iPhone 13 Honest Review: Slightly Improved But More Perfect

The number 13 may give a negative impression to some people, but Apple doesn't seem to care about keeping the name iPhone 13 for their latest iPhone. The iPhone 13 is more or less similar to its predecessor the iPhone 12. If you're looking for a significant update, you might be disappointed. 

Even though unlike its older Pro and Pro Max series, which now support a 120Hz refresh rate, the iPhone 13 still brings updates, especially a longer battery life, a new powerful chipset, and a more sophisticated camera.

In this review I used the blue color variant which looks light blue and pleasing to the eye. On the back of the cellphone using a glossy finish while on the sides it uses a matte finish which looks more attractive.

iPhone 13 Blue
iPhone 13

On the sides of the iPhone 13 there are standard buttons such as volume control, silence control, and side buttons and there is also a SIM card slot and Lightning connector. The iPhone 13 is still comfortable to hold in one hand thanks to its not too big size and a weight of only 173 grams. However, the box side slightly reduces my comfort when used for a long time. My solution to this was to use an extra case.

iPhone 13 uses a 6.1″ Super Retina XDR OLED display with a general brightness level of 800 nits and a maximum of 1,200 nits which makes this screen able to display colors sharply and brightly in various situations. The iPhone 13 screen feels satisfying when used for watching movies and plus there are loud stereo speakers in it.

It's a shame Apple didn't bring 120Hz refresh rate technology to the iPhone 13. This high refresh rate is only for the Pro and Pro Max series. It's a bit disappointing to see that the 120Hz refresh rate has become the standard for today's flagships.

The bangs on the iPhone 13 screen are now slightly smaller than the previous generation. Apple seems to still stick with its stance in using bangs for the placement of the front camera and Face ID. 

iPhone 13
iPhone 13  >> See product details

But during a pandemic like now where I often use masks, Face ID is often a hassle because it can't detect my face when I use a mask. If it's only for unlocking the cellphone, I still have no problem entering the PIN manually. However, for certain applications that have been set to use Face ID, I need to enter a username and password which is more inconvenient.

The iPhone 13 uses the latest A15 Bionic chipset. Its performance is undoubtedly fast for various purposes. I haven't had any problems in terms of performance so far. Although the iPhone 13 does not support a 120Hz refresh rate, the animations displayed when operating this phone still feel smooth.

For those who like to play games, the iPhone 13 is capable of crushing popular games such as Mobile Legends and PUBG Mobile at high graphics settings. 

One thing that is interesting about the iPhone 13 is that now the lowest internal storage capacity is 128 GB, not 64 GB anymore. And this is at the same price as the iPhone 12 with a 64GB capacity. This increase should be appreciated because 64GB of storage nowadays is already too small considering that today's applications can reach more than 1 gigabyte in size and multimedia content is increasingly widespread.

You might think that what's new with the iPhone 13 camera is that its position is now diagonal, but the iPhone 13 seems to use the same main camera as the iPhone 12 Pro Max which is actually more sophisticated.

This is also what causes the iPhone 13 camera to be bigger and inevitably has to be positioned diagonally to keep it fit on the protrusion of the camera. Unfortunately, the number of rear cameras provided is still two, namely a wide camera and an ultra wide camera which both have a 12MP sensor.

iPhone 13 Review
iPhone 13 camera shots 

As expected, the photos are satisfying in a variety of situations. The colors are sharp and accurate and the photos appear slightly brighter than the original. The ultra wide camera is capable of capturing images with a 120° viewing angle. The results are still ok, although not as good as the main camera. Unfortunately, in some of the photos I took, the sky was too bright, so it obscured the blue sky.

The main camera of the iPhone 13 can also take good photos of my face. The details of my face are well recorded and the skin tone is similar to the original. Using Portrait mode can also produce neat bokeh photos. In low light conditions, the iPhone 13 camera can still produce satisfying photos. At night the camera will automatically activate Night mode and this can be set to take longer to shoot photos to produce even better night photos.

For the front camera, the iPhone 13 uses a 12MP lens with an /2.2 aperture. The details of the surface of my face in the selfie photos are captured well. The photos look bright with accurate and natural colors. Both the rear camera and front camera of the iPhone 13 are capable of recording video at 4K resolution and a frame rate of 60FPS. The video recording looks sharp and stable even though I record it while moving.

Even in dark conditions, the iPhone 13 camera is still able to produce videos with good quality. It is worth applauding the performance of the iPhone 13 in this video recording sector.

In the battery sector, the iPhone 13 provides a battery with a larger capacity than the iPhone 12. In my daily life, the iPhone 13 can last more than one day of use, so I don't have to bother charging my cellphone before the day is over.

I can usually get an average screen on time of around 5 hours from 100% to 20% battery for my daily use like browsing, social networking and using work apps. For battery charging, the iPhone 13 supports fast charging with a 20W adapter and up to 15W wirelessly with MagSafe.

The iPhone 13 does not provide a default charger in the sales box, so you need to use an existing charger or buy a new one. I tested the battery charging using a UGREEN charger, it took about 45 minutes to charge the battery from 10% to 80% and 1 hour 33 minutes to charge up to 100%.

For longer battery life, iPhone 13 provides an Optimized Battery Charging feature so that the cellphone waits before charging the battery more than 80%. The negative effect is that this feature will of course make full charging slower.

Overall, the iPhone 13 is a good phone, although the price is relatively expensive and does not support high refresh rates, but battery is better, the camera is more sophisticated, and the performance is faster.  The design of the iPhone 13 with square sides may be pleasing to the eye but less comfortable to grip.  


Overall the iPhone 13 is a good phone even though the price is relatively expensive. However, if you already have an iPhone 12 and want to upgrade to an iPhone 13, maybe the iPhone 13 doesn't feel like an improvement.

  • Satisfactory camera
  • Long battery life
  • Powerful performance
  • Quality screen
  • Larger internal storage capacity

  • Doesn't support high refresh rate yet
  • Not comfortable to hold
  • Not included charger

Well, thank you for reading. Good luck.


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