iPhone 13: the US press welcomes the autonomy and the 120 Hz screen but the Cinematic mode disappoints
The iPhone 13 has just been tested by the American press. Most US journalists praise the impressive battery life of smartphones and the 120 Hz ProMotion screen integrated by Apple. On the other hand, the opinions are mixed concerning the Cinematic mode.
As the release in stores approaches, Apple has entrusted some iPhone 13s to some American journalists. This Tuesday, September 21, 2021, several reputable media, such as The Verge, the Wall Street Journal, Cnet or Wired have published their first test of the new iPhones.
We have compiled the opinions of the American press in order to list the strengths and weaknesses of iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Obviously, we will personally test all the editions of the range in the days to come.
Apple has greatly improved the autonomy of the iPhone 13
All testers agree on this point: Apple has managed to significantly improve the autonomy of iPhone 13. To achieve this, the Cupertino company simply slipped very impressive batteries than within the iPhone 12. De facto, the brand’s new smartphones are thicker than the phones launched last year.
Thanks to these more generous batteries, all iPhone 13s can hold a full day with a single charge, including the iPhone 13 mini. Unlike its predecessor, it does not need to be recharged during the afternoon. “As the proud owner of the iPhone 12 Mini, I’m tempted to change just to get more battery life”, says Patrick Holland, journalist at Cnet.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max, the most premium edition, even offers two full days of autonomy without the slightest difficulty. The autonomy gain is apparently noticeable compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which held a day and a half in moderate use. Apple no longer has anything to envy Android manufacturers in this field.
The 120 Hz screen of the iPhone 13 Pro
For the first time, Apple has integrated a 120 Hz screen on the iPhone 13 Pro. Similar to that of the iPad Pro, the ProMotion screen is distinguished by an adaptive refresh rate capable of adapting to the content displayed on the screen. Concretely, Apple only activates the high refresh rate when the user really needs it: during a gaming session, reader or to view videos. When the screen displays still images, the rate drops to 10 Hz, which helps reduce the impact of this technology on the battery.
This 120 Hz display clearly improves navigation within the interface, whether scrolling text or watching videos. All testers noticed a noticeable difference in use. “I felt the difference instantly when scrolling through long web pages or social media feeds”, notes Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal. “This is exactly what I think we should expect from a phone that costs over a thousand dollars”, says Dieter Bohn of The Verge.
The functionality should delight all users who have never opted for a phone with a 120 Hz screen. On the other hand, users of high-end Android smartphones are still on familiar ground. The 120 Hz has indeed democratized on Android in recent years. On that side, Apple is content to catch up on the competition.
The kings of the photo?
During the keynote, Apple lingered for a long time on the photography part. The iPhone 13 has several subtle improvements over last year, such as a new 12-megapixel sensor and a macro lens on the Pro editions.
Most journalists praise the optimizations made on this generation. Regarding the iPhone 13/13 mini, The Verge is rather enthusiastic: “Details are crisp and precise, colors are rich without being oversaturated, focusing is fast and reliable, and portrait mode is good enough for day-to-day use”.
Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 13 Pro / 13 Pro Max are even more striking. The two smartphones are doing well thanks to an ultra wide angle sensor capable of taking macro photos. This is one of the most popular features in the tests.
Read also: the macro mode of the iPhone 13 annoys the first users, Apple will rectify the situation
Cinematic mode below expectations
One of the flagship novelties of the range is the Kinematic mode. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the mode is able to switch between front focus and background depending on what is happening in the frame of the image. On paper, this option is very attractive.
In practice, the mode does not seem not yet fully developed. “The results of the film mode are nowhere near as good as the advertisements from Apple would have you believe. It doesn’t work well (or really, at all) in low light ”, regrets Dieter Bohn. To get a clear idea of the result, we advise you to take a look at the Wall Street Journal video above. Obviously, the iPhone 13 Pro struggles to correctly identify the elements in the image.
Should I change iPhone?
The tests are unanimous: the iPhone 13 is needed among the best smartphones on the market. Apple focused on the things most important to most consumers: battery life and photography. Unsurprisingly, the testers recall that this generation is very close to the previous one. Range “Looks more like an iPhone 12S than real new models“, Notes The Verge. If you have an iPhone 12, it is therefore advisable not to jump on iPhone 13 pre-orders.
Source: The Verge, Wired, CNET, Wall Street Journal