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iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Biggest differences to expect

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro
(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

The iPhone 13 is expected to come in four models this year just like the iPhone 12 did. But it looks like the gap between the regular and Pro series will be even bigger for the new iPhones.

Based on the rumors, the 5.4-inch iPhone iPhone 13 mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 13, 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max should have plenty in common, from the A15 Bionic processor to faster 5G and a smaller notch. However, the Pro series should truly be on another level this year.

Based on rumored features, though, the iPhone 13 Pro appears to be more Pro than ever before, especially when it comes to the anticipated 120Hz displays and improved cameras. Our iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro comparison should give you a good idea of what to expect this fall.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Prices and storage

We haven’t heard much about the price for the iPhone 13 series, other than one report from market research firm TrendForce saying that the iPhone 13 prices will be "relatively on par" with the iPhone 12.

If this is the case, you can expect the iPhone 13 mini to start at $699, the iPhone 13 at $799, the iPhone 13 Pro at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max at $1,099.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro: Design and colors

iPhone 13 renders by Ian Zelbo

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo / Twitter)

The good news is that all four new iPhone 13 models are reportedly getting smaller notches, which means you’ll get a little more screen real estate. Apple is said to be moving the speaker and perhaps shrinking some of the tech that makes Face ID possible to make this happen.

Based on alleged dummy units, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will allegedly both feature nearly identical measurements to their predecessors, with the only other major design change expected to be a diagonal camera arrangement on the back. Otherwise, the buttons have been shifted down somewhat, according to the dummy unit leaks, and the SIM card tray is further down. 

iPhone 13 Pro case

(Image credit: UnclePanPan | Weibo)

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will allegedly feature larger camera arrays on the back to accommodate bigger lenses, and the camera bump is supposedly larger as a result. Both iPhone 13 Pro models may be thicker than the iPhone 12 Pros as well.

In terms of iPhone 13 colors, there have been rumors that Apple was looking at a possible pink iPhone 13, while the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max could be coming in a matte black and perhaps bronze.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Displays

iPhone 13 Pro colors

(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

This could be the biggest difference of all between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. Only the iPhone 13 Pro models will reportedly boast 120Hz ProMotion displays. This would enable smoother scrolling as well as better movie playback and gameplay.

The regular iPhone 13 models are expected to feature 60Hz displays, so the same refresh rate as the iPhone 12 series. In addition, we’ve heard that Apple may offer an always-on display more for the iPhone 13 Pro series, which would let you look at the time and notifications without using as much power. This would be thanks to the use of LTPO technology. 

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Cameras

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 dummy

(Image credit: Apple Insider)

The regular iPhone 13 should offer some notable camera upgrades, including computational photography features we’ve never seen on an iPhone before. For example, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini could deliver portrait mode video, as well as astrophotography for shooting the night sky.

In addition, the regular iPhone 13 may boast sensor-shift stabilization, which was previously reserved for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. This would enable steadier stills and video.

However, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are expected to offer a new 6-element ultra-wide angle lens for better image quality. Plus, a new report claims that only the iPhone 13 Pro series will feature LiDAR sensors for enhanced auto-focus and AR performance. 

While the iPhone 13 Pro models already have an advantage with their telephoto lenses, it’s not clear whether you’ll get a more powerful zoom this year. 

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Batteries

According to one leaker, all four iPhone 13 models will be getting larger batteries. But the iPhone 13 Pro Max will have the largest of the bunch at 4,352 mAH. The 6.1-inch iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are tipped to get 3,095 mAh batteries, while the smallest iPhone 13 mini would get a 2,406 mAh pack.

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Outlook

Our recommendation for the past couple of years has been the standard iPhone 11 and iPhone 12. They've simply been the best iPhones for most people. However, we expect a lot of shoppers willing to pay a premium will gravitate toward the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max this year because of their rumored 120Hz displays with always-on functionality. It does make a big difference in everyday usability.

Plus, the iPhone 13 Pro should continue to exclusively offer telephoto zoom, along with LiDAR and a better ultra-wide camera. There's still a fair amount we don't know about the iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro comparison, but it looks like Pro could be the way to go for those who want a truly cutting edge new iPhone. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.