In a nutshell: Today Apple announced the entire iPhone 13 lineup. The two mainstream models include the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini, both phones come standard with 128GB of storage, which is double the capacity of the models they replace. The new non-pro iPhones add several features, including a new A15 Bionic chip, a smaller front-facing sensor notch, a more advanced dual-camera array, and more.
Apple’s standard iPhone lineup keeps the same flat-edged design with just a couple of slight visual variations. The notch on the front-facing sensor array is a bit smaller—a 20-percent size reduction according to Apple’s calculations. The iPhone 13 has a dual camera on the rear, similar to its predecessor, but the lenses are set up diagonally instead of being stacked. Other than that, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini resemble last year’s models with a 6.1- and 5.4-inch display, respectively.
Inside the device is where Apple made the most significant changes, starting with new silicon. The iPhone 13 is powered by Apple’s 5nm A15 Bionic. The A15 sports a 6-core CPU with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. With almost 15 billion transistors, Apple claims the A15 is up to 50 percent faster than its competition.
The A15 also houses a 4-core graphics processor that is 30 percent faster than any other smartphone. Graphic-intensive games should run smoothly, with “more lifelike visuals and lighting effects.”
Topping off the A15 is Apple’s 16-core Neural Engine, capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second. The neural engine is a processor dedicated to machine-learning applications. It will handle iOS 15 features like Live Text, which allows users to generate copyable text from photos. It will also process ML workloads related to the new camera system, such as rack focus (more on that in a minute).
With the iPhone 13, Apple says it has its most advanced camera system ever. It has combined newer hardware with computational photography to produce outstanding photos and videos. The new camera comes with sensor-shift OIS—a feature previously only offered in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This technology stabilizes the sensor instead of the lens for sharper images and more steady video. The wide-angle camera’s sensor, with larger 1.7 µm pixels, captures 47 percent more light to reduce image noise and produce brighter images in low light.
Another feature that Apple has introduced to the camera system is Cinematic mode. The A15 Bionic’s Neural Engine can process video applying rack focus in real-time. Rack focus is a technique used in cinematography that shifts the focus from the primary subject to a secondary one.
Machine learning algorithms sense when the subject looks away from the camera causing focus to shift to something in the background. Users can also change it manually by tapping on the secondary subject or double-tapping to lock on to it. Once locked on, the iPhone will keep focus even if the person or object is moving. The feature can even be applied or modified after a video has been captured.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini both feature Apple’s improved Super Retina XDR OLED display, which delivers higher contrast for true blacks. For regular content, the screen’s peak outdoor brightness is 800 nits. For HDR photos and videos, the display outputs at 1200 nits.
The standard iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch display, while the mini is 5.4 inches. The near edge-to-edge screens also have a smaller notch for the front sensor array. Apple says the cutout is 20-percent more compact while keeping the TrueDepth sensor for Face ID. Both phones carry an IP68 rating for water resistance and sport a Ceramic Shield over the displays for extra drop protection.
Both the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini come equipped with 5G connectivity. Apple has five color options to choose from, including pink, blue, midnight (black), starlight (white), and red. The phones start at $699 for the 128GB iPhone 13 mini and $799 for the 128GB iPhone 13. For extra, customers can increase storage to 256GB or 512GB.
Pre-orders for the iPhone 13 line start this Friday, September 17. Shipments arrive to customers and stores beginning one week later, on September 24.