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The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max get 120Hz displays, more powerful chips, and better cameras

By Kenny Yeo - on 18 Sep 2021, 10:15am

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max get 120Hz displays, more powerful chips, and better cameras

Note: This article was first published on 15 September 2021.

(Image source: Apple)

They might look similar to last year’s Pro iPhones, but the latest iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are Apple’s most powerful and feature-packed phones yet. 

The design is largely similar which is no bad thing. Many people love the flat sides of last year’s iPhones. Size is therefore unchanged. The iPhone 13 Pro has a 6.1-inch screen while the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch screen. Both phones have stainless steel bands like last year’s models.

Like the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max have 20% smaller notches thanks to the shrunken TrueDepth camera system. The big change to the displays, however, is support for Apple’s dynamic refresh rate technology ProMotion. This means the displays of these new Pro iPhones can now go up to 120Hz. Flagship Android phones have had high refresh rate displays for a while now. The display is protected by Ceramic Shield and Apple says it also gets up to 25% brighter outdoors.

(Image source: Apple)

Inside is the new A15 Bionic chip. It’s a 5nm chip with over 15 billion transistors. It has a 6-core CPU with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. And unlike the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini which have 4-core GPUs, the Pro iPhones have 5-core GPUs. Thanks to the additional core, Apple says the Pro iPhones deliver up to 50% faster graphics performance than any smartphone chip.

Despite the more powerful chip, battery life has been improved. This is thanks to a larger battery and improved overall efficiency of all components. According to Apple, users can expect up to 2.5 more hours on the iPhone 13 Pro Max compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max and up to 1.5 more hours on the iPhone 13 Pro compared to the iPhone 12 Pro.

(Image source: Apple)

The camera system has been thoroughly updated. The wide camera has a bigger sensor and faster lens, the telephoto has 3x optical zoom, and the ultra wide camera has a faster sensor and faster lens. All three cameras now support Night Mode (previously missing on the telephoto) and there’s a new macro mode that works from just 2cm. Like last year’s models, the main wide camera has sensor-shift optical image stabilisation. Like the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, the Pro iPhones will also get the new Photographic Styles feature that works like real-time filters to let users create photos that have a distinctive look and flavour to them.

(Image source: Apple)

On the video side of things, there’s still support for Dolby Vision HDR in 4K at up to 60fps and also the Cinematic Mode that introduces depth effects and focus transitions. There’s also the added ability to shoot in 4K at up to 30fps in ProRes

Crucially, this year’s update brings parity to both Pro models. Last year, only the larger iPhone 12 Pro Max had sensor-shift image stabilisation technology. This year’s Pro iPhones are nearly identical – save for display size and battery life. There’s also a greater distinction between the regular iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro.

(Image source: Apple)

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will be available in four colours: Graphite, Gold, Silver, and Sierra Blue. Starting capacity is still 128GB but there’s now a new 1TB option.

Pre-orders start on 17 September and the phone will be available in retail on 24 September.

Prices are as follows:

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max prices
Storage iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max
128GB S$1,649 S$1,799
256GB S$1,819 S$1,969
512GB S$2,149 S$2,299
1TB S$2,479 S$2,629

Read Next (1): All about the new iPhone 13 and 13 Mini

Read Next (2): Should you get the discounted iPhone 12 instead?

Read Next (3): Apple Watch Series 7 gets crack-resistant display and better endurance

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