The 2021 model of Apple's flagship product the iPhone has been announced with the iPhone 13 set to go on sale next week in Australia.
iPhone 13 is the fifteenth generation of the successful smartphone since the original launch in 2007 and features a similar look to the 2020 release, the iPhone 12.
There will be four models of the iPhone 13: iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, following the same model plan as the 12 last year.
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On the screen, the "notch" at the top of the screen, which features the front cameras and sensors, is reduced in size by 20 per cent, which while clearly an advance for Apple, still leaves them behind their competition which feature smaller dot cut-outs, or even under-screen cameras.
Underneath that now familiar squared look is a powerhouse of performance and capabilities, perhaps beyond the needs of most regular users.
How well will it perform?
Apple's iPhone 13 will feature an all new processor — the A15 Bionic which is the brains and heart of the device, making it capable of some of the most advanced features from augmented reality, graphic intensive gaming, high-performance work and enterprise apps and of course, your calls and messages too.
During Apple's virtual launch event this morning the iPhone 13 performance was quoted as being 50 per cent faster than their "competition", though there was no clear indication of how much faster it is than Apple's previous generation phones.
"These are the best iPhones we've ever created," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the event.
How good is the camera?
Acknowledging the continued importance of the camera on modern smartphones, Apple's iPhone 13 features larger pixels in the camera's sensor, allowing for more light capture in low light situations.
The entry level iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini feature camera technology such as sensor shift for stabilisation which last year pioneered on their high end iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Aimed at movie buffs and budding filmmakers, iPhone 13 Pro also features cinematic mode which allows cinema-style focus techniques while capturing video. This mode tracks faces and shifts focus from subject to subject when making videos you want to look like cinema-style movies. These effects can be added later, with depth and focus being chosen even after the video is shot.
iPhone Pro's camera system has dramatic improvements in low light performance, as well as impressive 6x optical zoom range from the ultra wide through to 3x telephoto.
Using the ultra wide lens, Apple's iPhone 13 Pro range will perform well up close with new macro photography mode that doesn't require an additional lens.
Apple has also introduced iPhone "Styles" in photography, allowing you to set up styles of photography you like — think of them as presets, which will take full advantage of the camera system without having to tweak the settings in detail every time you want to pull off a certain style of shot.
READ MORE: New features coming to all iPhones in 2021
Screen and battery updates
On the display side, things are brighter and better — of course. On iPhone 13 and Mini, it's 28 per cent brighter, including peak brightness, and has a more efficient power usage.
For iPhone 13 Pro models, the new Super Retina XDR has 15 per cent higher peak brightness, as well as Apple's ProMotion technology which launched first on iPad Pro. This allows up to 120Hz refresh rate — essentially smoother-looking scrolling and transitions, something other companies like Samsung have been doing on their phones already for well over a year.
With an improved processor, brighter screen and better cameras, there's always a question about battery life. Apple say the iPhone 13 will have longer battery life than last year's iPhone 12 — up 1.5 hours on the iPhone 13 Mini, and 2.5 hours on iPhone 13.
For the iPhone 13 Pro range, battery life is up 1.5 hours on the 13 Pro and 2.5 hours on the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Storage starts at 128GB and goes up to 512GB on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini. On the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, storage starts at 128GB and goes up to 1TB.
Continuing their commitment to the environment, Apple has also done away with the plastic wrapping around the iPhone 13 box, which it says saves some 600 metric tonnes of plastic wrapping.
Standard iPhone 13 and 13 Mini come in five colours, while iPhone 13 Pro comes in four colours Graphite, Gold, Silver, and "Sierra Blue", a lighter blue than on iPhone 12.
iPhone 13 will be available to pre-order from this Friday, September 17, and goes on sale via telcos and retail stores the following week on September 24
How much will it cost?
In Australia prices remain the same as 2020. The new iPhone 13 will start at $1199, topping out at a whopping $2719 for the iPhone 13 Pro Max with the largest ever storage capacity on an iPhone at 1TB, which is far more than most laptops today but is a requirement for those using the iPhone as a video camera at its highest quality.
iPhone 13 available from (all Australian dollars):
- iPhone 13 mini (128GB) RRP $1199
- iPhone 13 (128GB) RRP $1349
- iPhone 13 Pro (128GB) RRP $1699
- iPhone 13 Pro Max (128GB) RRP $1849
Apple will continue to sell the iPhone SE as their entry level phone, as well as keeping the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 in the lineup alongside the new iPhone 13 range.