iPhone 13: Five things I learned testing Apple’s new phone

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The new crop of iPhone 13 made their debut Friday.
Apple introduced four versions of its next smartphone on September 24. In addition to the standard iPhone 13, there are the iPhone 13 Mini, the iPhone 13 Pro and the Pro Max.
Prices start at $699 for the Mini and increase by $100 for each model, ending at $1,099 for the Pro Max.
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Among the features that Apple is touting for iPhone 13 are a brighter screen, improvements to the cameras, better battery life and faster performance thanks to the new A15 chip.
I tried the standard iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max for about 48 hours. Here are five things I learned from my short time with the new devices:
The features that really stood out to me while using the iPhone 13 Pro Max were the macro photography options. When you move the camera very close to an object, which to me was a leaf of raindrops, the phone’s ultra-wide-angle lens will automatically switch to a macro view to take detailed photos up close. It’s great if you want to extract intricate detail from a subject.
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Another new tool for budding videographers is Cinematic Video, which automatically adjusts focus as you record. Here’s an example from my two kids: I took a video of my son while my daughter was in the background. The camera focused on him while his background was out of focus. When he turned to look at his sister, the camera recognized this and focused on her instead. But every now and then, when my son moved his head even slightly, the focus shifted back to him.
It’s definitely fun to use, but I’m curious if regular users will actually try this or if it’s just a cool trick to try periodically.
When you hear about iPhones with different colors, it’s hard not to wonder if it might look cheesy in bright blue or pink or gold. But what Apple has done is give these phones pops of color while maintaining a level of elegance.
The sierra blue on the iPhone 13 Pros is probably my favorite. It is similar to a Carolina blue, but maybe a tad darker. The pink shows up in a lighter shade so it’s not overly bright, while the gold is sharp but not flashy.
The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are beautiful phones, but the Pro and Pro Max feel like a premium device in terms of design. They have a textured matte back and a stainless steel band around the phone. You hardly want to use a case because of the beautiful appearance of the phones.
I focused on the Pro Max because it has the best battery life. I took a lot of pictures and videos, played games like Genshin Impact and also performed other tasks. And have quite a bit of battery left. It’s too early to say how well these batteries hold up (we’ll have more on this shortly).
I currently have an iPhone 12 Mini. Looking strictly at the performance between the two here, I feel comfortable holding my smartphone. The differences between the 13 and my 12 Mini don’t seem strong enough where it feels like I’m getting a huge upgrade in speed or performance. And even if you have an iPhone 11, iPhone XS, or XR, you should be fine.
►Get help deciding:Should you upgrade to an iPhone 13 right away or wait?
However, if you’ve been sticking with an older smartphone for a while and really want to upgrade to the latest and greatest from Apple, you’re getting a great device that you can hold onto for a long time.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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