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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Review of the Apple iPhone 13: The Most Incremental Upgrade in History

The reality is that cellphones reached their zenith a few years ago.

The tiny computers have advanced to amazing speeds as a result of the many advancements, their displays have grown in size and brightness, and their cameras create pictures that make novice photographers seem like photographic magicians.

The issue with so much excellent invention is that updates are now so iterative that it has become tough to know what to write about them each year as a result of all of the amazing innovation. Particularly relevant is the iPhone 13, which may well be the most modest upgrade to Apple’s flagship smartphone ever released.

In terms of performance, the latest iPhone is just 10% quicker than last year’s versions. (To put this in perspective, the iPhone 6S was more than 70 percent quicker than its predecessor, the iPhone 6, when it was released in 2015.) Its most eye-catching new feature, a faster screen “refresh rate” for versions costing more than $1,000, makes motion seem smoother when launching applications and scrolling through text — but it’s hardly a game-changing improvement.

The pace of innovation in smartphone photography seems to be decreasing as well. Apple officials praised the iPhone 13’s cameras as “dramatically more powerful” and the “most sophisticated” the company has ever produced, mainly because they are capable of capturing more light and reducing noise. However, in my testing, the improvements were just minor.

As a result, the yearly phone update, which corporations such as Apple and Samsung publicise via large-scale marketing events and television commercials to generate revenue during the Christmas shopping season, has become an illusion of technological progress. In truth, the improvements are now a celebration of capitalism in the guise of relentless incrementalism, as shown by the fact that they were completed in record time.

What better way to depict this gradual march than with pictures taken with a smartphone? I purchased a customised tripod to hold two iPhone 13 cameras side by side so that I could take approximately the same pictures of my dogs at the same time. This allowed me to put the iPhone 13 cameras to the test. I compared images taken with the new iPhones, the iPhone 12 from last year, and an iPhone XS from three years ago.

As soon as I saw the findings, I was pleasantly pleased by how well the iPhone XS camera compared to the other new models. Furthermore, the iPhone 13’s camera was just marginally better than the iPhone 12.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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