iPhone 13 is going to be worth the wait: All the major upgrades we’re looking forward to


James Martin/CNET

Yearly right now, there are an ever-increasing variety of rumors in regards to the subsequent iPhone, and 2021 is not any exception. The iPhone 12 household is six months previous and but there are already a plethora of leaks and hypothesis in regards to the subsequent iPhone, which can be generally known as the iPhone 13. (Or it might be the iPhone 12S, or simply the “iPhone” just like the fourth-gen iPad. Perhaps it will likely be the iPhone 21 as a result of it is 2021?) 

I gathered the latest and most persistent rumors in regards to the iPhone 13’s cameras, specs and options (and we have extra intel on the iPhone 13’s rumored value, a potential launch date, and how the iPhone 13 may evaluate to the iPhone 12) and discovered what the iPhone 13 wants in an effort to be a hit. Take into account this an iPhone 13 want listing.


Now enjoying:
Watch this:

iPhone 13 rumors and what the subsequent Apple cellphone wants


And simply to be clear, these are rumors and leaks. Nothing is for sure till Apple formally declares it. A few of these rumors are from the previous month. Others are a number of months and even years previous and maintain rising again to relevance.


The subsequent iPhone might have a much bigger battery and possibly an extended battery life.

Patrick Holland/CNET

iPhone 13 may get a much bigger battery

The primary rumor is that the iPhone 13 will get a much bigger battery. iPhone 12’s battery life is nice. In use, each the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional lasted a day no downside. In our battery check with looped video enjoying in airplane mode the 12 Professional lasted 15 hours, 56 minutes and the iPhone 12 lasted 17 hours, 14 minutes.

But it surely’s removed from one of the best battery life we have seen. The Samsung Galaxy S21, with its four,500-mAh battery, lasted 18 hours and three minutes in the identical check. The Galaxy S21 Extremely and its 5,00Zero-mAh battery lasted 22 hours and 57 minutes. And each of these telephones have a excessive refresh fee show which might tax the battery much more.

Whereas Apple by no means reveals the capability of the batteries contained in the iPhone, websites like iFixIt, which sells kits to exchange batteries, present that an iPhone 12 and 12 Professional use a 2,815-mAh battery. What’s good is Apple will get a lot life from that small battery purely via the effectivity on its A-series processors and iOS.

Now think about making use of these efficiencies to a bigger bodily battery. It is a rumor that I hope is true and suppose the subsequent iPhone wants. I imply, who would not need higher battery life?


The subsequent iPhone is rumored to have a excessive refresh fee display which might bode properly for making these Apple Arcade video games look even higher.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Professional Movement might come to the iPhone 13’s display

Since 2017, the iPad Professional has had a 120Hz refresh fee. Now that panel is an LCD, however rumors level to the iPhone 13 getting a excessive refresh fee OLED. For years, many people longed to see this function on an iPhone. There are quite a few telephones at completely different worth factors which have a excessive refresh fee display just like the $300 OnePlus Nord N10 5G which has a 90Hz show. The brand new $800 Galaxy S21 and $1,200 S21 Extremely every have a 120Hz show. Final week, Asus launched the ROG Telephone 5 that has a 144Hz display. And final month, the RedMagic 6 cellphone was introduced with a 165Hz display. For comparability, the iPhone 12 has a 60Hz display.

Why do you want a excessive refresh fee? Merely, it makes every thing look higher. That sweeping generalization apart, animations and graphics look sharper, movement blur is lowered, video games (particularly these designed for top refresh fee screens) appear extra immersive and vivid. Take into consideration how nice 120Hz Apple Arcade video games might look.

The subsequent iPhone wants a 120Hz display, a minimum of the “Professional” fashions do. It could be one other “Professional” function that helps distinguish the upper finish iPhone Professional fashions for the common and mini model.

iPad Pro Smart Connector

If there was an iPhone and not using a port, might one thing just like the good connector contacts from the iPad Professional be the way in which to cost it?

Patrick Holland/CNET

The subsequent iPhone may not have any ports

There’s a persistent rumor that the iPhone 13 will not have a Lightning port. Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack again in 2016 with the iPhone 7, folks speculated that Apple would in the future make a very portless cellphone. In December, dependable rumor-spreader Ming Chi Kuo asserted that Apple would release an iPhone in 2021 without a port.

Apple’s launch of MagSafe charging on the iPhone 12 makes it simpler to think about such a port-free future. Nevertheless, in its present kind MagSafe charging tops out at 15 watts. Evaluate that to the 20-watt charging you get with a lighting-to-USB-C cable and wall charger. OnePlus has a wi-fi charger referred to as the Warp Cost 30 that may cost at 30 watts.

Not solely would the subsequent model of MagSafe have to be extra highly effective to be an inexpensive substitute to a bodily charging cable, however Apple would additionally want to unravel for a few of the knowledge sharing that the Lightning port at present affords. Maybe Apple is hoping 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.Zero and its U1 ultrawideband chip are these data-sharing replacements? Or possibly there can be a model of MagSafe with a Lightning port dongle? Who is aware of?

Apple might construct into the subsequent iPhone one thing just like the “good connector” discovered on the present iPad Professional. Whereas the USB-C port on the iPad Professional will get all the eye, on the again of the iPad are three flat metallic contacts. If you use the Magic Keyboard accent with the iPad Professional, it connects to the iPad through the good connector and magnets. You may even plug in a USB-C cable into the aspect of the Magic Keyboard to cost the iPad Professional. Most days throughout the pandemic, I just about used the Magic Keyboard to cost my iPad through the good connector.

Perhaps there will probably be “Good MagSafe” charging on the subsequent iPhone? Even when this rumor is true, eradicating the final iPhone port isn’t one thing Apple must do, a minimum of proper now.


Rumors level to new digital camera throughout all 4 iPhone 13 fashions and the common Professional mannequin getting cameras on par with the Professional Max model.

Patrick Holland/CNET

New cameras might come to the subsequent iPhone

The most important function and largest rumors revolve across the cameras on the iPhone. And there are a bunch of rumors pointing to new lenses, new digital camera sensors and a wider adoption of sensor-based stabilization throughout the iPhone line up.

Presently the iPhone 12 Professional has the identical selfie, huge and ultrawide cameras because the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini. The Professional does have a 2x telephoto digital camera, nevertheless it’s not the identical as the two.5x one on the iPhone 12 Professional Max. The iPhone 13 Professional might get a bigger sensor for its huge digital camera. This rumor would not point out whether or not it will likely be precisely the identical because the one on the iPhone 13 Professional Max or not. However the bigger sensor might incorporate sensor-based stabilization, which is at present solely on the iPhone 12 Professional Max mannequin.

The iPhone 13 Professional can be rumored to get the identical or related telephoto digital camera because the 13 Professional Max. All meaning is that the subsequent common “Professional” mannequin will probably be nearer to the Professional Max mannequin. Whereas this 12 months, the 12 and 12 Professional are exceedingly related.

There are just a few rumors a few new ultrawide digital camera both on the iPhone 13, or iPhone 14. (Sure, there are already rumors in regards to the subsequent subsequent iPhone!) The ultrawide digital camera on the 13 may get higher low-light efficiency and a quicker aperture lens. Presently the lens on the ultrawide is f2.four, however the brand new lens might be f1.eight, which definitely would assist in the direction of bettering low-light efficiency.

When it comes to digital camera , the iPhone 13, particularly the common Professional mannequin, might use these rumored upgrades. 


An in-screen fingerprint scanner might remedy our iPhone Face ID woes.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Contact ID might return to the iPhone

The iPhone 13 might get an under-the-display fingerprint reader. Because the first Android cellphone got here out with an in-screen fingerprint reader, folks speculated that an under-the-display Contact ID sensor can be a option to alleviate the frustration some get utilizing Face ID (and this was earlier than the pandemic made face masks an on a regular basis factor).

Presently on Android telephones, there are two kinds of in display fingerprint sensors. There are optical in-screen sensors discovered on telephones just like the OnePlus 8T and Motorola Edge Plus. Then there are ultrasonic fingerprint readers by Qualcomm on telephones just like the Galaxy S21 collection.

If the iPhone 13 will get an in-screen fingerprint reader, it isn’t clear whether or not this could exchange Face ID or be along with it. The rumor additionally suggests together with a 2019 patent illustration Apple filed that the iPhone might be unlocked with a fingerprint contact wherever on the display as a substitute of the only sensor location on Android telephones.

If Apple might get ultrasonic sensors to some extent of reliability, ease of use and dependability like the old-school Contact ID sensor discovered on the iPhone SE, it isn’t onerous to think about them on an iPhone. And if Contact ID is paired with Face ID, you can have extra methods to safe and entry your cellphone. Having another biometric safety measure is one thing the iPhone wants.


There might be a video model of portrait mode on the iPhone 13.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The iPhone 13 might shoot portrait mode video

The subsequent iPhone might document portrait mode video. You could be accustomed to portrait mode which helps you to take a photograph and provides the image an artist blurry background. The thought is it replicates what a bigger sensor mirrorless or DSLR digital camera can do with a quick aperture lens. On the iPhone, portrait mode is proscribed to only images. However at present there are a number of Android telephones just like the Samsung Galaxy line that can record portrait mode video (or live focus video), which blur out the background whereas leaving your topic in focus. In my expertise, the outcomes are very hit-or-miss.

It’s thrilling to suppose what Apple might do with portrait mode video and the way it handles all of the processing wanted to separate the foreground and artistically blur the background. The rumor additionally factors to the flexibility to alter the depth of discipline (the quantity of background that’s blurred) after the video is already shot. It could be particularly cool if it additionally included Apple’s portrait lighting appears and the flexibility to alter these up after the very fact. Although as enjoyable as portrait mode video can be, it isn’t one thing the iPhone wants.

The Pixel 4's Night Sight mode can photograph the Milky Way and individual stars -- if the sky is clear enough.

The Pixel four was the primary cellphone with a hidden astrophotography function in its Evening Sight mode. It makes use of computational images and lengthy seize occasions to seize pictures like this of the Milky Means.


The iPhone 13 may get higher at astrophotography

The final rumor I need to spotlight is one other digital camera function. The iPhone 13 may get a greater astrophotography mode. Presently, you’ll be able to mount the iPhone on a tripod and within the darkest situations lengthen the evening mode seize to as much as 30 seconds. Underneath the suitable sky and climate, you’ll be able to seize an honest photograph of a starry sky. However once you see what the Google Pixel can do in terms of astrophotography, it leaves quite a bit to be desired on the iPhone.

If this rumor is true, possibly astrophotography nonetheless will get activated in evening mode however you’ll be able to lengthen time greater than 30 seconds or use computational images to seize a greater evening sky or moon? This might be one other function that lives solely on “Professional” fashions like the way in which Apple ProRaw at present does. That is positively not a wanted function, however a pleasant one to have one.

For extra on the subsequent iPhone, learn our iPhone 13 rumor roundup.