iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: a worthy upgrade?

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iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: a worthy upgrade?
It's been almost two years since the iPhone 13 series hit the shelves, and now we have the next gen iPhone 14 series in stores, while waiting for the iPhone 15 to arrive. But for all of you guys who like to shop a generation or two back, let's take a moment to compare the iPhone 13 Pro to its previous model, the iPhone 12 Pro.

Design-wise, not much has changed, but under the hood, the iPhone 13 Pro packs some serious improvements. It runs on the now-not-so-new A15 Bionic chipset, which, at least in comparison to the previous generation, brings a significant improvement in graphics performance and battery life.

The camera system on the iPhone 13 Pro has also been upgraded. You'll notice the larger camera sensors on the main and ultra-wide cameras that promise better light sensitivity and the 3X telephoto lens, which zooms further than the 2X zoom on the 12 Pro.

Even though the iPhone 13 Pro is still the top dog in terms of specs, the difference between it and the regular iPhone 13 is bigger this time around. And this also means the gap between the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro is even more noticeable. Let's check them out!

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iPhone 13 Pro vs 12 Pro specs:


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iPhone 13 Pro pros and cons


  • Big improvements in battery life
  • ProMotion 120Hz is great
  • Great photo quality in all conditions
  • Best video quality of any smartphone
  • Cinematic Mode
  • Apple A15 is the fastest chip on the market


  • Relatively slow charging speeds
  • No USB-C makes life more complicated
  • Phone has gotten a bit too heavy

Straight Talk iPhone 13 Pro pre-paid at Walmart

Get the iPhone 13 Pro pre-paid for Straight Talk from Walmart. The only available color variant right now is the Silver one. The phone comes with 128GB of internal storage. Get it now at $100 off.

Renewed iPhone 13 Pro: get at Amazon and save

There's an available offer on the iPhone 13 Pro at Amazon. The sold device is unlocked, renewed, and comes with 128GB of storage space. Different color variants are available. Get it and save $35 now.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: design

Those of you who expected a revolutionary design in the iPhone 13 Pro surely are a bit disappointed. The iPhone 13 Pro is almost identical to its predecessor, apart from the narrower notch and the camera bump.

Given that the display size remains the same, the iPhone 13 Pro matches the dimensions of the iPhone 12 Pro, although the newer model is a bit thicker (0.30" vs 0.29") to accommodate the bigger battery, and the camera bump is more flushed to the body.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: display

  • iPhone 13 Pro - 6.1-inch display at a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels (460 PPI), 120Hz ProMotion

Samsung made headlines with its LTPO display technology in the Galaxy S21 lineup, and frankly, it was well deserved. The variable display refresh rate is great - you get the smoothest scrolling experience when needed, coupled with energy savings when the image is static.

The iPhone 13 Pro joins the LTPO party with a display that features the ProMotion tech we know and love from the iPad Pro. It can go as low as 10Hz and as high as 120Hz, depending on the situation.

Regarding display size and resolution, both phones sport 6.1-inch OLED panels with a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels. The narrower notch of the iPhone 13 Pro results in a slightly better viewing experience. The iPhone 13 Pro bumps up the brightness of the display, offering 1000 nits outdoor brightness and up to 1200 nits of HDR brightness. The iPhone 12 Pro on the other hand can only go up to 800 nits (typical).

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: hardware and performance

  • iPhone 13 Pro - 6GB of RAM, 1TB storage option
  • A15 Bionic (5nm+) vs A14 Bionic (5nm)

We all know how fast Apple mobile chipsets are and the next generation Bionic processor maintains Apple’s lead over its competitors. It's the fastest CPU in any smartphone, up to 50% faster than the leading competition for graphics intensive tasks. The four core GPU delivers up to 30% faster graphics and there's also a new 16 core neural engine. 

Higher is better
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro also comes equipped with the same 6GB of RAM as the iPhone 12 Pro. Тhe top storage capacity for this year's iPhone Pro line doubles from 512GB to 1TB. If you want the absolute best in performance, you should get the iPhone 13 Pro, the 1TB storage option is also a nice thing to have if you're trigger happy with your 4K videos.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: camera system

  • Pro 12MP camera system: Telephoto, Wide, and Ultra Wide cameras

The aperture on the Ultra-wide camera across the entire iPhone 13 line has been improved from f/2.4 to f/1.8 offering a 92% improvement in low light shots. There's a new 77 millimetre telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and a new wide camera that has a larger f/1.5 aperture, and 1.9 micron pixels size.

The camera system on the iPhone 12 Pro features the same configuration but loses the battle with the new iPhone 13 Pro, at least on paper. The aperture, sensor and pixel size, optical zoom, and low light capabilities are all better in the iPhone 13 Pro, and there are tricks such as Cinematic mode and macro photography on the new model.

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: battery life

  • 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro

Apple didn't disclose the exact battery capacity of the new iPhone 13 Pro but said that you can get an hour and a half more battery life on a daily basis compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. Now, if we factor the A15 Bionic chipset into the equation as well as the ProMotion variable refresh rate display of the iPhone 13 Pro, this 1.5 hours increase is still pretty good.

This also goes hand in hand with Apple’s approach to iPhone’s battery life in general, the company is trying to keep battery life consistent throughout its models (whether or not it manages to do so is a different matter). All in all, the battery life has been improved but we need to run some independent tests to confirm those numbers.

hoursHigher is better
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
12h 35 min
Apple iPhone 11
11h 26 min
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
8h 41 min
Samsung Galaxy S20
12h 12 min
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
12h 28 min
Google Pixel 5
12h 40 min
Apple iPhone SE(2020)
9h 5 min

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro: price

  • $999 starting price

Even though there's a new ProMotion display inside the iPhone 13 Pro, the battery has been improved, and the camera system now has new features, Apple has managed to match the price of the iPhone 12 Pro with the newer model. Granted, the previous generation will certainly depreciate in value but if you're upgrading from iPhone 11 or older, there's no reason not to go for the latest generation and grab an iPhone 13 Pro.

Are the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro worth buying, now that the iPhone 15 is right around the corner?

It all depends on the price you're willing to pay. Both the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro are premium devices, and given the way iOS updates work and iPhones age in general, either of these two phones will serve you well for many years. 

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On the other hand, if you want to be on the edge and get the best ever, and money is not an issue, then you should brace yourselves for the upcoming iPhone 15, or if you can't wait, go for the iPhone 14 Pro.

Which one should you get?

So there you have it - a detailed comparison between two Pros from Apple. Which one should you buy? It's a no-brainer - if you're coming from an older iPhone, the iPhone 13 Pro is the way to go - it's faster, and it has a bigger battery, a better display, plus there are upgrades all around. 

Now, if you already own the iPhone 12 Pro, there's no reason to burn money on the 13 Pro, unless there's a really good trade-in deal. At the end of the day, both phones offer great performance and will satisfy your smartphone needs in the years to come. 

There's a third choice as well - you can go all-in and get the iPhone 14 Pro with its groundbreaking selfie camera cutout and Dynamic Island interface. Or, as we already mentioned, sit tight and wait for the upcoming iPhone 15.

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