© Provided by Business Today iPhone 13 Pro review: The best smartphone camera ever?
The iPhone 13 Pro models aren't everyone's cup of tea. For one thing, they're exorbitantly priced in India. Also, booking one on the Apple online store entails a long waiting period that means you won't get one till October. But, is it worth shelling out the big bucks on the Pro models? Well, it all comes down to how you use one feature: the camera.
The iPhone 13 Pro is priced at Rs 119,900 for the 128GB storage model, Rs 129,900 for the 256GB model, Rs 149,900 for the 512GB model, and Rs 169,900 for the 1TB storage model. Its elder sibling, the iPhone 13 Pro Max costs Rs 129,900 for the 128GB storage model, Rs 139,900 for the 256GB model, Rs 159,900 for the 512GB model, and Rs 179,900 for the 1TB model.
Since Apple hasn't discriminated between the Pro siblings this year in terms of camera or performance, we are going to focus on our review unit, the popular iPhone 13 Pro which comes with a 6.1-inch screen.
First, the other stuff!
If you're in the market for a phone and have an iPhone 12 Pro already, then the update might sound incremental and this year's phone might look like the identical twin of the phone owned by you. But, if you're an enthusiast who switches phones each year or own a much older iPhone, then there's some massive improvements. The batteries are bigger and if the 13 Pro can give you an additional 90 minutes of battery life, as Apple claims, then it's quite a significant improvement. I've only had the devices for a couple of days and there have been no complaints in the battery department. But, of course, it'll be interesting to see what kind of an impact a bunch of intensive tasks would have on battery health in the coming weeks of testing. Will you be able to get through an entire day on a single charge, with moderate usage? Well, most certainly! In fact, I still manage to do that with my 12 Pro Max, so that's not something to worry about.
The phones are thicker and heavier since last year and the notch is apparently smaller. Honestly, it's still there and until Apple does away with it completely and opts for a punch-hole design or innovates, this can't be dubbed as a game-changing improvement. The A15 chip is an upgrade on expected lines and it definitely packs a punch, especially in enabling some of the new camera features which cannot be executed on last year's A14 chip. This year's Pro models come with 5 GPU cores as compared to the 13 and 13 mini, which have only four. That will definitely make the Pro devices faster and might mean an imperceptible improvement in performance whilst you're playing a battle royale game.
The 120 Hz Pro Motion LTPO display means that Apple has finally switched over to much brighter, vibrant screens which can save some battery juice too. This is because these panels can max out at 120 Hz but fall to a measly 10 Hz for ordinary tasks as well, hence conserving battery life.
The main stuff…
I know the general consensus about smartphone cameras is that there are only iterative upgrades to the technology each year. But, over the years, we've seen how Apple can revolutionise the market with their camera upgrade announcements. This year is no different.
© Provided by Business Today The 13 Pro and Pro Max perform well outdoors in the day, but they really come into their own in low light situations
. The improvements to the sensor size coupled with the A15's 'computational photography" abilities mean much less noisy and blurry shots in darker situations.
The real game-changer for photography enthusiasts has to be the addition of macro mode and its implementation. It is automatically triggered as you approach a subject. So, when the phone is nearly 10 cms away from the subject, it automatically switches to the ultra-wide lens, which can be annoying at times. But, this auto-switching mechanism will probably be fixed by Apple with an update. For now, it's quite an interesting feature addition to the iPhone's already formidable camera system.
© Provided by Business Today The real game-changer for photography enthusiasts has to be the addition of macro mode and its implementation
If you're not a fan of how iPhone photos look and prefer the way Samsung or OnePlus images turn out, then Apple has tried to address that this year by introducing photographic profiles. These include Standard, Rich Contrast, Warm, Cool and Vibrant. These are not filters and have a lot of Apple's computational algorithms doing all the grunt work, ensuring that it doesn't apply uniformly across the entire photo, like a filter. I tested it out and it does certainly change the whole look and feel of the image, depending on which profile you pick.
The big stuff: Cinematic Mode
This is a controversial feature addition. Is it revolutionary? Yes. Is the implementation top-notch? Well, let's just say it will only get better with subsequent upgrades. The hype around the "cinematic mode" announcement was real and I must confess, it gave me a sense of "FOMO", after having spent a bomb on the 12 Pro Max last year. But, on testing the iPhone 13 Pro, there were times when the blur around the edges of the subject didn't look "Pro" enough. It's also restricted to 1080p at 30 FPS, which is a baffling restriction for a lot of aspiring filmmakers and creators who were excited about this feature. I will be doing a more comprehensive review on just this feature in the coming days. That said, what impressed me was the fact that you could change the focus point whilst recording the video and you could manually alter the focus points on the iPhone itself even after recording! Also, if you're not satisfied with the cinematic shot, you can always switch it off later, whilst editing on the Photos app.
© Provided by Business Today The hype around the
It's hard to find any major flaws with the iPhone 13 Pro. Could Apple have finally switched to Type C charging port? Yes, but we might see that next year. After all, the September 23 proposal by the European Commission to universally switch to Type C charging ports on all devices might mean Apple will be compelled to make the switch next year.
If you're a photography enthusiast and own an iPhone older than the 12 Pro, then it might make sense to purchase the iPhone 13 Pro -- the smartphone with the world's best camera system, for now.
Also read: iPhone 13 series quick review: There is something in it for everyone
Also read: Buying an iPhone 13 in India may require an average earner to work for three months, data shows