Apple’s iterative iPhone 13 adds faster A15 processor, better cameras (macro and cinema modes) up to 1TB of storage

Apple has just held their annual iPhone event in September, announcing the iPhone 13, Pro and Pro Max. This year the changes are fairly iterative with the familiar faster processor, better display, improvements to camera recipe that has served Apple well for more than a decade.

With iPhone 13, the exterior is largely the same, other than the camera module on the back which will mean new cases are required. There is now MagSafe to enable a suite of accessories, but one of the biggest stories out of the announcement is around storage. A new 1TB model is available for those shooting lots of video, this large, local storage won’t come cheap, but will be the largest iPhone to date in terms of capacity.

Apple’s 1TB model of the iPhone 13 Pro Max costs an eye-watering A$2,719.,00. Unless you have more money than sense, most should buy a smaller capacity phone and leverage cloud storage to offload older files.

A couple of nice features in the Pro models are maco and cinematic mode. The macro mode in many smartphones relies on a dedicated macro lens, while Apple is taking a more software-driven approach with the ability to capture things as close as 2cm away.

The cinematic mode takes the depth of field we’re used to, and apply the autofocus intelligently, based on what’s happening in the scene. An example of this is where a subject in the foreground is talking, then leaves the frame, or even moves off to the side, the focus automatically shifts to the background, giving you a real cinematic feel. This automatic focus adjustment will need to be tested in the real world but determining its success. Apple did explain that you can manually select this, but perhaps the most amazing part, is that you can alter this focus in post. We’ve seen this done in photography, but in the video, that’s on a whole other level and is thanks to the capture of depth data in the footage.

The new display offers up to 120Hz refresh rate, but that’s variable, based on what you’re doing, presumably to save battery life. Apple says you can expect the bigger battery in the year’s phones will give you 1.5-2.5 hours extra, depending on which model you select. That display is also brighter, up to 1,200 nits, which improves outdoor visibility in the sun by around 25%.

The all-new A15 chip includes a 5-core GPU, as well as an improved Neural Engine capable of performing a staggering 15.8 trillion operations per second.

When it comes to connectivity, Apple says they’ve worked with more than 200 carriers around the world to support the most 5G bands of any phone, so expect up to great download and upload speeds when you need it, but the phone then falls back to 4G to preserve battery life when you don’t.

Annoyingly Apple has continued to ship the iPhone 13 with a lightning connector, rather than USB-C which is basically across their entire lineup, other than their phone. It feels overdue this year, but will obviously form part of a larger refresh next year with iPhone 14.

The iPhone 13 is available to pre-order from 10 PM AEST on 17th September (Friday) and will ship on the 24th September 2021.

The price for the iPhone 13 Pro (6.1″ display) starts at A$1,699, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at A$1,849 with storage options starting at 128GB up to 1TB.

Apple also announced an updated Apple Watch (Series 7), as well as a new iPad and iPad Mini, also running the A15 Bionic chip.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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