Is The iPhone 13 Worth Buying? PROS & CONS List…

By Richard Goodwin •  Updated: 03/22/22 •  10 min read

Apple’s new iPhones – the iPhone 13 range – are now official. They’ll get a release date later this month. But is the iPhone 13 worth buying? Let’s find out…


This time of year is always crazy. Millions of people get excited about the prospect of a new iPhone. There are currently tens of millions of iPhone 11 users in the wild primed for an update. Ditto older iPhone users, like those with an iPhone XS or XR.

But now that the dust has settled on Apple’s iPhone 13 launch, is Apple’s latest iPhone worth buying in 2021 – or are you better off elsewhere? Let’s find out by looking at some examples, as well as some PROS & CONS of the new iPhone 13 range.

Why You SHOULD Buy The iPhone 13

First, let’s take a look at the reasons why Apple’s iPhone 13 is potentially worth buying in 2021. I’m just going to be using common sense here, things that I know matter to millions of users. After this, we’ll look at why you might not want to upgrade to the iPhone 13.

iPhone 13 PROS – Why You’d Buy One

iphone 13 worth buying
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5. You’re Running An iPhone 11 or Older…

Despite all the clamor around the iPhone 13 prior to its launch, the new series from Apple isn’t a massive update. The iPhone 13 could just as easily have been called the iPhone 12s and no one would have batted a lid. Yes, there are updates but they are small and incremental.

If you’re running an iPhone 11, any of the models in that range, then, yes, the iPhone 13 is definitely worth an upgrade. The iPhone 13 might not be a massive update on the iPhone 12, but it represents a BIG update when compared to the iPhone 11.

You have higher base storage options, starting with 128GB instead of 64GB, improved camera modules on all modules, OLED displays across the board, faster and more reliable 5G, and, of course, Apple’s latest A15 CPU which is blazingly fast compared to the iPhone 11’s CPU.

4. You Need and/or Want 5G

Apple was fairly late to the 5G party. To date, only two of its iPhone ranges support 5G – the iPhone 12 and the incoming iPhone 13. If you’re running an older iPhone model, anything from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone 11, you’ll need to upgrade if you want to get 5G connectivity.

If you live in or near a major city, you’ll likely be able to get 5G. And if you want to get 5G on your iPhone, you’ll need to get either the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 13. And given that the iPhone 13 is newer and better than the iPhone 12, you might as well go with the iPhone 13.

3. You’re Not Happy With iPhone 12’s Battery Life

The iPhone 12’s battery life was not good; in fact, it lasted four hours less than the iPhone 11. This battery decline was caused by 5G. With the iPhone 13, Apple claims it has fixed this issue and the iPhone 13’s battery performance is now back in line with what you got on the iPhone 11.

If true, this makes the iPhone 13 a much better option than the iPhone 12. You’ll get faster 5G connectivity with the iPhone 13 and better battery life than you would with the now-cheaper iPhone 12. If battery life is important to you, go with the iPhone 13.

2. You Like Having The Fastest Phone on The Market

Apple’s A14 chipset, the one used inside the iPhone 12, was the fastest and most powerful mobile SoC on the market in 2020. In 2019, the iPhone 11’s A13 was the fastest. In 2021, the A15 inside the iPhone 13 will be the fastest. Do you see where I’m going here?

If you want the best possible performance from your iPhone, meaning market-leading power and performance, then the iPhone 13 – any of them – is the phone to get in 2021. No other phone on the market has the same performance capabilities as Apple’s iPhone 13 with its A15 CPU.

1. You Want The Best Possible Camera Performance

With cameras, Apple’s latest phones – pretty much across the board – represents improvements on what came before. If you’re using an older iPhone model, the iPhone 13’s camera will look and seem like a major update.

But if you want the best possible camera performance, you will need to cough up the dough for one of Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro models – either the iPhone 13 Pro or the iPhone 13 Pro Max. This is where all the biggest changes have been made.

The pro camera system gets its biggest advancement ever with new Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras that capture stunning photos and video, powered by the unmatched performance of A15 Bionic, more powerful than the leading competition. These technologies enable impressive new photo capabilities never before possible on iPhone, like macro photography on the new Ultra Wide camera and up to 2.2x improved low-light performance on the new Wide camera.

Video takes a huge leap forward with Cinematic mode for beautiful depth-of-field transitions, macro video, Time-lapse and Slo-mo, and even better low-light performance. Both models also offer end-to-end pro workflows in Dolby Vision, and for the first time, ProRes, only available on iPhone.

Apple


  1. Apple's iPhone 13 Mini
  2. Apple's iPhone 13 Mini
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    If you miss the days of small iPhones, the iPhone 13 Mini will be right up your street. With its extremely pocketable dimensions, the iPhone 13 Mini packs in all the same specs and features as the iPhone 13, just in a much smaller chassis. 

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  3. Apple's iPhone 13 Pro
  4. Apple's iPhone 13 Pro
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    If you want more performance and improved imaging, the iPhone 13 Pro is what you should be looking at. Featuring the most advanced camera system on the market, Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro is the perfect phone for users that demand the absolute best from their phones. 

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    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

  5. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  6. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
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    It has the best camera, the best battery, one of the best screens ever put in a production phone, and it has the fastest chip on the market. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is by far and away the best phone you can buy now. Yes, it is expensive. But keep in mind that you’ll be able to comfortably run this phone for at least the next six to seven years without issue. 

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iPhone 13 CONS – Why You Shouldn’t Buy The iPhone 13

We’ve taken a look at some of the main reasons why you’d upgrade to the iPhone 13. Now, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you shouldn’t buy the iPhone 13.

4. You’re Running The iPhone 12

The main reason not to buy the iPhone 13 would be if you’re currently running the iPhone 12. The iPhone 13 is not a major update over the iPhone 12, especially on the base models. The Pro models are a slightly different story; they have significant updates to their camera modules and a new storage option (1TB).

At the lower end of Apple’s iPhone 13 range, however, the changes aren’t so dramatic, so if you’re running an iPhone 12, you’d probably be best off waiting for the iPhone 14 – it will be the update where all the big, sweeping changes occur.

There is an argument for upgrading from an iPhone 12 to an iPhone 13 Pro Max or iPhone 13 Pro. If you want better camera performance, buying the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max makes sense. If you’re the kind of guy or gal that runs the base model, however, I’d hold fire for another year.

3. You Cannot Get 5G Where You Live

If you live in an area that does not have 5G and isn’t likely to for a good long while, then updating the iPhone 13 makes very little sense. Sure, the phone is great and all, but why not save yourself some money and pick up a refurbished iPhone 11 Pro Max instead? You can get this phone for around half the price of the base model iPhone 13 right now.

Is the iPhone 11 Pro Max still a viable option in 2022? I think so; it has plenty of performance, a brilliant camera, and the battery life is superb. I ran one up until very recently and didn’t have any problems with it whatsoever. In fact, had I held onto it – and not swapped it for the iPhone 13 Pro – I think I could have run it for another few years easily.

If you’re looking to save some cash in 2022 but don’t want to scrimp on your next phone, picking up the iPhone 11 Pro Max could be one of the easiest ways to do this. You’re getting a flagship-grade phone, albeit a slightly older one, and that means you get all the features normally reserved for Apple’s most expensive models – things like its LiDAR sensor for instance.

2. Your iPhone Still Works Great, Despite Its Age

If you’re running an iPhone 11 or even an iPhone XR and the phone still works great, do you even need to upgrade to the iPhone 13? I’d argue, no. If it ain’t broke, don’t upgrade. Apple’s iPhones are expensive but they do last a long time, so don’t let FOMO stop you from extracting your money’s worth from your current phone.

What is FOMO? Simple: it means Fear of Missing Out. And when it comes to Apple’s slick marketing, users can often feel like they’re missing out on new, cool features whenever a new iPhone drops. For the most part, though, this really isn’t the case.

New features – things like 120Hz displays – are nice, but they’re not essential. You can live your life without them. Most people use their iPhones to run the same, standard apps and do the same general stuff. For this reason, you don’t always need to buy a brand new iPhone. Do not let FOMO stand in the way of you saving some cash.

Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR will get iOS updates for years to come, so from a support perspective, you’re good to go for at least another three years – maybe more.

1. You Need / Want Something Cheaper

Apple’s iPhones are great. I love them for a range of reasons. But there are plenty of cheaper options out there. You have an entire universe of more affordable refurbished iPhones to choose from, for example, and with one of these, you’ll save anywhere from 40% to 50% versus buying new.

You also have Android phones to consider as well. In the Android space, you have a plethora of amazing options from brands like OnePlus, Samsung, and Google. I’m a HUGE fan of the OnePlus 9 Pro, for instance, and the Google Pixel 5 – they’re both amazing phones and they’re both cheaper than Apple’s iPhone 13.

Also, be sure to check out ALL the iPhone 13 & iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro & iPhone 13 Pro color options! And read up all about iPhone 13 ProRes video here. Also, be sure to check out all the missing iPhone 13 features here!


  1. Apple's iPhone 13 Mini
  2. Apple's iPhone 13 Mini
    • Save

    If you miss the days of small iPhones, the iPhone 13 Mini will be right up your street. With its extremely pocketable dimensions, the iPhone 13 Mini packs in all the same specs and features as the iPhone 13, just in a much smaller chassis. 

    BEST USA DEALS BEST UK DEAL

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

  3. Apple's iPhone 13 Pro
  4. Apple's iPhone 13 Pro
    • Save

    If you want more performance and improved imaging, the iPhone 13 Pro is what you should be looking at. Featuring the most advanced camera system on the market, Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro is the perfect phone for users that demand the absolute best from their phones. 

    BEST USA DEAL BEST UK DEAL

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

  5. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  6. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • Save

    It has the best camera, the best battery, one of the best screens ever put in a production phone, and it has the fastest chip on the market. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is by far and away the best phone you can buy now. Yes, it is expensive. But keep in mind that you’ll be able to comfortably run this phone for at least the next six to seven years without issue. 

    BEST USA DEAL BEST UK DEAL

You Now Have A New iPhone 13 Color Option Too

In a rather odd turn of events, Apple decided to launch a new color option for its iPhone 13 range during its March 8 event. The new color option is green – to me, it looks like racing green, the kind used by Caterham when it used to have an F1 team.

green iphone 13
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This means, when it comes to iPhone 13 color options, you have the following to choose from:

Colors, while not that important if you’re using a case, are still a popular buying option with iPhone users. According to data from Apple’s buying metrics, the colors “Sierra Blue,” “Graphite” and “Pink” are the most popular iPhone colors for 2021 and 2022. This is interesting too because, usually, the most popular colors are black and white.

Since the advent of the iPhone XR, however, Apple’s users have become more and more accustomed to colors. The popularity of that phone, largely down to its price, but also its colourful hues, has seen Apple do more colors on all iPhones that followed it.

iphone 13 worth buying
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Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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