Every Apple keynote holds impressive surprises such as industry-disruptive technological upgrades. But the most anticipated Apple event of the year has got to be the one that reveals the new iPhone. This time, it's the iPhone 13. Also unveiled together with the iPhone 13 range is the latest Apple Watch Series 7, iPad and iPad mini. Let us now zone in on the key features of the new Apple devices that includes breakthrough camera innovations and an even more powerful processor.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini
Besides its physical size, both the iPhone 13 and 13 mini function identically (6.1-inch and 5.4-inch respectively). Design-wise, there are only minor tweaks and improvements, such as a slimmed-down Face ID notch that’s 20 percent smaller which take up less space at the top of the phone and an improved Super Retina XDR OLED display that deliver an impressive contrast ratio for true blacks and a 28 percent increase in max outdoor brightness.
Credit goes to the internal hardware enhancements that boost the iPhone 13's (and mini) performance. It uses the A15 Bionic that's faster and more power-efficient than last year’s A14 Bionic chip as noted by Apple. Graphic performance becomes up to 30 percent faster too.
Battery life also improves thanks to an internal architecture revamp. The iPhone 13 Mini will reportedly get 1.5 hours more battery life than the iPhone 12 Mini, while the larger iPhone 13 should get up to 2.5 hours more battery life compared to the iPhone 12, thanks to bigger batteries, better performance from the A15 Bionic, and additional software improvements and optimizations.
All-new camera system
This time around, both iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will get the lauded camera system from the iPhone 12 Pro Max that's equipped with a physically larger sensor for the wide camera 47 percent bigger than last year iteration, allowing it to capture more light in darker environments with less noise.
The new wide sensor is a 12-megapixel lens with an f/1.6 aperture, while the new 12-megapixel ultrawide camera features a faster f/2.4 lens and 120-degree field of view. The iPhone 13 will also feature the sensor-shift stabilization technology, first introduced on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which physically moves the wide sensor to stabilise it. The new cameras will also offer 'photographic profiles'. This allows customizing the look of photos even further for more consistency across shots.
A new cinematic mode for video is also introduced, allowing a rack focus effect to change the focus during a video. When recording a video, cinematic mode will automatically transition focus while filming in real-time, intelligently shifting focus when people enter the frame or glance away from the camera. It allows manual changing focus or lock focus on a particular object for more precise control too. Making it sweeter, the front-facing camera will also feature cinematic mode support.
iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max also introduce ProRes, an advanced video codec used widely as the final delivery format for commercials, feature films, and broadcasts, to offer higher colour fidelity and less compression.
The iPhone 13 starts at S$1,299, and iPhone 13 mini at S$1,149. Both will also be available for pre-order on Friday, September 17, with availability beginning Friday, September 24. Users can purchase through apple.com/sg/store, in the Apple Store app, and at Apple Store locations.
iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max inherit all the goodies from its base model, naturally. Yes, the state-of-the-art A15 bionic chip and Photographic Styles feature akin to traditional camera filters using computational photography. Now for the features that make iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max a standout. Firstly, both Pros are equipped with Super Retina XDR displays that support variable refresh rates of between 10Hz and 120Hz.
They also retain the three-camera system but with enhanced improvements. The wide camera will capture better low-light photography thanks to its bigger sensor, while the ultrawide offers a wider aperture. Its telephoto feature can achieve up to 3x zoom and 6x optical zoom across the three cameras. Night mode is also present on all three lenses, and there’s a new macro mode for photographing subjects at just 2cm. Sensor-shift optical image stabilization is included on both models too.
Battery life gets a bump up on both phones too. Apple announced that the 13 Pro will last 1.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro, and the 13 Pro Max offers 2.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro Max. Storage options for the iPhone 13 Pro now go up to 1TB, the most storage Apple has ever offered on a phone.
The iPhone 13 Pro starts at S$1,649, and iPhone 13 Pro Max at S$1,799. Both will also be available for pre-order on Friday, September 17, with availability beginning Friday, September 24. Users can purchase through apple.com/sg/store, in the Apple Store app, and at Apple Store locations.
Apple Watch Series 7
The new Apple Watch Series 7 gets even more screen estate. Its display now goes virtually to the edge of the case, making more information readable. At just 1.7mm, the bezels around the display are noticeably slimmer. Apple states the always-on screen mode is 70 percent brighter claims and the Series 7 allows 50 percent more text onto the display than its predecessor. The new display also allows a full QWERTY keyboard that will support texting and swiping. Even though it now sports an enlarged display, Apple added that it gains crack-resistant properties and obtains an IP6X rating, which means it can withstand sandy and dusty environments.
Apple Watch Series 7 grew in size too. It now comes in 41mm and 45mm sizes, which measures 1mm more than the Series 6.
Faster charging comes attached to the Series 7 too. Its provided charger powers the watch via USB-C instead of USB-A and charges up to 33 percent faster. Apple also claims eight minutes of charging will give you up to eight hours of battery life on the keynote.
Software-wise, new useful features will also be offered on watchOS8. There's more focus on outdoor cycling, which supports automatic pauses it detects a stop due to traffic conditions or when users are having a break. Fall support now complements the workout app too and the Series 7 watch contact emergency services if the user experienced a full during an exercise.
All Apple Watch Series 7 models will be available later this year. Stay tuned for further details.
iPad (10.2-inch) and iPad mini
The entry-level iPad model, along with iPad mini, receives a huge boost in performance with the A13 bionic processor. According to Apple, this new 9th generation iPad will run 20 percent faster than its predecessor. Thus, it'll deliver features better on the latest iPadOS 15 which includes enhancements to the iPad’s homescreen, app organization, and multitasking options.
Both iPads also obtain a 12-megapixel front camera upgrade that supports the Center Stage function that appeared on the iPad Pro last year. Most of its physical design remains and it will still support the first-generation Apple Pencil and the Apple Smart Keyboard.
The same 10.2-inch display now supports the True Tone feature which automatically adjusts the screen’s colour temperature to ambient lighting.
iPad mini Wi-Fi starts at S$749 and Wi-Fi + Cellular models at S$979. In addition, the 10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi starts at S$499 and Wi-Fi + Cellular models at S$699. All models can be ordered now through apple.com/sg/store with immediate availability beginning Friday, September 24 at Apple stores.
Other notable highlights
Remember Apple Fitness+? It will now be available in 15 more countries, making it a total of 21. But Singapore's missing from this list. The closest neighbour that's able to access Apple Fitness+ is Malaysia. We're kinda low-key disappointed though.
A new Fitness+ program, Workouts to Get Ready for Snow Season, will be introduced. It'll feature two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion skier Ted Ligety. The winter sports-inspired program, designed with Fitness+ trainer Anja Garcia, helps build strength, balance, and endurance so users can have more fun on the slopes.
Groups workout via SharePlay allows everyone to workout on Fitness+ together remotely too. Users can start a Group Workout from a group message thread or FaceTime call on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV with AirPlay. From there, navigation happens entirely on the Fitness app—from selecting a workout or Meditation to see friends and family onscreen. During a Group Workout, users will see their metrics and progress toward closing their Activity rings, while also seeing and hearing friends as they work out.