LOOKING for a new Apple device? Then you should consider the iPhone 13 or the iPhone 13 Pro, both of which are great options for those looking to upgrade.
To help you make your choice, we’ve compared the sibling devices against each other, comparing everything from design to price so you can decide which is best for you
The Apple iPhone 13 series is only a generation old and was succeeded by the iPhone 14 last year, but it remains a great option for those looking to upgrade.
Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro launched in September 2021 and retained the new angular bezel finish that Apple now favors.
The iPhone 13 series has some notable improvements over the iPhone 12, but should you go for the base model or its Pro sibling?
We cover all the key facts and compare these two former flagships, considering every aspect from design, features, cameras to price. Read on to find out which one is best for you.
If you’re looking for a deeper dive, check out our Tech Editor Sean Keach’s iPhone 13 review and iPhone 13 Pro review. There you will get a detailed breakdown of both devices and his expert opinion.
We’ve also handpicked the best iPhone deals on the market, so you can be sure you’re getting a bargain when making your choice.
Top offer: iPhone 13
Affordable Mobiles offer the cheaper monthly plan, a whopping 250GB of data for £38 a month, the best price we’ve seen.
Apple iPhone 13, 250GB data, £38 a month, £0 in advance on O2 – Buy here
Top offer: iPhone 13 Pro
Sky Mobile is the best place to buy the iPhone 13 Pro model with 75GB of data for £67 a month and £36 upfront.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro, 75GB data, £67 a month, £36 upfront on Sky Mobile – Buy here
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: at a glance
As we’d expect, Apple devices in the same series share many features, so the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro share key similarities, while the iPhone 13 Pro offers some Pro benefits.
Both devices feature a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, True Tone and Haptic Touch, and share the same A15 Bionic chip.
The notch housing the front camera and speaker is also 20% smaller on the devices than on the previous iPhone 12 series.
You’ll also find that both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro come with a Ceramic Shield glass front and IP68 dust and water resistance to a depth of six meters for up to 30 minutes.
Like all current Apple versions, both devices are compatible with MagSafe accessories and wireless chargers.
While these two handsets may look similar, there are some key differences that stem from the fact that the iPhone 13 Pro has features that only the premium device offers.
First, the iPhone 13 Pro uses a surgical-grade stainless steel design, while the iPhone 13 uses aerospace-grade aluminum.
You also get 2GB of additional storage on the Pro model, with the iPhone 13 having 4GB while the iPhone 13 Pro has 6GB of storage.
As you’d expect, the main difference between the base iPhone 13 and its Pro counterpart is the camera.
Not only does the iPhone 13 Pro have better optical and digital zoom, but it also has a 2.8 telephoto lens not found on the base model.
The iPhone 13 Pro also features Apple’s new ProRAW and Night mode portraits, as well as up to 4K ProRes video capture – all found only on the Pro handset.
We’re impressed with the iPhone 13 Pro’s upgrades and extra features, but unless you really want to push the Pro camera to its limits, the average user will do just as well with the base iPhone 13 model.
iPhone 13 vs 13 Pro: Camera
All of the iPhone 13 series came with tech improvements and the cameras received some major upgrades over the previous iPhone 12 series.
Compared to its predecessor, the iPhone 13 has a new sensor in the 12-megapixel main camera that lets in 47% more light, and it’s now arranged in a diagonal line instead of the vertical arrangement seen on the iPhone 11 and 12.
While the iPhone 13 has its own unique upgrades that you won’t find on its iPhone 13 sister model – they’re great if you want top-notch photo specs on your everyday device.
You get Apple ProRAW for photo editing, ProRes for 4K video recording, and a LiDAR scanner for better night mode portraits.
However, for the majority, these features aren’t critical, and the iPhone 13’s Duel 12MP camera is a step up from the iPhone 12 series, and beats any older models you might upgrade from by a mile.
iPhone 13 versus iPhone 13 Pro: Design
As far as design goes, Apple hasn’t made any more drastic changes than when it released the iPhone 12 – we still have the new angular design that you’ll either love or loathe, but both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro have a premium one Feeling.
But the iPhone 13 brings some welcome changes, such as a smaller notch for more screen real estate. In fact, it has been scaled back by 20% across the range.
The rear camera also has a slightly new look: the iPhone 13’s Duel camera is now diagonal, rather than vertical like we’ve seen on the iPhone 11 and 12.
Aside from these minor changes, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are very similar to their predecessors, with the Pro’s camera being significantly larger than the base models.
Of course, these design factors are not critical to the phone itself and will depend on your purchasing preferences.
iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13: Features
When it comes to features, it comes down to your preferences and the capabilities of your phone – both have great features, but the iPhone 13 Pro does its best when it comes to storage and camera.
If you’re a big photographer and need a lot of storage and processing power, the iPhone 13 Pro is for you, while the base model offers some great options for the everyday user.
After debuting on the iPhone 12 Pro, Apple’s ProRAW is once again only available on the Pro phone. The new technology maintains a RAW file format, allowing you to be more creative during the editing process.
That’s not to say the base model is something to go by, though, it still has an incredible Duel camera with the same 12MP ultra wide and wide camera as the iPhone 13 Pro.
The iPhone 13 also comes with the option to preset all your shots in a specific portrait mode, like Vivid Cool or Dramatic – saving editing time.
We always advise you to think about whether you want to take advantage of these additional camera features, as the higher price of the device is due to these additional benefits that the average user could save by going for the base model.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Battery
While iPhone 13 series battery life will vary by model line, all devices in the series have seen an increase compared to the previous iPhone 12 line.
In terms of size, the iPhone 13 has a 3,227mAh battery, while the iPhone 13 Pro has a 3,095mAh battery – but the iPhone 13 Pro has a head start over the base model.
Apple is notoriously reticent about the battery life of its devices, but the iPhone 13 boasts around 19 hours of battery life compared to 22 hours for the iPhone 13 Pro.
Video playback on the Pro model can last three hours longer compared to the iPhone 13, while video streaming on the Pro lasted five hours longer.
So the iPhone 13 Pro has the edge over the iPhone 13. So it might be worth considering if you need a device that you can push to the max before needing to charge it.
However, it depends on your own usage and these benchmark scores may differ from person to person, but both devices support MagSafe and Qi wireless charging, giving you more charging options than ever before.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: price
When the iPhone 13 series launched, the base model came in at £779 with 128GB of storage, while the same storage cost an extra £949 on the iPhone 13 Pro.
While you can pick up the older generations for cheaper, the iPhone 13 is the cheaper of the two at £350 cheaper.
Since the release of the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple has phased out the iPhone 13 Pro device. So while you can snag deals on the iPhone 13, it’s harder to find them on the iPhone 13 Pro.
If you are looking for a monthly payment plan, you can go for this one iPhone 13 at O2 with 250GB of data for £38 a month, while the iPhone 13 Pro is available on Sky Mobile with 75GB of data for £67 a month.
Here are all the retailers offering the iPhone 13:
Should I buy an iPhone 13 or an iPhone 13 Pro: The verdict
Choosing between the base and pro model of any series comes down to what features you really want and need and what your budget allows.
Hopefully this guide has helped answer those questions and help you decide, but whichever iPhone 13 series you choose, it’s a great option for those upgrading.
Select iPhone 13:
- Your budget is tighter
- You want the aluminum finish
- You still want a top-of-the-line 5G device
Select iPhone 13 Pro:
- Your budget allows it
- They prefer the surgical steel version
- You want to use the new photo functions