Skip to content

Reviews Roundup – How good are Apple’s new devices?

Apple released six new devices last month, with a seventh set for release in the coming weeks. If you’re wondering which of the new iPads is right for you or whether any of the iPhone 13 models is worth the upgrade over your existing phone, we’ve got you covered.

Our resident expert Craig Grannell has put the lot through their paces and shared his hands-on impressions with us this past week. If you missed any of those reviews, we’ve collated them right here for your reading pleasure.

Rest assured we’ll also be reviewing the Apple Watch S7 when it’s released later this year – rumor has it we’ll see it before the end of October.

iPhone 13

We tested the iPhone 13 mini and so our review focuses primarily on the pocket-sized powerhouse. But aside from screen and battery size, the mini is identical to the standard-grade iPhone 13. That means this review can help you out if you’re considering either of those devices.

The iPhone 13 mini next to the iPhone 13. It really is mini!

Craig’s verdict:

We fell for the iPhone 13 mini. It’s a lovely thing; and after carting about heavy phones for years, the sheer lack of weight was wonderful. But you need to balance that advantage against the device’s drawbacks – namely, that small display and a smaller battery than any other device in the iPhone 13 line.

If your iPhone is your primary computing device, consider the iPhone 13 instead – or the iPhone 13 Pro, if you want a fancier camera. But if you work and relax with an iPad or Mac and therefore prefer a phone that’s capable but also extremely portable and pocketable, the iPhone 13 mini is a great choice.

Read the full iPhone 13 mini review.

iPhone 13 Pro

Again, for hands-on testing purposes we used an iPhone 13 Pro Max – the biggest and best smartphone Apple offers. But unlike previous editions, there’s very little difference between the Pro and Pro Max this year, so check out our review if you’re tempted by either one of those.

An iPhone 13 Pro with the whopping iPhone 13 Pro Max behind

Craig’s verdict:

There’s no doubting the iPhone 13 Pro Max is an excellent smartphone. It’s the iPhone with max features, max screen and max battery life – although also max weight and max dimensions. Unlike last year, though, the entire camera system comes to the standard Pro as well.

So if you’re shopping for a Pro (and that camera system is superb) you must weigh up whether you want to save a hundred bucks and get a lighter, more portable unit with the same feature set, or revel in that bigger battery and larger display, geared toward more immersive media and creative pursuits.

Read the full iPhone 13 Pro Max review.

iPad 9

Apple released a new version of its basic iPad. This is the cheapest model, built with parts cobbled together from previous-generation iPhones and iPads. But the result is generally considered to be amazing value and plenty good enough for most users.

The 9th-gen iPad still uses the old Apple Pencil

Craig’s verdict:

Sit down with the 9th-generation iPad and everything feels familiar, yet old-hat. But does that matter? You might reason that the iPad Air and iPad Pro exist with nicer designs, better audio, and chips that’ll likely make them last a year or two longer. You’d be right – but they’re also much pricier.

Moreover, the standard iPad is powerful enough to do anything you need from a tablet. The display’s quality lags behind other iPads but betters anything else at this price point. And although it’s the last generation of iPad that will have Lightning, there is a rich ecosystem of accessories if you need something extra. On that basis, dated aspects aside, this standard iPad arguably remains the best iPad for most people, even if it now feels unremarkable.

Read the full iPad 9 review.

iPad mini (2021)

iPad mini was long due a refresh, and this sixth-generation model is a big step up from its predecessor. It’s essentially an iPad Air for people who like small screens.

You get the full iPadOS experience, but Split View is a squeeze

Craig’s verdict:

There’s loads of great technology packed into this new iPad mini, but it comes at a price: starting at $499/£479 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model, which is a substantial increase from before. But then this is objectively a much better iPad mini than its predecessor and, if you buy now, it will last you for years.

But is it the right iPad for you? That depends. If you prize portability and a device that is lightweight – and if you don’t rely too much on a keyboard – it should be ideal. And the lack of heft makes for a much more fun experience than any other iPad Apple has ever sold.

Read the full iPad mini (2021) review.