iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 review: Don’t be fooled by the familiar looks

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The number “13” might be unlucky for some, but Apple clearly isn’t worried by superstition. Many believed the US technology giant would skip these ill-fated digits and launch an iPhone 12s, or move straight to the iPhone 14, but that’s not the case. Yes, love it or loathe it, the latest smartphone range from Apple is called iPhone 13 and despite looking almost identical to last year’s iPhone 12, there are plenty of features that, on paper, make this new model a very worthy successor.

Just like with the iPhone 12 series, there are two versions of the iPhone 13 – a standard 6.1-inch model and more pocket-friendly 5.6-inch iPhone 13 mini. Both arrive in stores on Friday September 24.

If you’re wondering whether either of these new handsets are must-haves, Express.co.uk has got our hands on these two new iPhones ahead of their official release. Here’s our full review of the 13 and 13 mini.

iPhone 13 & iPhone 13 mini review: the box

Last year, Apple made the controversial decision to ditch the plug from the iPhone 12 to help cut down on electronic waste and shrink its packaging to fit more smartphones in every shipping container. True to its word, the little white power brick doesn’t make a comeback this year either, with owners still only finding a phone and a lightning charging cable tucked inside the box.

If you need a plug with a USB-C port to use with the cable shipped with your iPhone 13, you’ll need to purchase one separately from the Apple Store at a cost of £19.

This time around, Apple has also ditched the plastic wrap that covers the box of a new iPhone. Apple says this decision will help prevent more than 600 metric tons of earth-damaging plastic heading into the bin.

There’s no doubt this is the right call, although we have to admit that we did miss the excitement of ripping the seal and peeling off this clear wrap. We’re a little sad to say that our shiny new purchase doesn’t feel quite feel the same without it. Instead, there’s a small paper tab that lets you know that you’re the first to open-up the box.

Sky Mobile

Like Vodafone, Sky Mobile lets you customise how long you’re going to spend paying off the handset. For the best deal, you’ll need to sign-up for a 36-month plan, although Sky Mobile does let you switch to a new handset after 24 months at no cost. With a solid 3GB of mobile data, unlimited calls and texts – this is a pretty good deal. And unlike some networks, unused data can be used the following month too.

View Deal Upfront cost: £0

Virgin Media

With no upfront cost and a monthly charge of £33, Virgin Media’s iPhone 13 deal is a real bargain – especially as you’ll take delivery of the latest Apple handset on launch day (24/09). It is a 36-month contract and you only get 2GB of 5G data, so it’s not suitable for anyone who plans to stream Netflix on the train to work every day. But unlimited calls and texts are a real bonus at this price!

View Deal Upfront Cost: £0

Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse’s own iD network has a great balance of price and mobile data for its iPhone 13 pre-order deal. You’ll get a solid 20GB of data each month, which should be more than enough to stream Apple Music, watch a little YouTube, and make a WhatsApp video call away from Wi-Fi. There’s also unlimited calls and texts.

View Deal Upfront cost: £29


Vodafone lets you completely customise your monthly payments – you can choose the amount of time you’ll be paying off the cost of the handset (either 12, 24, or 36 months), the upfront cost, and the amount of 5G mobile data, minutes and data. It’s a little pricier than the bundles above, but it does come with a hefty 25GB of speedy 5G data as well as unlimited calls and texts.

View Deal Upfront cost: £29


If you’re looking for the lowest monthly cost, you’d be better with one of the options above. However, EE does offer the best network coverage across the UK as well as some eye-watering 5G speeds. With 1GB of mobile data, this plan isn’t for those who want to stream all the time.

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