Every year, like clockwork, Apple delivers a new model of their iconic, ever-popular smartphone the iPhone. Since it was first announced by Steve Jobs way back in January of 2007, the Apple has managed to sell more than two billion iPhones across its lineup. The latest model, the 13, continued to improve on a new concept introduced to the smartphone family with the iPhone 11: a Pro version. This raises the question: In the battle between iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro, how do the two compare?
Apple first started doing Pro versions back in 2019, and since then, many have asked the questions: What’s so professional about the Pro? How is it any different than the base model? And is one really better than the other? To come up with some answers, we’ll need to make a full comparison between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro.
We’ll start by outlining some key similarities and differences between these two versions of the 13. From there, we’ll place their respective specs side by side and see how they stack up against one another. After that, we’ll go over some fast facts and the history of the latest model. Ultimately, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of each and decide which version is better.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Side by Side Comparison
|iPhone 13||iPhone 13 Pro|
|Release Date||September 24th, 2021||September 24th, 2021|
|Storage||128, 256, 512 GB||128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB|
|System on a Chip||A15 Bionic||A15 Bionic|
|Memory||4 GB LPDDR4X||6 GB LPDDR4X|
|Measurements||5.78 in x 2.81 in x 0.301 in||5.78 in x 2.81 in x 0.301 in|
|Cameras||Rear: 2 (f/1.6, f/2.4)|
Front: 1 (f/2.2)
|Rear: 3 (f/1.5, f/2.8, f/1.8)|
Front: 1 (f/2.2)
|Screen Size||6.1 inch||6.1 inch|
|Available Colors||Midnight, Starlight, Product Red, Blue, Pink, and Green||Silver, Graphite, Gold, Sierra Blue, and Alpine Green|
|Weight||6.1 oz||7.2 oz|
5 Must-Know Facts About the 13s
- Unlike previous iPhone releases, the iPhone 13 Max comes in several different colors than the iPhone 13 base model.
- Interestingly, the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro have the exact same measurements.
- The iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro use the same system on a chip: the A15 Bionic.
- Several predictions for the iPhone 13 were way off base. These included the return of TouchID, removal of the charging port, and an always-on display similar to the Apple Watch.
- For the first time in iPhone’s history, the 13 Pro offers a LiDAR Scanner for unprecedented nighttime photography.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Key Differences
If you were to see the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro right next to each other, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell which phone is which. Sure, they might come in different colors, and yes, they might have a different glass screen, but to the naked eye, these aren’t key differentiators. The difference becomes clear when you turn them on. The base model 13 has two rear cameras, while the 13 Pro has three.
As with any smartphone, the more the features and better the specs, the higher the price. iPhone 13 retails for $699 while its sibling goes for $999. iPhone 13 Pro comes with more storage and RAM. If these specs matter to you, and price is less of an issue, go for the faster iPhone 13 Pro .
There’s more to both phones than just the number of cameras. The iPhone 13 Pro delivers more storage options, a larger amount of memory, and a greater amount of weight — all while utilizing the same system on a chip and measuring in at the same length, width, and height as the iPhone 13. As mentioned above, it also has a thicker, more durable glass screen.
However, this doesn’t inherently make the iPhone 13 Pro the better or superior phone. Not necessarily, at least. Also equipped with the A15 Bionic chip, the iPhone 13 still delivers incredible speed, great cameras, and excellent battery life, yet it is $300 cheaper than the Pro. With these similarities in mind, it’s worth asking whether the higher price is worth it for just a couple of GB more memory and one additional camera (among other specs).
History of the iPhone 13
Conversations about the iPhone 13 and what it might entail began almost as soon as the iPhone 12 was released in 2020. This is only natural for Apple, of course: Because they release a new phone every year (and said phones go through a major structural change every other year or so), speculation is bound to come from that kind of release model. When a rumored feature doesn’t appear in one year’s model, most experts can feel confident it’ll appear in the subsequent year’s release. This was very much the case with the iPhone 13.
Because the iPhone 12 was the one to make some significant aesthetic changes compared to the 11, people felt pretty confident that much of the iPhone 13’s changes would be taking place internally. When Apple made its official announcement in September of 2021, those estimations proved largely correct. At their presser, Apple outlined the iPhone 13’s magnificent camera upgrades, its powerful new system-on-a-chip, and its remarkable strides in battery life. (Three things many predicted would come with the 13.)
Perhaps the most remarkable of the slew of new features is the system-on-a-chip, the A15 Bionic. Equipped with a 4-core CPU and a 6-core GPU, the iPhone 13 chip made serious waves when it demonstrated 30-50% faster speeds than any other smartphone on the market. (Not to mention its 16-core Neural Engine, which Apple claims can handle nearly 16 trillion operations per second.)
Origins of the iPhone Pro
The announcement of the iPhone 13 continued a trend that began with the iPhone 11: the inclusion of Mini, Pro, and Pro Max versions of the standard base model. While the Mini and the Pro Max are clearly smaller or bigger than the base model, what’s interesting is that the Pro is the same size as the base model itself. This raised eyebrows immediately upon announcement, and for a good reason. What about this supposed “Pro” version makes its higher price worth paying if not an increased size?
As the iPhone 11 and 12 both proved, the iPhone 13 Pro is “professional” because it maximizes the already impressive internal specs of the iPhone 13 base model. The most obvious of these is the addition of a third camera on the back of the phone and a different range of colors to choose from. Beyond these differences in aesthetics, the iPhone 13 Pro also lives up to its pro name by increasing maximum storage, adding two additional GB of memory, and tougher glass on the front of the phone itself.
These differences in specs outline the true reasoning behind the origins of the iPhone Pro: to deliver a version of the latest iPhone model that looks and feels the same but still manages to perform even better than the base model. Ultimately, the continued advancement of the Pro is a new variation on a familiar theme for Apple. Instead of doing small, medium, and large versions of the same phone, the tech giant is continuing to toy with ways to keep the physical size the same but dramatically increase the internal power.
|Cheaper than the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max||2G less memory than iPhone 13 Pro|
|More color options than iPhone 13 Pro||Only two rear cameras|
|Similar features and spec as Pro but a fraction of the price||Max storage of 512GB|
|A step up from iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone Pro Max|
iPhone 13 Pro
|6 GB of memory, which provide remarkable speed||Entry-level version costs nearly $1000|
|Boasts three professional-quality cameras on the back of the phone||Slightly heavier than the iPhone 13 base model|
|Flexible storage options all the way to 1TB||Pales in size and specs to the iPhone 13 Pro Max|
|Stronger front glass that can withstand more impact|
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Which Is Better?
When all is said and done, there’s no denying that the iPhone 13 Pro is a better phone than the iPhone 13 base model. But, as many of us know, “better” doesn’t always mean the same thing as “the one you should buy.” Everyone has different needs, meaning we all need something different out of smartphones.
Some don’t need three cameras when two will suffice. Others don’t need a stronger glass screen as they always keep their phone in a sturdy casing. Many don’t need better batteries when they don’t stray far from their charger. For these consumers, there’s simply no need to shell out the extra dough for the 13 Pro. The 13 base model will be more than enough for them.
Alternatively, some will benefit greatly from the addition of a third camera, the improvements made to battery life, and the bonus of two extra GB of memory that the 13 Pro offers. This is the bottom line: The differences between the 13 base model and the 13 Pro are minimal, but they’re quite serious for those who care about these things. The 13 Pro is objectively the better phone, but consider what matters most to when picking a smarthone.