iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro: Should you upgrade to the newest model?



Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple just unveiled the brand new iPhone 15 lineup, comprised of the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. If you’re in the market for a new iPhone you might wonder how the new devices compare to older models like the iPhone 13 or even the iPhone 14

The iPhone 15 Pro, part of Apple’s high-end line of smartphones, is a great option if you want a pro-level phone that still fits comfortably in your hand. But how does the iPhone 15 Pro, in all its sleek titanium allure, compare to a dependable and highly popular device like the iPhone 13 Pro? The price difference isn’t the only thing setting them apart, though that difference is significant.

Also: Apple Watch Series 9: Top 4 new features we’re excited about

We’ll break down the features for both the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro to help you decide if you should go with the new kid on the block or Old Faithful. 


SpecsiPhone 15 ProiPhone 13 Pro
Display6.1″ | Super Retina XDR | Always-on6.1″ | Super Retina XDR
FinishNatural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, Black TitaniumAlpine Green, Silver, Gold, Graphite, Sierra Blue
ProcessorA17 ProA15 Bionic chip
Storage128GB | 256GB | 512GB | 1TB128GB | 256GB | 512GB | 1TB
ConstructionGrade 5 TitaniumStainless steel | IP68 rating
BatteryUp to 29 hours of video playbackUp to 22 hours of video playback
PortUSB-C | USB 3 supportLightning | USB 2 support
Main camera48MP | Up to 10x optical zoom12MP | up to 4K video
ConnectivityeSIM, 5G, Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Blutooth 5.0, UWB, GPS, Wi-Fi callingSIM card, 5G, Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, UWB, GPS, Wi-Fi calling
PriceStarting at $999Starting at $829

You should buy the iPhone 15 Pro if…

iPhone 15 Pro in Blue

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

1. You want an outstanding camera

No matter how picky you get there is one thing that you can’t ding the iPhone 15 for and that’s the camera. The iPhone 15’s camera captures 48MP images, and it has a 25% larger sensor compared to its predecessor, the iPhone 14 Pro. It’s also capable of four times more resolution than RAW images, and a f/2.8 aperture — which is outstanding compared to the iPhone 13 Pro’s 12MP main camera.

Also: Deciphering the iPhone 15 Pro’s pro-grade camera features: What the terms mean

Users will be able to get next-generation portraits with two times better light performance than the previous version, with a Lidar scanner that captures night mode portraits with greater dynamic range while maintaining luminosity. 

The optical zoom has a 13-120mm focal length spectrum. The iPhone 15 Pro’s camera is also a periscope camera, with a tetraprism design that reflects the light inside the iPhone to remove the need for a long telephoto lens. 

2. You want to jump on the USB-C bandwagon

This is likely the biggest feature that sets the iPhone 15 apart from all other previous iPhone models. Apple has finally instituted USB-C ports on its devices, which means that you can use the same cable to charge all of your Apple devices — as long as they’re the newer ones. Apple’s switch to USB-C connector also means faster transfer speeds from your iPhone to your Mac.

Also: iPhone 15 Pro hands-on: I found a lot of reasons to upgrade and one to wait until next year

But Apple didn’t do away with the lightning port out of sheer innovation. The decision to switch to USB-C ports in charging cables was forced on the tech giants after the European Union mandated that all electronic devices sold and manufactured in 2024 must have a USB-C connector. Though this is yet to be a requirement in the United States, the standardization of charging connectors to USB-C in the EU hints that the format could become universal.

3. You want a more durable iPhone

The iPhone 15 Pro does away with a surgical-grade stainless steel construction in favor of Grade 5 Titanium. This  — along with other upgrades — factors into the price, which is why the iPhone 15 is more expensive than previous iPhone models. Titanium is harder to mold and form than aluminum and stainless steel, but it’s a better choice for devices, in part due to its low thermal conductivity.

Titanium is more heat resistant than steel, which could result in fewer instances of overheating iPhones. The new iPhone 15 Pro has an aluminum coating on the inside, below the titanium finish, which further helps with heat dissipation.

The titanium construction is also lighter while maintaining the same strength as steel. Greg “Joz” Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said during the launch event that this is the lightest Pro iPhone ever. 

You should buy the iPhone 13 Pro if…

iphone 13 pro being held in a hand

Sarah Tew/CNET

1. You want a lower price

One of the best ways to save money when you buy a new phone is to get an older model like the iPhone 13 Pro. You can get a renewed iPhone 13 Pro with 512GB of storage for $815 on Amazon or a pre-owned iPhone 13 Pro with 128GB of storage for $880 at Best Buy, both unlocked. 

Also: The best iPhone deals right now: September 2023

The iPhone 15 Pro, in turn, starts at $999. Of course, it’s brand new, but if you just need a new phone and don’t mind skipping the bells and whistles of the latest model, it’s possible to save a few hundred dollars.

2. You prefer a SIM card over e-SIM

Apple got rid of the slot for a physical SIM card with the iPhone 14 in 2022. Since then iPhones are activated with an electronic SIM or eSIM. Essentially, they are activated over the air by the carrier instead of using a physical card. This might not seem like a big deal and it may even seem convenient in a lot of cases but a lot of people still prefer a physical SIM card. 

Also: Buying the iPhone 15? Here’s how your carrier is handling eSIM transfers

Having a phone with a physical SIM card makes it easy and convenient to switch between devices, especially in case of emergency. If my iPhone XS Max breaks down, for example, I’d be able to pop out the SIM card and put it in another backup phone I had in my home and still be able to use a phone while I either got mine fixed or got a new one. But if my iPhone 14 Pro Max breaks down I can’t take out the SIM card and put it in my old XS Max because it’s an eSIM.

3. A gold iPhone is your thing

If you love a gold iPhone and were hoping to see the iPhone 15 Pro bathed in gold, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. The iPhone 14 was the last to get a gold color finish, which is another point in favor of the iPhone 13 Pro.

Even though I got a purple iPhone 14 Pro Max when it came out, I was a faithful gold iPhone user for years after Apple discontinued the rose gold finish. But if you want to get an iPhone 13 Pro and you love the gold iPhone, you’ll be glad to know that it is still available from resellers.

Alternatives to consider


Source link