Apple has officially announced the high-end half of the iPhone 13 lineup: the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. They’ve got a faster A15 Bionic chip, three all-new cameras, and an improved display with up to a 120Hz ProMotion high refresh rate that can go as bright as 1,000 nits. The iPhone 13 Pro will start at $999, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max will start at $1,099. Both will be available to order on Friday, shipping on September 24th.
The Super Retina XDR displays on both models support variable refresh rates of between 10Hz and 120Hz, and are the same size as last year at 6.1 and 6.7 inches. They have slightly smaller notches that should allow for more space in the iOS status bar. The phones will be available in four colors: graphite, gold, silver, and a new light blue.
Apple says the phones have an all-new three-camera system. The wide camera should offer better low-light photography thanks to its bigger sensor, while the ultrawide should see improvements, too, thanks to its wider aperture. The phones’ telephoto camera now goes up to 3x zoom, enabling 6x optical zoom across the three cameras. All three cameras now have night mode, and there’s a new macro mode for photographing subjects at just 2cm. Sensor-shift optical image stabilization is included on both models.
On the software side, Apple has announced a new Photographic Styles feature, which looks like it works a little like traditional camera filters with an added dose of computational photography. On the video side, the cinematic focus feature announced for the iPhone 13 will also be available on the 13 Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone 13 Pro will also be able to film in up to 4K / 30fps in ProRes, a higher quality video format that gives video editors more control when tweaking footage after it’s been shot. However, the base 128GB storage option will top out at 1080p / 30fps. Apple says ProRes support will be available “in a future iOS 15 update.”
Internally, both devices are using Apple’s new A15 Bionic chip, which offers the familiar CPU and GPU speed increases compared to last year. Apple also says the chip should be faster for machine learning tasks. Battery life has also been improved, with the 13 Pro lasting 1.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro, and the 13 Pro Max lasting 2.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro Max on a charge. Storage options for the iPhone 13 Pro range from 128GB up to 1TB, the most storage Apple has ever offered on a phone. 5G performance has also been upgraded with support for more bands, which Apple says should provide better coverage.
This is the third year Apple is splitting its flagship phone lineup into regular and “Pro” devices. Last year, however, many reviewers noted that there wasn’t much of a difference between the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12. Yes, the 12 Pro had an extra telephoto camera, lidar sensor, and more RAM and base storage, but its basic design, processor, 5G capabilities, and OLED display were all similar, if not identical, to the regular iPhone 12.