On 14 September 2021, Apple unveiled the iPhone 13, the second generation of the 5G smartphone.
Following on from the rather successful iPhone 12, Apple has made it clear that the iPhone 13 is
more of a modification. However, the iPhone 13 does showcase a number of upgrades, including a
brighter display with less 'fringes', improved cameras, twice the memory and a new A15 Bionic
processor. The iPhone 13 was announced at the same time as the iPhone 13 Pro models, new iPad
models and Apple Watch Series 7. Below are 10 of the most important features of the iPhone 13 to
look out for.
The iPhone 13, like its predecessor, has a 6.1-inch display with 460 pixels per inch resolution and uses
Super Retina XDR OLED technology. In terms of upgrades, the iPhone 13 will be brighter – the
brightness of the outdoor display will increase to 800 nits (the iPhone 12 has 624 nits). Another
change has been to reduce the size of the niche for the front-facing True Depth camera by changing
its design. "The fringes" are now 20% narrower, which slightly increases the usable space of the
However, the iPhone 13 will not have the update needed for a smoother 120Hz display – currently
this feature is reserved for the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 has a 60Hz display.
As usual, Apple has introduced a new generation of processor for its A-series smartphones – the
iPhone 13 debuted with the A15 Bionic. The chip features a six-core CPU and quad-core GPU. The
company didn't specify what the performance improvement would be compared to the A14, instead
comparing the iPhone 13's performance to that of its competitors: "up to 50% faster than the
competition for the processor itself and up to 30% faster on graphics."
Like its predecessor, the iPhone 13 will support both types of 5G connectivity (up to 6GHz). Apple
hasn't provided details on whether the iPhone 13 will offer more 5G speeds than the iPhone 12
(given the assumption that the iPhone 13 should have a new Qualcomm 5G modem). Instead of this
5G upgrade, Apple has focused on including more 5G bands "allowing it to be on fifth-generation
connectivity in more places, with more performance and radio coverage," Apple said in a press
release. The company plans to increase the number of supported 5G carriers to 200 or more
worldwide by the end of the year.
One of Apple's most useful updates for the iPhone 13 is an increase in battery life. Apple promises up
to 19 hours of video playback for the iPhone 13, which is 2.5 hours longer than on the iPhone 12. The
increase in battery life is due to both the higher power efficiency of the A15 chip and the increased
Another notable update to the iPhone 13 is the smartphone's starting storage capacity of 128GB,
double that of the iPhone 12. The iPhone 13 will also be offered in 256GB and 512GB configurations.
The iPhone 13's dual rear cameras include a new wide-angle lens with an expanded sensor. The
optical system is capable of capturing up to 47% more light, which significantly improves photo
quality in low light. Another upgrade involves the use of optical image stabilization, so-called sensor-
shift OIS, which was previously only available for the iPhone 12 Pro Max model. This technology
"stabilises the sensor rather than the lens, resulting in more stable images," Apple said in a
statement. The ultra-wide-angle camera also includes a new sensor, which Apple says "produces
images with greater detail in darker areas of the photo and records video with less noise". The two
12-megapixel cameras each have 2x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom.
The layout of the rear cameras has also changed, now arranged diagonally rather than vertically as
on the iPhone 12.
Apple has announced new video features for the iPhone 13, including a cinematic mode that can
automatically change focus when objects shift. The company has demonstrated the ability of this
mode to 'intelligently' move focus from an object in the field of view to another object if it changes
perspective and looks in a different direction.