Is the iPhone 13 still worth it in 2024?

Iphone 13 review

The iPhone 13 is dependable, recent, and affordable, but lacks the flashiest features of newer iPhones.

Overview

In 2024, you save more money moving from the iPhone 14 to the iPhone 13 than you do switching from the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 12.

What makes that even more remarkable is that the iPhone 13 is powered by the exact same A15 Bionic Chip as the iPhone 14, while the iPhone 12 is stuck on Apple’s A14 processor.

All of that adds up to the iPhone 13 being the best budget option out of Apple’s flagship phones. If you’re looking at which affordable iPhone to buy this year, the iPhone 13 is still a solid contender.

Unique features

The iPhone 13 is a noticable upgrade over the iPhone 12, and it even introduces the same A15 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 14. It also is a much better phone in terms of battery than its predecessor, even beating out the iPhone 12 Pro in terms of both raw battery capacity and charge duration.

Design and Build

The iPhone 13 really looks and feels like an iPhone. What else do you want me to say? That the iPhone 13 is a revolution of design?

You’ll mostly find the same design features on this iPhone as those that have come before and after it – the now-familiar notch display housing the selfie camera, the rounded corners, and the lack of a dedicated ‘home’ button.

My least favourite thing about flagship iPhones is their durability (or rather, their lack of durability). This is partly thanks to their ‘ceramic shield’ rear-glass panelling

The iPhone 13 is a great budget option for tech lovers, featuring the same great Apple silicon chip found in the iPhone 14.

The biggest reason to upgrade to the 14 is the boosted “photonic engine” camera technology, while the 13 has very similar camera performance to the iPhone 12.

As for which storage size to opt for, the 128GB version will be more than enough for anything you need, unless you’re planning on filling your phone up with huge apps and games. I

If you need more storage for your media, I always recommend backing up your important photos and videos and saving them elsewhere anyway, and that way they’re safe if your phone gets broken or stolen.

ModelPriceOur Price*
iPhone 13£779 (128GB)£405 (‘Good’ condition)
iPhone 13 Mini£679 (128GB)£359 (‘Good’ condition)
*prices checked Jan 2024, available only while refurbished stock lasts
Did you know?
Unlike many Android phones, iPhones don’t come with expandable storage – which means there is no option to add storage with a microSD card.
Read More: Is 128GB enough?

Is 128GB enough storage for you?

For most users in 2024, I think 128GB is absolutely enough.

Once you take away the storage space you need to cover the bare minimum functions, you’re left with a comfortable 100GB. That’s enough for up to 30 hours of Full HD video, up to 22,000 photos, or 5 huge mobile games (we’re looking at you, Genshin Impact).

If you have a love for taking 4K videos with your iPhone, then you’ll only squeeze a few hours of footage onto your phone before needing to delete something, but serious camera lovers should consider a higher-spec iPhone anyway. Also, Apple offers affordable cloud storage options with iCloud+!

3.23 GHz

(max. CPU Speed)

A15 chip diagram

4GB RAM

(aka Memory)

The iPhone 13 uses the A15 Bionic chip, the same as 2022’s iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, as well as the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. This chip features limited AI processing, and has an impressive top speed, but what does that all do for you in practice?

The biggest limiting factor for the iPhone 13 is its 4GB of RAM, which is on the low side for a modern-day phone. But it’s only when you’re running processor-intensive tasks (like huge mobile games) that you’ll really start to notice any lag.

Finally, the iPhone 13 was launched with iOS 15. Assuming 6 years of software updates (as Apple have previously stuck to), it will keep running smoothly and securely until 2027.

The iPhone 13’s battery is advertised to last through 13 hours of streaming video (when new). That’s based on Apple’s own internal tests.

The iPhone 13 is also capable of fast charging (with any official Apple charger), wireless charging (using the universal Qi standard), and Apple’s custom battery optimizations mean that your phone will last longer than other leading Android flagships (per miliamp-hour of battery capacity).

Read More: A note on Battery Health

Phone batteries can degrade as you use them, depending on a huge number of factors such as your charging habits and how you take care of your device. You can protect your phone battery by enabling the smart battery optimizations and optimized charging on your iPhone.

When you’re buying a refurbished phone, battery health can vary depending on the grade of the phone. At The Big Phone Store, our refurbished iPhones have a MINIMUM of 80% battery health – and if you’re not satisfied with that, we even offer battery replacements on all our refurbished iPhone models!

To read more about battery health, click here.

The iPhone 13 only has 2 rear-facing camera lenses: one wide, and one ultrawide. It doesn’t have the telephoto lens included on all of Apple’s Pro iPhones.

The iPhone 13 has the same 12-MP camera sensor found on the iPhone 14, however it lacks the Photonic Engine (AI image processing) features found on the newer models.

iPhone 13 Camera Specs
Main Lens (OIS, AF): 12MP, 26mm, ƒ/1.5
Wide Lens (120° FOV): 12MP, 13mm, ƒ/2.4
Selfie (TrueDepth): 12MP, ƒ/1.9

The iPhone 13 uses the same Super Retina XDR display as every other iPhone since the 11 Pro. Like pretty much every other flagship phone, this is an OLED display.

Super Retina XDR displays have a pixel density of about 460ppi (pixels per inch) – which for a phone held at a normal distance from your face, is a higher resolution than the human eye. 

Here’s how far you need to zoom in before you can see the individual pixels on the screen:

Steve's headshot
Steven Athwal
Sustainability Expert

Apple uses carbon offsetting to make their own operations 100% carbon-neutral, and have the ambitious goal of offsetting the total carbon footprint of all of their products by 2030. 

The iPhone 13 is one of the most eco-friendly choices of recent iPhones, with a noticeably smaller carbon footprint than newer iPhone models. However, the phone’s design features less recycled materials than later iPhones.

Of course, every brand-new phone manufactured has a harmful impact on the environment. By buying refurbished, you make sure there’s demand for one fewer phone in the world, cutting your environmental impact down close to zero.

– Steve

You should buy the iPhone 13 if…

You should buy the iPhone 13 if you want a great processor on a budget. The A15 is the same chip found in the 13 Pro and iPhone 14.

You should avoid this phone if…

If you care more about battery life, camera quality, and long-term durability, you’ll get more value out of the iPhone 14.