Not sure if it’s worth it to upgrade from the iPhone 12 Pro to the newer 13 Pro? Or just want to buy a new iPhone, and you’re struggling to decide between the two?
Here’s a detailed comparison of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro to help you pick the best device for you. We’ll look at the price, design, camera, and more.
Upon its release, the iPhone 12 Pro retailed at $999. However, Apple does not manufacture this model anymore, and it is only available to buy new from third-parties. Due to this, prices may vary with region. Moreover, stock may have diminished at most vendors, so Apple’s refurbished store may be your best bet. Prices for the iPhone 12 Pro start at $759 in the refurbished version.
The iPhone 13 Pro, being the latest model, is still easy to find new and starts at $999 on Apple’s website.
The iPhone 12 Pro comes in four colors: Pacific Blue, Gold, Graphite, and Silver. The iPhone 13 Pro goes the extra mile and offers five colors instead: Alpine Green, Sierra Blue, Gold, Graphite, and Silver.
The Gold, Graphite, and Silver colors are exactly the same, while the Pacific Blue for the iPhone 13 Pro is lighter than the Sierra Blue iPhone 12 Pro, which is a darker shade. The Alpine Green is a new color altogether and steers away from the traditional bright green. Still find it hard to decide? We can help you decide what iPhone 13 Pro color is best for you.
Moving on to design, both models look almost exactly the same when put side by side. The height and width are identical on each device, at 5.78 and 2.82 inches, respectively. Both iPhones sport a ceramic-shield front and surgical-grade stainless steel. The iPhone 13 Pro is slightly deeper, and it weighs half an ounce more than the iPhone 12 Pro. This is likely to accommodate the larger battery.
The most significant design change you will notice is the in the size of the notch. Apple decreased the notch size on the iPhone 13 Pro by 20 percent. Moreover, the cameras on the back also protrude slightly more than the iPhone 12 Pro.
Again, the similarities outweigh the differences between these two models. Both iPhones have a 6.1-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1170 by 2532 pixels, True Tone, and Super Retina XDR. The iPhone 13 has a slight edge with the brightness, though, offering 1,000 nits of maximum brightness compared to iPhone 12 Pro’s 800 nits.
Another difference is that the iPhone 13 Pro comes with ProMotion technology that offers adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz, while the iPhone 12 Pro lacks this feature. This gives the iPhone 13 Pro smoother motion content and more fluid scrolling. However, if you test the iPhones together, you might not notice a stark difference.
Don’t be fooled with appearances on this one. While the naked eye may see the same three lenses with slightly bigger sizes on the iPhone 13 Pro, there are a lot of key differences on the inside of these cameras. The iPhone 13 Pro has many features we love, and the camera improvements are definitely included in that.
We’ll start with the hardware on both models. The iPhone 12 Pro has three lenses:
- Telephoto: ƒ/2.0 aperture
- Wide: ƒ/1.6 aperture
- Ultra Wide: ƒ/2.4 aperture
And here are the iPhone 13 Pro’s lenses:
- Telephoto: ƒ/2.8 aperture
- Wide: ƒ/1.5 aperture
- Ultra Wide: ƒ/1.8 aperture
The lower the f-stop, the more light enters the camera lens. So the iPhone 13 Pro is actually getting less light in the Telephoto lens. But it makes up for this by offering 3x optical zoom instead of the 2x zoom you get with the iPhoen 12 Pro.
The iPhone 13 Pro also improves upon the 12 by using a larger sensor, which was previously only seen on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This results in a stark improvement in image quality. The lower aperture and larger sensor for the Wide lens allow more light to be captured, giving excellent results under low-light conditions. Both the Pro models also have a LiDAR scanner for Night Mode portraits.
The software is where it gets really fascinating. Starting off with the similarities, Apple ProRAW is supported by both models, and Portrait Mode offers the same effects and depth features. But from here on, the iPhone 13 Pro takes the lead with these exclusive features:
- Cinematic Mode: Probably the most popular new camera feature, it automatically shifts focus from one subject to another while shooting videos.
- Macro Photography: Macro mode allows you to take close-up photos and videos.
- Photographic Styles: These let you create your own set of styles using different filters and tones. You can also save them in your Camera app to use anytime.
- Smart HDR4: This optimizes contrast and lighting for up to four people in a picture, basing the lighting on their appearances and skin tones.
- ProRes: You can use ProRes to shoot high-resolution videos in a compressed format that allows flexible editing in Photos, iMovie, and professional video-editing software.
Both the Pro models have storage options of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. But while the iPhone 12 Pro only has these three options, the iPhone 13 Pro also has a fourth, 1TB option. It’s the ever iPhone to offer so much storage.
With larger sensors and video features like Cinematic Mode and ProRes, the option to buy a 1TB storage model is a lot more useful now.
Water resistance to a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes, superfast 5G, and almost four times better drop performance than the iPhone 11 Pro are some great features sported by both the Pro models in comparison. They have everything it takes to kick it up a notch and make a good iPhone ever better. But the iPhone 13 Pro has an even better feature up its sleeve. Namely, its processor.
It has an A15 Bionic chip with a five-core GPU, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro has an A14 chip with a four-core GPU. The iPhone 13 Pro is the first of its kind to have a chip this powerful, but that’s not a surprise. Whether Apple makes any significant design changes or not, it has always released a new chip with each new iPhone series. If tradition continues, the iPhone 14 lineup may have an A16 bionic chip.
The processor performs all the operations and functions on your device. Hence, an A15 Bionic chip automatically means a more powerful device, longer battery life, greater power efficiency, better graphics, and much more. Apple claims that the A15 Bionic has the fastest graphics performance of any smartphone chip, meaning it is perfect for video apps, the iPhone 13 Pro’s new camera features, and high-performance gaming.
The iPhone 13 Pro allows up to 22 hours of video playback, while the iPhone 12 Pro only has a maximum of 17 hours. The battery for the iPhone 13 Pro is also physically larger, which is why the phone is thicker and heavier than its predecessor. Both devices also support iPhone MagSafe charging.
iPhone 12 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Which One Will You Get?
An additional color, better storage options, new camera features, and a better processing chip are all available with the iPhone 13 Pro. Still, if budget is a concern and you’re happy to buy a second-hand device, you can save a lot of money by getting the iPhone 12 Pro. These devices are pretty similar, so if none of those features matter to you, then it’s probably worth sticking with the 12 Pro.