What is the iPhone 13 Pro worth compared to the iPhone 12 Pro?

The iPhone 13 Pro has some intriguing new features compared to last year’s models. Is the iPhone 12 outdated? Absolutely not, as we can see in our comparison.

On September 14, 2021, Apple made its brand new iPhone 13 Pro official. 120 Hz screen, A15 chip, three photo modules, Apple’s new spearheads make no technical concessions. For mobiles sold from 1,159 euros, we expected no less.

If the iPhone 12 Pro has officially disappeared from the Apple range to make way for the 13 Pro, the mobile can still be found at most retailers and there is no doubt that many used models should arrive on the market soon. Here is a summary of the differences between flagship of the year 2020 and 2021 if you are unsure.

A similar design between the 12 and 13 Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max do not upset the aesthetic language of Apple. The mobiles have the same design as those of the previous generation, with their bevelled edges and their screens that take up almost the entire front surface.

IPhone 12 Pro on the left, 13 Pro on the right // Source: Apple

The only visible differences are the notch at the top of the screen which is narrower (20% narrower to be precise) and the photo island on the back which takes up more space on the new generation of mobiles. Otherwise, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max keep the same style and the same screen dimensions (6.1 and 6.7 inches respectively).

Make way for 120 Hz on the iPhone 13 Pro

Apple has this year reserved a little surprise for its “Pro” range: the arrival of “ProMotion” technology which can vary the refresh rate of the screen. Concretely, this means that theiPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max display can display more frames per second for improved display smoothness. When the phone doesn’t need to scroll millions of pixels, it can also lower the frames per second counter to save battery.

Both Pro models have a 120 Hz screen // Source: Apple

Otherwise, the panels of the iPhone 13 Pro do not offer other new features compared to those of the 12 Pro. We find the maximum brightness announced of 1200 nits, support for HDR 10 and DolbyVision.

Photo improvements

Also in the photo, Apple has taken care of its iPhone 13 Pro. The three modules on the back have been improved to provide greater photographic versatility.

iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max
Wide-angle module 12 Mpx, f / 1.6, 26mm 12 Mpx, f / 1.6, 26 mm + mechanical stabilization 12 Mpx, f / 1.5, 26 mm + mechanical stabilization 12 Mpx, f / 1.5, 26 mm + mechanical stabilization
Ultra wide-angle module 12 Mpx, f / 2.4, 13mm 12 Mpx, f / 2.4, 13mm 12 Mpx, f / 1.8, 13mm 12 Mpx, f / 1.8, 13 mm
Zoom module 12 Mpx, f / 2.0, 52mm 12 Mpx, f / 2.2, 65mm 12 Mpx, f / 2.8, 77mm 12 Mpx, f / 2.8, 77 mm

As we can see, the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max now share the same technical sheet on the photo pane. Both offer mechanical stabilization on the wide-angle sensor, which should improve your shots taken in low light. On the previous generation, only the Max model had such stabilization. The zoom sensor also has a longer focal length and the wide-angle can be used for macro photography.

The three photo modules of the iPhone 13 Pro // Source: YouTube / Apple

In addition to that, the iPhone 13 Pro comes with “Cinematic mode” which allows you to easily do camera effects while you are filming. Image specialists can also take advantage of the ProRes format, which provides more flexibility for video editing.

The front camera has not changed, as has the LiDAR sensor which is still there.

The A15 Bionic chip

On the performance side, the iPhone 13 Pro features the latest Apple A15 Bionic chip which is necessarily better than last year’s model. The A15 Bionic is supposedly more powerful and less power hungry than the A14 chip of 2020.

The characteristics of the A15 Bionic chip // Source: Apple

However, the differences should be small this year. The architecture of the two chips is the same and the engraving fineness has not changed. This does not say everything about the performance of the device (the machine learning component is supposedly better optimized on the A15 chip for example), but it is not this aspect that Apple puts forward the most to sell its phone.

Bigger batteries on iPhone 13 Pro

As for the “standard” iPhone 13, Apple has increased the battery capacity of its Pro models.

  • The iPhone 13 Pro’s battery should last (according to Apple) on average 1.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro’s.
  • That of the iPhone 13 Pro Max promises 2 hours and a half more autonomy compared to that of the 12 Pro Max.

With the addition of the ProMotion screen, Apple had to give a little boost to the batteries of its new iPhones. The 120 Hz display can be quite power hungry.


The iPhone 13 Pro family brings some welcome new features to the iPhone range. The 120 Hz screen and macro photography have already been present on competitive smartphones for several years. If we add the improvements that Apple has made on the video side, these iPhone 13 Pro are interesting products for video creators.

Is it still necessary to switch to the iPhone 13 Pro if you already have a 12 Pro? Probably not. All these small improvements are nice, but not enough to put 1000 and a few euros back in a new phone.

Unless you absolutely need the new products presented by Apple, you can save yourself the renewal (the planet will thank you for it). And if you hesitate before purchasing, wait a few weeks: second-hand iPhone 12 Pro will surely arrive at bargain prices. You will be able to make your choice at that time.

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