iphone 13 is here, and apple gave it some big battery, storage and camera upgrades

© Provided by CNET Apple announces the follow-up to the iPhone 12 during an virtual event. Patrick Holland/CNET

After nearly a year of rumors and leaks, the iPhone 13 is official. During a virtual event on Tuesday, Apple announced the follow-up to last year's iPhone 12 with four new models: the iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. The new phones run iOS 15, come with a larger battery, more storage, a new A15 Bionic processor, a smaller notch and an abundance of new camera features. The base model of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are available in five colors: pink, blue, midnight, starlight and Product Red. And the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max get a giant camera upgrade as well as a new display 120Hz high refresh-rate display.

iphone 13 is here, and apple gave it some big battery, storage and camera upgrades

© Patrick Holland/CNET

Another render of a pink iPhone that's been going around Twitter.

Without a carrier discount, the iPhone 13 starts at $829 (£779, AU$1,349) for 128GB, which is twice the storage the iPhone 12 started with. The iPhone 13 Mini starts at $729 (£679, AU$1,199) for the same 128GB of storage. Like the iPhone 12, if you buy an iPhone 13 or 13 Mini tied to a US carrier, you'll receive a $30 discount.

The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 (£949, AU$1,699) and the 13 Pro Max at $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,849) for 128GB of storage. For the first time, you have the option to get 1TB of storage on an iPhone. The extra storage is only available on the Pro models and pushes the price of an iPhone 13 Pro Max to $1,599. Below is a breakdown of prices (without a carrier discount) and storage options.

All four models of the iPhone 13 are available to order starting Fri. Sept. 17 and will be available starting Fri. Sept. 24.

The iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max get a bigger battery

Probably the most welcomed feature announced is a bigger battery. Apple didn't share the size, but claims that the new battery along with iOS 15, the A15 chip and updated display adds two-and-a-half hours more battery life to the iPhone 13 compared to the iPhone 12. The iPhone 13 Mini should get an hour-and-a-half more than the iPhone 12 Mini. That's a significant increase. The battery life on the iPhone 12 Mini was a compromise some people weren't willing to make. So it's exciting to see the new Mini get such a big bump in just a year.

Apple says that the Pro models should see a similar increase in battery life with the iPhone 13 Pro getting two-and-a-half more hours and the 13 Pro Max getting an additional hour and a half.

The iPhone 13 brings new cameras and cinematic mode

The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini gets an updated camera system, which is apparent from the new diagonal orientation of the two rear cameras. In fact, Apple says the new orientation is a result of making more room for a new sensor-based stabilization system which previously was only found on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. (The cameras on the iPhone 12 were stacked vertically.) All four models get an improved 12-megapixel main camera and a better ultrawide lens and sensor. The new hardware along with the new A15 Bionic chip means a handful of improvements and new features, including being able to capture 47% more light.

There is a new cinematic mode to make to your videos appear more filmlike. When using the mode, the camera can lock onto your subject to keep them in focus whether they are standing still or moving. The iPhone can even anticipate when your subject comes into the frame. Another neat effect is the ability to pull focus from one subject to another.

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max will also gain the ability to capture ProRes videos, which optimizes videos and is especially useful for people who color grade or use editing software like Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro. ProRes video files take up more space than a regular h.264/h.265 video that, up to now, most iPhones have shot. ProRes support won't be on the iPhone at launch but is expected to be added later this year.

The iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max get longer telephoto cameras

The iPhone 13 Pro also has a new triple-camera system with better lenses and sensors. The telephoto lens comes with 3x optical zoom, which is 1.5x longer than the camera on the iPhone 12 Pro and 1.2x longer than the tele lens on the 12 Pro Max. Take a look below at the different telephoto lenses the Pro models of the iPhone 13 and 12 have.

To put things in perspective, this is an enormous improvement for the iPhone, but it still pales in comparison to the telephoto cameras on the Galaxy S21 Ultra and phones from Huawei.

iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max get a 120Hz ProMotion display

In terms of size, the four models have the same size screens as the iPhone 12 series. The iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch display, the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro have a 6.1-inch screen, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display. Across the board all the new phones have brighter screens.

But the Pro models now get a higher refresh rate, which makes animations and scrolling look smoother and gaming more immersive. Android phones, whether they are expensive or not, commonly feature a high refresh rate screen. Up to now, the only Apple device to offer such a refresh rate was the iPad Pro, which uses an LCD screen instead of the OLED found on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.

The iPhone 13 gets an A15 chip and iOS 15

All models of the new iPhone 13 are powered by Apple's new A15 Bionic chip and run iOS 15. All of the new phones continue to support 5G as well as Apple's MagSafe charging and accessory system.

This is a developing story. See all of CNET's coverage from today's Apple event. 

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