Another Apple Event has been and gone and with it, the iPhone 13 has arrived. A new model always begs the question "should I upgrade?" and we're here to answer that for iPhone 11 owners.

While the iPhone 13 might be a minor upgrade on the iPhone 12, there's a bigger difference when comparing it two-generations apart. 

Price & Availability

In true Apple tradition, the iPhone 11 is still part of the official range of smartphones but now at a lower price - from £489/$499. It's now the second cheapest model in the range still available from Apple with the SE taking the budget crown.

The new iPhone 13 comes in at £779/US$799 which is a little cheaper than the 12 last year in the UK, but the same in the US. However, you get more for your money with double the storage as standard.

The available models are listed below but it's also worth pointing out that the iPhone range doesn't come with any EarPods headphones or a charging adapter in the box. It's part of Apple's green initiative and means if you need either, they are now optional extras. You only get a cable.

Also, note there is an iPhone 13 mini available from £679/US$699 but we're comparing the regular edition here.

iPhone 11 prices

  • 64GB - £489/$499
  • 128GB - £539/$549

Get the iPhone 11 from the Apple Store

iPhone 13 prices

  • 128GB - £779/$799
  • 256GB - £879/$899
  • 512GB - £1079/$1099

You can grab the iPhone 13 from the Apple Store, and take a look at our best iPhone buying guide if you're unsure which is best for you.

iPhone 13

Design & Build

The iPhone 13 sticks very much with the design of the iPhone 12. In fact, it's almost identical meaning it's more compact and square than the iPhone 11 with its flat sides. The compact size also means it's lighter at 174g vs 194g despite having the same screen size.

One of the major design differences between the two is that the iPhone 13 supports MagSafe accessories ranging from wallets to chargers. These firmly snap onto the back of the phone keeping things more secure and making wireless chargers easier to use.

Like the iPhone 12, the 13 has a 'Ceramic Shield' front giving it four times the drop protection of the iPhone 11. And despite both being IP68 waterproof rated, the 13 is rated to a depth of 6m, double that of the 11.

iPhone 11 colours

Since both phones have a Lightning port and notch in the screen, the final design element is colour. They are quite different with the iPhone 11 available in Purple, Yellow, Green, Black White and (Product) Red.

The iPhone 13 comes in the latter but then you have to choose between Starlight, Midnight, Blue and Pink.

Specs & Features

With a two-year gap, it's no big surprise there are some fairly big differences between the iPhone 11 and 13 when it comes to specs. Having double the storage (plus a 512GB option) and 5G on the new model is just the start really.

You, of course, get the latest chip in the iPhone 13 and although the iPhone 11 is still a perfectly usable device, the A15 Bionic is significantly more powerful and will also future-proof you. 

Both phones have a dual 12Mp camera setup on the rear with largely similar specs, but the iPhone 13 has a few more features when you delve into the details. The highlights bigger 1.7um pixels, f/1.8 aperture, more advanced Sensor-shift optical image stabilisation, Cinematic mode video recording and Dolby Vision HDR video recording.

iPhone 13 cinematic mode

So, the iPhone 13 is a good upgrade if you like to short a lot of video. For photography alone, the performance will be closer.

Finally, it's worth noting that the screen sizes are both 6.1in but the iPhone 11 is limited to a fairly basic LCD IPS display. The iPhone 13 comes with a superior Super Retina XDR which offers an OLED panel and HDR support. It's got a much better contrast ratio and higher brightness, too.

Here is a spec comparison of the iPhone 13 and 11:

  iPhone 13 iPhone 11
Colours Starlight, midnight, blue, pink, (product) red  Black, green, yellow, purple, white, (product) red
Display 6.1in Super Retina XDR (2532x1170, 460ppi) OLED, HDR 6.1in Liquid Retina Display (1792x828, 326ppi) LCD IPS
Processor Apple A15 Bionic Apple A13 Bionic
Storage 128/256/512GB 64/128GB
Rear camera 12Mp wide, f/1.6, SS OIS + 12Mp ultra-wide, f/2.4, Smart HDR 4 12Mp wide, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp ultra-wide, f/2.4, Smart HDR
Front camera 12Mp TrueDepth, f/2.2, 4K video, Night Mode, Deep Vision, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 fps 12Mp TrueDepth, f/2.2, 4K video
Video recording 4K at 24/25/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 fps, Cinematic mode 4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps
Biometric security Face ID Face ID
Wireless Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax
5G Yes No
Wireless charging MagSafe and Qi Qi
Apple Pay (NFC) Yes Yes
Waterproofing IP68 (6m) IP68 (3m)
Dimensions 71.5x146.7x7.65mm 75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm
Weight 174g 194g
Price From £779/$799 From £489/$499
Buy SIM-free Order Now Order Now
Buy on contract   Order Now

Verdict

The age-old 'should I upgrade?' question that iPhone 11 owners may be pondering is much easier than when the 12 arrived.

If you can afford it, the iPhone 13 is superior in various ways with more storage (as standard and options), has 5G, better IP68 waterproofing and MagSafe.

It also has the latest processor, XDR display, camera technology and other things like a Ceramic Shield front. All of this comes in a more compact handset, as long as you can find a colour you like.