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Apple’s iPhone 13 will feature a new design, and some of the details just leaked

Published Feb 16th, 2021 9:00AM EST
iPhone 13
Image: Apple

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  • Apple’s iPhone 13 will feature an Always-On Display, similar to existing Apple Watch models.
  • The time and battery icon, along with incoming notifications, will always remain visible.
  • Other rumored iPhone 13 features include support for Portrait Mode video and the return of Touch ID.
  • On top of that, a known Apple leaker with a good track record has leaked details of the iPhone 13’s new design.

Apple’s next-gen iPhone 13 will feature a texturized and more “refined” matte back that will make the device grippier and easier to hold, according to a new report from the EverythingApplePro YouTube channel and noted leaker Max Weinbach.

“The matte back is getting refined,” the report notes. “So in the 2021 iPhones, I’m sure Max is referring to the Pro models, they’ll have a slightly more grippy texturized back. He says they’ll be slightly more comfortable and he assumes it’ll be like a soft matte, like on the Pixel series.”

While admittedly not the biggest design change, it certainly should make the iPhone a tad more comfortable to hold. The design tweak, coupled with the more iPhone 4-inspired design Apple re-introduced on its iPhone 12 lineup, will arguably make the company’s next-gen iPhone its sleekest yet.

One rumored iPhone 13 feature we haven’t seen mentioned before focuses on an Always-On display, a feature that we presume will be similar to what already exists on the Apple Watch.

The report claims that the time and battery icon will always remain visible. When notifications come in, just that portion of the display will be activated, the report notes.

Max Weinbach adds:

Always-On Display will have minimal customizability. Current design basically looks like a toned down lockscreen. Clock and battery charge is always visible. Notifications seem to be displayed using a bar and icons. Upon receiving, the notification will pop up normally except that the screen will not entirely light up. Instead, it will display it just like you’re used to right now, except dimmed down and only temporarily.

Though an Always-On display on the iPhone only seems marginally useful, there’s no reason for Apple not to implement it if there’s no real impact on battery life.

The report adds that Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro models will include a 120Hz ProMotion display. This feature will allow for more fluid scrolling, improved responsiveness, and “smoother motion content.” According to previous reports, Apple’s implementation will boast dynamic variable refresh switching such that the display will alternate between 60Hz and 120Hz depending on the situation.

The report further claims that the iPhone 13 will include an improved ultra-wide lens and support for Portrait Mode when recording video. If the latter tidbit proves to be true, it would certainly make the iPhone an even more capable video recording device. Portrait Video has reportedly been in the works for quite some time and will enable users to change the depth of field in post-processing.

The most intriguing iPhone 13 rumor, which came to light last month, suggests that Apple’s next-gen iPhone may bring back Touch ID via an in-screen fingerprint sensor. The feature will reportedly co-exist alongside FaceID.

Lastly, reports indicate that Apple’s iPhone 13 models will all be released in September.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.