Which of the iPhone 13 devices are the best value for money?

iPhone 13
(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 13 is likely what you're looking for, which got you here, but which one has Apple created that best suits you? So, not which is cheapest, but which of the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best value for your money?

That means we're not going to be talking about the best iPhone 13 deals here but instead will be focusing on value for money. So should you spend more and get more or spend less yet potentially still get what you need?

Go for the most affordable option in the iPhone 13 mini and you still get the latest A15 bionic CPU, 5G speed and those superb dual cameras but at a more affordable price. That means a smaller 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display and a smaller battery than the iPhone 13 – but if you are looking for a compact device and a roughly "all day" battery is enough, the mini could be your best choice. 

But then you have the larger iPhone 13, the more powerful camera toting iPhone 13 Pro and the biggest and most feature rich of the lot in the top-end priced iPhone 13 Pro Max.

So let's look at what each handset offers and if you can get the best value for money, meaning you get all the features you want and at a price that feels right.

All iPhone 13 models come with the latest A15 Bionic processor, Super Retina XDR displays with 1,200 nits peak brightness, the redesigned smaller notch, still no headphone jack, 4K video capture, 12MP shift-sensor optimization cameras, iOS 15 and 5G connectivity plus IP68 water resistance and MagSafe wireless charging.

iPhone 13:

The iPhone 13 is bang in the middle of the options sitting at a comfortable size with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display and packing in dual 12MP cameras capable of 4K video. The only difference between this and the more affordable iPhone 13 mini is that larger screen.

This and the mini come with 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options – up from last year. Battery has also been improved on the iPhone 13 to get you 2.5 hours more than last year's model, which should mean a solid 19 hours of video playback on a charge. 

If the mini is too small and the Pro adds to much to that price, then the iPhone 13 could be the sweet spot you're looking for.

The iPhone 13 starts at £779, $799, AU$1,349.

iPhone 13 mini:

The iPhone 13 mini is the affordable option in the new line-up of Apple flagship handsets. This is actually more affordable than last year's model despite cramming in even more tech.

This year you get the 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display which is tough and strong still, but it's the battery life jump that's exciting. Last year it was an issue for some picking the iPhone 12 instead of the 12 mini, but this year with 1.5 hours more life you get a decent 17 hours of video streaming on a charge – the same as the iPhone 12 offered last year.

The iPhone 13 mini still represents one of the best ways to get a small handset that packs in the power of 5G and now also the A15 Bionic chip. That means watching video in Dolby Vision, or recording it in 4K at 60fps plus that new Cinematic mode feature for really movie-like video.

If you want a smaller handset, this is a great way to get the iPhone 13 without having to scrimp much on features.

The iPhone 13 mini starts at £679, $699, AU$1,199.

iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro is where both the specs and the price jump up a notch. For a start the camera now goes from a dual setup to a triple lens but you also get longer battery life – up to 22 hours of video playback – and the ability to opt for up to 1TB of storage.

The display is 6.1-inches, like the iPhone 13, but this one offers an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz which should make everything look smoother. 

More on those cameras, as that's the big difference here. These have a new 12MP main sensor with 47% more light coming in and a faster sensor in the 12MP ultra-wide angle lens. There is also a LiDAR scanner for enhanced night mode shots which will make this stand out over the more affordable models. You can also capture video in Dolby Vision for 4K at 60fps.

So if you want the best camera setup and a longer battery life than the iPhone 13 and mini offer, the iPhone 13 Pro could be perfect while still remaining pocket friendly. 

The iPhone 13 Pro starts at £999, $949, AU$1,699.