It’s that time of year again: Apple announced the iPhone 13… and a bunch of other stuff. It wasn’t the most shocking or exciting Apple event ever — it was largely in line with leaks and rumors — but there was still plenty of interesting news to note. We’ve gone ahead and made a summary of the most important announcements below.
New entry-level iPad
Apple today announced its latest iPad, this time around using Apple’s A13 processor. It’s not the fastest chip Apple has made, but Apple claims it’s still ‘3x faster’ than the best-selling Chromebook and 5x faster than the top Android tablet.
Design-wise, it’s just about the same as Apple’s basic iPad has been for years, with thick bezels and a Touch ID sensor on the front.
The cameras have been improved too, thanks to the A13’s more powerful image processing, and the front camera now supports the subject-tracking Center Stage feature.
The new iPad starts at $329 for 64 GB of storage ($299 for schools). It’s available to pre-order today and will begin to ship next week.
iPad Mini 6
In what Apple is calling its biggest update ever, the iPad Mini 6 is getting an all-new design.
Following the design language of recent iPads, the iPad Mini has a sharper aesthetic with flat sides, rounded corners, and smaller bezels.
It packs a larger, 8.3-inch display and stereo speakers, and it finally supports the second-gen Apple Pencil too.
It’s much more powerful: Apple says the device has 40%, 80%, and 200% faster CPU, GPU, and machine learning speeds than its predecessor, respectively. It supports 5G connectivity as well, and the cameras have been improved with Center Stage, Smart HDR, and 4K recording.
And oh yeah, it finally charges via USB-C. Thank goodness.
The iPad Mini 6 is available to pre-order starting at $499 and will be available next week.
Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch is also getting a redesign, albeit a less dramatic one. While it still doesn’t have the circular design many users have hoped for, it does offer a larger display with smaller bezels. Specifically, the screen is now 20% larger than before, while the bezels are 40% smaller.
Contrary to early rumors, the new Apple Watch does not feature flat sides — the opposite in fact. Apple has rounded the sides even more, giving the display a slight curvature like so many smartphones. It’s also more durable, now with IP6X water and dust resistance.
The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $399 and will be available “later this fall.”
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini
The rumors were true! The new iPhones feature a smaller notch. Barely, but hey, it’s something.
The new iPhones feature a slightly tweaked design in 5 colors, including a snazzy light pink. The display gets brighter now — up to 1200 nits when watching HDR content.
More notable is the new A15 processor. Apple claims it is “up to 50% faster than the leading competition,” which is a shot across the bow to (presumably) the Snapdragon 888. It also claims to be 30% faster at GPU tasks as well.
The cameras received some major upgrades too. There’s a new 12MP primary camera with sensor-shift optical image stabilization and a bigger sensor; it can capture 47% more light in all over the iPhone 12.
Perhaps more interesting is the new Cinematic Mode in video. This is basically portrait mode for video, blurring backgrounds to draw eyes to your subject, except the iPhone can smoothly shift focus between subjects, giving videos a surprisingly cinematic look. It’s even smart, knowing to shift focus depending on whether your foreground subject is looking towards or away from the camera.
It won’t trick serious videographers, but it opens up a whole new world of creative opportunities.
Lastly, battery life has been improved on both models, up 1.5 hours on the Mini and 2.5 hours on the larger iPhone 13.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini start at $799 and $699. As a neat bonus, the devices now start at 128GB of storage rather than just 64 GB.
iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
As expected, the Pro models feature the same A15 processor and software features as their cheaper siblings. But they also offer a whole bunch more.
The design hasn’t changed much, but as with the cheaper models, the phones come with a 20% smaller notch. The devices use a new, more efficient OLED panel that finally supports high refresh rates — ramping up from 10Hz to 120Hz depending on how you’re using your phone.
Apple claims the Pros bring the ‘biggest camera advancements ever’ for the iPhone. The primary sensor is the largest Apple has used, while the ultra-wide gets a 92% improvement in low light photography. Also neat: Apple is introducing macro mode that mimics the Oppo Find X using the ultra-wide camera, although it doesn’t appear to focus on subjects quite as small.
The phones pack larger batteries too. The iPhone 13 Pro gets a 1.5-hour battery boost, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max gets 2.5 more hours of screen time. Apple claims the latter has the best battery life “ever” in an iPhone.
The 13 Pro and Pro Max start at $999 and $1,099, respectively, and there’s now a new 1TB storage option at the top end. They will be up for pre-order Friday, September 17, and will be available a week later, on September 24.
Watch the whole thing
Missed out on the event live? A replay is already available on Apple’s website, where you’ll find the company’s own summary of the news. It’s also up on YouTube, so we’ve gone ahead and embedded that below.
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