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Not much new for iPhone 13, but a few important tweaks

The phone will selectively blur the image as it automatically detects where the focus should be, or users can set focus manually during or after the shoot. In a future update, users will even be able to adjust the focus on Mac video editing software.

Brighter, smoother displays

All of this year’s phones have OLED screens, but they’re slightly different to last year’s. On the 13 and 13 mini, it’s a modest upgrade in maximum outdoor brightness from 625 nits to 800 nits. Meanwhile, the Pro phones go from 800 nits to 1000 nits, but they get some extra love as well with high refresh rate screens.

Specifically, the screens can adjust refresh rate (the number times per second a new image is displayed) from between 10Hz and 120Hz. That means that when scrolling the display can match the refresh rate to the speed of your finger, so content doesn’t shake or judder, yet while looking at static images the rate will scale right down to save battery power.

Variable refresh is also a big deal for gaming and 3D graphics. App developers could set the display at 120Hz for extremely smooth motion, or at a number of intervals to suit their needs. On-screen controls like virtual buttons should also feel more responsive given the faster refresh.

The iPhone 13 Pro models offer a range of improvements over the standard and mini versions.

The iPhone 13 Pro models offer a range of improvements over the standard and mini versions.

Longer battery life

Despite the upgrades, Apple is claiming a larger battery and more efficient processor will result in longer-lasting batteries across the iPhone 13 lineup. In fact, it claims the iPhone 13 Pro Max will have the longest-lasting battery on any iPhone ever, rated at up to 28 hours of video playback.

In terms of how much more juice you could expect compared to last year’s phones, Apple indicates it’s two-and-a-half more hours on the standard phone and the Pro Max, 90 minutes more on the Pro and mini.

More bytes for your buck

Storage isn’t the sexiest upgrade, but it is a key driver of price, so some may be pleased to see Apple giving more for less here, at least on the non-Pro devices. iPhone 13 and 13 mini now have a minimum of 128GB, but those models cost the same as last year’s 64GB phones.

Beyond those minimum models the savings do get smaller (the 512GB 13 mini still costs more than the 256GB 12 mini did for example), but you are paying less per gigabyte across the board. The Pro phones all cost the same as they did last year.

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