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iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Here are the differences

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro
iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: Future)

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro is the face-off people are most curious about. After Apple's highly anticipated Sept. 14 'California Streaming' event, Google Trends revealed that prospective buyers are overlooking the entry-level and top-tier models (i.e. iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro Max) and zooming in on the mid-tier variants.

Naturally, people want to know whether they should snag the pricier iPhone 13 Pro or settle for the iPhone 13. In order to make an informed decision, you need to know all about the differences between the two variants. That being said, we're diving into an iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro face-off so you'll know which iOS device is best for you.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Specs

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro
iPhone 13iPhone 13 Pro
Starting price$799$999
Display6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR (60Hz)6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR with ProMotion (120Hz)
CPUApple A15 BionicApple A15 Bionic
RAM4GB6GB
Storage Options128GB, 256GB and 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB
Selfie camera12MP, f/2.2 aperture, TrueDepth12MP, f/2.2 aperture, TrueDepth
Battery size3,240 mAh battery3,125 mAh
Water resistanceYes, IP68 Yes, IP68
ColorsPink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight and Product (Red)Graphite, Gold, Silver and Sierra blue
Dimensions5.78 x 2.82 x 0.3 inches5.78 x 2.82 x 0.3 inches
Weight6.14 ounces7.19 ounces

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Price

The starting price of the iPhone 13, as you'd expect, is cheaper than the Pro model. However, the more storage you need, the more expensive it gets. The prices are listed below.

iPhone 13 price

  • iPhone 13 - 128GB - $830.00 - ($800 + $30 discount with T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint or Verizon)
  • iPhone 13 - 256GB - $930.00 - ($900 + $30 discount with T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint or Verizon)
  • iPhone 13 - 512GB - $1,130 - ($1,100 + $30 discount with T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint or Verizon)

iPhone 13 Pro price

  • iPhone 13 Pro - 128GB - $1,000
  • iPhone 13 Pro - 256GB - $1,100
  • iPhone 13 Pro - 512GB - $1,300
  • iPhone 13 Pro - 1TB - $1,500

iPhone 13

iPhone 13 (Image credit: Apple)

For many, paying more than $1,000 for a phone is quite the sacrifice, so it's important to figure out whether the iPhone 13 Pro is worth the splurge. Let's look at the design, display, specs, cameras and more to see if you'd be better off purchasing the iPhone 13.

Be sure to check out our best iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro pre-order deals to knock some dollars off those expensive price tags.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Design

The brand-spankin' new iPhone 13 line maintains the same design language as its predecessor. Its flat-edge form factor reminds me of a shiny, aluminum-wrapped candy bar. Compared to the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 and Pro's notch is 20% smaller (in terms of width).

iPhone 13

iPhone 13 (Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro share the same dimensions: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches. Now, here's where they begin to differ. The iPhone 13 is made of aerospace-grade aluminum while the iPhone 13 Pro consists of surgical-grade stainless steel. This difference causes a dissimilarity in weight. The iPhone 13, weighing six ounces, is slightly lighter than the Pro model (7 ounces).

Feel free to take out the next-gen iPhone during a drizzle or a mild sandstorm; the iPhone 13 has an IP68 rating, which means it can withstand water and dust (within reason).

iPhone 13

iPhone 13 (Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 13 comes in Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight and PRODUCT (RED) while the iPhone 13 Pro offers Graphite, Silver, Gold and Sierra Blue.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Display

Like the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 line sports a ceramic-shield display, which means you're less likely to end up with spider web-like cracks on the panel after impact. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro also share the same display size and pixel ratio; both have a 6.1-inch, 2,532 x 1,170-pixel screen.

iPhone 13

iPhone 13 (Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 13 features a Super Retina XDR display (OLED) that's 28% brighter than the iPhone 12 (up to 800 nits). The iPhone 13 Pro also has a Super Retina XDR (OLED) display, but it features a max brightness of 1,000 nits. Most importantly, it has ProMotion technology (its screen is designed to dynamically match your content). In other words, if you're inputting quick, zippy swipes, its refresh rate can go up to 120Hz. However, if the speed of your activity slows down, the refresh rate drops, which helps extend your battery life.

To sum it all up, the iPhone 13 Pro has a sweet 120Hz refresh rate while the iPhone 13 is left out in the cold.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Processor

The A15 Bionic chip powers the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. According to Apple, the A15 Bionic processor packs a six-core CPU with "two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores." The chip also features a new 16-core neural engine that handles machine-learning tasks. Apple boasts that it's capable of handling 15.8 trillion operations per second.

iPhone 13

iPhone 13 (Image credit: Apple)

While the CPU between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro is the same, the GPU inside the iPhone 13 Pro has a slight boost with a five-core GPU (while the iPhone 13 has four cores). The Cupertino-based tech giant claims that the GPU inside the iPhone 13 Pro offers 50% faster graphics performance compared to leading phones on the market. 

You may also want to consider RAM. The iPhone 13 sports 4GB of RAM while the iPhone 13 Pro likely has stronger multitasking muscles with 6GB of RAM.

If you want to want greater storage, consider the iPhone 13 Pro. For the first time ever, Apple is offering 1TB of storage (for the Pro and Pro Max models). As mentioned, the iPhone 13 Pro also comes with 128GB, 256GB and 512GB variants. The iPhone 13 offers the same sans the 1TB option.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Cameras

The rear cameras are where the differences are the most striking. Both have an f/2.2, 12MP selfie camera, but the iPhone 13 has a dual-camera system (wide and ultra-wide lenses) while the iPhone 13 Pro has the triple threat: wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses. The charts below detail the differences between the wide and ultra-wide lenses.

iPhone 13 ultra-wide photo

iPhone 13 ultra-wide photo (Image credit: Apple)

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Wide Cameras
iPhone 13 (Wide Lens)iPhone 13 Pro (Wide Lens)
Megapixels1212
Pixel size1.7 µm1.9 µm
Aperturef/1.6f/1.5
Focal length26 mm26 mm

iPhone 13 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro photo (Image credit: Apple)

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Ultra-Wide Cameras
iPhone 13 (Ultra Wide)iPhone 13 Pro (Ultra Wide)
Megapixels1212
Aperturef/2.4f/1.8
Focal length13 mm13 mm
Elements5-element Lens6-element lens
Field of view120 degrees120 degrees

Apple claims that the iPhone 13 Pro's ultra-wide camera offers up to 92% improvement in low light compared to its predecessor. Its wide camera serves up 2.2x improvement in low light. As for the iPhone 13, Apple boasted that its wide camera gathers 47% more light than the iPhone 12, resulting in less noise and brighter images.

Originally introduced in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, sensor-shift photo stabilization can now be found inside the iPhone 13's wide camera (the Pro has the same feature). 

The iPhone 13 Pro has a telephoto lens, but the iPhone 13 lacks this feature. Telephoto allows users to get up close and personal with their pictures for stunning macro photography. The telephoto camera features 3x optical zoom, an f/2.8 aperture and a focal length of 77 mm. As a cherry on top, the telephoto lens now supports night mode.

Cinematic Mode

Cinematic Mode (Image credit: Apple)

Another perk that can be found across all four iPhone devices is Cinematic Mode, which lets you record videos with cool, depth-of-field effects. Cinematic Mode can record up to 4K at 60 fps in Dolby Vision HDR.

It's also worth noting that only the iPhone 13 Pro supports Apple's ProRes video-recording standard (up to 4K at 30 fps).

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Battery life

Thanks to the A15 Bionic's power-efficient components, Apple claims that the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro both last longer than their predecessors. The iPhone 13 allegedly lasts 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12, and the iPhone 13 Pro reportedly survives an extra hour and a half compared to the iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 13

iPhone 13 (Image credit: Apple)

According to our battery results for the iPhone 12 line, this means that the iPhone 13 should last 11 hours and the iPhone 13 Pro should have a 10-hour runtime. 

Outlook

As its name suggests, the iPhone 13 Pro caters to professional photographers and videographers who'd benefit from extra perks such as telephoto for macro photography, a 1TB storage option to hold a greater collection of content, and Apple's handy dandy ProRes feature.

The average consumer may be fine with the iPhone 12, but one feature that they may miss out on is the 120Hz refresh-rate display.

Look out for our upcoming, in-depth iPhone 13 face-offs when we get performance benchmarks (and other telling results) to help our readers make informed decisions before buying the next-generation iOS device.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!