iPhone 13 review roundup: Stellar displays, cracking cameras, outstanding battery life

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Apple California Streaming event: iPhone 13 comes in an array of five colors.
But should you upgrade?
Photo: Apple

If you still can’t decide whether you want to upgrade to iPhone 13 or 13 Pro, perhaps some early feedback from reviewers will help. Unsurprisingly, they all have good things to say about Apple’s newest handsets, which pack big camera upgrades, better battery life, even faster A15 Bionic chips, and wonderfully smooth ProMotion displays (if you buy a Pro model).

But most agree that the changes don’t break new ground for iPhone, so you might be happy to stick with what you already have. But are the 2021 iPhones really “the most incremental update ever,” as The New York Times writes? Here’s our iPhone 13 review roundup.

Why you should go Pro with iPhone 13

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Drake iPhone 13 Pro meme
iPhone 13 Pro is worth the extra $200.
Image: Cult of Mac

If you’re planning to upgrade to iPhone 13 this year, you should probably spend the extra cash on iPhone 13 Pro. This year’s refresh widens the gap between the different iPhone models on offer — and makes going Pro an even better decision than in previous generations.

It’s not just new camera tricks and a nicer design you get for your money, like with iPhone 12 Pro last year. With iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max, you’ll also enjoy a smoother-than-butter ProMotion display, and an even more powerful A15 Bionic processor.

iPhone 13 could bring ProMotion display, camera upgrades, smaller notch

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Dickson's dummies show small changes to four possible iPhone 13 models.
More than just an incremental upgrade.
Photo: Sonny Dickson

This year’s iPhone refresh could be a lot more exciting than the incremental upgrades we’ve seen in previous years. A new report claims Apple’s next-generation smartphone lineup — which could be called iPhone 13 — will bring faster ProMotion displays, pro camera upgrades, and a smaller notch.

iPhone 13 may boast Apple’s buttery-smooth, ProMotion screen tech

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This concept image shows how the iPhone 13 notch might shrink.
120Hz refresh rate could be on its way to this year's iPhone refresh.
Artists concept: Cult of Mac

Apple’s ProMotion technology, which delivers buttery-smooth scrolling and motion content on some iPads, may come to the iPhone this year.

According to a report from Digitimes, the next-gen iPhone will adopt LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) backplane technology that could enable 120Hz screen refresh rates. The current iPhones have a refresh rate of just 60Hz.

All the things we didn’t get at Apple’s ‘Hi, Speed’ event

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Hi, Speed event image with wishlist in background
Apple's "Hi, Speed" event offered up some nice updates to the iPhone 12 and HomePod, but left some boxes on the wishlist unchecked.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

It happens before every Apple event. The rumor mill, tech blogs (hello), and iPhone-obsessed nerds pin every hope, dream and desire on the next version of Apple’s devices.

More often than not, those desires are dashed, pushing those wants off to another event. While Apple’s iPhone 12 event showed the steps the company is taking toward iterating on its most popular device, there were also some things left on the wish list.

Galaxy S20 vs. iPhone 11: 5 features Apple should steal in 2020

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Galaxy-S20-lineup
The Galaxy S20 lineup looks impressive.
Photo: Samsung

The wait for Samsung’s impressive newest smartphone lineup is almost over. The Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra go on sale next month, with prices starting at $999.

You probably won’t be ditching your iPhone to get one if you’re a big fan of iOS, but you might be a little jealous of those who are. Samsung’s new devices offer a number of awesome new features iPhone users can only dream of for now.

Here are five that Apple should steal in 2020.

Newest iPhone 12 rumor hints at 4 new models, including ’12 mini’

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iPhone-12-concept
An iPhone 12 for everyone?
Photo: LetsGoDigital

The newest iPhone 12 rumor claims Apple will introduce four brand-new handsets this fall, including a compact “iPhone 12 mini.”

The smallest model could be different to the rumored iPhone SE 2, but not much bigger in size. It is expected to pack Apple’s latest technology — just like its larger siblings — inside the same design.

2020 iPhone will boast Apple’s fastest, best-looking display yet

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Apple supplier will start building crucial iPhone component in India
New iPhone will borrow tech which debuted with the 2017 iPad Pro.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The 2020 iPhone will reportedly take a page out of the iPad Pro’s playbook, adopting a 120Hz display that will allow for more fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness and smoother motion content.

Apple introduced the 120Hz ProMotion iPad Pro back in 2017. It now seems that the same technology could find its way to the iPhone, doubling the display refresh rate from its current 60Hz.