What’s New in the iPhone 13 Compared to the iPhone 12?

The iPhone 13 is the best-selling iPhone among the four models in the 13 series.

There are few visual differences between the two; if it wasn’t for the diagonal dual camera arrangement on the back instead of the vertical one on the previous model, you probably couldn’t tell them apart. Despite looking similar on the outside, Apple has given the iPhone 13 a welcome boost in battery life, improved the cameras, made everything faster, and given us a few other surprises. A 120Hz refresh rate, which many people had hoped for, is regrettably not one of those surprises.

What distinguishes the new model from the previous one in terms of significant differences and distinctive features? And is the slightly less expensive iPhone 12 even worth taking into account? This article explains the main differences between iPhone 12 and 13. 

Display and Design

The iPhone 13 maintains the dimensions and aesthetic of the iPhone 12. This size has proven to be a great middle-ground, a little larger than the 5.8-inch screen that Apple used to have on earlier iPhone models like the iPhone X, XS, and 11 Pro, so both have the same 6.1″ flat screen. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 run at 60Hz, contrasting the more fluid experience provided by 120Hz Promotion technology such as iPhone 13 Pro. 

The iPhone 13 display is almost identical to the iPhone 12 in terms of colors and quality: size and resolution are the same, but the notch is now 20% smaller. However, Apple hasn’t done anything significant with the meager amount of space that has become available. The brightness of the iPhone 13 is also an improvement, reaching a peak of 800 nits as opposed to 625 nits on the iPhone 12, making the newer phone easier to see outside.

New color options are also available, while some previous ones are no longer available. For instance, the iPhone 13 no longer comes in a green model, but you get the pink version you can see above. In contrast to the darker, almost navy-blue hue on the iPhone 12, users also like the new lighter shade of blue.

The iPhone 13 now weighs 174 grams, a little more than the 164 grams of the iPhone 12, which is the one more noticeable change you might feel. 


Apple has adopted a clear strategy to differentiate its iPhones over the past couple of years, outfitting non-Pro models with two cameras but omitting a dedicated zoom lens, a feature reserved for Pro models. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 both adhere to this standard, giving you two cameras but no telephoto lens.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 12’s cameras are shown in the following way:

  • Wide camera – 12MP on both, a 26mm focal length, and an f/1.6 aperture on both.
  • Ultra-wide camera – 12MP on both, 0.5X or 13mm; f/2.4 on both.

Although the main camera still has 12MP sensors, Apple claims it can now capture up to 47% more light for better nighttime photos. You also receive a new sensor-shift OIS for increased stability. Additionally, it is claimed that the ultra-wide camera will reveal more detail in shadowy areas. 

The image from the iPhone 12 appears slightly overexposed, whereas the one from the iPhone 13 appears to reduce the exposure of the highlights for a more balanced image.

A few new software features are also included:

  • Similar to Portrait mode, but for video is Cinematic Mode. The video footage background will be blurred for a “bokeh effect” on the new iPhone in real-time analysis, leaving only the subject in focus.
  • Photographic Styles are far more effective than standard filters. With these new AI filters, you can change the colors, highlights, and shadows of specific photo elements, whether an object or a person. 

Performance and Storage 

With the new Apple A15 Bionic processor, Apple’s A series of iPhone chips, which have led the market in performance over the last few years, continue to maintain their dominance.

The iPhone 13 has the same 4GB of RAM as the iPhone 12, but the base model now has 128GB of storage, which is fantastic because it is double the capacity of the prior model for the same price.

There is a slight speed improvement, and analysts believe it is due to Apple increasing CPU speed for better single-core results and increasing cache for better multi-core results.

Look at our used iPhone 12 deals. 

Battery and Charging 

The iPhone 13 has a 3,227mAh battery cell versus 2,815mAh in the iPhone 12, representing a nearly 15% increase in capacity.

Apple confirms that you get 1.5 hours more battery life on average. Further digging in Apple documents reveals that the iPhone 13 can now last 15 hours of non-stop video streaming, significantly improving over the iPhone 12’s 11 hours. 

In terms of chargers, Apple “innovated” by not including a charger or headphones in the iPhone 12, and this lovely innovation is carried over to the iPhone 13. Apple portrays this as an eco-friendly move, but it could just as easily be interpreted as a simple price-cutting maneuver. Whatever it is, expect to pay an extra $20-$30 for a fast charger for the iPhone 13.

In terms of charging speeds, Apple has slowly adopted the super-fast charging found on many Android phones. 

Final Thoughts 

The iPhone 13 comes with double storage and all the new features mentioned in this article. Although the appearance of both phones is almost the same except for the camera location, there are minor differences between iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.  

If your budget doesn’t allow you to buy a new iPhone 13, you can buy used iPhones at reasonable prices. 


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