Hey everyone, I am Pratima and one of my team members has been using the iPhone 13 since its launch in 2021. But does it still make sense to buy right now? I’m gonna answer that in my iPhone 13 in 2024 review!
If you don’t know, the iPhone 13 has the highest number of reviews on both Amazon and Flipkart. And it was also the highest-selling iPhone last year! And coming in 2024, this thing is going to get even more cheaper! Currently, it’s available for around NPR 106,500 in Nepal or some $600 in the US. Before heading to the review, why not check its specifications?
iPhone 13 Specifications:
- Dimension: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm, 174 grams
- Display: 6.1-inch (2532 × 1170 pixels) OLED, 460 PPI, Super Retina XDR
- Chipset: Six-core A15 Bionic 64-bit processor, 16-core Neural Engine
- Storage: 128/256/512GB
- Operating System: iOS 16
- SIM: Dual SIM (nano + eSIM), dual eSIM support
- Back Camera: Dual:
– 12MP wide-angle f/1.6 primary camera, 7-elements lens, sensor-shift OIS, True Tone flash with Slow Sync, 4K Dolby Vision video recording at 60 fps,
– 12MP 120° ultra-wide f/2.4 camera, 5-elements lens
- Front Camera: 12MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture, 1080p video recording, Retina Flash, Dolby Vision HDR recording up to 30 fps, 4K video recording at 60 fps, Slo‑mo 1080p at 120 fps
- Security: TrueDepth camera for FaceID facial recognition
- Connectivity: 5G (sub-6GHz and mmWave), Gigabit LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA, 802.11ax Wi‑Fi 6 with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS with GLONASS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and Beidou
- Other features: Water and dust resistance (IP68), Stereo speakers
- Battery: 3,240mAh, 20W fast charging, 7.5W Qi Wireless Charging, 15W MagSafe Wireless Charger (No adapter included in the box)
- Read the full Specs of the iPhone 13 here
iPhone 13 in 2024:
Still a good-looking design
- 71.5 x 146.7 x 7.65mm, 174 grams
- Glass front/back, Aluminum frames
- IP68 dust-and-water resistant
Alright, first things first, let’s take a look at the design. And iPhone 13 is a very good-looking phone even in 2024. The thing with Apple is, that every year, they make very subtle changes to their designs, which in the iPhone 13’s case is a blessing because it basically looks similar to the newer iPhone 14 and the iPhone 15.
The only difference is the color options and the matte finish on the iPhone 15 vs the Glossy one on the 13, but other than that it’s practically, the same. In fact, if you cover it up with a good case, no one’s even going to know.
Also, if you are someone who likes using small devices like me, its size and weight distribution are something you are going to appreciate a lot. In fact, it is more snuggly than something like the newly launched S23 FE from Samsung that you get for a more or less similar price.
For durability, you are getting ceramic shield protection on both sides of the iPhone 13 and aluminum frames in between, which as you can see, have held quite well over the years. My team member had been using it without a cover. So, after like, 2 years there are only a few visible scratches and small dents, but nothing major has happened to it, so durability-wise, it definitely gets a thumbs up from me!
Good Display but 60Hz….
- 6.1-inch FHD+ Super Retina XDR OLED
- 60Hz refresh rate, Ceramic Shield
On the front too, you get an excellent quality screen with support for HDR and Dolby Vision. It is also sufficiently bright indoors as well as outdoors with 1200 nits of peak brightness, which is decent enough I would say. In comparison, the new iPhone 15 is slightly brighter. Yes, but visibility is not an issue on this one either, so no complaints from my side.
The only thing that has tasted a little sour to me is the 60Hz refresh rate. I test a lot of phones and these days, even budget ones come with either a 90Hz refresh rate or more. So when I switch from some of those phones to this one, the screen here feels a little, you know, not as smooth!
I don’t mean that the iPhone 13 feels slow or anything, but it just does not feel as effortless as the 120Hz display in 2024. Now, if you are using the iPhone 11 or older models, or a midrange Android phone with a 60 Hz refresh rate, you are not going to feel that way. But if you come from a 120Hz refresh rate screen, you will definitely notice. However, I don’t know if I should complain about it because even the latest and more expensive iPhone 15 comes with a 60Hz screen in 2024.
No Dynamic Island but Good Stereo Speakers
Anyway, you have to know that you also don’t get Dynamic Island here. Instead, you get this plain old ugly notch which can look slightly outdated. The speakers here are good though. They are loud and sound very balanced. I did compare it with the iPhone 15 and found that it is slightly richer in terms of output, but the difference is very marginal.
And even in terms of haptics, the iPhone 13 can give good competition to all the other devices that come for a similar price or more. So, I am quite happy about the overall user experience!
- Dual camera setup at the back
- (12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide)
- 12MP TrueDepth camera with Face ID
Likewise, when it comes to cameras, I have some good news here too. Despite its age, the iPhone 13 is very close to what the newer iPhone 15 produces. Just check out these samples I took. These are the kind of photos you can expect with the iPhone 13. They are sharp and crisp and the color rendition is amazing. I did notice that it takes slightly punchier photos than the iPhone 15, but it’s not overwhelming in any way.
I also compared its cameras with the Galaxy S23 FE, Samsung’s latest phone. It is priced similarly to the iPhone 13 and it has held up quite well against it too. Yeah, the color reproduction on the iPhone 13 is slightly poppier than the S23 FE, but I think it actually works in its favor. I am especially impressed with the contrast it can produce. It just gives a definitive character to the images.
I even liked the portraits from the iPhone 13. In terms of skin tone and colors, it surprisingly beats the iPhone 15, and even the S23 FE for that matter. The only downside is that unlike the iPhone 15 and S23 FE, you cannot take 2x or 3x portraits with it. But if you don’t mind that, the skin tone and overall contrast are better on the iPhone 13.
The videography side of things is another plus point for this 2-year-old iPhone 13. You can take smooth 4k 60 fps footage from the rear as well as the selfie camera. Now, if I really have to nitpick, glare control and dynamic range are handled better by the latest iPhone 15. But regular videos are just as crisp and rich in details from the iPhone 13, so this could very well be the vlogging camera you are looking for in the 50,000 price bracket.
A15 Bionic is still going strong!
- Hexa-core A15 Bionic 5G SoC (5nm), 4-core GPU
- 3GB RAM, 128GB to 512GB storage (fixed)
- Apple iOS 15 (upgradeable)
The performance side of things is also handled very well by the iPhone 13 to this date. It ships with the Apple A15 Bionic chipset, which is still a powerful option for its price. Everyday tasks are a piece of cake for this phone and you can even play the most demanding games on it without the phone breaking a single drop of sweat. You can see the FPS numbers on the screen and they are surely impressive especially if you compare it with a gen older iPhone 14 and the latest iPhone 15.
At the same time, a lot of other reviewers have found the screen dimming issue on the iPhone 13 to be quite annoying. What happens is, if the phone gets very hot, the phone lowers the brightness of the screen and throttles the performance. We haven’t faced this issue yet, but if you live in warmer places, or if you are a very demanding user, this could be an issue.
No worries for updates
Besides this, Updates is something Apple is especially good with and the iPhone 13 will receive updates up to 2027. It’s still 3 years away, but this device will run smoothly for many years to come with the A15 Bionic.
- 3240mAh battery, 20W wired charging
- 15W MagSafe / 7.5W Qi Wireless Charging
Now, battery life is something that might not be up to the mark for heavy users. I don’t mean that it cannot last you long. In fact, it can give you around 5 hours of Screen On Time easily on normal usage. But if you use the cameras for a longer time or if you are a heavy gamer, this kind of endurance might not be sufficient for you.
And the fact that it only comes with a 20-watt charging support, does not help the cause either because this device takes a little more than 1 hour and 20 minutes to fully juice up.
Next up, I would also like to add a few other things that might be important to many, like E-SIM support. Unlike the iPhone 15, the iPhone 13 only supports 2 E-SIMs apart from your physical SIM. So, if you are someone who travels a lot and uses more SIM cards at once, this might be a slight issue for you!
And because it is an older phone, it does not support the latest Bluetooth 5.3 as well. It only supports Bluetooth 5.0. This means connectivity with Bluetooth devices with the iPhone 13 will not be as good as with newer devices. Plus, with newer 5G modems, the iPhone 15 also supports faster 5G connectivity than the iPhone 13.
Not that the iPhone 13’s 5G speed is slow or anything. But once your carrier improves its 5G technology in the future, you might see the iPhone 13 lagging behind. Last but not least, repair cost! Unfortunately, the repair cost for the iPhone 13’s back glass is higher than the iPhone 14 and 15. This is because most of its components are attached to the back glass. Which makes repairing the iPhone 13 a bit more tedious than the others.
iPhone 13 Review in 2024: Conclusion
But despite these shortcomings, for me, the iPhone 13 is still a good value-for-money option in 2024, a no-nonsense phone that delivers on every front – whether it is in the design, the core display, cameras, performance, and most importantly, the software experience!
Of course, you can get faster performance, and bigger and smoother display phones like the iQOO 12, Oneplus 11, or the S23 FE. But none of these devices still produce the same reliable experience as the iPhone 13, especially in terms of software and cameras! And that’s why this thing is still the KING.
iPhone 13 in 2024: Pros and Cons
- Sturdy Performance from A15 Bionic
- Worry-free updates till 2027
- Flagship grade camera
- Value for money in 2024
- Average battery life
- 60Hz display
- No telephoto lens