iPhone 13: Features, release date, design, and more


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The iPhone 13 was announced on September 14 with a handful of new features. Year-over-year, the update brings design changes, camera improvements, and much more. Read on for our full roundup of everything you need to know about the iPhone 13, including naming details, the smaller notch, and more.

Table of contents

What is the iPhone 13 called?

This year, the iPhone is continuing its increment upwards in terms of naming, with the iPhone 12 being succeeded by the iPhone 13.

iPhone 13 design and size

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In terms of design, the 2021 iPhone lineup looks nearly identical to the existing iPhone 12, though slightly thicker and heavier to accommodate larger batteries. Apple has also shrunken the size of the notch by 20% in terms of width.

While the iPhone 12 mini has reportedly experienced weaker-than-expected demand than Apple had expected, the form factor sticks around for another year, with Apple officially introducing the iPhone 13 mini.

Display

The iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max all feature OLED displays. This year, however, the Pro models have a notable distinction: a new ProMotion display technology.

The ProMotion display gives the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max an adaptive refresh rate technology, allowing it to range from 10Hz to 120Hz based on what you’re doing.

Smaller notch

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Finally, what about the notch? Every year, there is an expectation that the notch and Face ID cutout will get smaller, and it has finally happened with this year’s iPhone 13 lineup…sort of.

The iPhone 13 lineup features a notch that is around 20% smaller in terms of width, but is actually ever-so-slightly taller because Apple has relocated the earpiece speaker to the top bezel. Regardless, the overall appearance of the iPhone 13 will be sleeker as the total notch reduction is visually apparent. 

Camera upgrades

Apple says that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini include a “massive leap in camera design” with a new Wide camera that gathers 47% more light for less noise and brighter images. Apple has also added sensor-shift optical image stabilization to the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini, a feature that was previously exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Apple says that this “stabilizes the sensor instead of the lens so shots are more steady, while the custom-designed Ultra-Wide camera with a new sensor captures images with more detail in the dark areas of photos and videos with less noise.”

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The iPhone 13 also introduces a new Cinematic mode feature, which records videos of people, pets, and objects with a depth effect and automatic focus changes. This is similar to the Portrait mode feature that has been available for still images. Apple says that users can change the focus during and after capture, and adjust the level of bokeh in the Photos app and iMovie.

Apple is also introducing something it calls Photographic Styles, which it describes as customized preferences and filters that intelligently apply the right adjustments to different parts of the photo to ensure the important elements, like skin tones, are preserved.

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max do have their share of exclusive features. Both models feature an Ultra-Wide camera with a 92% boost in low light performance, f/1.8 aperture, auto-focus, and 6-element lens. The Wide camera packs an f/1.5 aperture and up to 2.2x improvement in low light performance. Finally, the telephoto camera includes a new 3x optical zoom sensor for the first time.

A15 Bionic processor

The iPhone 13 lineup is powered by Apple’s newest A15 Bionic processor, but more details on performance improvements compared to the iPhone 12 are unclear as of now. 

Connectivity

While rumors had indicated that Apple was exploring low-earth-orbit satellite commutation technology for the iPhone 13, this did not actually come to fruition. Rumors had also suggested mmWave 5G support would expand to new countries outside of the United States, but this also did not happen.

Storage options

For the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, Apple has doubled the base storage configuration from 64GB to 128GB. This means the iPhone 13 is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB configurations.

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are available in storage configurations of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options.

Larger batteries

Battery life on the iPhone 12 took a hit due to 5G adoption and other changes. This year, Apple is touting significant battery life improvements with the iPhone 13 versus the iPhone 12.

Apple has reportedly adopting new space-saving designs inside the iPhone 13 such as integrating the SIM card slot with the mainboard, reducing the front optical modules’ thickness, and more. This frees up internal space for larger batteries.

According to Apple, you can expect the following battery life improvements this year:

Check out our full breakdown of iPhone 13 battery life details here for more information.

Colors

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With the iPhone 13 features the same design as the iPhone 12, Apple has redesigned the color options to help entice upgraders.

Release date: When will iPhone 13 come out?

The iPhone 12 launched later than usual due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The iPhone 12 launch was also staggered, with Apple releasing the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro first, followed by the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro max a month later.

This year, however, things are back to normal: the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max will each be available for pre-order on September 17 and the first orders will arrive on September 24.

Price: How much will iPhone 13 cost?

Apple has also maintained the same pricing for the iPhone 13 as the iPhone 12:

Wrap up

The iPhone 13 isn’t a major upgrade compared to the iPhone 12, but there are still multiple quality of life improvements. The design has remained largely the same, but expanded camera features, drastic battery life improvements, and more still represent notable

The rumor mill certainly indicates that there are a variety of potential changes in store for the so-called iPhone 14 next year, but for now, the iPhone 13 is the best of the best.

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One month after Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 Pro, the company continues to promote the camera capabilities by showing how some users can stretch to the limit of these cameras and create beautiful images.

This time, Apple commissioned an experiment with photographer Dong Hoon Jun and visual artist James Thorton for a sci-fi short. The video called “Movie Magic” shows that with the iPhone 13 Pro, users can shoot “practical special effects that look just like the movies.”

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Following last month’s launch of the iPhone 13 lineup, new data from analysts at Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) shows that trends suggest iPhone buyers are “replacing phones more quickly,” despite more iterative year-over-year improvements.

The data covers calendar Q3 2021, which includes only two days of availability for the iPhone 13 lineup. Nonetheless, CIRP says that the models still captured “meaningful sales.”

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Just about all of the best iPhone 13 cases are now available for purchase. From the new Apple iPhone 13 case to an affordable $5+ cover to keep you protected int he early days, or one of the many third-party solutions from the most trusted brands out there, everything can be found down below the fold for your convenience. You’ll find cases for iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone Pro Max, and iPhone 13 mini, as well as some screen protectors and more. Head below for our 2021 lineup of the best iPhone 13 cases. 

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I said last time that I wanted to do a proper test of the potential of the iPhone 13‘s Cinematic Video for amateur filmmaking. My initial experiments had suggested that it wasn’t yet ready for prime-time, but those had been in mixed conditions.

I wanted to conduct a fair test, with the scene and lighting setup exactly as it would be by a typical low-budget hobbyist filmmaker. I did this by borrowing a couple of actors and filming the first scene of a (very much first draft!) pilot episode of a sitcom …

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The all-new iPhone 13 lineup is officially here. As has become the norm, the lineup is split into the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. On the surface, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are very similar phones. They both feature a 6.1-inch display and the A15 Bionic processor inside, but look closer and you’ll notice some key differences.

If you’re trying to make a buying decision between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, head below for everything you need to know about the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro comparison.

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Incipio has upgraded its line of MagSafe-compatible cases in time for the iPhone 13, including a selection of options made from recycled materials. Incipio is the go-to option for iPhone 13 users who want to be sure their case is made specifically for the latest iPhone design and its upgraded camera system. Incipio DUO MagSafe case for iPhone 13 adds protection while supporting Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem of magnet accessories.

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Halide today announced a major update for its award-winning camera app. iPhone users can update to version 2.5, which enables iPhone 13’s Macro Mode to the iPhone 8 or newer.

In a blog post, Halide’s Ben Sandofsky explains how great it is to have a macro camera, showing a ton of examples. Sandofsky also explains that this feature was available for a while thanks to third-party lenses, but those implementations aren’t as powerful as the iPhone 13 solution.

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A teardown analysis by shows that the iPhone 13 Pro has a higher build cost when compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. The report says that the semiconductor shortage affected the iPhone 13 production as the A15 Bionic cost more to produce, as well as the NAND memory, the display subsystem price, and an increase in the main enclosure cost.

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We recently reported on an ophthalmologist using the iPhone 13’s new macro photography feature to document patient progress.

Thanks to the Macro mode, Dr Tommy Korn can take extremely detailed photos of the eyes, which lets him observe and record important details about patients’ health.

Korn came under fire in some quarters, with people suggesting he should instead be using a DSLR with proper macro lens, and has now explained why this isn’t necessary …

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Want to protect your new iPhone 13 screen without overpaying? TechMatte’s amFilm OneTouch Glass Screen Protectors for the new iPhones offer high-quality protection at an affordable price. Coming in 2-packs, these tempered glass screen protectors are effortless to install, offer an anti-fingerprint coating, full drop and scratch protection, work with and without cases, and more. Head below for a closer look and get 10% off now for a limited time.

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I’ve so far only done a handful of quick Cinematic Video tests on my iPhone 13 Pro Max following my earlier macro photography tests. While the results haven’t been perfect, they have certainly been good enough to show the potential of the technology.

In particular, the ability to adjust the focus points in editing makes it an extremely powerful tool. Honestly, for manual mode in particular, I’m excited…