Apple iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro: Should you upgrade?

(Pocket-lint) - Apple announced the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max[1] during an event in September, offering several enhancements on their predecessors, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max[2].  If you've got the 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max and you're wondering whether you should upgrade, or if you're in the market for an iPhone and the decision is between the iPhone 13 Pro models and the iPhone 14 Pro models, we've got you covered.  Here are the differences between the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro.

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Design

  • iPhone 14 Pro: 147.5 x 71.5 x 7.85mm, 206g
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85mm, 240g
  • iPhone 13 Pro: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm, 204g
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65mm, 240g
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First things first, the iPhone 14 Pro[3] and iPhone 14 Pro Max are identical in design, the Max is just bigger in terms of footprint and the same applies to the iPhone 13 Pro[4] and iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

The four devices are also virtually identical on the rear too. They all offer a prominent triple rear camera in the top left corner within a glossy surround, while the rest of the rear is matte with a frosted glass finish.  All four also have flat edges and surgical-grade stainless steel frames with a polished finish, and all four devices have an IP68 water and dust resistance[5], as well as MagSafe[6]. Aside from the colour differences, the main surface variations can be found on the front of the devices.

The iPhone 13 Pro models have a notch at the top of their displays, while the iPhone 14 Pro models have a wide pill-shaped cut out that houses the Face ID sensor[7] and front camera. Apple calls it Dynamic Island[8] and it's a great blend of hardware and software, making an otherwise redundant space, useful and functional.  Apps and alerts appear in the Dynamic Island, like music or a timer for example, as well as AirPods connecting or a phone call and you can tap and hold on it to see more information and get more control.

We've got a separate feature diving into more detail, but it's great for multitasking, making it very quick to switch between apps.

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Display

  • iPhone 14 Pro: 6.1-inch, 2556 x 1179 pixels, Dynamic Island, Always-On Display, 1-120Hz, up to 2000nits 
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: 6.7-inch, 2796 x 1290 pixels, Dynamic Island, Always-On Display, 1-120Hz, up to 2000nits
  • iPhone 13 Pro: 6.1-inch, 2532 x 1170 pixels, 10-120Hz, up to 1200nits 
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: 6.7-inch, 2778 x 1284 pixels, 10-120Hz, up to 1200nits 

Along with the Dynamic Island, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro models also have an Always-On Display. This means they will always display something on the screen in a dimmed format, like the time, calender alerts or your Activity Rings if you have an Apple Watch[9] for example. The Always-On Display on the iPhone 14 Pro models is a replica of the Lock Screen you have set in iOS 16[10] but it makes for a great experience. 

The iPhone 13 Pro models meanwhile, have a black screen when off so you have to tap the power button in order to see notifcations on your screen, while the iPhone 14 Pro models show them at the bottom without you having to power on the screen.  Elsewhere, the iPhone 14 Pro models have a peak brightness of 2000nits compared to the iPhone 13 Pro's 1200nits and this is very noticeable when outdoors. All four models have Super Retina XDR displays and they all have ProMotion on board for refresh rates up to 120Hz[11], though the iPhone 14 Pro models drop down to 1Hz, allowing for the Always-On Display, while the iPhone 13 Pro models drop down to 10Hz.

Resolution is around the same, with all models offering a pixel density of 460ppi, but the iPhone 14 Pro models have slightly slimmer bezels around the display. They all come with True Tone[12] though, as well as HDR support and Haptic Touch[13]. They are also the same size, with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro both 6.1-inches and the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max both 6.7-inches.

Hardware and specs

  • iPhone 14 Pro/ 14 Pro Max: A16 Bionic, 5G, Car Crash Detection, Emergency SOS via satellite, 128GB to 1TB storage
  • iPhone 13 Pro/ 13 Pro Max: A15 Bionic, 5G, Car Crash Detection, Emergency SOS, 128GB to 1TB storage

Internally, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro models run on the A16 Bionic chipset with 16-core Neural Engine, while the iPhone 13 Pro models run on the A15 Bionic chipset with 16-core Neural Engine.

All are speedy in their performance and all cope well with multi-tasking. All four models are also 5G compatible[14], though the iPhone 14 Pro models offer Emergency SOS via satellite[15] if you are in North America and happen to have no signal. The iPhone 14 Pro models also have a feature called Car Crash Detection, which you can read about in our separate feature[16]

Storage options are the same across all four models, with 128GB up to 1TB offered. All are eSIM compatible too, though it is worth mentioning that those in the US only have the option of eSIM[17] with the iPhone 14 Pro models as there is no physical SIM tray on board the new models. In terms of battery, the iPhone 14 Pro promises up to 23 hours video playback compared to the iPhone 13 Pro's up to 22 hours.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max meanwhile offers up to 29 hours, compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max 28 hours. The Max models are considerably better performers in our experience, though with that battery increase comes a bigger and heavier device.  All four models have fast charging capabilities with up to 50 per cent charge in 30 minutes using a 20W adapter or higher.

They all also run on iOS 16, meaning you get the same overall experience. There are a few extra features on the iPhone 14 Pro models though, like Dyanmic Island and the Always On Display, as well as the Car Crash Detection and Action Mode.

Cameras

  • iPhone 14 Pro/14 Pro Max: Triple rear (48MP + 12MP + 12MP), 12MP front
  • iPhone 13 Pro/13 Pro Max: Triple rear (12MP + 12MP + 12MP), 12MP front

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro models both feature a 48-megapixel main camera sensor with f/1.78 aperture, a 12-megapixel ultra wide angle sensor with f/2.2 aperture and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor with f/2.8 aperture. There's also a Photonic Engine[18] on board and second-generation sensor-shift stabilisation. 

The iPhone 13 Pro models meanwhile offer a 12-megapixel main sensor with f/1.5 aperture, 12-megapixel ultra wide sensor with f/1.8 aperture and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture. There's sensor-shift stabilisation on board but no Photonic Engine. Low light results are better on the iPhone 14 Pro models, and faster to process than the iPhone 13 Pro models, and there's more detail too.

The iPhone 13 Pro models still deliver excellent results though so while you will make some gains with the iPhone 14 Pro models, including the ability to shoot in 48-megapixel ProRAW, you might find the 13 Pro models are more than enough for what you want. All four devices offer Deep Fusion[19], Macro photography, Night Mode and Portrait Mode. There is a new Action Mode for video on the iPhone 14 Pro models, which offers more stabilisation when shooting video when you're also moving, and Cinematic Mode[20] has up to 4K HDR in up to 30fps, while the iPhone 13 Pro models offer up to 1080p.

The front camera has been improved for the iPhone 14 Pro models too, with a 12-megapixel sensor that offers a f/1.9 aperture and autofocus. The iPhone 13 Pro models have a 12-megapixel sensor too, but with a narrower f/2.2 aperture and no autofocus. The result is better selfies on the iPhone 14 Pro models, especially in low light, but again, the iPhone 13 Pro models are still great performers on the whole. 

Conclusion

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro models offer some great upgrades over their predecessors, making the case for upgrading much higher than it's been in the past.

You not only get the design and display improvements, with Dynamic Island and the Always-On Display, but you get a processor boost and camera enhancements too, both in terms of hardware and software.  The iPhone 13 Pro models are excellent and you may find them for a good price now that the iPhone 14 Pro models are out, meaning they could be the perfect option for some, depending on the features you want. If you're considering upgrading, we'd say the iPhone 14 Pro models offer enough differences to make the upgrade feel worthwhile this time around though and if you're choosing between the iPhone 13 Pro models and the iPhone 14 Pro models, if your budget allows, the iPhone 14 Pro models are the ones you want.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.

References

  1. ^ iPhone 14 Pro Max (www.pocket-lint.com)
  2. ^ iPhone 13 Pro Max (www.pocket-lint.com)
  3. ^ the iPhone 14 Pro (www.pocket-lint.com)
  4. ^ iPhone 13 Pro (www.pocket-lint.com)
  5. ^ IP68 water and dust resistance (www.pocket-lint.com)
  6. ^ MagSafe (www.pocket-lint.com)
  7. ^ Face ID sensor (www.pocket-lint.com)
  8. ^ Dynamic Island (www.pocket-lint.com)
  9. ^ Apple Watch (www.pocket-lint.com)
  10. ^ iOS 16 (www.pocket-lint.com)
  11. ^ refresh rates up to 120Hz (www.pocket-lint.com)
  12. ^ True Tone (www.pocket-lint.com)
  13. ^ Haptic Touch (www.pocket-lint.com)
  14. ^ 5G compatible (www.pocket-lint.com)
  15. ^ Emergency SOS via satellite (www.pocket-lint.com)
  16. ^ our separate feature (www.pocket-lint.com)
  17. ^ eSIM (www.pocket-lint.com)
  18. ^ Photonic Engine (www.pocket-lint.com)
  19. ^ Deep Fusion (www.pocket-lint.com)
  20. ^ Cinematic Mode (www.pocket-lint.com)