazon – buy here

US

In the US, all four handsets can be picked up at BestBuy, where you can buy them as a one-off cost or on a monthly plan.

  • Apple iPhone 13 128GB (midnight), BestBuy, $699.99  buy here
  • Apple iPhone 13 Mini 128GB (midnight), BestBuy, $599.99  buy here
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro 256GB (graphite), BestBuy, $899.99 – buy here
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB (graphite), BestBuy, $999.99 – buy here
Apple reveals NEW iPhone 13 at California launch event

In other news, check out the new Lamborghini Huracan Evo that can clean your house and cook you dinner.

Check out the wildly impressive Panasonic 65HZ1000 TV, which makes most tellies look rubbish.

Read our complete guide to Call of Duty 2021.

And Dell’s Alienware R10 Ryzen Edition is a gaming PC powerhouse that crushes both the new consoles.


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