Here it is, our most requested reader question of the last few months: “Should I upgrade to the new Apple iPhone 13 smartphone?
To spice things up – instead of just sharing my opinion – I posed the question to two technology writers based in our home country of Australia whose opinion I very much value and trust. They share my personal ethos of honesty first and in this article offer their bite-sized answers.
The truth is, Apple has a hard sell in our current climate. Their phones are renowned for flagship innovation, however, we are in the middle of a pandemic with many consumers budget-conscious than ever before.
To narrow the question I asked Jason Cartwright and Geoff Quattromani whether people who own the iPhone 12 should consider upgrading – though their answers offer more meat than just that.
If you want some honest bite-sized advice about who should consider upgrading to the new iPhone 13 series, please read on.
(Fun fact: Jason, Geoff and myself became most acquainted when on a tech brand trip in Singapore together a few years back. It’s there that I realised their values were similar to mine, and have been a firm fan of their respective published pieces ever since).
Jason’s Thoughts on upgrading to the iPhone 13:
Apple recently announced the iPhone 13 (launched 14 Sep) and this year’s annual refresh from Cupertino has a familiar recipe. Apple has kept the same exterior design, but focused on upgrading the internal performance, battery life and camera system to entice new and existing owners.
With life’s memories so precious, it’s not surprising Apple continues to focus on innovating in this area of the product’s capabilities. Photography continues to be one of the strongest motivations for iPhone owners to upgrade to the latest model.
This year, new camera tricks include a new Macro mode that lets you take photos and videos of objects from as close as 2cm away.
Also new is a Cinematic mode that can magically transition the depth of field in a scene between subjects, automatically. What’s even more impressive is that this depth layer is data stored against your video and that enables you to refocus the video in post.
Apple’s new A15 processor means this is the fastest iPhone ever created. The display now supports better colour and 120Hz variable refresh rate, so scrolling and gaming is buttery smooth and there’s also a 1.5 to 2.5hrs improvement to battery life.
Who should upgrade?
Don’t let the exterior subtlety fool you, there’s a lot going on with the iPhone 13 and it’ll certainly be a solid upgrade for those with an iPhone 11 or earlier. If you have a 12, it’s probably worth holding off another year where we’re likely to see a design refresh.
Geoff’s Thoughts on upgrading to the iPhone 13:
If you have an iPhone 11 or 12 and you’re considering upgrading to the 13 you have either broken your iPhone beyond repair or you’re rolling in cash.
Who should upgrade?
The iPhone 13 is incrementally better than the previous generation iPhone but it is mainly noticed when upgrading from an iPhone 8 or X, at best.
In the early days of smartphones, each year we saw large improvements that did create queues on launch day. But, today we are seeing a 3-4 year generation gap where it most makes sense to upgrade.
For the same reason we lease a BMW over three years, we generally don’t upgrade our smartphones any sooner.