iPhone 13 Review: Display And Cameras

It is finally out and here is a complete iPhone 13 models review for camera and display as those are the most requested in a Twitter poll conducted aside from the battery life ( we will talk about it too).

Apple has started shipping pre-orders and the early birds are getting their hands on the ‘little magic’ the tech giant has created this year which was hyped to the maximum by its lovers since Friday.

But one question many are asking is, is the iPhone 13 worth the money and hype, what is the driving point in going for the iPhone 13 if you already have the 12?

Well, in this review, we will conclude on these pretty handsets and leave the verdict to you. You will be the judge at the end of this article.

First and foremost, Apple has upgraded into an environmentally friendly phone packaging formula which sees the iPhone 13 coming in no plastic shrinkwrap, unlike the 12 and formers.

Apart from the iPhone model you purchased, the package contains a SIM card tool, a white Apple sticker, a USB-C cable.


For the verge, writer Dieter Bohn says that the true star of the iPhone is the longer battery life;

On one day of my testing, the regular iPhone made it from 7:am to midnight before it tuckered out. Some with some camera testing, watching some video, the usual doom scrolling, emails, works, and some games.

It was an intense set of work for the 5 hours of screentime that day, so that’s impressive. On another day with a lighter workload, I didn’t see the battery warning until the next morning.  But the iPhone 13’s battery isn’t magic. When we had a day of a lot more 4k video testing, I was looking for a charger by 7 or 8.

For the CNET, the writer had some details on how the cinematic mode performs on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini.

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The results are nice, and I imagine after using it enough, you will have your own sense of what’s possible. But there are a few limits to be aware of. First, you can’t use cinematic mode when it’s dark. You’ll be greeted with a message prompting you to run your flash.

Next, editing a cinematic video is straightforward enough, but the controls for the keyframes where you change focus are too small. You can long-press to expand the timeline, but it shrinks back as soon as you let go making it impossible to keep a Zoomed in view of those tiny focus keyframes.


As hugely expected, one of the leading changes with this year’s Apple’s release of iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max is the new ProMotion display technology. This long-awaited addition lives up to the hype.

“What all this means practically is that scrolling and animations looks smoother. It also has battery life benefits because if nothing’s moving on the screen, the screen needs to refresh less often and therefore uses less power.

When l scroll on the iPhone 13 Pro, the text stays readable instead of turning into a blur. Things moving on the screen are smoother. It feels more like direct interaction with my finger because the iPhone can literally change its refresh rate to match my movement – The Verge writer.

“I’ve only had the phones for a little less than a week, so l focused most of my use on the smaller iPhone 13 Pro as a kind of worst-case test. And my results are in line with Apple’s claims. On a day when we really pushed the phone with a lot of 4K video and max brightness on the screen, it still lasted from the early morning to 11 pm with 20% remaining – with somewhere north of four hours of every heavy use in the screen time tracking.

A day with less intense usage clocked me at seven hours of screen-on time before the battery warning kicked in.

Bottom line: I have so much more confidence walking out for a long day without carrying an external battery pack. For me, the line a smartphone needs to cross is that I can get through a normal day without battery anxiety. Both the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max easily get there.

In bright and medium lighting, I found macro photography on the iPhone solid. It’s not on the level of a mirrorless camera with a dedicated macro lens but it’s one of the better implementations of a macro mode that I’ve seen on a phone. I took a solid close up photos of food, coffee and even recorded a nightmare video clip of ants crawling all over a discarded grapefruit.

In low lighting, the iPhone still switches to the ultrawide camera to take a macro photo. The best camera on the phone is the wide-angle camera, which can also handle low-light situations well. And because the phone has to be so close to its subject, resulting in a mediocre close-up.  At this time, there is no way to turn off the macro functionality.”

Input takes issue with the new automatic camera switching feature for macro photography. In a statement, however, Apple said: ‘A new setting will b added in a software update this fall to turn off automatic camera switching when shooting at close distances for macro photography and video’

‘Unlike the regular iPhone 13 and 13 mini, [ and all iPhones before it ], which uses each individual camera to autofocus, which itself limits its close-range focusing distance, the iPhone 13 Pros’ 1x and 3x cameras actually get an assist from the 0.5x ultra-wide and it’s macro capabilities.

So for example, if you have your iPhone 13 Pro camera set to the 1x wid camera and place an object or a subject within 14 centimetres [ 5.5 inches ] of it, the viewfinder will maintain the 1x framing/composition but use the ultra-wide’s close-range autofocusing in tandem. You can literally see the viewfinder flicker/pop and switch to this hybrid viewfinder.

The same applies to the 3x framing telephoto camera, the viewfinder maintains the 3x framing but uses the ultra-wide for the autofocus of the subject within 14 centimetres.

Apple says this automatic camera switching is intentionally designed to help capture better close-up details for all three rear cameras on the iPhone 13 Pros.

I don’t agree with this. I’ll tell you why: Because the framing automatically changes from what you – the person taking the shot or recording the video – might intend to capture. I welcome greater detail for close-ups and it’s clever that Apple is using the ultra-wide to augment the 1x wide and 3x telephoto at short distances, but the transitioning of cameras is disorienting. Apple makes no mention of this camera switching / augmenting on its iPhone 13 Pro website. I get that it’s supposed to be one of those ‘it just works’ features.

At least that is Apple intention I’m told but it just doesn’t.’

Those are views from some huge media houses in the US and UK. But you know what they say? There is always a belief that anytime these tech giants put out their works, they pay some highly reputable media house to give them sweet reviews which end up topping pages on Google and hence influencing the market value of these gadgets. So after this, get your iPhone 13 and conclude if that is true or a lie.


   iPhone 13 Mini Review

The iPhone 13 and the 13 mini look more like last year’s model [ iPhone 12s ]. From a handful of angles, they look very similar: the same mate finishing aluminium brace of the side, the same high gloss fingerprint glass on the back, the cameras looks noticeably bigger but they are both about 0.33mm thicker than the predecessors and 10G heavier. Obviously, the flat design of the 13 and the 13 Mini has not really changed.

They have also brought all the buttons down on the 13. And the thicker camera module at the back rather stabilises the phone when placed on a flat surface than the 12 modules. The iPhone 12 wobbles the more with a thinner camera module at the back than the 13 which has a thicker camera module.

Small and powerful handsets. With improved battery life as stated above coupled with enhanced cameras over its predecessor, the iPhone mini brings the dreams of fans who love strong diminutive handsets to life. Though Apple has reserved some big spots like 120HZ displays, telephoto Zoom and macro mode for the pros, the little machine still got a lot to offer.

Going worldwide on the 24th September 2021 with a base price of $699 for the 128GB model with the 256GB raced up to $799 and the top-end 512GB going for $999, Apple has doubled the base storage while maintaining the price.

The design; iPhone 13 mini looks very similar to its predecessor but with a smaller notch and that is very noticeable too. 20% notch cut off.

The iPhone 13 mini features the same squared edges and the small size is still easily pocketable and originally single-hand made. All the iPhone 13 models are IP68-certified, meaning that the 13 mini can survive up to six meters underwater for 30 minutes. It has no face ID.

The Display:

The iPhone 13 mini’s 5.4-inch OLED display is relatively unchanged, but there’s a big boost in brightness this year.

Thanks to the OLED panel, colours are punchy and vibrant with true, deep blacks. The iPhone 13 mini also portrayed the section in Blade Runner 2049’s third act well with rich contrast between the orange fog and the shadows.

And with the max brightness of 788 nits, the iPhone 13 mini gets plenty bright enough to see outdoors. What that means is that you can still have an edge clear view of the photos you take when standing directly in sunlight – a good tweak for photographers.

The Cameras.

The iPhone 13 has several camera upgrades this year. The main 12MP camera has a larger sensor that allows for more light. Improving photos in poorer lighting conditions. There’s also a sensor-shift optical image stabilisation, which iPhone introduced on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This should help things stay more stable.

As for the 12MP ultrawide camera, it also has a larger sensor. There’s autofocus on board now, too, which can make a big difference in ensuring ultrawide shots come out sharp.

For the following camera comparisons, I brought the Galaxy S21 along so you can see how Samsung’s best compares to Apple’s latest flagship.


In this first outdoor shot, the phones had to capture the blue chairs, vibrant red door, the white wall, and the cloudy sky beyond. The iPhone 13 mini has a much richer image with brighter colours with a stronger sense of depth. The Galaxy S21 looks a bit washed out and flat in comparison. Otherwise, the two images are fairly similar, though I think the iPhone’s is truer to life.


In this photo of flowers on a tree, a similar thing happened. The iPhone captured a more vibrant image without going too far with the saturation. The worn blue wall to the left and the orange umbrella in the background look realistic. The S21, as is usual with Samsung, has some oversaturation issues, but it also struggled with the sunlight where the iPhone did not — there’s some lens flare in the S21’s picture.

Heading inside, the iPhone 13 mini captured this scene well. It handled the natural and artificial light while maintaining the contrast and shadows. This image captures the mood and tone of the room and offers an artistic vibe. The Galaxy S21 also produced a good image that’s brighter than the iPhone’s. That said, it boosted the highlights too much and so lost much of the contrast. The final picture looks a bit flat and while it’s brighter, it’s not what that room looked like to my eye.


In this second indoor image, both phones are nearly identical. The iPhone’s shot is a bit warmer and the S21’s is slightly brighter. Both phones captured the vibe of this scene with a sharp focus on the tree decoration. However, the red of the books up top on the S21’s image looks a tad washed out, while they’re a bright red in the iPhone’s photo.

iPhone 13 Review: Display And Cameras

For portraits, both phones are once again rather similar. The iPhone 13 mini opted for a slightly warmer tone to complement the lighting that day, while the Galaxy S21 cooled things down and brightened the final image. Not only is the green in the iPhone’s picture richer, but the orange car behind me looks striking. The same car in the S21’s portrait looks a bit faded. However, both phones managed near-perfect blur radii, even if the S21 applied too much face smoothing.

iPhone 13 Review: Display And Cameras

For the ultrawide test, check out this cool vintage Beetle scrap heap. The focus on the iPhone’s photo is a bit sharper than the S21’s. That’s not to mention the colour disparity, with the iPhone looking richer and the S21 having a washed outlook. The yellow Beetle looks a bit livelier in the iPhone’s picture, whereas it looks a little too faded in the S21’s. This all comes back around to what I wrote in the outdoor section above.

iPhone 13 Review: Display And Cameras


Night mode proved interesting, as you can see. The Galaxy S21’s attempt at a photo with the smoker above at night turns out to be brighter than the iPhone 13 mini’s. Not only is the smoker in stronger focus with more details, but you can even see the fence slats behind better. Better must be expected from the iPhone at this level since Apple’s night mode are always good.

iPhone 13 Review: Display And Cameras

Wrapping up with the front-facing camera comparisons. The two phones have very different approaches. The iPhone 13 mini opted for a softer, warmer tone, highlighting the reds in the face above and the clothes behind. The Galaxy S21 cooled things down and brightened them significantly making the eyes much brighter but also applying too much smoothness.


The iPhone 13 mini is the most powerful small phone ever. It packs in great cameras and better battery life, plus 128GB of storage to start and class-leading performance.

          FOR          AGAINST
Improved cameras

Better battery life

Excellent performance

The base model has 128GB of storage

No mask-friendly authentication

Fast charging limited to 20W


The iPhone 13 (from $799) doesn’t seem very new when you first look at it. But when you start using this flagship, you realize that it delivers a lot more than a smaller notch.

The new iPhone’s display is brighter than its predecessor’s. The battery life is longer. And Apple has improved an already great camera with new sensors and computational photography features that make you feel like a pro (even on a non-Pro phone).

Yes, the A15 Bionic powering the iPhone 13 is once again the fastest chip in the land. But it’s more about what this chip lets you do. This includes Cinematic mode, which adds depth of field to your videos while automatically shifting focus, and Photographic Styles for changing the look of your pics.

The regular iPhone 13 has some flaws. The charging is still relatively slow compared to some Android phones. And I don’t like that only the iPhone 13 Pro models get a 120Hz display and telephoto zoom. But based on my in-depth iPhone 13 review, this new iPhone is the best phone for the money.

The iPhone comes at $799 for 128GB of storage (up from a meagre 64GB on the iPhone 12), and that goes up to $899 for 256GB and $1,099 for 512GB

Let’s get to the display and the camera – the main theme of this write up.


  • Brighter display easier to read in direct sunlight
  • Stellar colors and contrast

Alas, the iPhone 13 doesn’t boast the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate of the iPhone 13 Pro, but it’s still a stellar OLED panel. This Super Retina XDR display is now 28% brighter than the iPhone 12; it’s also rated at 800 nits, compared to 600 nits for last year’s phone.

The brightness difference is dramatic, but it can help when you’re trying to view the iPhone 13’s display in direct sunlight.

The overall display quality continues to be stellar. When watching the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, I was mesmerized by the neon code encircling Neo as he walked down the street, and in another scene, I could make out individual hairs on Neo’s beard as he stared up into the sun.

the iPhone 13 averaged 795 nits of brightness, compared to 569 nits for the iPhone 12 and 702 nits for the Galaxy S21. The iPhone 13 also registered 78.1% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut and 110.2% of the sRGG colour gamut, where higher numbers are better. The iPhone 12 hit 81.1 and 114.5 and the Galaxy S21 77.4 and 109.2

The iPhone 13 panel’s colour accuracy is stellar, too, as it achieved a Delta-E score of 0.26 (lower is better.) That compares to 0.29 for both the Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12.


  • Bright and colourful images beat Samsung
  • The ultra-wide camera delivers more scenes and improved Night mode
  • Photographic styles give you creative control

There’s much more to the iPhone 13 cameras than just a new diagonal arrangement of the lenses. The wide camera now gathers 47% more light than the iPhone 12, thanks to a larger camera with 1.7μm pixels.

Another plus is that the ultrawide camera can now capture four times more scenes and its newer sensor delivers better low-light performance along with less noise.

If you’re not a fan of the iPhone’s usual colour temperature — or you just wanted more control over your photos — you’ll appreciate the Photographic Styles feature. In the Camera app, you can switch from multiple styles, including standard, vibrant, rich contrast, warm and cool.

iPhone 13 Review: Display And Cameras

In this photo taken at the Manasquan Reservoir in New Jersey, you can see how superior the iPhone 13’s camera is compared to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The water looks more vibrant and translucent, and the iPhone 13 does a better job rendering the shadows around the wood.

iPhone 13 Review: Display And Cameras

The iPhone 13 also delivered a better-looking shot of these Halloween decorations. The orange pumpkin sign looks more vibrant and brighter, as do the surrounding real-life pumpkins. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s pic is plenty sharp but looks a bit flat.

iPhone 13 Review: Display And Cameras

In many shooting situations, the iPhone 13 was on par with the iPhone 12, but I did notice a marked improvement in Night mode. While the result is a bit on the fuzzy side, the iPhone 13 captures a brighter pink in the hydrangea flowers and the surrounding leaves are brighter.


iPhone 13 mini iPhone 13 iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max
Starting Price $699 $799 $999 $1,099
Storage 128, 256, 512GB 128, 256, 512 GB 128, 256, 512, 1TB 128, 256, 512, 1TB
Screen SiZe 5.4 inches 6.1 inches 6.1 inches 6.7 inches
Resolution / ppi 2340 x 1080/476 2532 x 1170/460 2532 x 1170/460 2778 x 1284/458
Adaptive Refresh No No Up to 120Hz Up to 120Hz
Processor A15 Bionic A15 Bionic A15 Bionic A15 Bionic
Rear cameras Dual 12MP (Wide, ultrawide) Dual 12MP (Wide, ultrawide) Pro 12MP (Telephoto, Wide, Ultra Wide) Pro 12MP (Telephoto, Wide, Ultra Wide)
Zoom None / 5x digital None / 5x digital 3x optical / 15x digital 3x optical / 15x digital
Front Camera 12MP TrueDepth 12MP TrueDepth 12MP TrueDepth 12MP TrueDepth
Colours Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue Graphite, Gold, Silver, Sierra Blue
Sise 5.2 x 2.5 x 0.3 inches 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches 6.3 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches
Weight 4.97 ounces 6.14 ounces 7.2 ounces 8.5 ounces
Water Resistance IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68
Battery Life [ video playback ] 8:41 10:33 11:42 12:16


The iPhone 13’s brighter display, longer battery life and powerful cameras make it the best iPhone for the money. But we wish it had faster charging and the iPhone 13 Pro’s adaptive 120Hz display.

                          FOR              AGAINST
Brighter display

Great cameras

Compelling Cinematic video mode

Class-leading performance

Very good battery life

Lacks 120Hz display

Slower charging than rivals

Slower charging than rivals

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