iPhone 13 vs. Mini vs. Pro vs. Pro Max: Every Big Difference

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Your iPhone is likely getting a software update soon with Apple’s iOS 16. The upcoming iPhone update is currently in its developer beta, and will probably be released to the public this fall. (You can download iOS 16 now, although you probably shouldn’t yet in most cases.) iOS 16 promises to bring a slew of upgraded features to your iPhone. But if you think your iPhone is in need of more than a software update, it may be time to consider buying a new one. 

Choosing the best iPhone for you can be difficult. First, you need to decide whether you want to wait for Apple’s iPhone 14, which is also expected to be released this fall, or buy an iPhone 13, iPhone 12 or iPhone SE 3 now. Then, if you narrowed it down to the iPhone 13, there are four different models to pick from — the iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. Not to mention, each model comes in different colors and storage options, too. With all those choices, finding the perfect iPhone 13 fit can be confusing, but we’re here to help. 

Each of the four iPhone 13 models run Apple’s latest iOS, which is currently iOS 15.5, and are compatible with iOS 16. They also feature camera upgrades, more storage, an A15 Bionic processor and some design tweaks that make them stand apart from 2020’s iPhone 12

We’ll explain every difference between the four iPhone 13 models, from price to camera specs. If you’d rather wait for the iPhone 14, we’re collecting all the rumors about its release date, price and possible notchless design. Plus if you already have an iPhone 13, we have a list of the best cases that’ll keep it safe (many of them even MagSafe-compatible). 

The iPhone 13 lineup is here, but how do the different models compare? We’ll explain.


Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET


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Price: iPhone 13 line (mostly) matches its predecessor’s cost

The iPhone 13 lineup mostly mimics the pricing for the iPhone 12. Although Apple has done away with the 64GB storage option for its standard and Mini options, the pricing of the iPhone 13 have stayed the same. The iPhone 13 Mini starts at $699 for 128GB of storage. The standard iPhone 13 starts at $799, the Pro starts at $999 and Pro Max at $1,099. 

The prices for the Pro versions are similar to other high-end smartphone models like the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra, which cost $1,000 and $1,200, respectively. 

The prices for the iPhone 13 increase as you increase the amount of storage, especially since the iPhone features a 1TB storage option for the first time. The extra storage is only available on the Pro models and ups the price of an iPhone 13 Pro Max to $1,599. 

Here are US prices for each of the iPhone 13 models:

IPHONE 13 SERIES US PRICES AND STORAGE

128GB storage 256GB storage 512GB storage 1TB storage
iPhone 13 Mini $699 $799 $999 NA
iPhone 13 $799 $899 $1,099 NA
iPhone 13 Pro $999 $1,099 $1,299 $1,499
iPhone 13 Pro Max $1,099 $1,199 $1,399 $1,599

Storage: iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have 1TB options

Apple has ditched its 64GB storage option for its latest iPhone. The standard iPhone 13 and Mini come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options, while the Pro and Pro Max also come in a 1TB storage option. This is the first time you have the option to get 1TB of storage on an iPhone.

Size and design: All iPhone 13 models have a 20% smaller notch

All four versions of the iPhone 13 are thicker and heavier than their 2020 counterparts, but with smaller notches. Apple has included a notched display on every iPhone since the 2017 iPhone X, as a place for the selfie camera. The iPhone 13’s notch is 20% smaller than it was on the iPhone 12. 

The design of the camera setup shifted for the iPhone 13 Mini. The camera lenses are now situated diagonally from each other, rather than one atop the other like on the iPhone 12 Mini. 

The iPhone 13 lineup ranges in screen size from 5.4 inches to 6.7 inches. The iPhone 13 Mini is 5.4 inches, the standard iPhone 13 and Pro models are both 6.1 inches and the Pro Max is 6.7 inches.

iPhone 13 sizes

iPhone 13 model Size
iPhone 13 Mini 5.4 inches
iPhone 13 6.1 inches
iPhone 13 Pro 6.1 inches
iPhone 13 Pro Max 6.7 inches

Display: Only iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have 120Hz refresh rate

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models both feature a 120Hz display. The number of hertz a phone screen is rated for refers to the number of frames per second it can display, which determines how fast and smooth the screen feels when you’re scrolling through apps and web pages. The standard and Mini models, however, don’t feature the 120Hz display. 

Apple seems late to the game, since other high-end smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S22 and OnePlus 9 Pro, already have a 120Hz refresh rate. 

Camera: All the upgrades for each iPhone 13 model

The iPhone 13 lineup features a few camera upgrades, including the addition of cinematic mode and macro photography. But, similar to the iPhone 12 line, the iPhone’s lidar scanner is still only available on the Pro and Pro Max. This is the second generation of iPhones to only feature a lidar scanner on its higher-end models. 

The scanner, which made its debut in the 2020 iPad Pro, is used to help with autofocus and taking pictures in low lighting. (You can also use lidar to measure your friends’ heights at parties, which is kind of cool.) 

Read more: What Does the iPhone’s Lidar Feature Actually Do?

Apple’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini have two improved cameras, with 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide lenses. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have three rear cameras, with 12-megapixel wide, ultrawide and telephoto lenses. All of the iPhones in Apple’s 2021 series can also take night mode shots for the first time. Apple gave the Pro models a more advanced version of ProRes video, as well. 

The iPhone 13 Pro, shown above, has wide-angle, ultrawide and telephoto cameras.


Apple/Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Battery: The iPhone 13 has better battery life than before

Apple says the new iPhones sport longer battery life than the iPhone 12 lineup. The extended battery life results from a combination of a bigger battery, iOS 15 and the A15 Bionic chip, according to Apple.

It says the iPhone 13 and iPhone Mini hold a charge for 17 and 19 hours of video playback, respectively. The iPhone 13 Pro is said to live for 22 hours, and the iPhone Pro Max for 28 hours.

Apple doesn’t disclose exact battery specs for its iPhones, but a teardown by iFixit reveals significantly more capacious cells than in 2020’s models. Notably, the iPhone 13 Pro has a smaller battery than the iPhone 13, apparently because the Pro’s screen uses less energy.

If you’re itching for more about the iPhone 13, take a look at which color you should buy and which settings to change right away. You can also check out everything we know so far about the iPhone 14

iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max specs

iPhone 13 Mini iPhone 13 iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max
Display size, resolution 5.4-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6.7-inch OLED; 2,778×1,284 pixels
Dimensions (Inches) 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.3 in 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.3 in 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.3 in 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 132 x 64 x 7.65 mm 147 x 72 x 7.65 mm 147 x 72 x 7.65 mm 161 x 78 x 7.65 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 4.97 oz; 141g 6.14 oz; 174g 7.19 oz; 204g 8.48 oz; 240g
Mobile software iOS 15 iOS 15 iOS 15 iOS 15
Camera 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video capture HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128GB storage)* ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128GB storage)*
Processor Apple A15 Bionic Apple A15 Bionic Apple A15 Bionic Apple A15 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Expandable storage No No No No
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 19 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 22 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 28 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor No (Face ID) No (Face ID) No (Face ID) No (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Special features 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) ProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz; lidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) ProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz; lidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Price off-contract (USD) $699 (128GB), $799 (256GB), $999 (512GB) $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB) $999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB), $1,499 (1TB) $1,099 (128GB), $1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB), $1,599 (1TB)
Price (GBP) £679 (128GB), £779 (256GB), £979 (512GB) £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB), £1,079 (512GB) £949 (128GB), £1,049 (256GB), £1,249 (512GB), £1,449 (1TB) £1,049 (128GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB), £1,549 (1TB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,199 (128GB), AU$1,369 (256GB), AU$1,719 (512GB) AU$1,349 (128GB), AU$1,519 (256GB), AU$1,869 (512GB) AU$1,699 (128GB), AU$1,869 (256GB), AU$2,219 (512GB), AU$2,569 (1TB) AU$1,849 (128GB), AU$2,019 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB), AU$2,719 (1TB)

The iPhone Mini 13 is the entry-level model in Apple’s new 2021 iPhone line. It’s the most affordable model, and offers the smallest screen size of the four — 5.4 inches.

The standard iPhone sports a 6.1-inch screen and two rear cameras. For 2021, Apple is pledging longer battery life, improved cameras and better durability versus the iPhone 12.

The Pro version of the iPhone 13 adds a third rear camera with 3x optical zoom (up from 2x on the iPhone 12), a stainless steel body and a ProMotion screen with refresh rates up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling.

The Pro Max is Apple’s largest iPhone, with a 6.7-inch screen. It’s basically an upscaled version of the iPhone 13 Pro. Like that model, storage options for the Pro Max extend to a whopping 1TB for the first time.

Go to Publisher: CNET News
Author: Alexandra Garrett