Every year like clockwork, we see a new iteration of the Apple iPhone. In 2021, it was the Apple iPhone 13 series, and it saw the company making subtle refinements to the iPhone 12 series.

With that in mind, there are only minor differences between the 2021 iPhones and the 2020 models. However, there are still four iPhones on the docket, which can be confusing for the average buyer. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll break down all the info you need on what to expect with an Apple iPhone 13!

Please note, however, that these iPhones have now been superseded by the iPhone 14 series, which launched in September 2022. If you’re looking for the most recent iPhones, those are what you need. Likewise, the iPhone 15 series is just around the corner, so it might be worth waiting. Also, as a result of the release of the iPhone 14, some iPhone 13 models have been discontinued. We have noted these changes in the guide.

Apple iPhone 13 series at a glance

Apple launched the iPhone 13 series on September 14, 2021. Pre-orders started on September 17, with general sales starting on September 24, 2021.

Aside from some subtle differences, you won’t notice too many changes with 2021’s iPhones. As with 2020, there were four models, and each model is about the same size as 2020’s equivalent. The number of cameras on the back of each device remains unchanged, although they have been revamped a bit on the lower-end models. The front of the devices is what changed the most, with the infamous notch getting slimmed down for the first time ever.

On the lowest end, we have the iPhone 13 Mini. It has a palm-friendly 5.4-inch display and almost all the same specs as the vanilla iPhone 13. It launched at $699 but dropped down to $599 when the iPhone 14 series landed. This makes it the cheapest mainline 2021 iPhone you can get.

The vanilla iPhone 13 is the “standard” model. It has the same size display as the iPhone 12 at 6.1 inches. It also has the same rear camera setup, with a primary shooter and an ultrawide lens. The entry model started at $799 but has been cut to $699 to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 14.

Stepping up above the standard variant, we have the Apple iPhone 13 Pro. It’s the same size as the regular iPhone 13 but features a triple-lens camera on the back, among other upgrades. The third lens is a telephoto, which helps with zooming in on far-away subjects. It’ll set you back at least $999. However, this model has been discontinued and replaced by the iPhone 14 Pro, so you won’t be able to get it directly from Apple anymore.

Finally, the highest-end 2021 smartphone from Apple is the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It’s the biggest of the new phones with a 6.7-inch display. It has all the specs of the regular iPhone 13 Pro but comes with a bigger battery. Being that it was the best of the best from Apple in 2021, it was also the most expensive, with a starting price of $1,099. However, like the iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has been discontinued to make room for the superior iPhone 14 Pro Max.