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iPhone 13 leak reveals massive display upgrade — should you skip the iPhone 12?

iPhone 12 on a trunk with a plant
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

iPhone 13 rumors appear to come faster than usual this year. We already have a robust picture of the entire lineup with over half a year to go before the launch. 

The latest series of leaks come as a tandem effort from EverythingApplePro on YouTube and leaker Max Weinbach, the rundown confirms a number of existing rumors, but brings a number of new hardware and software upgrades to the table as well (via Tom's Guide).

iPhone 13 always-on display

The biggest focus of iPhone 13 display rumors so far has been surrounding its 120Hz adaptive refresh rate LTPO panel. This latest rumor claims Apple will also once again be borrowing from the Android playbook with an always-on display. That may be a bit of a shocking move after the iPhone 12 came up short on battery life this year, but Apple has a solution for that. 

According to the leak, the display will always show the time and battery, but will only activate other portions of the screen for notifications, and it will display a dimmer version temporarily before it disappears again. Overall, it is comparable to the Apple Watch version of always-on, which is pretty restricted to ensure it doesn't overly impact battery life.

iPhone 13 camera software upgrades

We've seen plenty of rumors regarding the camera hardware on the iPhone 13, including improved ultra-wide cameras and even superzoom, but we know that Apple is putting a lot of resources into its AI-powered camera software as well.

One area that it will look to address according to this rumor is astrophotography. Apple may have eclipsed the Pixel lineup in general photography last year, but it remains woefully behind in photographing the night sky, so there is little surprise it will look to correct this. 

On the video front, Apple will reportedly deliver its Portrait video mode that has been rumored for some time now. The result should mirror what we've seen from Portrait photo mode with the creamy bokeh background, but this requires quite a bit more processing power for video. The claim is that this will be restricted to the iPhone 13 alone due to the need for the full power of the A15 Bionic.

Design mockups of iPhone 13 models

(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

iPhone 13 design changes

As you would expect the iPhone 13 will retain the same overall throwback redesign of the iPhone 12, with just a couple of slight adjustments. The first is a slight increase in thickness, fingers crossed that is perhaps related to larger batteries, but there are no specifics on that just yet. 

One invisible change will be more powerful magnets in MagSafe on the back; that's not great news for those with pacemakers, but it's an understandable upgrade if Apple will continue with accessories like its MagSafe Wallet.

A more perceptible upgrade will be to the exterior finish of some of the iPhone 13 models, adopting a matte finish that also should give a "slightly more grippy texture," according to Weinbach. The assumption is that this would be the Pro models exclusively, but this wasn't stated definitively. 

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.