iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max take the high-end iPhones to new heights

iPhone 13 Pro rear cameras on a screen at Apple Park
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple announced the new iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max at its "California streaming" event today, and while the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini saw more upgrades than we were anticipating the Pro models still manage to stand out above them.

The 13 Pro comes in four colors, graphite, gold, silver, and Sierra Blue.

The notch gets a 20% reduction from the previous models, which is a step in the right direction. If you were hoping for the notch to disappear entirely, you have at least one more year to wait.

iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max color options

(Image credit: Apple)

All three rear cameras of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are upgraded from last year and the iPhone 13 Pro now joins the Pro Max with sensor-shift optical image stabilization. 

The wide-angle is upgraded to an incredible f/1.5 and the new sensor features larger 1.9 µm pixels. Combined this should lead to considerably better low-light performance.  

iPhone 13 Pro user taking a photo

(Image credit: Apple)

Speaking of low-light performance, Night mode is also now available on the 13 Pro and 13 Pro ultra-wide and telephoto lenses. The ultra-wide sensor is upgraded as well and also enables a new macro mode in both photo and video for stunning close-up shots. Telephoto is upgraded to a full 3x optical zoom, up from 2x on the iPhone 12 Pro and 2.5x on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

The battery thankfully is larger than last year, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max performed well, the standard Pro definitely needed this improvement.

iPhone 13 Pro interior design on a screen at Apple Park

(Image credit: Apple)

A15 Bionic uses a 6-core CPU with 2 new high-performance cores and 4 high-efficient cores. A new 5-core GPU has the fastest graphics of any smartphone ever and along with the new 16-core Neural Engine capable delivers a number of new experiences like live text transcription, real-time AR features, and enhanced computational photography. 

A15 Bionic specs

(Image credit: Apple)

The new Super Retina XDR display can hit up to 1000 nits of brightness according to Apple. But the biggest new addition to the display is ProMotion. That's Apple's name for its adaptive 120Hz refresh rate that allows it to move from 10Hz up to 120Hz depending on the content on screen. If that sounds familiar, that's identical to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra display from earlier this year. 

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max display sizes remain the same as last year at 6.1-inches and 6.7-inches respectively. Pricing also thankfully remains the case with the iPhone 12 Pro still starting at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro starting at $1,099. Pre-orders for both phones will open at 5 a.m. Pacific (8 a.m. Eastern) on Friday, September 17 with the phones shipping a week later on September 24.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.