We compared the last five years of iPhones to find out if you should upgrade to iPhone 13

We compared the last five years of iPhones to find out if you should upgrade to iPhone 13 ...

Apple's iPhone 13 lineup made its grand entrance at the tech giant'' "California streaming" event last month. Although Apple is already gearing up for its October event (here's how to watch it live tomorrow and everything we expect), many iPhone devotees are still unsure if they should upgrade. If you've already checked out CNET's reviews of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, and iPhone 13, Pro, or iPhone Pro Max, but are still undecided, it might be helpful to compare old and new. So we compared the iPhone lineup to the past five years, dating all the way back to iPhone 7.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer, and buying decisions will always be affected by budget, how well one'' s phone is functioning right now, as well as personal preferences. Let's just lay out all of the facts to make it as easy as possible. Here's how the iPhone 13 compares to the iphone 12 and whether or not it makes sense to buy the iPad 12, iPhone 11 or iPhone SE in 2021.

Should you upgrade to the iPhone 13 or not?

Most iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 owners can probably skip this upgrade because their phone is probably still in excellent shape and there isn't a lot that significantly changes the experience.

But those who own older iPhones, such as the iPhone XS and earlier, will likely have a lot to gain in terms of camera features and battery life. Apple's older iPhones dating back to the iPhone 6S generation still support iOS 15, which was released earlier this week (here' s our iOS 15 review), but they won't feel nearly as fast or powerful as more recent iPhone models.

Here's a closer look at how the iPhone 13 compares to its predecessors.

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iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12, 12 Pro - Comparison between iPhone 13, 12 and iPhone 12

If you have an iPhone 12, there's no reason to upgrade it right now. Because the iPhone 12 shares a lot of things with the iOS 13. Both phones come with 5G connectivity, a bright 6.1-inch OLED display, an impressive processor, and excellent cameras, as well as MagSafe accessory support. The most compelling reasons to upgrade are the camera updates -- especially for filming -- and the longer battery life.

All of Apple's new iPhones, including the standard iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, are now equipped with a new video shooting feature, Cinematic mode, which automatically switches the focus between subjects to give footage tameness. It looks like a neat trick for those who frequently use their phones for video projects, and our reviewer Patrick Holland had swooned over it. Apple claims that Cinematic mode takes advantage of the new A15 Bionic processor, but it's worth noting that Apple has a history of bringing enhancements like these to previous iPhones through software updates.

Read more: Even if you want to save money, you can still do better than the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021.

The wide camera on the standard models can also catch more light for better results, and the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini inherit the same sensor shift technology as the iphone 12 Pro Max for improved stabilization. Apple is also introducing a new feature called Photographic Styles, which allows users to apply certain style preferences to swatches of photographs. Apple claims that it's different from a filter because it can make the necessary adjustments to ensure that features like skin tone are preserved accurately.

As is usual, Apple's more significant photography enhancements are found on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13Pro Max. Night mode is available on all three rear camera lenses, including the telephoto lens, and Pro models may take macro shots that focus in on a subject as close as 2 centimeters away. Check out our complete story to learn more about the iPhone 13's camera improvements here.

Now playing: Watch this: The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini tick all the boxes.

The iPhone 12 retains Apple's 12-megapixel dual camera system that includes a wide and ultrawide camera, while the iPhone 12-Pro line has Apples 12-megapixel triple-lens setup with wide, ultra wide und telephoto cameras. Most of the camera features are similar across generations, except for the new features available only on the iPhone 13 family, which has been mentioned above.

The iPhone 13's A15 Bionic processor is offering faster speeds and longer battery life than the iPhone 12'A14 Bion chip. The iPhone 13 should last about 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12, while the iphone 13 Mini will last an extra 1.5 hours over the 12 Mini. The iPhone 13 Pro will last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro, while the iphone 13 PRO Max will benefit from an additional 2.5 hours compared to its predecessor.

You'll also get more storage with the base iPhone 13, which comes with 128GB instead of 64GB and goes up to 512GB rather than 256GB on the regular model. The iPhone 13 Pro has up to 1TB of storage, while the iPhone 12 Pro sports 512GB.

Bottom line: Hold onto the iPhone 12 for now, unless you're serious about taking cinematic videos or macro shots with your iPhone and need a longer battery life.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 11, 11 Pro

The iPhone 11 is only two years old, which means it's probably still running smoothly enough for most people and still has plenty of life left in it. You'll miss out on fiveG support and improved cameras, although there are two things you're missing out.

That being said, the iPhone 11 still has a great camera that's ideal for casual photo takers who want to capture pictures of their pets, children, and vacations. It has a 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide main camera system similar to the iPhone 13, and it has features like Night mode and Deep Fusion, formerly known as Apple's image processing technology, which Apple introduced on the iphone 11. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have a 12-megapixel triple-lens camera with wide, telephoto, and ultrawide lenses.

But the iPhone 13 has additional advantages that photo enthusiasts will appreciate, particularly when it comes to video. There's the aforementioned Cinematic mode, as well as the improvements that the iPhone 12 received last year such as Night mode time lapse for videos and Dolby Vision HDR video recording. The main camera features Photographic Styles, sensor-based image stabilization, and a sensor that can take in more light.

Now playing: Watch this: The iPhone 13 Pro and 13Pro Max are Apple's best selling iPhones.

The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro phones, on the other hand, lack 5G support as compared to the iPhone 12 and 13, but that's not a major reason to upgrade right now. Widely-deployed 5G networks are only marginally better than 4G LTE networks, and there aren't any apps or services that would take advantage of faster speeds in any way.

If you're buying a new phone, it's advisable to get os 5G, since it has become the standard and it will ensure that your phone can support the network when speeds rise. But it shouldn't be the only reason you upgrade, and you shouldnt rush out and buy a 5G phone immediately.

The iPhone 13 also has Apple's A15 Bionic processor, while the iPhone 11 family runs on Apples two-year-old A13 Bionica processor. Although it's not the latest chip, the iPhone 11'' processor is still powerful enough to perform everyday tasks like taking photos, playing games, and checking social media apps. Apple even used the same A13 Bionic chip in its new entry-level iPad, a sign that this processor is still capable.

The iPhone 13 also gets two extra hours of battery life when playing video when compared to the iPhone 11, and doubles the storage capacity at the base level. According to Apple's website, the standard iPhone 13 battery life is comparable to that of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone 13 Pro should last an extra four hours than the iPhone 11 Pro during video playback, and an additional two hours compared to the Apple 11 PRO Max.

The iPhone 11 generation also employs Apple's older design language, including rounded corners with a glossy pastel finish on the standard model and matte casing on Pro models. The iPhone 12 and later, on the other hand, has flatter edges similar to the iPad Pro, a Ceramic Shield coating that should make it more durable, and glare-free glass.

Bottom line: Most people can probably hold onto their iPhone 11 or 11 Pro for another year. However, videographers and photographers who desire better cameras, longer battery life, and more storage for their projects may benefit from upgrading.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone XS, xS Max, or yR

If you have a smartphone from the 2018 iPhone XS generation, it may be worth upgrading to the iPhone 13. The iPhone XS is now more than three years old, which means it may be starting to feel sluggish. It also has a significantly shorter battery life and is without useful camera features such as Night mode and retouchable selfie cameras.

The same advice applies to owners of the iPhone XS Max, since the primary difference between this phone and its smaller sibling is due to the phone's screen size and an extra hour of battery life. If you have an iPhone XR, there's even more reason to upgrade. It's essentially the same phone as the iPhone XS except it has a single-lens camera, 6.1-inch LCD screen instead of 5.1- inch OLED display, and brighter color options.

The iPhone XS is perfect for those who don't care about having the fastest processor or sharpest camera. Even if that describes you, the improvements in performance and battery life alone between the iPhone 13 and iPhone XS are likely to be significant. Between generations, or even two generations of phones, there isn't always a huge jump in speed and battery life. But once you've had three years to go, you can really see the changes.

The iPhone XS, for example, has 14 hours of battery life when video is played, while the iPhone 13 is rated for 19 hours. Even the iPhone 13 Mini is expected to last longer than the iphone XS with an estimated 17 hours of battery life than it does. The iPhone XS runs on Apple's A12 Bionic processor, which is still reasonably fast and can be found in last year'' s entry-level iPad. Apple is apparently phasing out the chip now that it's upgrading its cheapest iPad to the A13 Bionic, so it may be feeling a little slow.

Apart from the obvious requirements for performance and battery life, the iPhone 13 adds a slew of new features to the table. It also has Apple's new dual-lens camera system, which includes an ultrawide camera instead of a telephoto camera, sturdier camera lens with fewer apertures than the iPhone XS' for capturing more light, Night mode, Deep Fusion, and redesigned 12-megapixel selfie camera rather of the iphone xS 7-megapixel front camera.

And that's just the camera. You'll also get 5G support, more storage, compatibility with Apple's MagSafe accessories, a bigger and brighter screen, and Apples new flat-edged design.

Bottom line: It's time to upgrade. Speed, camera performance, display quality, connectivity, battery life, and design will all improve.

See also See Also See See as well.
  • Buy a 'free' iPhone 13 with trade-in at Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T: What you need to know about purchasing an iPhone
  • Should you upgrade to iPhone 13? We compare iPhone 12 to iPhone 7 to find out how well they compare.
  • iPhone 13 has five extra features that aren't available on Android phones.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone X - Comparison between the two iPhones

If you have an iPhone X, you can rest assured that you will be upgraded to the iPhone 13 soon. This phone launched in 2017 and is in big ways behind when it comes to speed, battery life, and camera capabilities.

Let's start with the performance. The iPhone X runs on a much older A11 Bionic chip that's now four years old, while the iPhone 13 Pro runs Apple'' new A15 Bion processor. That new processor is significantly ahead of the A11 chip, which only has a two-core neural engine, compared to the 16-member A15 Bionic's.

The iPhone's neural engine is what powers tasks that rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence, which are becoming increasingly an integral part of the iPhone experience. Things like app suggestions in the App Library and Apple's Translate app rely on machine learning to function, which suggests that the iPhone X may struggle to keep up with newer capabilities.

The iPhone X also has a dual-lens camera similar to the iPhone S, meaning it's missing the iphone 13' new features, such as Night mode, Deep Fusion, and the ability to control depth and blur levels in Portrait mode. Like the iPhone XS, you're only getting a 7-megapixel front camera, compared to 0-12-pixel selfie camera on Apple's older phones.

Apple's four-year-old iPhone also has a shorter battery life, with Apple estimating it should last 13 hours when playing back video compared to 19 hours on the iPhone 13. The iPhone 13's 6.1-inch screen is larger than the iPhone X' 5.8-inch display, and it should be brighter since it can reach 800 nits of maximum brightness compared to the ipad x' 625-nit display.

The audio quality on Apple's newer phones has improved considerably, since phones like the iPhone 13 support Dolby Atmos and spatial audio playback, whereas iPhone X has stereo play back. That's probably not a deal-breaker, but it may be if you watch dozens of videos on your phone without headphones.

Furthermore, there's the added benefit of getting 5G support, more storage space, a refreshed design, and the option to use MagSafe accessories on the iPhone 13.

Bottom line: The bottom line is this: the bottom row is the same. Apple's iPhone X is now four years old, so an upgrade to this year'' models will be significant. The A11 Bionic processor is probably starting to slow, and the iPhone 13 delivers significant leaps in camera performance, machine learning processing, battery life, as well as battery capacity, compared to this phone.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 8, 8 Plus - Comparison of iPhone 13, iPhone 8 versus iPhone 10, 8 plus x iPhone 12, 8 and 8 PLUS

The iPhone 8 generation has Apple's legacy iPhone design, which is appropriate for a phone that'll be four years old. There are a number of reasons to upgrade your iPhone 8 if you have it.

Many of those reasons are the same as why you should upgrade from the iPhone X: The processor is old, making it harder to use new iPhone features that rely on machine learning. The cameras are outdated and lack features like Night mode (the smaller iPhone 8 doesn't have Portrait mode either, since it only has one lens). You'll have more storage, significantly longer battery life, 5G connectivity, and MagSafe accessories, as well as more Magsafe accessories.

But the biggest difference is in the iPhone 8's design, which is much more than an aesthetic upgrade. Phones with Apple's more modern edge-to-edge screen also trade Touch ID for Face ID, which allows you to unlock your phone and authenticate payments simply by looking at your device. If you prefer Touch ID to Face ID, especially since it's difficult to use FaceID while wearing a mask, you may want to consider upgrading to the iPhone SE since the phone has scalability improvements.

When upgrading to the iPhone 13, you'll notice a huge increase in display size and quality. Since newer phones like the iPhone 13 lack a home button, Apple has more room to expand the screen without making the device feel cumbersome. Despite the iPhone 13's smaller screen than the iphone 8 Plus' 5.5-inch screen, the screen on the device is much larger than that on its predecessor.

I recently upgraded from an iPhone 8 (which has a 4.7-inch screen) to the iPhone 12's 6.1-inch display and can tell you it makes reading, checking emails, and watching videos much easier. Since it uses OLED technology rather than LCD technology, the screen isn't only larger, but it's also brighter and has a better contrast.

Bottom line: The iPhone 13 is a huge improvement over the iPhone 8. The much bigger and bolder screen, Face ID, the faster processor, its longer battery life, and of course, substantially upgraded cameras will make this phone feel fresh and new. If you want to upgrade to a newer iPhone but want the iPhone 8's design, you can trade it in for the current iPhone SE.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 7, 7 Plus Comparison between iPhone 13, 7 versus iPhone 7.

The iPhone 7 is a five-year-old phone, and it shows in everything from the processor to the camera and storage space. If you have an iPhone 7, it's time to upgrade.

The iPhone 7 runs on an aging A10 Fusion processor, which doesn't even have a neural engine and is several years behind Apple's latest technology. The iPhone 7 has a single-lens camera with Portrait mode, while the iPhone 8 Plus has two cameras. Those cameras, on the other hand, still lack many modern features, such as Night mode and Portrait Lighting, which provide specific lighting effects to your portraits.

The iPhone 7 series, which is similar to the iPhone 8, includes Touch ID and is available in 4.7- or 5.5-inch screen sizes. Since the iPhone 7 is a year older than the iphone 8, it also lacks wireless charging, which means you must plug it in to charge and can't use sock chargers.

Since it has considerably less storage space than an iPhone 7 for several years, your iPhone is probably bursting at the seams. The entry-level iPhone 7 only has 32GB of storage, which is a quarter of the capacity on the cheapest standard iPhone 13.

The iPhone 13 makes significant improvements in all of these areas. The standard model has a 6.1-inch screen that is bigger, bolder, and brighter than the standard, but it still feels compact since it doesn't have 'Home' buttons. It is powered by Apple's latest A15 Bionic processor, which will be better equipped to handle new iPhone features. It also has a significantly improved dual-lens camera with broader sensor and advanced features such as the new Cinematic mode for video and Night mode. Plus, Apple's estimates state that it'll provide six hours of additional battery life during video playback, which is a significant increase.

Bottom line: The bottom line is this: the bottom figure is that the top line. If you're keeping your iPhone 7 for a while now, it's no secret that you want an upgrade. Bigger, bolder screens, dramatically longer battery life, and more advanced cameras are just a few of the upgrades the iPhone 13 offers over the iphone 7. If you want to keep the home button and save money on your next phone while still maintaining a phone style similar to my recommendation with the iPhone 8, consider the Apple SE to get many of the more recent performance enhancements while maintaining the same phone aesthetic.

View our table below to see how Apple's iPhones from the last five years stack up.

Now playing: Watch this: An editor (and professional photographer) for iPhone 13 Pro cameras...

iPhone 13 (Iphone 13) is a new iPhone device introduced by Apple.

The standard iPhone 13 boasts a 6.1-inch screen and two rear cameras. Apple is committing to a longer battery life, improved cameras, and greater durability than the iPhone 12 for 2021, compared to the iPad 12. The 13 Mini can be purchased for $100 less.

Apple sells $799 for $798 at Apple.

iPhone 12 is a 12" iPhone.

If you don't want the longer battery life, the iPhone 12 is still a solid phone that runs smoothly, has great cameras, supports 5G, and is powered by Apple's fast A14 Bionic chip. The iPhone 12 Mini is still available for $100 less.

Apple offers $699 for Apple products.

iPhone 11 is a new iPhone.

The iPhone 11 doesn't come with 5G support or the iPhone 13's outstanding camera performance, but it' s still a reliable phone with excellent value for money.

Apple offers $499 for $449 at Apple.

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