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Dummy model leak shows off Apple’s new iPhone 16 designs

Published Apr 4th, 2024 6:33AM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro on a table.
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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iPhone 16 design details have been leaking left and right for months to the point where I think I know what to expect from this year’s iPhone upgrade.

Even without the leaks, it’s not like I’d expect big surprises. It’s not just the fact that I’m used to Apple’s policy of going for incremental updates for the iPhone each year. It’s that we’ve reached a point in smartphone history where it’s very difficult to come up with brand-new designs every year.

Fast-forward to early April, and we have a big iPhone 16 leak to inspect. Like every year, the first round of dummy units for the next-gen iPhone 16 have leaked. These metal devices should inform accessory makers about the next-gen iPhone design so they can prepare accordingly.

The leak seemingly confirms everything we heard from previous rumors. But the best part about it is that it puts the iPhone 16 next to the iPhone 16 Pro. It’s the kind of comparison I’ve been looking forward to. The leaks indicate that the latter won’t be much bigger than the base model despite supposedly rocking a bigger screen. That’s great news, assuming it’s accurate.

I don’t want the Pros to get that much bigger, though the screen bump is appreciated. The iPhone 16 Pro display will reach 6.3 inches this year. The 16 Pro Max will feature a 6.9-inch display. Both displays are going to be 0.2 inches larger than the non-Pro units.

Apple reportedly wants to place a tetraprism camera on the smaller iPhone 16 Pro, and the zoom lens will take up more space inside. The iPhone 16 Pro has to be slightly bigger than its predecessor. The iPhone 16 Pro Max would have to get the same size increase, so the size differences between the Pro and Pro Max remain consistent with predecessors.

As you can see in Sonny Dickson’s photos below, the size differences between the iPhone 16 and 16 Pro are almost imperceptible. The same goes for the iPhone 16 Plus and 16 Pro Max. I suspect the Pros are slightly taller and wider, but not by much. Apple can also increase the display by going for slimmer bezels on the Pro.

I do hope that the leak is accurate. I know I’ll get one of the iPhone 16 models this year, but I haven’t decided which one to get.

One thing that’s not immediately clear is the thickness of the four iPhone 16 versions. But we’ll likely see plenty of dummy units leak by September, complete with size information.

The iPhone 16 dummy units also highlight other important design changes coming to the iPhone 16 series. As you can see, all models will get an Action button this year. The feature was reserved for the iPhone 15 Pros last year.

Also, all four iPhone 16 phones will feature a Capture button on the same side as the Power button. I’ve been thinking a lot about the iPhone 16’s Capture button lately, and I think it’ll benefit the camera experience greatly.

Finally, the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus dummy units feature vertical cameras. That’s what all rumors say. Apple reportedly wants to make spatial videos possible on non-Pro iPhones, and you need the cameras stacked vertically for that. The camera module is similar to the iPhone X but larger since these are newer cameras.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.