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iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro (2021): Is It Worth The Upgrade?

Now that an entire lineup of new iPhones is here, it’s time once again for Apple fans to decide whether they should upgrade or not. One of the most exciting models in the mix is the iPhone 13 Pro which Apple has packed with plenty of commendable upgrades. That said, is it really worth leaving the iPhone 12 Pro for? To help you answer this question, here’s an in-depth comparison of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro, covering their design, display, camera, performance, and battery life.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro Comparison Chart

ModeliPhone 13 ProiPhone 12 Pro
 Apple iPhone 13 Pro (256GB, Gold) [Locked] + Carrier SubscriptionApple iPhone 12 Pro (256GB, Pacific Blue) [Locked] + Carrier Subscription
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Display Size6.1 inches6.1 inches
Display Resolution1170 x 2532 pixels1170 x 2532 pixels
Maximum Screen Brightness1,000 nits800 nits
Maximum Refresh Rate120Hz60Hz
Camera SystemUltra Wide – 12MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture
Wide – 12MP, ƒ/1.5 aperture
Telephoto – 12MP, ƒ/1.5 aperture
Ultra Wide – 12MP, ƒ/2.4 aperture
Wide – 12MP, ƒ/1.6 aperture
Telephoto – 12MP, ƒ/2.0 aperture
CPUA15 Bionic chipA14 Bionic chip
GPUApple 5-core GPUApple 4-core GPU
RAM6GB6GB
Maximum Storage 1TB512GB
Battery Life22 hours video playback17 hours video playback

Design and Display

The iPhone 13 Pro has a brighter screen and higher refresh rate than the iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 13 Pro vs 12 Pro design
The iPhone 13 Pro (left) has variable refresh rate while the iPhone 12 Pro (right) is stuck at the basic 60Hz.

If you’re expecting a huge design makeover, prepare to be disappointed. The Apple iPhone 13 Pro looks like it could be the iPhone 12 Pro’s twin, with only the thinner notch and camera bump to set it apart from its predecessor. It has the same rounded edges and the same dimensions, although the iPhone 13 Pro is slightly thicker and heavier because of its bigger battery. As for colors, you get the same options although the iPhone 12 Pro’s Pacific Blue has turned into Sierra Blue for the iPhone 13 Pro.

Fortunately, things get more exciting when you compare their displays. While their OLED screens both measure in at 6.1 inches and have a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels, the iPhone 13 Pro delivers a more enjoyable viewing experience. Aside from the smaller and less noticeable notch, its screen is also much more vibrant, able to go as bright as 1,000 nits outdoors. The biggest upgrade on the iPhone 13 Pro’s display, however, would have to be the use of LTPO display technology which lets you enjoy variable refresh rate. Depending on what you’re doing, the refresh rate can go from 10Hz all the way to 120Hz for an extra smooth and seamless experience.

Camera

The iPhone 13 Pro’s camera system is more advanced than the iPhone 12 Pro’s.

iPhone 13 Pro vs 12 Pro camera
The iPhone 13 Pro (left) performs better than the iPhone 12 Pro (right) in low light conditions.

Aside from having a better display, the Apple iPhone 13 Pro also pulls ahead of the iPhone 12 Pro when it comes to camera hardware. The iPhone 13 Pro’s ultra-wide camera got an aperture bump from f/2.4 to f/1.8. This allows more light in which results in a 92% performance improvement in low light conditions. The iPhone 13 Pro also has a new wide camera with a f/1.5 aperture as well as a new 77mm telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. To top things off, it also received a larger sensor, the biggest one that’s ever been put in an iPhone.

While the iPhone 12 Pro’s camera system has the exact same layout as the iPhone 13 Pro’s, it definitely falls behind in terms of specs. Because aside from the mentioned upgrades, the iPhone 13 Pro also has a couple of nifty tricks up its sleeve including macro photography for sharp close-up shots and cinematic mode which blurs the background and allows you to adjust your depth of field. This makes its camera system the most advanced you can get on a smartphone.

Performance

The iPhone 13 Pro has a more advanced processor and bigger storage options than the iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro performance
The iPhone 13 Pro is equipped with the A15 Bionic chip while the iPhone 12 Pro has the A14 Bionic chip.

Equipped with the A14 Bionic chip, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro is a powerhouse in its own right and can outperform many other smartphones out there. But it’s no match for the iPhone 13 Pro because it possesses Apple’s new A15 Bionic chip. This means that you can expect unmatched speed and performance, plus you can be sure that it will continue to run fast for you in the years to come. Aside from a processor upgrade, the iPhone 13 Pro also received a 5-core GPU which trumps the iPhone 12 Pro’s 4-core GPU.

Both the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro run on 6GB of RAM but the former impresses with much bigger storage space options. The maximum you can get with the iPhone 12 Pro is 512GB but you can get double the amount of storage space with the iPhone 13 Pro. While 1TB might be too excessive for some, it’ll definitely be beneficial for those who plan on taking a lot of 4K videos.

Battery Life

The iPhone 13 Pro has a bigger battery capacity than the iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 13 Pro vs 12 Pro battery
The iPhone 13 Pro can last for an additional 1.5 hours of usage per charge.

Apple hasn’t revealed the size of the battery they put in the iPhone 13 Pro although they did say that it’s bigger than the iPhone 12 Pro‘s. Because of the increase in size, you get to enjoy an additional 1.5 hours of usage per charge which brings the total to 22 hours of video playback. This isn’t bad at all considering that the iPhone 13 Pro runs on a more powerful processor and has a higher refresh rate than its predecessor.

Verdict

The iPhone 13 Pro is a worthy successor to the iPhone 12 Pro.

If you’ve been eyeing the Apple iPhone 13 Pro, this is your go signal to make the purchase. While it doesn’t look too different from the iPhone 12 Pro on the outside, Apple actually did a great job of packing it with impressive upgrades that make it a worthy successor.

You get to enjoy a brighter screen, a higher refresh rate, a more advanced camera system, a more powerful processor, and a more dependable battery life. The best part is that Apple has managed to keep the price of the iPhone 13 Pro the same as the iPhone 12 Pro’s even with all of these improvements. We can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t grab the latest Pro generation.

If you’re interested in Apple’s other new iPhones, you can check out our iPhone 13 vs 12 comparison.

FAQs

📌 When is the release date of the Apple iPhone 13 Pro?

The iPhone 13 Pro is set to hit stores on September 24, 2021 together with all the other new iPhone 13 models.

📌 How much is the Apple iPhone 13 Pro?

Despite giving the iPhone 13 Pro plenty of commendable upgrades, Apple has managed to keep its price the same as its predecessor’s. You can get the iPhone 13 Pro for the starting price of $999.

📌 What is the size of the Apple iPhone 13 Pro?

The iPhone 13 Pro has similar dimensions to its predecessor, measuring in at 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches. It’s slightly heavier though because it carries a bigger battery.

📌 Is it worth upgrading to the Apple iPhone 13 Pro?

Apple did a great job of packing the iPhone 13 Pro with impressive upgrades that make it a worthy successor to the iPhone 12 Pro. It hasa brighter screen, a higher refresh rate, a more advanced camera system, a morepowerful processor, and a more dependable battery life.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.