While there are those of us who end up buying a new iPhone every year, most people upgrading to the iPhone 13 will be doing so from a phone that is older than the iPhone 12.

Apple does have a comparison feature on its website allowing you to manually compare features, but Jason Snell has done the work for you, showing what you’ll get when you upgrade from any model from the iPhone 7 up …

You can find the summaries over at Six Colors.

When it comes to iPhone upgrades, Apple is incremental. So are iPhone reviews. Those of us who review iPhones are, for understandable reasons, focused on what’s new between this year’s model and the last.

The problem is that most people don’t buy a new iPhone every year. The primary upgraders to the iPhone 13 will be coming from the iPhone 7, or 8, or X, or XS, or XR. For them, several years of Apple innovations will be rolled into a single purchase. But reviews of the new iPhones will not address what happened in 2018, or 2019, or 2020.

Here’s an attempt to provide a little more of a big-picture overview for owners of older iPhones who are wondering what’s new in the iPhone 13.

The older your original phone, of course, the more you’ll get. Here’s everything you’ll get upgrading from the iPhone 7, for example:

iPhone 13 adds:

  • Phone body: Larger (unless you buy an iPhone 13 mini), more damage-resistant screen, better water resistance.
  • Display: Larger, higher resolution, OLED, brighter, HDR, True Tone.
  • Chip: Three times as fast.
  • Buttons: Face ID instead of Touch ID, sensors in TrueDepth “notch” on display; home button replaced with gestures. No more support for 3D Touch.
  • Battery life: Dramatically better.
  • Networking: 5G, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 6, Ultra Wideband.
  • Camera: Wider aperture and improved sensors on standard camera, new Ultra Wide camera for more expansive shots, sensor-shift optical image stabilization, Night Mode for dark settings, Portrait Mode, Deep Fusion for enhanced details, Photographic Styles.
  • Selfie camera: Higher resolution (12 megapixels) with support for portait mode.
  • Video: HDR video up to 4K 60fps, Cinematic Mode.
  • Charging: Support for wireless Qi and MagSafe charging.

iPhone 13 Pro also adds:

  • Display: ProMotion display up to 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Camera: Telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, ProRAW image capture and ProRes video capture, LiDAR scanner for night mode portraits, faster autofocus in low light, and augmented reality.

If you’ve already got your iPhone 13, it’s a handy guide to the features you might want to try – and if you’re still thinking about it, it’s a great way to see what you’d get for your money.

Head over to the page if you own(ed) an iPhone 7, 8, X, XR, XS, 11, 11 Pro, or SE 2.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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