The iPhone 12, released last year, featured the biggest redesign to the iPhone in almost four years. But that redesign left many fans and industry pundits thinking the 2021 iPhone, currently dubbed the “iPhone 13,” will be a more modest, iterative update. However, if the latest rumors are true, the iPhone 13 could feature some of the biggest advances to Apple’s smartphone ever.
According to leaker Max Weinbach (via MacRumors), it’s true that the iPhone 13 will be nearly identical in appearance to the iPhone 12, but the iPhone 13 will have a massive amount of under-the-hood improvements. The biggest surprise? Weinbach says the iPhone 13 will feature upgrades that allow for astrophotography.
Astrophotography is an increasingly popular field of photography that sees people using complicated camera setups to photograph the moon, stars, and even distant spiral galaxies. The inclusion of astrophotography capabilities in the iPhone 13 could be a big draw for those who are willing to shell out the cash for major smartphone camera improvements. And the astrophotography is rumored to be seamless in the iPhone 13: the mode will automatically engage and select the best camera settings when a user simply points their iPhone 13 towards the sky thanks to automatic moon and star detection.
In addition to the astrophotography camera enhancements, the iPhone 13 is also said to feature an “always on” display à la the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6. This always-on display would allow for the user to always see the time, battery indicator, and notifications simply by glancing at their iPhone—no need to wake the screen. Additionally, the screen is expected to be upgraded to a 120hz ProMotion refresh rate.
Other changes to the iPhone 13 include a stronger MagSafe magnet and a rear matte glass panel with a “grippier, more comfortable” feeling than the smooth one found on the iPhone 12 series. Finally, Weinbach says the iPhone 13 will be getting an improved ultra-wide camera sensor and lens, which could be related to the astrophotography feature.
Previous rumors suggest the iPhone 13 series will also include both Face ID and an under-the-screen Touch ID sensor in the device. All in all, these latest rumors point to the iPhone 13 being a more significant upgrade than people originally expected. But it should be noted that right now these features are just rumored. Apple is likely to be working on all of them, but the company could still choose to delay any of them for release on iPhones that come after the iPhone 13.