This is what surprised me:
- The 13 Pro is chunk. Compared to the i8 it feels heavy and big. It's thicker than I expected.
- The lenses poke out a lot. It needs a case to lie flat. Which makes it even chunkier. I ordered the mag safe compatible Spigen clear case.
- There's still a bug in the update process. Settings may get stuck on Update Apple ID Settings. I had to power down and restart. Definitely annoying.
- You can order generic or carrier preset (Connect to Carrier). If you order Connect to Carrier your carrier will charge you a $30 activation fee and you get an eSIM phone. If you order without the carrier preset you need do do a SIM swap but there's no activation fee. When the carrier charges a "discount" Apple shows this as the phone price even though the actual price is $30 higher. So I'd call this one a joint Apple/Carrier scam. The advantage of a physical SIM is that you can move your number to a new phone if needed, the disadvantage is that someone who has your phone can also do that (and defeat some 2 factor protection).
- After you insert the SIM card you can convert to eSIM! The option shows up in Cellular for AT&T. Your physical SIM card will be deactivated, so you can't use a backup cell if your phone dies. I suspect if you did this your carrier would charge you a $30 activation fee.
- It took about an hour to do phone-to-phone swap but installing all my apps looks like it will take quite a while.
- I needed to read the manual -- especially about the camera. The zoom control is kind of cool. The transfer didn't respect my settings for compatible (JPEG, not HEIC) or Live Photo off. I had to reapply.
- There's no documentation at all with the iPhone. Not even the simplest pamphlet identifying the buttons. Everything is in an email sent in advance of the phone.
- It ships with a USB-C to Lightning cable. Weirdly I thought it was an adapter and I needed to buy one. So I have two. I'm sure I'll find a user for it. I bought the Anker USB-C mini-charger.
- The app install seemed to start but not progress. A restart didn't help. I was over 10 devices with my Apple ID so I removed my old phone. I then installed a new app from the App Store. Eventually apps started to complete.
- It ran hot for the first day or two.
- I share as part of the family, but "Find My" said it couldn't find me. I had to tweak my profile in Find My and specify my new phone as my location source.
- I went to use Apple Pay and there were no cards! Turns out Apple Pay/Wallet cards are not part of the iCloud backup. That included a transit card with an account balance. On the other hand my pending event tickets ("passes") and expired passes were restored. However, when I clicked to add new cards iOS offered to restore cards used in past! The Apple Card and the Transit card (with balance) restored immediately, I had to enter the 3/4 digit 'secret' code for the other cards.
- Handoff (clipboard sharing) stopped working. This might have been related to my other Apple ID issues; also I'm doing it between Mojave and iOS 13 and that's a stretch. Still, the Apple ID problems are old and it worked before, so I'll call this an update bug. I had to sign out of iCloud on both my iPhone and Mac and sign back in to restore it. (I also signed out of Store ID on my iPhone.) Of course since I'd signed out of iCloud I had to restore my Apple Wallet cards again. And download a zillion photos again.
- Authenticator style apps often don't backup properly. So you need to redo them all.
- It's very easy to accidentally trigger the 911 code with my car adapter. I turned off the emergency dial feature.
- 1Password 7 WiFi sync stopped working. My theory is I need to regenerate some private key but that's not supported. The company no longer supports WiFi sync so I'm kind of screwed here. [I figured out something close to a fix.]
- The zoom, low light image enhancement, and Find Objects features are nice, but the iPhone 13 Pro is actually not all that big an improvement over the iPhone 8.
Contents of email sent with iPhone 13 Pro: