The best camera is the one you have with you as you chase your kid across the playground. | Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge I spent an exciting,
iPhone 13 Mini in the front pocket of an orange belt bag.
The best camera is the one you have with you as you chase your kid across the playground. | Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

I spent an exciting, exhausting week last September with the new Apple iPhone 14 in hand before it went on sale. I did everything I could over the course of that week — navigating, web browsing, recording video, gaming, selfies, ferry rides, selfies on the ferry, you name it — to try to answer the $800 question: should you buy it?

The answer then, which I stand by now, is “probably not.” It’s a great phone, but it’s not meaningfully better than the iPhone 13. Sure, it makes sense to pick the 14 if your carrier is giving you a great deal or you spend a lot of time out of cell range where the new Emergency SOS might be a literal lifesaver. Or go for the iPhone 14 Pro if you’re after the very latest features. But for the rest of us, the iPhone 13 is just as good with the added benefit of costing a little less.

I’m a woman of my word, so when it became clear that it was time to upgrade my iPhone 11 before its trade-in value fell off a cliff, I headed straight for the iPhone 13 — the Mini, to be precise, which is down to $600. Since the end of last year, I’ve spent a lot of time testing the latest generation of high-end phones: the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Google Pixel 7 Pro, and a recent revisit of the iPhone 14 Pro. They’re all amazing phones in their own ways. But when it came time to make my own decision about which phone to buy, I didn’t pick any of those latest and greatest devices. Nope, I traded in my 11 (along with a small piece of my soul) to Verizon for the humble little iPhone 13 Mini, and I haven’t looked back.

I opted for the Mini because I love a small phone, and it seems very likely that the 13 Mini is going to be the last good small phone. But even if you prefer a bigger phone, I still think the 13 is where it’s at. You don’t get the upgraded camera hardware and processing offered by the 14, but it’s still a good camera overall — decent portrait mode photos, very good video, and an ultrawide for a little drama. And you do get photographic styles and cinematic video mode — both of which I use regularly (rich contrast stans, unite!).

Outside of the camera, the 13 Mini remains a really good phone by modern standards, even a year and a half after launch. Battery life isn’t its strong suit, but it’s enough to get me through a day of moderate use with a comfortable margin. It fits beautifully into the outer pocket of my mom-at-the-playground-chic belt bag. It’s plenty fast and responsive with its A15 Bionic processor. It has MagSafe and, therefore, wireless charging. It also has a physical SIM tray, whereas the iPhone 14 is all eSIM. Most people don’t need to worry about this; I change phones once a week, and eSIM makes my life a living hell.

The 13 Mini isn’t perfect. There are things I wish it had but that, for the most part, I wouldn’t get on the iPhone 14 anyway — they’re features reserved for the pricier 14 Pro. And while the 14 is just moderately more expensive than the 13 Mini ($800 versus $600), the $1,000 14 Pro is a lot more expensive by comparison. A smooth-scrolling 120Hz screen, telephoto lens, always-on display: all Pro-only. They’re very nice things to have, but are they $400 nicer? Maybe. But not for me, not right now.

That’s the question it always comes down to: not which is the best phone but which is the best phone for me? That’s the question I spend most of my days trying to help people answer. It’s fun to declare winners and losers, but when it comes to something as personal as your phone, picking the right one to live with is always a little more complex than that.

original link


You may also be interested in this

Journey’s LOC8 MagSafe iP…

Anyone who's ever lost a wallet can benefit from Journey's cool LOC8 iPhone wallet and stand. It works beautifully with Find My. (via Cult of Mac - Apple news, rumors,

Apple adds iOS 17 Notes f…

One new feature in iOS 17 is the ability to start formatting a document in Notes then opening it in Pages for even more formatting capabilities. Apple released Pages, Keynote,

Apple Puts a Stop to Beep…

Apple appears to have closed the loophole that Beeper Mini used to bring iMessage to Android, putting a stop to blue bubbles from Android devices. Beeper Mini quit working earlier

Apple Shares ‘Beyon…

Apple has invited some developers to watch the WWDC keynote event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, but for those who are unable to attend, Apple has highlighted a range

Use Live Voicemail and Si…

With Live Voicemail, a new iOS 17 feature, you don’t have to pick up the phone to see who’s calling or what they want. This feature is truly transformative for

AirPods Pro 2 case with l…

Elago's Liquid Hybrid Case, available with a handy nylon lanyard, is now available in the Cult of Mac Store at a great price. (via Cult of Mac - Tech and

Apple Releases Fourth Pub…

Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 updates to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to test out the software head of its official launch.

Rumor: All iPhone 15 came…

After bringing a 48MP camera to the iPhone 14 Pro lineup, Apple may be looking to expand the powerful camera system to the entire iPhone 15 family.iPhone 14 Pro camera
X

A whimsical homage to the days in black and white, celebrating the magic of Mac OS. Dress up your blog with retro, chunky-grade pixellated graphics to evoke some serious computer nostalgia. Supports a custom menu, custom header image, custom background, two footer widget areas, and a full-width page template. I updated Stuart Brown's 2011 masterpiece to meet the needs of the times, made it responsive , got dark mode, custom search widget and more.You can download it from tigaman.com, where you can also find more useful code snippets and plugins to get even more out of wordpress.