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Is iPhone 13 worth buying in 2023? A detailed study.

Apple iPhone 13 is one of the finest phones since its launch. Now, you know that Apple iPhone 14 has been launched. Both have a lot in common with the iPhone 12 but have new features. iPhone 13 is slightly cheaper than iPhone 14 and a tad costlier than iPhone 12. So, is the iPhone 13 still worth buying? Let’s do a small analysis.

Related post: Why iOS is better than android for business?

Is iPhone 13 worth buying in 2022?
Photo by Efrem

Let’s have a comparison with other phones

How can we analyse whether the Apple iPhone 13 is still worth buying in 2023? It should be compared to another phone. Right? The obvious competitor for iPhone 13 is in the Apple family itself. It is none other than iPhone 14, although it is priced $100 higher. Other than that, there are Samsungs. There are so many places where iOS 16 is better than androids. Hence, let us stick to ‘apples to apples’ comparison, shall we?

Display: The beauty.

iPhone 12 camera viewfinder
iPhone 12 camera viewfinder

The display has always been a big part of the iPhone’s success. Long gone is the LCD display of the iPhone 8 With 13, you get a solid, crisp, detailed, beautiful AMOLED display. It is, in fact, made by Samsung but on Apple’s specs. The display is colour accurate, and you can literally edit a professional photo with it.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini have a super retina XDR OLED display that supports HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. It has a typical brightness of 800 nits. It can go as much as 1200 nits for peak brightness.

The screen measures 6.1 inches. You can see the bezels are thin. Thus, you will get a screen-to-body ratio of almost 86%, which is very modern and pushed to the limits.

The display of the Apple iPhone 13 has a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels.  It equates to the Pixel per density or PPI of 460. This is razor sharp and is more than enough for the comfortable usage of Apple iPhones.

The 13 has scratch-resistant ceramic glass and it also has an oleophobic coating to keep the fingerprints away.

The spec for an Apple iPhone 14 is also the same as 13.

Hence, this is a tie between iPhone 13 and 14. The display on both of the phones is almost the same.

Therefore Apple iPhone 13 has an edge as it is $100 cheaper. Hence, as for as the display goes, iPhone 13 is worth buying compared to the 14.

Performance: Is iPhone 13 worth buying?

Picture of rear of iPhone 13
Photo by Tamilanban Subramanian

I guess you have the answer, haven’t you? Still, let’s proceed.

You would expect better performance with the new device when you upgrade your phone. But upgrading from iPhone 13 to 14 makes no sense as there is no difference in CPU performance between the two on Paper. There is a marginal difference between the GPUs of the two phones.

Apple iPhone 14 has one more core for GPU and thus has 5 cores instead of 4 cores on iPhone 13.

Having said that, apple has improved the cooling system of the 14 for better thermal efficiency for better performance.


Don’t worry; the performance difference will be minimal. It is noticeable only with CPU and GPU-intensive tasks.

Is it worth buying iPhone 14 over 13 as far as performance goes? I don’t think so. The marginal improvement in performance doesn’t do justice for an extra $100 for most people.

Unless you use CPU and GPU-intensive work regularly, Apple iPhone 13 is more than enough.

The CPU specs are given below.

TechnologyiPhone 13iPhone 14
CPUHexa-core Hexa-core 
High performance cores2×3.23 GHz Avalanche2×3.23 GHz Avalanche
Low performance cores4×1.82 GHz Blizzard4×1.82 GHz Blizzard
No of GPU cores45
CPU specs

It is apparent that both the iPhone 13 and 14 have similar specs. Hence, iPhone 13 is worth buying for $100 less as far as the performance goes.

The camera: better than the best.

Picture of rear of blue iPhone 13
Photo by Alex Tinca:

This is where the real differences begin between iPhone 13 and 14.

I am tabulating the specs so that you can see the difference.

Both the iPhone 13 and 14 will get you a dual camera setup. One is a normal lens and the other one is a 0.5x telephoto lens. It can do HDR video recording.

The face id system is incorporated with the cameras in mind so that the cameras will aid face id.

Let’s see the specs of the Rear Main camera. The difference is highlighted by the bold values.

TechnologyiPhone 13iPhone 14
Camera setupDualDual
Main camera12 Mp12 MP
Focal length26 mm (Wide)26 mm (wide)
Pixel size1.7 µm1.9 µm
Auto focusYes, dual pixel PDAFdual pixel PDAF
Image Stabilisationsensor-shift OISsensor-shift OIS
specs of the Rear Main camera

Let’s see the specs for the Rear Secondary camera. The difference is highlighted by the bold values

TechnologyiPhone 13iPhone 14
Secondary camera12 Mp12 Mp
camera Aperturef/2.4f/2.4
camera Focal Length13 mm (Ultrawide)13 mm (Ultrawide)
camera angle120˚120˚
FlashDual-LED dual-tone flashDual-LED dual-tone flash
HDRYes, (photo/panorama)Yes, (photo/panorama)
specs for the Rear Secondary camera

Specs of Front selfie camera.

TechnologyiPhone 13iPhone 14
Camera setupSingleSingle
Main camera12 Mp12 MP
Focal length23 mm (Wide)23 mm (wide)
Auto focusNoPDAF
Image StabilisationNoNo
Specs of Front selfie camera.

Video specs of the Rear Cameras. The difference is highlighted by the bold values.

TechnologyiPhone 13iPhone 14
4k Video4K@24/30/60fps4K@24/25/30/60fps
1080p Video1080p@30/60/120/240fps1080p@25/30/60/120/240fps
HDRDolby vision HDR up to 60 fpsDolby vision HDR up to 60 fps
StabilizationSensor shift OISSensor shift OIS and Action mode
Cinematic VideoNoYes
Video specs of the Rear Cameras

Video specs of the Front Cameras. The difference is highlighted by the bold values.

TechnologyiPhone 13iPhone 14
4k Video4K@24/25/30/60fps4K@24/25/30/60fps
1080p Video1080p@30/60/120fps1080p@25/30/60/120fps
Cinematic VideoNoYes
Video specs of the Front Cameras

Seen the difference? 

You skipped the tables, didn’t you? If I were you, I would too. I know it is boring.

The iPhone 14 has significantly better cameras. iPhone 14 camera trumps the camera in iPhone 13 In every possible way. In the video department, too, with HDR video recording quality, iPhone 14 trumps iPhone 13 easily. The camera features in iPhone 14 are higher. It not only improves normal picture quality but also improves face id features.

The front camera has a bigger aperture and a bigger Pixel size. This makes more light hit the sensor and therefore you will get better bokeh. 

With the Larger sensor and more light, the image quality will be better for sure. The Low light performance will be even better. The night mode will make use of the larger sensor for better quality.

The secondary camera of iPhone 13 and 14 is almost the same. The camera features are also near identical.

Apple uses something called a photonic engine to process the images for better image quality. The photonic engine uses a powerful image signal processor in the CPU to compute images faster and with great image quality.

Deep fusion technology in iPhone 14 now captures more frames and applies the processing much earlier in the process on the uncompressed image stage and this improves low light performance and gives excellent colour details. Thanks to the neural engine, the process is lightning fast.

The portrait mode is even better in iPhone 14 compared to cheaper iPhone models.

The larger sensor and bigger aperture of the iPhone 14’s main camera will translate to better video as well, even in low light.  Also, the night mode works great, too, with a bigger sensor. Hence the night mode in iPhone 14 is a bit better than the one in 13.

The image stabilisation has been improved as well. The new mode is called Action mode. It uses more overscan on the full sensor and advanced roll correction to give great stable video footage. It is incredible.

There is also a cinematic mode in iPhone 14 that the iphone 13 misses. With the cinematic camera mode, you will get more bokeh and better focus transition. Read more here: what is a cinematic mode?

The selfie camera of the iPhone 14 has improved too. It has a bigger aperture and autofocus. This translates to better photos and videos.

You will also get photographic styles on iPhone 14 like 13. The photographic styles include Rich Contrast, Vibrant, Warm, or Cool presets.

Forget all the technical jargon. The camera of iPhone 14 is a real deal.

Apple claims that the iPhone 14 has the following camera upgrades

  • The main camera can take 2.5x better low-light photos.
  • The secondary camera can take 2x better low-light photos.
  • Has better Image stabilisation
  • Can record 4k videos in cinematic 24 fps
  • The iPhone 14 has True depth selfie camera with autofocus

The claim is real. With all the claims made, the iPhone 14 is better than iPhone 13. Is it worth the $100 difference? I would say it is worth buying an iPhone 14 instead of an iPhone 13. The additional $100 will fetch you a huge improvement in Low light photography, night mode and general photography and videography.

Crash detection: Is iPhone 13 worth buying?

It is exclusively available only for iPhone 14. It cannot be implemented in iPhone 13 with a software update. It needs special hardware. Without the hardware, it cannot be programmed into the operating system though. It is similar to the apple watches’ fall detection.

Apple has updated the accelerometer and gyroscope to aid this crash detection. The iPhone 14 will make use of this accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, mic etc., to identify if the vehicle you’re travelling with has crashed. 

If it senses such a crash, it activates emergency SOS and the iPhone 14 calls the emergency number and reports the crash. It also informs the added phone number in the emergency SOS list. This way, you can be attended to by doctors quite faster.

You don’t know when a crash will happen. We can only hope it never happens. We never drive to crash. It might not even be because of our mistake that the crash happens, and it is nice to have something that can save our lives. And the $100 is worth it for this feature. In this case, iPhone 14 is more worthy than the iPhone 13 itself.

Satellite SOS 

This is also a new feature debuted with the iPhone 14. It is also a hardware feature and cannot be implemented with a software update to the operating system.

Satellite SOS uses satellites for communication. In case you’re trapped in a location where there is no go and no cellphone tower is available, you can use this feature. Hope it never happens.

The new 14 has built-in antennas that can communicate with the satellite. You need a clear sky to do this. The User interface or UI will guide you on where to point for the satellite and helps you to lock the satellite signal. 

Thus you can connect to the satellite and send emergency messages to the authorities. It is not instant and it takes time. Once the message is delivered, authorities can come to rescue you. 

This is very helpful if you are a camper or hiker or do adventurous travel where cellphone towers are non-existent. You can count on the satellites and never get lost.

So, is it worth $100 for this feature? If you’re such a person who travels to such places where there is no phone signal, this is a must-have feature, and the $100 addition is worth it to buy an iPhone 14. But, if you’re not going to use such a feature, iPhone 13 is totally worth it.

Battery: Bigger the better?

iPhone battery
Photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

The battery is yet another important part of any phone. Better battery life is the goal. iPhone 13 has a Lithium-ion 3240 mah battery. That sounds too small compared to Android’s siblings. But this is the iPhone. It uses very little juice from the battery compared to Androids. 

Combined with fast charging and wireless charging, it is easy to top up the battery in iPhone 13. The wireless charging works with 15 watts if you use the magsafe wireless charger. It is an optional device.

Apple claims that the iPhone 13 can do up to 19 hours of video playback under test conditions. VIdeo playback is a great thing to measure battery life. Because, video playback make use of screen, cpu, gpu, ram etc. to run.

The battery life on iPhone 13 is very good. You will get a day-long full of battery life. With normal usage, you don’t have to charge the phone at the end of the day. is iPhone 13 worth it in 2023? 

Let us see what the iPhone 14 can do and come to a conclusion.

The iPhone 14 has a slightly larger battery. Slightly. 

It has a 3279 mAh battery. It is 39 mAh more than iPhone 13. Does it translate to a better battery in iPhone 14? It does. With all the optimisation, new thermal efficiency and slightly bigger battery, the iPhone 14 manage to do video playback for 20 hours under test conditions before switching itself off due to low battery.

That’s a 1 hour longer battery life. iPhone 14 does audio playback of 80 hours with a full charge. iPhone 13 does it for 75 hours.

Technically, you will have better battery life on iPhone 14 compared to iPhone 13.

But, is it worth $100? Probably No.

So, is the iPhone 13 worth buying now? 

Yes and no. 

Yes, if the battery life is not an issue. Otherwise NO.

eSim: Towards the future.

There is no denying that eSim is the future. The iPhone 13 has a sim tray and sim facility. Unfortunately, the iPhone 14 in the USA supports only the eSim.

There are advantages to going with eSim. A few are listed below

  • Improves water resistance of the phone
  • No sim cards to lose.
  • If your phone is stolen, the chances of finding it is high as the sim cannot be changed at the drop of a hat. One has to go to the carrier to change the eSim.
  • One less mechanical part on the phone to fail

The disadvantages of eSim

  • If you’re an international traveller, you cannot change the eSim as easily as changing the physical sim card.
  • That means you need to pay for international roaming.
  • If you have many phone numbers, it is not really possible to change the sims instantly.
  • Getting a new sim card is easier than enrolling for an eSim.

You need to weigh the pros and cons that are subjective to you, and therefore you can choose the phone that better suits you. But, if you’re an international traveller, you need to get an iPhone 13. And that makes the iPhone 13 worth buying for you now.

Water and dust resistance

As far as water and dust resistance go, both iPhone 13 and 14 are certified IP68 devices. It means the device is protected from dust and water resistance for up to 30 minutes under 6 metres of water. You cant go wrong with either of the two.

Future-proofing is worth it.

Buying a new phone means, you will get more years of support as far as operating system goes. And, a new phone is always a trend. iPhone 14 has Bluetooth 5.3 which is less power hungry and has a better range compared to Bluetooth 5.0 of iPhone 13. In my opinion, it is good to pay $100 extra for one year of extra support for OS. But the decision is mostly driven by how much you’re into the software. Both iPhone 13 and 14 has face id support but iPhone 14 has an edge with the improved cameras.

Unless you want a small iPhone SE or iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 14 is worth buying than iPhone 13, in my honest opinion.


Both the iPhone 13 and 14 have good sound quality. You cannot go wrong with either of the two. The earphone sound depends upon the attachment used. As apple has only one adapter, there won’t be any change in sound quality over wired earphones or headphones. So, if the sound is your priority, don’t spend more for iPhone 14 but get the iPhone 13 itself.

5G: Technology from the future.

Apple iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 support 5G out of the box. There isn’t a difference between the two in terms of internet speed. If you’re upgrading from a previous iPhone model like iPhone SE or androids only for 5g and the latest features, then the iPhone 13 will suffice for you.

Conclusion – Is iPhone 13 worth buying?

So, is the iPhone 13 worth buying in 2023?

The simple answer is yes and no, as you already know. iPhone 13 is still a great phone to buy. It has great performance. It has great cameras. It sounds nice. The display supports Dolby’s vision. The display is an OLED screen, and it is a treat to watch videos on it. It has amazing battery life and great build quality. They can sustain small falls easily. It will get software updates for years to come.

However, if you have $100 more to spare, You’re in iPhone 14 territory and getting iPhone 14 is even more worth it. 

With a difference of $100 compared to the iPhone 13, you will additionally get

  1. The main camera with a large aperture and a large sensor
  2. Photonic engine and custom image signal processor
  3. The main camera with 2.5x better low-light photos compared to iPhone 13
  4. The secondary camera with 2x better low-light photos compared to iPhone 13
  5. The selfie camera with 2x better low-light photos compared to iPhone 13
  6. Cameras with better Image stabilisation with Action mode.
  7. Front camera with autofocus
  8. Camera with Cinematic mode
  9. A bump in performance
  10. Crash detection
  11. Satellite SOS
  12. Better battery life
  13. eSim
  14. Extended software support
  15. Newer Bluetooth module


You will get 15 additional things for just $100. It makes the deal worth it. It makes iPhone 14 worth an additional cost of $100. For all the benefits that come with it, I sincerely recommend an iPhone 14 instead of an iPhone 13.

If iPhone 13 is not compared to iPhone 14, you will feel iPhone 13 is worth it. In reality, iPhone 14 blows iPhone 13 out of water with all the additional goodies that it offers.

So, the conclusion is iPhone 14 is worth buying compared to iPhone 13.

Thanks for reading.

Related post: Why iOS is better than android for business?

FAQs/ Frequently asked Questions

Is it worth to buy iPhone 13 in 2023?

Yes, iPhone 13 is worth buying in 2023. However, iPhone 14 is even more worth buying as per the above article

What will be the price of iPhone 13 in 2023?

The iPhone 13 starts at $699 in the USA.

How many years will an iPhone 13 last me?

Depending on the usage, iPhone 13 can last you for 3 to 5 or even more from the day of release.

Is iPhone 13 good for long term use?

Yes. iPhone 13 is good for longterm use.

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