how the iphone 13, mini, pro and max compare to android rivals — and vs. iphone 12

© Image: Apple

Apple has announced its new iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, which feature better cameras, 120Hz screens, new processors (which Apple claims are the fastest in a phone, period), better battery life, and smaller notches compared to their predecessors. But should you upgrade from the iPhone 12, and is Apple beating the Android competition? Here’s how Apple stacks up to Samsung, OnePlus, Google, and its own previous devices on paper.

One thing to keep in mind before we dive in is that specs don’t tell the whole story. There’s the obvious difficult comparisons (how does an Apple A15 chip stack up against a Snapdragon 888, and how do you compare traditional phones to folding ones), as well as the small details that don’t fit cleanly on a spec sheet. For instance, one of Apple’s pro features is the ability to shoot 4K ProRes on its higher-end phones — except for the models with 128GB of storage, which will be limited to 1080p ProRes.

Missing from this comparison: Google’s upcoming flagships

There’s also an obvious competitor missing: Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Google didn’t give us their full specifications in its partial announcement, which makes it hard to include them in a spec comparison.

But let’s put all those caveats aside, because maybe you’re looking for a phone right now. How do the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini stack up, spec-for-spec, against their Android competitors? Prices throughout this comparison, by the way, are for the unlocked iPhones, which are $30 more than the carrier versions.

Anyways, let’s stop talking about saving a few bucks, and blow the budget a bit: how does the iPhone 13 Pro stack up against the Android flagships, in a battle of the $1,000 plus phones?

As with past years, we see that Apple isn’t necessarily playing a spec-game, especially when it comes to cameras. Some of its higher-end Android competitors boast megapixel counts that are four or even almost 10 times as high as Apple’s cameras. Whether that’ll give them an edge or not will have to be seen when we test Apple’s “dramatically more powerful” cameras. Both Apple and Google have traditionally prioritized larger pixels for low-light performance rather than raw resolution.

Finally, let’s take a look at how Apple did year-over-year when it comes to upgrading its specs. It’s worth noting that, while we’ve included the 12 Pro, you actually can’t buy that phone from Apple anymore, making the comparison more useful for upgraders than cross-shoppers.

One interesting point is that the phones haven’t changed when it comes to width, height, or screen size, but they have gotten a bit thicker, and a bit heavier. They are packing a fair amount of new tech though, so perhaps that’s understandable.

What the specs don't show, though, is how unfavorably the iPhone 12 is priced — at first glance the it seems like a reasonable buy at $100 cheaper, but at that price you’re only getting half the storage. If you get a 128GB iPhone 12, you’ll only be saving $50 compared to the 128GB iPhone 13, which has all the upgrades to the screens, cameras, battery life, and everything else Apple announced on Tuesday. Sure, it’s technically less expensive, but you’d be giving up a lot for very little savings.

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