iPhone 13 or wait for iPhone 14?

If you’re an iPhone user, you probably know that Apple comes out with “the most advanced iPhone ever” every single year, leading you to wonder if it's time for an upgrade. Should you hold off on buying the iPhone 14? We’re about to take you on a ride detailing all the differences and similarities between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14 to help make that decision a little easier.

iphone 13 and 14
iPhone 13: models, specs, and prices

 

We’re taught not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s tempting to judge a smartphone by its camera system. The iPhone 13 was the third iPhone with a three-lens camera system. The first two were its immediate predecessors: the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11. This feature was fittingly dubbed “the Pro camera system” since it’s only available on the Pro and Pro Max models. 

The iPhone 13 series includes four models:

All iPhone 13 models are supported with Apple's latest iOS update. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini are similar (except for size, of course) as are the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. The more notable differences are those between the standard and Pro models.

 

👉 Check out our iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro comparison for more about the differences between the standard and Pro models.

 

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the iPhone 13 release was the bump in storage capacity. While previous iPhones started at 64GB, this option was eliminated in the iPhone 13, which starts at 128GB. The iPhone 13 was also the first Apple phone to come in a 1TB version.

Rewind. Did we say 1TB? Yup, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max offer storage capacities up to 1TB.

While this might be a selling point for some users, the usual pricing structure for smartphones applies: more storage space will cost more money. No matter how much storage you want, it’s always cheaper to buy a refurbished phone, so here’s a look at some of the iPhone 13 deals you can get for different models.

 

Refurbished iPhone 13 Models from Back Market
 

iPhone 13 model

Price (USD) starting from

Available colors

Camera

Screen size

Weight

Storage

Battery life

iPhone 13

$545

green, pink, blue, midnight, starlight, red

Dual 12MP rear, 12MP front

6.1-inch

173g

128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Up to 19 hours video playback

iPhone 13 mini

$537

green, pink, blue, midnight, starlight, red

Dual 12MP rear, 12MP front

5.4-inch

140g

128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Up to 17 hours video playback

iPhone 13 Pro

$692

alpine green, sierra blue, silver, gold, graphite

Triple 12MP rear, 12MP front

6.1-inch

203g

128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Up to 22 hours video playback

iPhone 13 Pro Max

$771

alpine green, sierra blue, silver, gold, graphite

Triple 12MP rear, 12MP front

6.7-inch

238g

128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Up to 28 hours video playback


Did you know? You can no longer purchase the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max directly from the manufacturer—just one more reason to choose renewed!

iPhone 14: what’s new?

 

The new iPhone 14 features generated plenty of buzz, but the most notable changes such as the Dynamic Island are only on the Pro and Pro Max models. After five generations of the iPhone notch, the Dynamic Island introduced a fresh take on the front screen.

In place of the much-critiqued notch, the iPhone 14 Pro models now have a pill-shaped cutout that blends hardware and software for a more interactive user experience. As different apps and notifications appear on the island, it changes shape and size. 

Despite its cringey name, the Dynamic Island is actually an interesting and unique way to use the space necessary for the iPhone’s front-facing camera. It also helps give the new models a different look from previous iPhones. For most users though, it’s probably not useful enough to justify upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max (it’s not available on the standard iPhone 14 or 14 Plus).

Another feature that sets the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max apart is the Always-On display that dims your lock screen while still showing the time and important notifications. While Android phones have had versions of this for years, this is the first Apple phone to include the feature. 

The iPhone 14 Pros use a low refresh rate to minimize the power used by the Always-On display. However, it remains to be seen what the impact on battery life will be like in real world usage.

Similar performance and processing

 

Unlike with previous releases, not all of the iPhone 14 models got a new chip this time around. The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus contain the same A15 Bionic chip as the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max.

However, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max do have a new A16 Bionic chip. The A16 has almost 16 billion transistors and is built on a 4-nanometer process. While it sounds impressive, Apple compared it to much earlier chips like the A13 during the Keynote event, so it’s unlikely users will see a noticeable difference in daily use. Improvements in power efficiency might be more noticeable though.

Differences in design and display

 

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus come in five colors: 

  • Midnight
  • Starlight
  • (Product) Red
  • Blue
  • Purple

Three of the options (Midnight, Starlight, and Red) are carried over from the iPhone 13 colors. While the iPhone 13 is also available in blue, the iPhone 14 blue is a softer sky blue than the deep blue shade of the standard iPhone 13 (it’s closer to the Sierra Blue option we saw for the iPhone 13 Pro models).

There was no purple color option for the iPhone 13, but the iPhone 14 and 14 Pros each offer a striking purple shade. Like the iPhone 13 Pros, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max also come in gold and silver.

 

🎨  Learn more about all the iPhone 14 colors here.

iPhone 14 purple

Another difference between the iPhone 13 and 14 lineup relates to screen size. The 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini was essentially the same as the standard iPhone 13, just… smaller. Now, instead of a Mini option, iPhone 14 Plus steps in, offering the same specs as the standard model but on a larger scale. Those who prefer a bigger screen can now get it at a lower price than the Pro Max.

The standard iPhone 14 and 14 Pro have the same 6.1-inch screen size as the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro. The iPhone 14 Plus and 14 Pro Max offer a larger 6.7-inch display (the same size as the 13 Pro Max).

Camera updates

 

Generally, the physical camera attributes for iPhone 13 and 14 are similar. The rear main camera is dual-lens for the iPhone 13 and 14 standard, Mini, and Plus models. The iPhone 13 and 14 Pro and Pro Max have triple-lens main cameras.

The iPhone 14 camera’s most favorable factor is improved low-light performance. The Photonic Engine, available on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models, provides more detail to pictures, including textures and subtle hues.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max also have a 48MP main camera that incorporates a new Telephoto lens. The rear camera has a quad-pixel sensor that helps capture more details. The TrueDepth front camera updates include better autofocus and Night Mode for selfies in low light.

iPhone 14 also includes a new video recording feature called Action Mode. It’s designed to help you record smoother videos while filming in motion.

Should you buy the iPhone 13 or wait for iPhone 14 deals?

 

Now that we’ve covered the similarities and differences between these two phones, the big question is whether to buy the iPhone 13 or wait for iPhone 14 prices to drop. The iPhone 14 has been dubbed one of the toughest sells for Apple in the recent past, largely due to the fact that it's so similar to the iPhone 13 features and performance. There simply isn’t enough of a difference in the specs and functionality to justify an upgrade for most users.

Still jonesing for an upgrade? Here’s where patience can pay off (literally). Within a few short months, you’ll be able to find refurbished iPhone 14 deals for much less than the cost of new. 

If you can’t put off purchasing a phone (we’ve been there), you’ll get a lot of the same iPhone 14 features with a refurbished iPhone 13—at a fraction of the price. Not only is buying a renewed device better for your wallet, it’s better for the planet and helps reduce e-waste. At Back Market, every device comes with a 12-month warranty and 30 days to change your mind, making it easier than ever to choose renewed.

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By Back Market, The leading marketplace for refurbished tech.

Our mission is to make renewed tech mainstream. Turning old into "new new", so to speak.

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