At the end of last year, I decided to switch from Android to iOS for the first time in about seven years. I switched my SIM card from Google Pixel 6 Pro to iPhone 13 Pro, and I still have to switch again.
Despite my skepticism towards the more restrictive nature of iOS and the lack of major design changes from the iPhone 12, I became pretty smitten with the $999 Apple smartphone.
To narrow down why I like it, and to help folks who might be between the Samsung Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13 Pro, here are the basic things I still access on the iPhone instead of on Android.
Superb 120Hz OLED screen
Apple’s Retina displays have always fascinated me, but the move to OLED panels for iPhones in 2020 — and now the adoption of 120Hz LTPO screens for the 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max — has given phones rightfully great screens.
Now, there are a lot of Android phones with great screens, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a notable example. But the color calibration, balance, refresh rate and flat design of the 13 Pro screen just press the mental buttons; There’s also no need to tweak your screen settings out of the box — Apple doesn’t give you many options. And it might not be for everyone, but the 120Hz refresh rate really adds a bit more smoothness to the Pro iPhones.
However, I’m turning off True Tone, as I feel the colors can sometimes be made a little muted.
Killer battery life
Every new phone touts a great all-day battery, but few actually manage it without a bit of a recharge before my flight home from the office. But the iPhone 13 Pro bucked that trend for me.
Most days, I won’t need to charge the 13 Pro until late at night, as it’s often left with about 30% of the charge to take me through part of the next day if I forget to consume it. This has rarely been the case with the Pixel 6 Pro or the Oppo Find X3 Pro, two of the most used phones of 2021.
The battery life obviously changes as I use it, as 5G downloads still consume power greedily. But while Android phones will quickly run out or sometimes groan from overheating, the 13 Pro does just fine. It’s clear that Apple’s approach to efficiency has paid dividends here.
You can’t talk about the Pro iPhone without mentioning the cameras. Unsurprisingly, one of the iPhone 13 Pro’s best features is its three main ultra-wide and telephoto cameras; It delivers simply gorgeous shots, flowing with colour, detail and clarity.
But there are plenty of phones that feature photography – just check out our list of the best camera phones. However, where the iPhone 13 Pro wins me over is the consistency.
Every shot I take is satisfying. Granted, the Pixel 6 Pro might win out against quite the opposite, but the iPhone 13 Pro never shy away from the slight over-processing I feel Google’s flagship could struggle with. And there aren’t any major shifts in color or clarity when jumping between the three rear cameras. I also love the selfies that the 13 Pro produces.
There are phones that will sometimes take more than 10 out of 10 photos when the iPhone 13 Pro delivers a very good photo. But shot by shot, the 13 Pro delivers 9 seconds; Which is constantly being combined with the stylish camera app is hard to ignore.
The video is also a leader in its class, offering excellent shots from simple pointing and shooting. I’m not a huge videographer, but having a camera system that only stabilizes Full HD and 4K videos is a very important point for the Apple team.
Build quality and design
For years, Apple has produced well-made devices that feel good. But it can be said that Android phones from Samsung, OnePlus, and now Google have caught up. However, there is just something about the design and design of the iPhone 13 Pro that really works for me.
Since the design hasn’t changed much from the iPhone 12 Pro, I was ready to criticize Apple for the lack of innovation with the 13 Pro. However, there’s clearly a reason Cupertino can’t do more than slim it down, because the iPhone 13 Pro feels good.
I think it’s a combination of premium-feeling materials, flat edges that help grip without digging into the palm, and matte finishes on the back. But I also like the size of the iPhone 13 Pro. The 6.1-inch screen isn’t too big to give me an embarrassing bulge in my pockets, yet it still gives me a phone big enough to tap into articles and set news stories on the go. It also has a satisfying heft, which feels more premium than the Galaxy S22, for example.
And the elegant way the flat screen fits perfectly into the contours of the chassis is absolutely remarkable. I usually use curved screen edges, but the flat edges here seem to work very well with the iOS 15 aesthetic; It really seems that the software and the phone are designed properly in tandem, which Android phones can’t always connect to.
Of course, I’d still like to see some of the more significant changes with the iPhone 14. But I’m pleasantly surprised at how warm I am about the look and feel of the iPhone 13 Pro.
I’ve often mocked Apple’s walled garden for the iOS ecosystem, where it lacks the scope and flexibility of Android. And while I support it somewhat, I found it very easy to use iOS.
Since the iPhone 4S was my first smartphone and I use the iPad mini regularly, I’m not new to iOS. But using the iPhone 13 Pro as my everyday phone, I’m more familiar with its features and feel.
And while strict regulation and customization restrictions can feel restrictive, iOS is still fun to use thanks to its walled gardens approach. I can download just about every app with the knowledge I’ll have with a reasonably smooth and elegant experience, and that just can’t be sniffed. I was also impressed by the Apple Arcade games sponsorship; Now, if only we could get Xbox Cloud Gaming through the Xbox Game Pass app.
This ecosystem is expanding to other devices as well, with the iPhone syncing seamlessly with the iPad. And I recently got a pair of AirPods Pro, which plugged into my iPhone 13 Pro in moments and just worked, unlike some other Bluetooth headphones where you can get the best experience you really need to download an app.
I also enjoyed using AirPlay, which made connecting to my Sonos One speakers and my LG C1 OLED TV easy, as well as allowing me to play audio through both, which isn’t easy to do on Android. This combination of organization and connectivity has now made me think seriously of the Apple Watch 7.
Sure, iOS isn’t perfect, and I have annoyances with it. But it was so easy to tune and presented so well and consistently that when combined with excellent hardware it makes it easy to see why so many people continue to follow Apple.
While I won’t say I’m completely Android to iOS conversion yet, it will probably take an Android device check to see me move my daily phone away from the iPhone 13 Pro.