Without much change at first glance, the iPhone 13 Pro yet evolves in three major areas: display, photography and autonomy.
Everything for the photo. It is roughly in these terms that Apple presented the iPhone 13 Pro (from 1,159 euros for the 128 GB version) in mid-September, evoking a total overhaul of the three camera modules. But other good surprises accompany the device, which seems to have an excellent lifespan. The Max version (6.7 inches against 6.1 inches) is available from 1,259 euros (128 GB).
The strengths of the iPhone 13 Pro
Always convincing design
After an aesthetic overhaul in 2020, Apple remains on its achievements in 2021. It is difficult to blame it, especially in terms of handling. Inherited from the iPhone 12, the flat edges provide additional comfort when it comes to holding the mobile for a long time, with the added bonus of better stability than on the iPhone 11 and previous generations.
On the back, however, the cameras are larger than on the iPhone 12 Pro – due to the enlargement of the sensors, while on the front the black notch housing the sensors dedicated to selfies and Face ID is made narrower. Apple offers this year a color called “alpine blue”, frankly successful.
Finally a 120 Hz screen
Until then reserved for the iPad Pro, the ProMotion screen arrives on the iPhone 13 Pro. Behind this trade name, we find the ability to oscillate the refresh rate between 10 and 120 images per second, when the old iPhones – but also the iPhone 13 – remain frozen at 60 images per second.
This possibility, automatic and transparent to the user, may seem anecdotal at first glance. It is however capital by bringing a new level of fluidity when necessary – for example during a game of video game or by scrolling the contents of a social network – and by drastically saving the battery when the use does not require. not a high refresh rate – for example when simply reading an email.
With the added bonus of a surplus of brightness outdoors (+ 25%), the screen of the iPhone 13 Pro is quite simply one of the best on the market.
As mentioned above, the “intelligent” oscillation of the screen refresh rate according to use seems effective in saving energy, especially since the iPhone 13 Pro incorporates a large capacity battery. On arrival, it could well be one of the most enduring smartphones on the market.
In our tests and unplugging the iPhone 13 Pro around 8 a.m., we didn’t go below 50% until around 10 p.m. Enough to approach the famous milestone of two days of charging. Performance which pushes our colleagues at 01net.com to qualify the iPhone 13 Pro as “king of autonomy”, according to their laboratory tests.
Beautiful novelties in photos
While all high-end smartphones take excellent photos in good light conditions, delivering nice shots in a dark environment remains a challenge. Apple seems to have decided to take it up. The main photo sensor is bigger than ever, to store more light, while opening at ƒ / 1.5.
The night mode (working thanks to a longer pause) arrives on the telephoto lens – used in particular in portrait. It thus benefits the three cameras of the iPhone for the first time. The “Photographic styles” function, intended to set the tone and temperature before any shooting, present on the iPhone 13, is logically involved.
With the main camera, Apple wins its bet hands down. At night, the shots remain remarkably detailed, even without using the night mode, so with a fast shooting and a more realistic rendering.
With a more traditional configuration, the ultra-wide-angle camera like the telephoto lens will have to continue to be supported by night mode to achieve the best shots.
Let us underline two other important evolutions: first the arrival of a new telephoto lens with a zoom x3 (against x2 previously), which opens up new possibilities of framing, then the arrival of a “macro” mode, which uses the ‘ultra wide angle for taking very, very close-up photos.
Beautiful promises in video
If the iPhone 13 Pro faces strong competition in photography (especially at Google), it remains the undisputed master of video and increases its lead a little more.
In the coming weeks, the most specialized users will be able to record sequences in ProRes format, much less compressed than the others and which renders an image of even better quality.
Already tested on the iPhone 13, the “Cinematic” mode, which is nothing other than a “Portrait” mode in video, again offers new possibilities despite some flaws of youth, namely a lack of precision to apply the blur on some elements.
The weaknesses of the iPhone 13 Pro
No USB-C port
To this day, Apple remains the last smartphone manufacturer not to have opted for USB-C, which nevertheless equips almost all of its iPads. This year again, you have to be content with a Lightning plug, which will not allow you to exchange your charger with that of an Android smartphone, but which, above all, does not offer a charge as fast as with the competition.
A worthy successor to the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 13 Pro improves where we expected it: Apple completes its photo offer in a very relevant way, finally brings a screen with an adaptive refresh rate and, above all, offers a smartphone with exceptional autonomy. All with unmatched power and the promise of software updates for years to come. Apart from a price which, for lack of a miracle, has not fallen, and Apple’s stubbornness for its Lightning charger, it is very difficult to fault anything with this vintage of iPhone Pro.