It’s almost time to put your money where your mouth is, as the iPhone 13 lineup is about to hit store shelves everywhere. If you’re determined to upgrade your old iPhone this year, or are wanting to switch over from Android, you might be wondering which iPhone to get. The toughest comparison out of the entire lineup comes when looking at the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro. There are enough similarities that make this a more difficult decision than you might expect. But we’re breaking everything down to help you make a decision.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Spec Comparison
|iPhone 13||iPhone 13 Pro|
|Display||6.1-inch Super Retina XDR||6.1-inch Super Retina XDR|
|Processor||Apple A15 Bionic||Apple A15 Bionic|
|CPU Cores||6 cores||6 cores|
|GPU cores||4 cores||5 cores|
|IP Rating||IP68 Water & Dust||IP68 Water & Dust|
|Battery Life||Up to 19 hours||Up to 22 hours|
|Front Camera||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth|
|Rear Cameras||12MP Wide / 12MP Ultra Wide||12MP Wide / 12MP Ultra Wide / 12MP Telephoto|
|Video Recording||Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K @ 60fps||Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K @ 60fps|
|Weight||174 grams (6.14oz)||204 grams (7.19oz)|
|Storage||128GB / 256GB / 512GB||128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB|
|Price||From $799||From $999|
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: The Similarities
When looking at the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro from the front, you might have a rather difficult time telling the two apart. That’s because both of these phones feature the same 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with a resolution of 2532 x 1170. Both options feature the slightly slimmed-down notch that is not as wide but just ever-so-slightly taller than the notch from previous iPhones.
Power and Features
Under the hood, Apple is including the usual suspects across the board. This means that we get the Apple A15 Bionic chipset, with both the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro providing 6 CPU cores (this is an important distinction later). Both models bring 5G connectivity, along with support for the new bands that Apple is adding for better coverage and improved connectivity.
IP68 water and dust resistance remains for all of the new models, including the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro. And since the base storage has been bumped up for the iPhone 13, you can get both versions with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of onboard storage.
Camera and Video Recording
Moving to the cameras, there are still some similarities when comparing the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro. For one, the 12MP TrueDepth selfie camera is the same across all iPhone 13 models. And as for the main camera array, we have a 12MP wide-angle (main) lens along with a 12MP ultra wide sensor.
Apple has also made it so that you can use the all-new Cinematic Mode available on all of its latest devices. Speaking of video recording, Apple has added the ability to record Dolby Vision HDR footage in 4K resolution at 60fps for all of the latest iPhone models, and not just the Pro line. Additionally, the unique Sensor Shift technology is also available across the board after being limited to just the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: The Differences
There are a lot of similarities between the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro, but the differences may just prove to push the 13 Pro over the edge. Starting off with the display, the iPhone 13 Pro introduces Apple’s ProMotion technology, which provides an adaptive refresh rate between 10Hz and 120Hz. The refresh rate used depends on what it is that you’re actually doing on your iPhone. But unfortunately, this is not available on the standard iPhone 13. Instead, you’ll be “stuck” with the same old 60Hz refresh rate that we’ve had for years.
Moving to the build quality and design, the differences are also pretty stark. With the iPhone 13, Apple is continuing to use Aluminum for the build, which is less-expensive but is not as rugged. The iPhone 13 Pro makes use of “surgical-grade” Stainless Steel for its construction. This offers a shiny finish for the 13 Pro compared to the brushed finish found on the “normal” iPhone 13. With the difference in build materials, this also means that the iPhone 13 Pro is slightly heavier than the 13, weighing in at 204 grams compared to 174 grams.
Power and Battery
Earlier, we mentioned that both iPhone models are powered by the Apple A15 Bionic chipset with 6 CPU cores. But there is a difference when it comes to the GPU cores. With the iPhone 13 Pro, Apple is including five GPU cores, while the iPhone 13 only includes four. This shouldn’t cause too much of a discernible difference in day-to-day usage, but it’s something you might notice when playing graphics-intensive games or trying to edit your 4K footage in iMovie.
Another area that the iPhone 13 Pro gets the nod is in battery life. The larger design compared to last year’s model means that there’s more space under the hood for a bigger battery. And while the iPhone 13’s battery has also been improved with 19 hours of rated usage, it falls short of the iPhone 13 Pro’s 22 hours of listed battery life. Three hours may not make much of a difference to some, but it could really come in handy for others.
Arguably the biggest difference when comparing the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro is the camera hardware. The iPhone 13 offers a fantastic dual-camera array, one of which Apple is touting as “the most advanced dual-camera system ever on iPhone.” But the iPhone 13 Pro takes things a couple of steps further with the addition of the telephoto lens.
With this triple camera setup, Apple claims you’ll be able to enjoy up to 6x optical zoom, compared to the 2x optical zoom on the non-Pro iPhone 13. This allows for better telephoto image quality, along with the new macro photography mode, and the ability to record ProRes and Dolby Vision video right from your iPhone.
Colors and Price
The last two differences between the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro come down to the color options and price. The iPhone 13 is available in the following colors:
- Product Red
The iPhone 13 Pro is available in these colors:
- Sierra Blue
Pricing for the iPhone 13 starts at $799 for the 128GB model and goes up to $999 if you want 512GB of storage. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 for the same amount of storage, but maxes out at $1,499 thanks to the new 1TB storage option.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Which Should You Buy
As is the case with just about every comparison out there, picking between the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro is subjective. It’s pretty clear when you look at the spec-sheet that the iPhone 13 Pro is the clear winner, and includes a lot of extras that aren’t found in the iPhone 13.
However, those extra features and capabilities come at a cost, as the base model 128GB iPhone 13 Pro is the same amount as a maxxed-out iPhone 13 with 512GB of storage. Even still, you’ll get better battery life, different color options, an extra rear camera, and more options when it comes to recording video.
But the truth is, no matter which way you look at it, both of these are simply fantastic options. But if you want to save yourself a bit of money and don’t care about the ProMotion display or cameras, the iPhone 13 is still a wonderful pick.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.