Despite my skepticism for the more restrictive nature of iOS and the lack of major design changes from the iPhone 12, I’ve become rather smitten with Apple’s $999 smartphone.
To narrow down why I like it, and to help people who are maybe between a Samsung Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13 Pro, here are the core things that have me still reaching for the iPhone instead of Android.
Brilliant 120Hz OLED display
Apple’s Retina displays have long impressed me, but the move to OLED panels for iPhones in 2020 — and now the adoption of 120Hz LTPO displays for the 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max — have given the phones properly awesome screens.
Now, there are plenty of Android phones with great displays, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra being a standout example. But the color calibration, balance, refresh rate and flat design of the 13 Pro’s screen just press my mental buttons; there’s also no need to really tweak the screen settings outside of the box — not that Apple gives you many options. And it might not be for everyone, but a 120Hz refresh rate really breathes extra slickness life into the Pro iPhones.
I do shut off True Tone however, as I feel that can sometimes make the colors a little muted.
Killer battery life
Every new phone touts great all-day battery life, but few really manage it without a little top up before my journey home from the office. But the iPhone 13 Pro has bucked that trend for me.
Most days I won’t need to charge the 13 Pro until late at night, with it often being left with some 30% charge to take me through part of the next day if I forget to juice it up. This was rarely the case with the Pixel 6 Pro or Oppo Find X3 Pro, two of my most used phones of 2021.
Obviously that battery life changes on my usage, with 5G downloads still greedily sucking up power. But whereas Android phones would run out of puff quickly or occasionally moan about getting too hot, the 13 Pro just ticked along nicely. Clearly Apple’s approach to efficiency has paid dividends here.
You can’t talk about a Pro iPhone without mentioning the cameras. And unsurprisingly, one of the best features of the iPhone 13 Pro is its trio of main, ultra wide and telephoto cameras; the deliver simply wonderful shots, flush with color, detail and clarity.
But there are plenty of phones that nail photography — just check out our best camera phones list. However, where the iPhone 13 Pro wins me over is with consistency. In fact, consistency overall is the one key reason why I've switched from Android to iPhone.
Every shot I take is pleasing. Sure the Pixel 6 Pro might win on pure contrast, but the iPhone 13 Pro never strays into the slight over-processing I feel Google’s flagship can run into. Nor are there any major shifts in colors or clarity when bouncing between the three rear cameras. I also like the portrait photos the 13 Pro produces.
There are phones that will take punchier 10 out of 10 photos at times when the iPhone 13 Pro simply delivers a very good photo. But shot after shot, the 13 Pro delivers 9s; that consistently combined with the neat camera app is hard to ignore.
Video is also class-leading, with excellent footage being served up from simple pointing and shooting. I’m not a huge videographer, but having a camera system that just nails Full HD and 4K videos is very much a point for Team Apple.
Build quality and design
For years Apple has produced well-made devices that just feel great. But Android phones from Samsung, OnePlus and now Google have arguably caught up. Nevertheless, there’s just something about the iPhone 13 Pro’s construction and design that really works for me.
Given the design hasn't really changed much from the iPhone 12 Pro, I had been ready to slam Apple for a lack of innovation with the 13 Pro. However, there’s clearly a reason Cupertino didn’t do much more than slim down the notch, because the iPhone 13 Pro feels great.
I think it's the combination of premium feeling materials, the flat-edges that aid grip without digging into one’s palms, and the matt finish on the back. But I also love the size of the iPhone 13 Pro. The 6.1-inch display isn't too big to give me embarrassing bulge in my pockets, yet still offers a large enough phone for me to tap out articles and assign news stories while I’m on the move. It also has a satisfying heft, which feels more premium than, say, the Galaxy S22.
And the neat way the flatscreen of the display fits perfectly with the contours of the chassis, is just lovely to behold. Normally I’m for curved display edges, but the flat edges here seem to work very well with the aesthetic of iOS 15; it really feels like the software and phone were properly designed in tandem, which Android phones don’t always manage to communicate.
Of course, I’d still like to see some more significant changes with the iPhone 14. But I’m pleasantly surprised how much I've warmed to the iPhone 13 Pro’s look and feel.
The curated ecosystem
I’ve often scoffed at Apple’s walled garden of the iOS ecosystem, with it lacking the range and flexibility of Android. And while I stand by that to an extent, I’ve found it very easy to gel with iOS.
Given the iPhone 4S was my first smartphone and I regularly use an iPad mini, I’m not new to iOS. But using the iPhone 13 Pro as my everyday phone I’ve become more familiar with its features and feel.
And while the strict curation and limitations of customization can feel restrictive, iOS is still a joy to use thanks to that walled garden approach. I can download pretty much every app with the knowledge I’ll get a reasonably smooth and neat experience, and that’s not to be sniffed at. I've also been rather impressed with the curation of Apple Arcade games; now, if only we can get Xbox Cloud Gaming through the Xbox Game Pass app.
This ecosystem expands onto other devices, too, with my iPhone easily syncing up with my iPad. And I recently got a pair of AirPods Pro, which connected to the iPhone 13 Pro in moments and just worked, unlike some other Bluetooth headphones where to get the best experience you really need to download an app.
I also enjoyed using AirPlay, which made connecting to my Sonos One speaker and LG C1 OLED TV dead easy, as well as let me play audio through both, which isn’t something I’ve found easy to do on Android. This combination of curation and connectivity has now got me seriously considering the Apple Watch 7.
Sure, iOS isn’t perfect — here are the 5 things that keep annoying me. But it’s been so easy to adjust to and is so well presented and consistent, that when combined with excellent hardware makes it easy to see why so many people still follow Apple.
While I won’t say I’m a full Android to iOS convert just yet, it'll probably take a heck of an Android device to see me move my everyday phone away from the iPhone 13 Pro.
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Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.
You act like ppl care that you switched lmao. Well good for you ig.Reply
Tired of these... "I ditched the iPhone for Android"... "I ditched my Android for iPhone"... smhReply
I don't know how to tell you this, actually I do, but the S22 Ultra has a 120 hz refresh rate as well. Oops, there goes one of your reasons.Reply
Your photo of a cat is really very bad. No iPhone for me.admin said:5 reasons why moving from Android to iPhone just works for me.
I ditched my Android for iPhone — 5 reasons I'm not going back : Read more
agreed..that cat pic wasn't good at allJvanwi said:Your photo of a cat is really very bad. No iPhone for me.
Okay enough! You became a mindless iPhone owner. Who cares?! You enjoy following a fad. You chose to be a trend follower. Why should anyone care? I'm so tired of seeing these types of posts! The people that I know that own an iPhone, own it because they love trends and they want to be a follower. So you shouldn't be so proud to make the switch. You are even a trend follower on this, subject. What a giant waste of an article!Reply
So does my Oppo find X2 Pro. Nearly 2 years old now too!Samsungfanboy said:I don't know how to tell you this, actually I do, but the S22 Ultra has a 120 hz refresh rate as well. Oops, there goes one of your reasons.
I did the same 2 months ago. Up until then, I was a 15 y/o Android fanboi. I owned several Samsung's, Pixels, and a OnePlus. Prior to that I had tried a couple of iPhones but their walled garden forcing of Apple only products kept me away. Well years later and iOS 15 allows you to use other browsers, email clients, calendars, and mapping apps as defaults. I mean Google products in their place. You can even use Google Assistant. iOS has come a long way over the years. Android has numerous phone manufacturers, and many of those manufacturers have multiple models. So Android versions have to be designed and to evolve with the greatest common denominator to maintain compatibility. While Apple really doesn't have that problem. With the uniformity of Apple's in house built products, their iOS apps have polish and the intuition is built in. Even the mainstream Google apps have more polish on iOS than the Android versions. Crazy. Add to that the iPhone 13 has the most powerful hardware even compared to Samsung's newest SOC launched 1 month ago, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has longer battery life than any phone, and the iPhone made a compelling argument to me. I never thought I'd say I love an iPhone. But an iPhone is a tech commodity. So much so, even Apple's strongest competitors not only develop for it, they develop and support Apple's quality app experience. They can't afford not to. No organization can't. Bank, financial, tech, whatever. Apple's quality controls impact everything. Rather than the slap-together approach of the respective Android apps.admin said:5 reasons why moving from Android to iPhone just works for me.
I ditched my Android for iPhone — 5 reasons I'm not going back : Read more
There are things I miss with Android. Customization. For sure. With Android, I could set a custom notification for every app and even every app's different types of notifications. Not on the iPhone. I miss Samsung's always on display for those notifications. But back to polish, almost everything flows with an iPhone, intuitively. So the trade-offs are worth it to me. Personally, I like face unlock. Most of my financial and business apps support it. After the first login, the app asks me if I'd prefer to use Face unlock from that point on. Almost everything just flows predictably as I use my iPhone. So while a "walled garden" my sound controlling, it's done for a reason, and it just works. Millions of people own iPhones models X and newer, and it would be foolish to not develop for them, no matter what or who you are. At this point, I may never go back to Android. Once you get used to the experience, it would be a tough sell.
I have used both apple and android products. Apple quality is good but lifespan short and u have only 1 product and maker to choose Depending on the brands, android products quality ranges from low to high and better then apple. In short, people have choices with andriod.Reply
To say that apple product is better then android is like saying french is better then english.
All i can say is good luck to you. When a maker like apple makes it almost impossible for people to transfer their data to andriod. It just proves that they know more will switch to andriod then andriod to apple.
For me, i choose english over french for now....
Enjoy being told what you can and can't do with your hardware. Android flagships boast better cameras and for good reason. This is either sponsored or you drank way too much Kool aid.Reply