Rumors suggest that Apple will unveil four new iPhones in 2021, all improved versions of the existing models. While design is expected to remain mostly the same, the new iPhone 13 series is said to bring better cameras, a faster processor and some of the models could introduce 120Hz ProMotion display technology.
- Similar flat edge design and size
- Same 6.1″ screen size, with possible new 120Hz ProMotion and Always-on feature
- Faster Apple A15 Bionic chip inside
- Similar dual rear camera (wide and ultrawide) with no telephoto lens
- Similar battery size of around 2,800mAh
- Faster Wi-Fi 6E connectivity
Price and release date
The iPhone 12 was a bit of an exception with a delayed release due to the raging coronavirus pandemic, launching in late October, a full month behind Apple’s typical schedule. However, we expect the company to return back to its regular release calendar in 2021 and the iPhone 13 to launch in late September.
If we were to pin-point a date, history shows that an Apple event can be expected on Tuesday, September 14th, with an in-store release following on Friday, September 24th.
So far, there are no rumors suggesting Apple will change the pricing frame it has set with the iPhone 12: this would mean a baseline price of $800 for the iPhone 13 bought with a carrier plan, and an $830 price point for an unlocked version of the iPhone 13.
Don’t get your hopes high for a telephoto camera on the iPhone 13, but expect to see an improved ultra-wide camera
The iPhone 13 is also expected to skip the telephoto lens and have a very similar camera performance to the iPhone 12. Rumors do point out, however, that Apple is planning slight improvements in 3 key areas:
- more advanced, 6-element construction for the main camera lens
- faster aperture for the ultra-wide camera, so it takes better shots in low light
- overall software improvements to image quality
So yes, the iPhone 13 will deliver slightly better image quality, but rumors so far suggest that it won’t address the zoom quality issues present on the iPhone 12, which can currently only zoom up to 5X digitally in photos and 3X in video, with quality that is a far cry from Android rivals.
Performance and new Apple A15 chip
Apple makes its own A series of chips for iPhones and they have led the market in terms of performance in the past few years, and we only expect this lead to continue with the new Apple A15 Bionic processor.
The iPhone 13 is also expected to have the same 4GB of RAM as the iPhone 12. This is a bit less than the 6GB of RAM on Apple’s iPhone Pro series, and this difference in RAM is expected to remain a defining one between the non-Pro iPhone 13 and the Pro models in 2021.
Take a look at this nifty comparison between the Apple A14 and its closest rival in 2021, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888.
And in gaming, we see that the Apple A14 also has the lead over Snapdragon 888:
So far, we don’t have any leaks about the performance characteristics of the Apple A15, but new rumors come in quite often and this article will be updated whenever new information about the A15 surfaces.
6.1″ OLED screen, but will it have 120Hz ProMotion?
The big question is whether the iPhone 13 will support 120Hz ProMotions technology for smoother scrolling. The tech is already prevalent in Android phones selling for more than $600, but those phones also typically come with larger battery sizes and faster refresh rates do drain the battery quicker. Rumors so far suggest that the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max will adopt 120Hz ProMotion, but it’s not clear whether the more affordable, non-Pro iPhone 13 will get it as well.
Battery and Charging
iPhone 13 battery size is likely to remain the same and nope, don’t expect a charger in the box either
To achieve the thin form factor of the iPhone 12, Apple had to put it on a battery diet, cutting nearly 10% of the battery size of the iPhone 11. So far, rumors suggest that the new iPhone 13 will not introduce any huge changes to the battery size of the iPhone 12. With this in mind, here is a quick overview of battery sizes on recent iPhones:
- iPhone 13 & 13 Pro battery size estimate: 2,815mAh
- iPhone 12 & 12 Pro battery size: 2,815mAh
- iPhone 11 battery size: 3,110mAh
On the charger front, Apple “innovated” by not including a charger or headphones in the iPhone 12, and we expect this to carry on with the iPhone 13. Apple paints this as an eco move, but to us it seems like a price-cutting maneuver. Whatever it is, plan on spending an additional $20 bucks for a fast charger for the iPhone 13.