Specs: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, 2532x1170p resolution at 460 PPI, A15 Bionic chip with a neural engine, Dual 12MP camera system: Wide and Ultra Wide (Photographic styles, Cinematic mode), 12MP selfie camera, FaceID, 5G, Wi-Fi, 173 grams
Price: Rs 79,900 for 128GB
Colour: (Product) Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink
In the Box: Apple iPhone 13, charging cable, sim eject tool
Apple's new iPhone 13 series has something for everyone. If you want a great device without compromising on the screen size, camera, battery life or performance, the iPhone 13 should be your pick.
In the world of smartphones with bigger displays that make them slightly uncomfortable to hold, Apple's iPhone 13 with 6.1-inch screen feels just perfect. At 71.5 mm width and 173 grams weight, the iPhone 13 is comfortable to hold and convenient to operate with one hand.
The 6.1-inch screen feels perfect for immersive experiences like gaming, streaming videos and more. The OLED panel with slightly bumped up brightness levels makes it more legible under sunlight. The notch housing True Depth camera is slightly smaller, by about 20 per cent horizontally, but it went unnoticed. Unlike the Pro siblings, it lacks a high refresh rate but even at 60Hz, scrolling through media feed was slick and smooth. Moving to iPhone 13 from a 6.5-inch screen smartphone felt a little small but not at all cramped, even while typing.
What tops this all is the ceramic shield developed in partnership with Corning, which actually makes it durable with better drop resistance and scratch resistance. And the IP68 rating prevents it from accidental water accidents.
Every small upgrade counts, and more so on the camera front. The iPhone 13 houses two improved, larger 12-megapixel sensors at the rear and a faster image signal processor. Bigger sensors let in more light, resulting in crisp and accurate colour reproduction which do not pixelate even when blown up on the big screen. The improved imaging hardware works well at low-light and night shots too. Holding breath for 3-5 seconds to capture a good night shot is too long, and a reduction of even a second makes a huge difference, which even the iPhone 13 does.
Between Apple and Samsung, the former captures more natural-looking colours but many prefer the vivid colours of the latter, especially while sharing on social media platforms. Apple has addressed this concern by adding photographic styles, allowing one to choose the tone and warmth while capturing an image. Easily accessible from the camera app, I was able to switch between rich contrast, vibrant, cool, and warm presents with a swipe, and even adjust them further. Although I preferred using standard mode the most, I used the vibrant style while capturing evening clouds and blooming flowers. However, unlike filters, these styles can't be removed while editing. The phone also captures some good portrait shots. However, it lacks the telephoto lens.
Video footage of iPhones are neat, and the same goes for iPhone 13. The videos captured while walking around were steady as if they were recorded using a gimbal. iPhone 13 features the much talked about Cinematic Mode -- an equivalent of Portrait Mode for video. When shooting in this mode, the camera locks focus on the face in the front of the frame and blurs the rest. It is quick to shift focus to the one in the background when the one in the foreground turns away or exits the frame. iPhone does this automatically but it lacks refinements. However, I was able to overtake the controls and focus manually too. However, this mode struggles in low-light and is restricted to 1080p at 30fps. Even with some shortcomings, the photography and videography on the iPhone 13 are admirable.
Not just imaging but editing on the device was also smooth. So was the gaming experience. Power-hungry games like Shadow Fight 3, Call of Duty Mobile, and Asphalt 9: Legends ran like a treat. One thing I like about Apple is that it doesn't differentiate between the models when it comes to processing power. All the iPhones in the series have the new A15 Bionic processor. Overall, iPhone 13 feels blazing fast in whatever you do, with no signs of lag.
The iOS 15 plays an equally important role in the great experience. Some of the features I loved using the Live Text OCR with optical character recognition that worked in the camera app, screenshots or even photos, which works flawlessly. Onboard storage has also been doubled -- starting at 128 GB -- giving more room for experimenting with the new video and photography modes.
Completing the package is the battery backup. Even with a 6.1-inch screen, and heavy usage, including documentation, constant access to emails and social media feed, video calling, gaming and camera testing, the iPhone 13 didn't die on me mid-way. A single charge lasted me from 6 am in the morning till bedtime (around 9 pm) with still around 20 per cent juice. Just like last year's iPhone 12 series, iPhone 13 is also not accompanied by an adapter (just the Type C lightning cable). However, it also supports Apple's MagSafe, Qi wireless charging.
Will I call it the best iPhone in the new line-up? Why not? After all, it's a complete package with a perfect screen estate, amazing camera module and quick hassle-free performance. It's nothing short of a powerhouse. It is priced starting Rs 79,900, and there is a cashback offer from HDFC bank that can bring down the effective price by Rs 6,000.
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