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iPhone 13 Storage: Which Size Should You Buy?



Choosing an iPhone 13 storage size can be tricky so we want to help you decide between Apple’s cheapest option, middle option, and the most expensive versions of the company’s new flagship phones.

You might be tempted to buy the cheapest iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, or iPhone 13 mini, or the model with the least, or most, storage. Many people will be perfectly fine going with one of those options. However, many others will want to buy something in-between.

One thing to remember is that you’ll probably end up paying for more storage one way or another. Either you’ll spend the money up front or you’ll wind up paying a monthly fee for additional storage via Apple’s iCloud service.

There are several factors to consider before you settle on one iPhone 13 storage size or another and we’ll break down all of the things you need to think about before you buy in this guide.

iPhone 13 Storage Options

Apple offers three iPhone 13 storage options at different price points.

The iPhone 13 starts at 128GB, but the company also sells 256GB and 512GB options for people who want more space. The 128GB model is the cheapest option while the 512GB model is the most expensive.

iPhone 13 mini Storage Options

The company’s smallest model, the iPhone 13 mini, also comes in three sizes: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.

iPhone 13 Pro Storage Options

As for the iPhone 13 Pro, there are four storage options, but they’re different than the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini options.

The iPhone 13 Pro starts at 128GB. From there, its storage capacity goes up to 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. Yes, there’s a new 1TB option for power users.

iPhone 13 Pro Max Storage Options

The largest iPhone 13 model, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, comes in the same sizes as the iPhone 13 Pro: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.

Pay for Storage Today or Pay Later

You can add additional storage to some Android devices using external memory cards but the iPhone 13 series doesn’t have a microSD card slot. If you want to add additional storage to your iPhone 13, you’ll need to use iCloud or buy a Lightning-compatible drive.

If you plan to shoot 4K video on your iPhone, download movies or songs, or play games on your device, you’ll need quite a bit of storage space.

While 128GB or 256GB might seem like enough, there’s a chance your storage will fill up quickly. At that point you’ll be forced to continuously delete files you no longer need or pay for iCloud storage.

Fortunately, Apple’s iCloud storage is fairly inexpensive. You can get 50GB of cloud storage for a dollar a month. Here’s how the current pricing breaks down:

  • 50GB: $0.99
  • 200GB: $2.99
  • 2TB: $9.99

Remember, you can also share iCloud storage with your family members.

Why You Should Buy a 128GB iPhone 13

The 128GB iPhone 13 models are the cheapest options and should be considered if you don’t think of yourself as a power user.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to buy a 128GB iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max:

  • You stream most of your movies and music.
  • You don’t plan to shoot a lot of 4K video.
  • You plan to store your photos in iCloud Photo Library or on a computer.
  • You come nowhere close to using 128GB of storage on your current phone.

Why You Should Buy a 256GB iPhone 13

The 256GB option is the middle of the road choice for iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini users. It’s the second largest option for iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max buyers.

Here are some reasons why you should buy the 128GB iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max:

  • You like to store some movies, photos, and music locally.
  • You plan to shoot some 4K video.
  • You plan to shoot 4K ProRes video.
  • You’re close to using 128GB of space on your current phone.
  • You hate having to occasionally manage the data on your phone.

We should note that Apple’s new 4K ProRes video recording requires an ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ or iPhone 13 Pro Max with at least 256GB of storage space.

iPhone 13 Pro‌ or ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max models with 128GB of storage will be limited to shooting 1080p ProRes video at 30 frames per second.

The 256GB model is an excellent middle-of-the-road option that can work with or without iCloud.

Why You Should Buy a 512GB iPhone 13

Some of you might want to spend the extra money for the additional 256GB of space, even if it’s for the peace of mind that comes with having a bit more storage to play around with,

Here are a few reasons to buy the 512GB iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max:

  • You like to store lots of movies and music locally.
  • You need or prefer to keep your photos stored locally.
  • You plan to shoot a lot of 4K content.
  • You plan to shoot 4K ProRes video.
  • You’re close to using 256GB of space on your current phone.
  • You can’t stand having to constantly manage the data on your phone.

Why You Should Buy the 1TB iPhone 13

The expensive 1TB iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models are solid options for those that want a ton of local storage.

It should provide enough space for photography buffs, avid gamers, and those who plan to tackle school or work projects while on-the-go.

Unless you’re already using well over 512GB or don’t use the cloud, you probably don’t need this much storage. Here’s who we think should buy one of these models:

  • You’re an extreme power user.
  • You’re planning to use the iPhone as a professional creative.
  • You’re a photo buff who doesn’t want to use iCloud.
  • You’re someone who travels often and wants everything store locally.

How to Check Your Current Storage

Before you pick one of these, you should check your current storage because you’ll be able to gather some great insight into your habits. Here’s how to do this:

  • Tap on your Settings app.
  • Tap on General.
  • Tap on iPhone Storage.

This will show you how much free storage you currently have and how much you are using. It’ll also tell you exactly what’s taking up the most storage. For many of you, it’ll be photos and videos, apps, and messages.

If your current device is around a year old, you should still have around 50% of your storage left. If you are within 10-15% of its capacity, you probably need more storage.

If you’re using iCloud, you should also check on your iCloud storage usage:

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap on your Name at the top of the screen.
  • Tap on iCloud.

This screen shows your iCloud storage use and your current plan. If you tap on Manage Storage you’ll get a better breakdown of how you use cloud storage.

3 Reasons to Pre-Order the iPhone 13 & 4 Reasons to Wait

Pre-Order If You Want Your iPhone 13 ASAP

Pre-Order If You Want Your iPhone 13 ASAP

If you want a brand new iPhone 13 in your hands as soon as possible, you'll probably want to put in a pre-order.

Earlier this year, Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said the company is expecting supply constraints to impact the iPhone and iPad. It’s unclear how this might impact the iPhone 13 launch, but we suspect it means we'll see shipping delays. 

We might not see an immediate sell out, but there's a very good chance we see some, and perhaps all, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max shipping dates get pushed into October or in some cases, November. 

If you want a guaranteed delivery on or around September 24th, you'll want to put in a pre-order through Apple, your carrier, or your favorite retailer shortly after pre-orders open up on Friday.

If you don't, and shipping times slip for the model you want, you'll have to go into a store or wait several weeks for your new phone to arrive.

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