iPhone 13 set to steal a long-overdue Apple Watch feature – but it's better late then never

Apple is finally catching up to the Android competition based on rumours about the iPhone 13 display

 iPhone 13 Pro 5G concept
(Image credit: the Hacker 34)

The iPhone 13 is on track for Apple's usual September launch by all accounts. Amongst the plethora of upgrades we're expecting to see this year is the always-on display (AOD) that Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch Series 6 users will be familiar with.  

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman shared the tip in his newsletter (via MacRumors), saying that the iPhone 13 lineup will sport bigger batteries, and better displays, with a 120Hz refresh rate and AOD. For the uninitiated, an always-on display feature can let you check the time, date, notifications, and much more without having to touch your phone. 

AOD is a common feature of Samsung smartphones, like the Galaxy S21, and has a barely perceptible drain on the battery. Paired with the adaptive refresh rate of that particular device, you get a 120Hz display when you need it, and can glance at your handset for updates rather than having to interact with it to bring it to life. And your battery isn't going to suffer as a result. 

Apple is only just on the cusp of catching up to the competition with its displays; the iPhone 13 will be the first to break out of the 60Hz box, but even then, that'll just be for the premium models. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will be stuck with 60Hz, according to what we've heard so far. 

There are a ton of other improvements headed to the iPhone 13 this year if the leaks and rumours so far are to be believed. My top five rumoured iPhone 13 features include the upgraded screen, as well as a smaller notch; but being a notch-hater, I'll probably sit out the iPhone 13 and wait for the iPhone 14 which is said to be be scrapping the notch at last, in favour of a holepunch camera.     

Meanwhile, Samsung, Oppo, and Xiaomi are readying under-display cameras and foldable smartphones, with the two coming together for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 this year. No doubt we'll see Apple catch up to that a few years down the line, as it seems pretty happy to stick with what it knows over the prospect of rolling out its smartphones with fresh tech. 

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at T3.com as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.