While we’re only a few months away from the launch of the iPhone 15 series, the iPhone 13 from 2021 continues to provide excellent value. The iPhone 13 boasts similar specs and features to its newer counterpart, the iPhone 14, and remains available in the market at a lower price. While we have already seen a detailed comparison of the iPhone 14 vs. the iPhone 13 in a separate article, here we will see if the situation has changed in the past few months and if the iPhone 13 is still worth buying in 2023.
You should buy the iPhone 13 if…
You want to save money
One of the main reasons why buying an iPhone 13 today makes sense is its relatively low price point. Compared to the iPhone 14, the iPhone 13 is more affordable as it comes with a starting price of $699 for the 128GB model, while the same storage model of the iPhone 14 costs $799. This makes the iPhone 13 a more accessible option for those who want to upgrade their phone without breaking the bank.
You can purchase the device for a lower price tag of $699 directly from Apple, or you can take advantage of the promotional offers that are available at Best Buy or at carriers (you can find the best deals using the links given below). Additionally, you can use the money saved to purchase accessories for your new iPhone, such as the USB-C power adapter (which is not included in the box), protective cases for your new smartphone, a pair of AirPods, or a MagSafe wireless charger.
All things considered, if you want a smartphone that doesn’t cost a lot, offers great performance, reliable cameras, long battery life, and a great app ecosystem, the iPhone 13 is a perfect choice. Moreover, buying an iPhone 13 today could even save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
You want great hardware & software
In addition to being affordable, one of the key reasons why the iPhone 13 is a better buy the iPhone 14 is that it features the same (more-or-less) hardware as the iPhone 14. You get the same 6.1-inch Super Retina OLED display, IP68 dust and water resistance, Ceramic Shield glass, latest iOS support, Face ID, battery capacity, and more on the iPhone 13 as the iPhone 14.
While the iPhone 14 does offer some slight hardware improvements, such as ever-so-slightly better processor, RAM, and camera (more on this down below), these differences are often negligible for most users and do not justify the higher price tag. Apple also releases software updates for both smartphones at the same time, so you’re covered there as well.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a reliable smartphone with top-of-the-line hardware that doesn’t break the bank, the iPhone 13 is a choice that won’t disappoint.
You don’t want to deal with eSIM
If you prefer using physical SIM cards, then the iPhone 13 is undoubtedly a better choice for you. In the US, the iPhone 14 series exclusively utilizes eSIM technology, without a SIM card slot on the smartphone. This means in order to use the iPhone 14, you will need to convert your physical SIM card into an eSIM.
While Apple has collaborated with carriers to facilitate the transition to eSIM, many people have expressed concern that eSIMs do not deliver the same level of reliability and convenience as physical SIM cards — even months after the iPhone 14 series launch. Unlike physical SIM cards, eSIMs cannot be easily removed, making it difficult to switch between devices. Additionally, obtaining a SIM card in locations other than your own (for example, when traveling internationally) can be cumbersome.
With the iPhone 13, however, you don’t have to worry about these issues as it comes with a physical SIM card slot in addition to eSIM support. This provides the advantage of having both options available. However, if you are purchasing the iPhone 14 from a location outside the US, this won’t be a problem since international models of the iPhone 14 include a physical SIM card slot.
Apple iPhone 13
$670 $730 Save $60
The iPhone 13 is the default smartphone from Apple for 2021. If you’re looking for an experience that remains fast and fluid over years to come and not lacking on any hardware front, this is the device to get.
You should buy the iPhone 14 today if…
You want (slightly) better hardware and future-proof yourself
While on paper, it may seem that the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14 feature similar hardware, there is a slight difference between the two. The A15 Bionic chip on the iPhone 14 features an additional GPU core and 2GB more RAM (6GB in total) compared to the iPhone 13. Although this may not make a significant difference in day-to-day usage, it can create a difference in the phone’s overall performance in the long run, especially for users who use their phone for resource-intensive tasks.
Furthermore, the extra GPU core and RAM can also help with future-proofing the device, ensuring that it can handle any new features added to future versions of iOS with ease. So, if you want to future-proof yourself and want a device that lasts at least a couple of years, the iPhone 14 is a better purchase compared to the iPhone 13.
You want better camera performance & features
Although the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 share the same dual-12MP camera module, the newer model boasts slight enhancements that elevate its performance. The primary camera of the iPhone 14 is equipped with a wider aperture of f/1.5 (compared to f/1.6 on the iPhone 13), allowing it to capture more light and produce better-looking images.
Moreover, thanks to the extra processing core, the iPhone 14 features the same Cinematic mode found on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, allowing you to record super-stabilized videos without the use of a gimbal. The iPhone 13, on the other hand, does not support this feature.
Another notable thing there is that the iPhone 14 features Apple’s new Photonic Engine, which improves the mid to low-light performance of the camera. Here’s a video by YouTuber ZY Cheng that shows how the Photonic Engine makes a difference on the iPhone 14:
The front-facing camera on the iPhone 14 is also better than the one on the iPhone 13. The front-facing camera on the iPhone 14 has a wider f/1.9 aperture for better low-light performance as well as auto-focus. The iPhone 13’s selfie camera lacks auto-focus and features a f/2.2 aperture.
You want emergency features
The iPhone 14 introduces two advanced safety features that were not available in its predecessor. The iPhone 14 comes with Crash detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite technologies that can come in handy in a number of situations. In the event of a car accident, the iPhone 14 will automatically contact emergency services, ensuring prompt assistance.
Additionally, if you find yourself in a remote location with no cell signal, the iPhone 14 allows you to reach out to emergency services via the satellite communication feature. So, if you’re an avid hiker or are planning trips to remote locations, the iPhone 14 might be a better choice.
Apple iPhone 14
iPhone 14 joins the market as the smartphone to pick if you want a high-tier of performance, great cameras, and battery life that will last you through a day of use with ease.