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The mark the third year in a row that Apple released two Pro models. The phones have the same price as last year’s , and jobs-freshers are loaded with updated cameras, a larger battery and an A15 Bionic chip. By packing the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max with features many of us have wanted for years, including a display with a high refresh rate, Apple further defined the difference between its Pro and non-Pro phones. Three years ago, by comparison, the word Pro seemed more of a marketing term than an indication that the phone was any more professional than a regular iPhone.

The 13 Pro is an important signal that there isn’t just one iPhone that works for everyone. Unlike last year, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max vary by size, battery life and price, but both phones now have the same camera array.


iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max

LikeRobust buildProMotion display3x optical zoom telephotoiOS 15

Don’t LikeIt’s heavyLacks on-off setting for macro photographyThe notch

The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 (£949, AU$1,699) and the 13 Pro Max at $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,849) for 128GB of storage. For the first time, you have the option to get 1TB of storage on an iPhone. The extra storage pushes the price of a 13 Pro to $1,499 (£1,449, AU$2,569) and the 13 Pro Max to $1,599 (£1,549, AU$2,719). That’s a lot of storage… and a lot of money.

The iPhone 13 Pro comes in a new Sierra blue finish.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone 13 Pro gets beefier

The phones have the same squared off look as the 12 series. The stainless steel sides are glossy and the back has one of four matte finishes: graphite, gold, silver or Sierra blue. In some lighting, the Sierra blue iPhone reads as light gray and in other lighting it looks like the Carolina blue of the UNC Tarheels.

The notch is 20% smaller. It’s not as wide, but there’s still a notch. It’s fair to say that it annoys me 20% less.

Both phones are thicker and weigh more. The 13 Pro gains 15 grams and the 13 Pro Max packs on an additional 12 grams. I noticed the extra weight more when I used the 13 Pro. Both phones have Apple’s Ceramic Shield on the front and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.

ProMotion on the iPhone 13 Pro is stellar

The 13 Pro has a 6.1-inch screen and the 13 Pro Max a 6.7-inch one. In everyday use, the screens are noticeably brighter. The displays have what Apple calls ProMotion, meaning the iPhone, for the first time ever, supports a high refresh rate. Depending what’s being shown on the screen, the refresh rate switches between 10 and 120Hz. This is a similar approach Samsung took with the . In use, the screen looks stellar. Animations look smooth, graphics crisp and even mundane things like scrolling feeds look better.