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iPhone 13: release date, price, specs and all of the news

TechRadar logo TechRadar 9/28/2021 What Hi-Fi?
iPhone 13 © Provided by TechRadar iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 is official. Launched at the 14th September Apple Event alongside the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, it's now on sale across the world.

The next-gen iPhone brings a host of upgrades including a new design and colours, dual-camera system, super-fast 5G, and Apple's first-ever 120Hz display. Here are all the official details and specs for the iPhone 13. 

New iPhone 13 official details

  • Four new iPhone 13 handsets
  • Available to buy now
  • New ProMotion 120Hz displays
  • New A15 Bionic processor
  • Starting price: £679 / $699 / AU$1199

iPhone 13: release date

All of the new iPhone 13 models were available to pre-order from Friday 17th September before going on sale on Friday 24th September. While Apple's short timings between announcement and launch continues to impress, things aren't as smooth as they have been in the past.

According to reports, customers are finding it hard to find iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models in stock. Apple did warn us all of stock shortages back in July, linked to the global chip shortage which is also affecting availability of consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

iPhone 13: price

The official iPhone 13 prices are below. Those of you with particularly good memories will notice that all models sport almost the exact same launch prices as their iPhone 12 counterparts. In the UK, each launch price is £20 less than the equivalent iPhone 12 price across all the models which is a nice, albeit small, discount.

iPhone 13 mini price
iPhone 13 mini 128GB£679$699AU$1,199
iPhone 13 mini 256GB£779$799AU$1,369
iPhone 13 mini 512GB£979$999AU$1,719
iPhone 13 price
iPhone 13 128GB£779$799AU$1,349
iPhone 13 256GB£879$899AU$1,519
iPhone 13 512GB£1,079$1,099AU$1,869
iPhone 13 Pro price
iPhone 13 Pro 128GB£949$999AU$1,699
iPhone 13 Pro 256GB£1,049$1,099AU$1,869
iPhone 13 Pro 512GB£1,249$1,299AU$2,219
iPhone 13 Pro 1TB£1,449$1,499AU$2,569
iPhone 13 Pro Max price
iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB£1,049$1,099AU$1,849
iPhone 13 Pro Max 256GB£1,149$1,199AU$2,019
iPhone 13 Pro Max 512GB£1,349$1,399AU$2,369
iPhone 13 Pro Max 1TB£1,549$1,599AU$2,719

iPhone 13: design

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini have been "redesigned on the inside and out" (despite actually looking fairly similar to their iPhone 12 counterparts at first glance) and come in five colours: Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED. 

Featuring flat edges and aluminium frames, they have a new Ceramic Shield screen on the front which, according to Apple, is the toughest phone screen around. As expected, they come in the same sizes we're used to, namely 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch for the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, while The Pro and Pro Max have 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays, respectively.

One particularly noticeable physical change is the fact that the dual camera lenses on the rear of both the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are now set in a diagonal orientation. Apart from that (and the smaller screen notch present across all four variants), little has changed. It's nice to see more sustainable materials being used though, like the recycled plastic bottles that make up the plastic antenna lines across the entire range.

iPhone 13: display

The iPhone 13 has a Super Retina XDR OLED screen, which is, according to Apple, more efficient than ever, promising a 28 per cent increase in max outdoor brightness at 800 nits, and a higher peak brightness which should get the best out of HDR content. 

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max feature the brightest display ever on iPhone with up to 25 per cent higher max outdoor brightness at 1000 nits, for better contrast and colours whether scrolling through websites or watching HDR videos. All new models have a little more screen real estate too, thanks to that 20 per cent smaller notch.

The Pro phones also add Apple's ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate technology which should make for smoother games, video and scrolling, but there's another clever trick following suit with the likes of OnePlus and Samsung too — adaptive refresh rate. This handy feature automatically adjusts the refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz, allowing for fast frame rates when users need it and preserving battery life when they don’t. 

Apple says that the screen itself is a more efficient OLED panel, helped by the new display engine of the A15 Bionic processor, delivering faster GPU performance, and an always-on touch coprocessor that's been custom designed to operate with iOS 15, making gestures, animations and gaming feel faster and more responsive. 

One last thing that's worth noting is the fact that recent findings by teardown site iFixit have found that if you get anyone other than Apple to replace the screen on the iPhone 13, Face ID won't work. This appears to be a bug that will get fixed in a future update, so it's worth being extra careful with your iPhone 13 if you decide to snap one up.

iPhone 13: storage, power and battery life

The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage sizes, while the 13 Pro and Pro Max also come in a whopping 1TB size.

On the power front, it's no surprise to see that the iPhone 13 is the most powerful iPhone yet, thanks to Apple's freshly baked A15 Bionic chip. It's made up of a new six-core CPU and four high-efficiency cores (making it 50 per cent faster than the competition. The new GPU is reportedly 30 per cent faster than rivals, and a new 16-core Neural Engine means that machine learning skills have had a shot of adrenaline to boot, unlocking new iOS 15 features like Live Text in Camera and a new 3D Maps navigation feature.

If you're one to worry about running out of power then there's some very good news on battery life, as Apple has bumped up the battery capacity across all new iPhone 13 models compared to their predecessors. Apple claims that the iPhone 13 delivers an all-day battery life, and thanks to the larger batteries and more efficient processor, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max both last two and a half hours longer than their iPhone 12 counterparts, while the iPhone 13 Mini and 13 Pro last an hour and a half longer than their predecessors.

It's also revealed the exact battery sizes (via 9to5Mac) through a filing on the website of hazardous material information and response company Chemtrec. Here they are, along with how much bigger they are than their predecessors'.

  • iPhone 13 mini: 9.34Wh (up 9 per cent on iPhone 12 mini)
  • iPhone 13: 12.41Wh (up 15.1 per cent on iPhone 12)
  • iPhone 13 Pro: 11.97Wh (up 11 per cent on iPhone 12 Pro)
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: 16.75Wh (up 18.5 per cent on iPhone 12 Pro Max)

On the audio side of things, unlike the AirPods Max, you can expect the iPhone 13 to support Apple Music Lossless. If you missed it, Apple now offers both lossless and Spatial Audio tracks to Apple Music subscribers, free of charge. Here's which devices will (and won't) play lossless and Spatial Audio.

iPhone 13: camera

The iPhone 13 and Mini promise the most advanced dual-camera system ever on iPhone, with a new Wide camera with bigger pixels and sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OIS). As mentioned before, their camera arrays have had a redesign too, with diagonally arranged lenses and a tweaked, smaller TrueDepth camera system.

The new Wide camera, with 1.7 µm pixels, comes with the biggest sensor ever in an iPhone dual-camera system and is capable of gathering 47 per cent more light for less noise and brighter results. We look forward to seeing what these upgrades offer when it comes to improvements in low-light photos and videos.

On the software side, there's also a new way to personalise the camera with Photographic Styles, and a new Cinematic mode which brings rack focus for shooting video, letting videographers automatically or manually adjust focus for more professional shots.

The system also supports Smart HDR 4, promising improved colour, contrast, and lighting for each subject in a group photo, including in challenging conditions, making images more true to life, as well as improved Night mode. 

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max camera systems get new Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras, powered by the A15 Bionic chip. New for iPhone with the 13 Pro is macro photography on the new Ultra Wide camera and up to 2.2x improved low-light performance, thanks to a new sensor and the largest ever pixel size on an iPhone ever (1.9µm). The new Pro camera system also claims to offer more pro photography capabilities like improved telephoto zoom, macro photography, Photographic Styles, Cinematic mode, as well as ProRes and Dolby Vision video. 

iPhone 13: name

Apple introduces new iPhone monikers – X, XS, Xr, Pro, Pro Max, etc – as and when the technology demands it. Since the iPhone 13 is more 'evolution' than 'revolution', Apple has stuck to the iPhone 12 naming standards. Here's the story so far...

2007 - iPhone

2008 - iPhone 3G

2009 - iPhone 3GS

2010 - iPhone 4

2011 - iPhone 4s

2012 - iPhone 5

2013 - iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

2014 - iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

2015 - iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

2016 - iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

2017 - iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X

2018 - iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max

2019 - iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max

2020 - iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max

2021 - iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max

2022 TBC - iPhone 14 (6.1), iPhone 14 (6.7), iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max

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