iPhone 13 Overview Updated September 15, 2021

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

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165 'iPhone 13' stories

June 2020 - September 2021

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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.

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

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.

  • One 2021 iPhone model with a 5.4-inch OLED display
  • Two 2021 iPhone models with a 6.1-inch OLED displays
  • One 2021 iPhone model with a 6.7-inch OLED display

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

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.”

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.

Other camera features include:

  • Macro photography – Users can capture sharp, stunning images where objects appear larger than life, magnifying subjects with a minimum focus distance of 2 centimeters
  • Smart HDR 4
  • ProRes video recording
  • Night mode for all three cameras

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.

Best iPhone charging accessories:

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:

  • iPhone 13 mini will last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 13 will last 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12
  • iPhone 13 Pro will last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max will last 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max

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

Colors

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

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini colors:

  • Pink
  • Midnight
  • Blue
  • Starlight
  • Red

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max colors:

  • Gold
  • Graphite
  • Sierra blue
  • Silver

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:

  • iPhone 13 mini: $699
  • iPhone 13: $799
  • iPhone 13 Pro: $999
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: $1099

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.

iPhone 13 Stories Yesterday

As is tradition, iFixit has done its initial teardown of the new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro on launch day. Check out the full hour-plus in-depth look inside this year’s iPhones below including a look at the clean new internal layout, bigger batteries, new camera systems, and more.

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Update: Apple has officially responded that some of the behaviours described below are the result of an OS bug. Full support for 120Hz in third-party apps is coming soon. Original story below.

One of the biggest new features exclusive to the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max this year is the inclusion of high-refresh rate displays, or what Apple calls “ProMotion.”

That means the iPhone 13 Pro models feature new OLED displays that can refresh their screen content at up to 120 times per second, or 120Hz. However, developers receiving their phones today have discovered that, in many circumstances, their animations can only run at 60Hz — the same as the cheaper iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, as well as prior iPhone generations.

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Do iPhone 12 cases fit the new iPhone 13?

The iPhone 13 is here and it features a design that is nearly identical to the iPhone 12, with flat edges, an edge-to-edge display, and more. Unfortunately, however, there is one small change that means your iPhone 12 cases won’t fit your new iPhone 13.

It’s iPhone 13 and iPad mini 6 launch day and some early users are experiencing a handful of minor bugs with their devices. Earlier today, 9to5Mac reported that some iPhone 13 users are unable to use the popular Apple Watch Unlock feature. Apple has also now published two support documents detailing issues with Apple Music and Home Screen widgets on the new devices.

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The YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss always runs strenuous battery tests when the new iPhones come out. Of course, they are highly synthetic tests, but relative scores still count for something, and this year, the entire iPhone 13 lineup excels.

In particular, the iPhone 13 Pro Max achieved 9 hours and 52 minutes of continuous usage, setting a record and beating any previous phone the channel has ever put through the tests. That’s ten hours of screen-on time while doing intensive work like playing games and watching YouTube videos …

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Unlock with Apple Watch not working for some iPhone 13 owners

The Unlock with Apple Watch feature is not working for some new iPhone 13 owners, displaying an error message when attempting to toggle it on …

Photo taken with iPad mini 4 – sorry about that ...
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Back in the day, I used to do an iTunes backup and restore when buying a new iPhone, because that was both faster and more comprehensive than an iCloud transfer. However, Apple’s direct iPhone-to-iPhone transfer process now works so beautifully that it is, in my view, a complete no-brainer to use it.

I’ve just done it with my shiny new iPhone 13 Pro Max, and it really couldn’t have been a smoother experience …

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We’ve already seen photos of the first iPhone 13 pre-orders arriving, and now Apple has shared photos of some of the first customers to buy the iPhone 13 in its retail stores.

So far Apple has shared photos from Apple Sanlitun in Beijing …

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The best iPhone 13 cases are now starting to surface as expected. Apple’s new range of iPhone 13 cases will be joined by the usual collection of third-party offerings from all of the top brands and across a broad price range — all of which are being neatly collected down below for you, including iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone Pro Max, and iPhone 13 mini options. Hit the jump for our 2021 list of the best iPhone 13 cases. 

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iPhone 13 Stories September 23

As the clock turns to September 24 around the world, the first iPhone 13 orders have started arriving to early pre-order customers. This also means that the new devices are slowly becoming available for pickup and purchasing at Apple Stores around the world.

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How to upgrade to your new iPhone 13 without losing data

The new iPhone lineup is on its way to the first customers. Read on for a look at how to upgrade to iPhone 13 without losing any data, including what to do if you’re running the iOS 15.1 beta.

Update: A video from MKBHD shows that while the iPhone 13 Pro does work with the MagSafe Duo, the fit is not perfect.

With less than a day until customers start receiving their iPhone 13 orders, a report shows that you’ll need to be careful when placing the iPhone 13 Pro on the MagSafe Duo charger since its camera module is too big…

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One of the greatest additions to the iPhone 13 line is the new Cinematic Mode. Reviewers have mixed feelings over whether it’s only a gimmick or a revolution in mobile cameras, although all of them have been impressed about this first-gen feature.

Now, Apple VP Kaiann Drance and Human Interface Team designer Johnnie Manzari explain how they built Cinematic Mode for the iPhone 13, where this idea came from, and how the A15 Bionic is a fundamental part of the process.

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A chart showing iPhone performance gains over the years shows that diminishing returns have largely set in, but the overall gains are still impressive.

In particular, if you upgrade every three to four years, as the average smartphone user does these days, you’re going to see around a doubling in performance …

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We’re of course expecting to get a detailed look inside the iPhone 13 when iFixit does its usual teardown, but in the meantime a couple of photos provide a sneak peek.

The photos show five visible changes when compared to the iPhone 12

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iPhone 13 Stories September 22

The iPhone 13 lineup is finally here, and it comes at the same prices as the last generation depending on where you are. As reported last week, iPhone 13 prices can go up to almost $3,000 in some countries. Now a new Money SuperMarket research shows how many hours (or months) people need to work to buy the brand-new iPhone 13 in different regions around the world.

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Each fall, travel photographer Austin Mann shares a highly detailed and technical look at the latest iPhone camera advancements. This time around, Mann has put the iPhone 13 Pro through its paces at Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.

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Apple recently sold its two-billionth iPhone, according to a new analyst report, which argues that the Steve Jobs legacy is still evident in the iPhone 13.

In one way, Apple has greatly departed from a principle Steve demanded when he returned to the company in 1997: simplification of the product lineup. But an analyst argues that it’s another of Steve’s beliefs that is still driving Apple’s success today …

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iPhone 13 Stories September 21

iPhone 13 reviews are in, and as usual, they give us some new information about Apple’s latest release. For example, as of now, it’s not possible to turn off macro photography when approaching a subject with the iPhone 13 camera.

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Ahead of the first orders arriving to customers on Friday, the first reviews of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro have arrived. These embargoed press reviews offer our first look at the iPhone 13 in the wild, including the new camera hardware, new colors, design tweaks, and more.

Head below as we round up some of the notable tidbits from the first iPhone 13 reviews…

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There were a lot of people buying a new iPhone on Friday, and I was one of them, despite saying that I didn’t consider it an especially exciting update for most people.

But for me, I’m upgrading to the iPhone 13 for the same reason I bought the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.

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iPhone 13 Stories September 20

Like every year, the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro include a new collection of slick wallpapers for you to use. We’ve extracted the new wallpapers directly from the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro builds of iOS 15 released today, so you can download them for your iPhone model below.

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Ahead of the first pre-orders arriving to shoppers later this week, the first hands-on and unboxing video for the iPhone 13 Pro Max has hit YouTube. The video offers a closer look at the new packaging as well as iPhone 13 Pro Max design in the gold color.

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Three days after pre-orders officially opened, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new investor note today detailing iPhone 13 pre-orders and supply shortages. According to the analyst, pre-orders for the iPhone 13 series “are higher than those for the iPhone 12 series,” but still “in line with market expectations.”

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