iPhone 13 Pro: First impressions

New DelhiWritten By: Priyanka Sharma PahwaUpdated: Oct 02, 2021, 05:49 PM IST
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(Image: Apple) iPhone 13 Pro Photograph:(Others)

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What has changed in the iPhones since last year?

Every year at this time, we sing the same song. The new iPhones hit the market and people gasp in amazement, not because of the features, but mostly because of the price tag. So before I dive into my first impressions of the new iPhone 13 Pro, lets get the price out of the way so we can all gasp and gulp down a big glass of water.

The new iPhones are premium and will probably cost you a holiday or even an EMI installment for your new car. The iPhone 13 Pro starts at Rs. 1,19,900 with 128GB of storage. Surprisingly, I have heard people willing to dole out more money for storage this year so you can also opt for the 256GB variant for Rs 1,39,900 and Rs 1,59,900 for 512GB. And if you really want to indulge and dismiss all storage concerns for a lifetime, Apple is also offering a whopping 1TB of storage at a price tag of Rs 1,79,900.

Alright, now that we've all pondered over all the things we could do INSTEAD of buying the iPhone 13, lets unbox this beast.

Unboxing the iPhone

You know when you spend more than a lakh of rupees on a smartphone, you expect for the red carpet to be rolled out, people to serenade you or at the very least, a box with all the bells and whistles. Well, that's not going to happen here. 

While the iPhone looks stunning in itself, the box gets leaner and more compact this year. All you get is the iPhone of course, a USB Type-C to lightning cable, an Apple sticker and a pin to change sim cards. So those upgrading after the iPhone 11, this might come as a rude shock.

Design: First look

iPhone 13 Pro

Apple introduces a new signature colour this year: the elegant Sierra Blue. The popularity of this colour is evident already, with influencers, celebrities and India's upwardly mobile vying for it and how. Apple claims to have developed a new “nanometre-scale” ceramic deposition process to create the Sierra Blue finish.

Some are calling it a marketing gimmick but as always with Apple, the proof is in the pudding. Open your Instagram and you'll see reels and videos with different age groups salivating over this new colour. Many have dialled their distant relatives in the US to get their hands on it should the Indian stocks run out!

What I personally love is the matte, frosted look that the phone has with gold accents on the sides. Apple says these bands are surgical-grade stainless steel so perhaps makes the iPhone 13 more sturdy? We'll find out.

The gold band with the matte effects on the rear makes for the perfect balance of subtle and bling and will appeal to most Apple users. The irony though, is that most will cover it up with a protective leather cover because god forbid, it slips from nimble fingers!

But the big question is, is it any different from the already popular iPhone 12 Pro? The differences as always, are in the camera and processor so will be hard to catch by the untrained eye.

Is it too heavy for one-hand use or to stuff into a pocket? The Pro Max weighs more than 235 grams and could take a while to get used to, at least for the uninitiated. I have been using the 13 Pro and it's easy to use with one hand.

Lets talk about the "notch" because it still exists and that is perhaps the biggest bone of contention for most Apple users. The iPhone 13 comes with a narrower notch. I can see it, you can see it, we all can see it. Does it bother me? No. Will it bother loyal Apple users, probably not. What I am loving is the 120Hz ProMotion display which makes the iPhone a delight to watch content on.

The Pro comes with 6.1-inch OLED panel while the bigger sibling, Pro Max, comes with 6.7-inch OLED display. Apple claims it's the brightest display ever on the iPhone with up to 25 percent higher outdoor brightness, at 1000 nits. We'll analyse the full performance in our in-depth review coming soon.

Performance and battery

The A15 Bionic chipset is a beast. In my three days with the iPhone 13 Pro, I hardly noticed any lag or compromise in performance. So with the iPhone 13, what you have in your hands is a faster iPhone even if you are using the 12 generation.

It's all about camera


Anyone who invests in an iPhone does it because they are invested in the Apple ecosystem. A new buyer spends oodles for Apple's camera features. The iPhone 13 Pro introduces something known as "Photographic styles" which essentially helps you customise colours and tones in a photo even before clicking it.

The video feature gets its own portrait mode through the "Cinematic Video" mode which uses artificial intelligence to focus on a subject. I went to town taking videos of my hyper-active toddler and I have to say, was impressed with the results. Apple has played a smart move here -- in the age of social media, newbie video creators and influencers will love this feature.

Apple calls the cameras on this iPhone the most advanced ever with new sensors and lenses for all three rear cameras. In my time with the phone, the images have been true-to-life, vibrant with great detailing.
With the new iOS 15 update, it all ties in nicely together. There's a lot to be said about the night shots and we'll explore all that in our detailed review coming up soon.

We'll try and answer the age-old question, is the new iPhone worth the hype?