Not sure if it’s worth upgrading from the iPhone 12 Pro to the newer 13 Pro? Or do you just want to buy a new iPhone and are hesitating between the two?
Here is a detailed comparison of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro to help you choose the best device for you. We look at the price, design, camera and more.
At its release, the iPhone 12 Pro cost $999. However, Apple no longer makes this model and it is only available to buy new from third parties. As a result, prices may vary by region. In addition, inventory may have decreased from most suppliers, so Apple’s refurbished store may be your best bet. Prices for the iPhone 12 Pro start at $759 in the refurbished version.
The iPhone 13 Pro, the latest model, is still easy to find new and starts at $999 on Apple’s website.
The iPhone 12 Pro is available in four colors: Pacific Blue, Gold, Graphite and Silver. The iPhone 13 Pro goes a step further, offering five colors instead: Alpine Green, Sierra Blue, Gold, Graphite and Silver.
The gold, graphite and silver colors are exactly the same, while the Pacific Blue for the iPhone 13 Pro is lighter than the Sierra Blue iPhone 12 Pro, which has a darker shade. The Alpine Green is a completely new color and differs from the traditional bright green. Still finding it hard to decide? We can help you decide which iPhone 13 Pro color suits you best.
Moving on to the design, both models look almost exactly the same when placed side by side. The height and width are identical on each device, 5.78 and 2.82 inches respectively. Both iPhones have a ceramic shield front and surgical grade stainless steel. The iPhone 13 Pro is slightly deeper and weighs half an ounce more than the iPhone 12 Pro. This is probably suitable for the larger battery.
The main design change you will notice is the size of the notch. Apple has reduced the notch of the iPhone 13 Pro by 20 percent. In addition, the rear cameras also protrude slightly more than on the iPhone 12 Pro.
Again, the similarities outweigh the differences between these two models. Both iPhones have a 6.1-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 1170 by 2532 pixels, True Tone and Super Retina XDR. However, the iPhone 13 has a slight brightness advantage, with a maximum brightness of 1000 nits compared to the 800 nits of the iPhone 12 Pro.
Another difference is that the iPhone 13 Pro comes with ProMotion technology that offers adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz, while the iPhone 12 Pro does not have this feature. This gives the iPhone 13 Pro smoother motion content and smoother scrolling. However, if you test the iPhones together, you may not notice much of a difference.
Don’t be fooled by the looks on this one. While the naked eye can see the same three lenses with slightly larger sizes on the iPhone 13 Pro, there are many key differences inside these cameras. The iPhone 13 Pro has a lot of features that we love, and the camera improvements are certainly included.
We’ll start with the hardware on both models. The iPhone 12 Pro has three lenses:
- Telephoto: ƒ/2.0 aperture
- Wide: ƒ/1.6 aperture
- Ultra wide angle: ƒ/2.4 aperture
And here are the iPhone 13 Pro’s lenses:
- Telephoto: ƒ/2.8 aperture
- Wide: ƒ/1.5 aperture
- Ultra wide angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture
The lower the f-stop, the more light that enters the camera lens. The iPhone 13 Pro actually gets less light in the telephoto lens. But it makes up for it by offering 3x optical zoom instead of the 2x zoom you get with the iPhoen 12 Pro.
The iPhone 13 Pro also improves upon the 12 by using a larger sensor, previously only seen on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This results in a strong improvement in image quality. The lower aperture and larger sensor for the wide-angle lens allow more light to be captured, delivering excellent results in low-light conditions. Both Pro models also have a LiDAR scanner for night mode portraits.
The software is where it gets really fascinating. To start with the similarities, Apple ProRAW is supported by both models and Portrait mode offers the same effects and depth features. But as of now, the iPhone 13 Pro takes the lead with these exclusive features:
- Cinematic Mode: Probably the most popular new camera feature, it automatically shifts focus from one subject to another while recording videos.
- Macro photography: Macro mode allows you to take close-up photos and videos.
- Photographic Styles: It allows you to create your own set of styles using different filters and tones. You can also save them to your Camera app to use them anytime.
- Smart HDR4: This optimizes contrast and exposure for up to four people in a photo, based on their appearance and skin tones.
- ProRes: You can use ProRes to record high-resolution videos in a compressed format that allows flexible editing in Photos, iMovie, and professional video editing software.
Both Pro models have storage options of 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. But while the iPhone 12 Pro only has these three options, the iPhone 13 Pro also has a fourth option of 1TB. It is the iPhone ever that offers so much storage space.
With bigger sensors and video features like Cinematic Mode and ProRes, the option to buy a 1TB storage model is now a lot more convenient.
Water resistance to a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes, super-fast 5G and almost four times better drop performance than the iPhone 11 Pro are some great features carried by both Pro models in comparison. They have what it takes to go the extra mile and make a good iPhone even better. But the iPhone 13 Pro has an even better feature up its sleeve. Namely the processor.
It has an A15 Bionic chip with a five-core GPU, while the iPhone 12 Pro has an A14 chip with a four-core GPU. The iPhone 13 Pro is the first of its kind with a chip this powerful, but that’s no surprise. Whether Apple makes major design changes or not, it has always released a new chip with every new iPhone series. If the tradition continues, the iPhone 14 lineup may have an A16 bionic chip.
The processor performs all operations and functions on your device. Therefore, an A15 Bionic chip automatically means a more powerful device, longer battery life, greater energy efficiency, better graphics and much more. Apple claims the A15 Bionic has the fastest graphics performance of any smartphone chips, meaning it’s perfect for video apps, the iPhone 13 Pro’s new camera features, and high-performance gaming.
The iPhone 13 Pro can play up to 22 hours of video, while the iPhone 12 Pro only has a maximum of 17 hours. The battery for the iPhone 13 Pro is also physically larger, making the phone thicker and heavier than its predecessor. Both devices also support charging iPhone MagSafe.
iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro: Which One Do You Get?
An extra color, better storage options, new camera features and a better processing chip are all available with the iPhone 13 Pro. But if budget is an issue and you like to buy a used device, you can save a lot of money by buying the iPhone 12 Pro. These devices are quite similar, so if none of these features are of interest to you, it’s probably worth sticking with the 12 Pro.