iPhone 13 to get smaller notch at last, plus upgraded cameras to beat Samsung S21

Redesigned Face ID, upgraded lenses and superb stabilisation

iPhone 13
(Image credit: Concept Creator)

The iPhone 13 – or the iPhone 12S as some have suggested it may be called – is going to have some important improvements over the iPhone 12. In moves that echo some of the best Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S21, it’s going to get better cameras and a less intrusive front-facing camera assembly. As previously reported, it’s also expected to get an in-screen Touch ID sensor.

That’s according to trade publication DigiTimes, which is the third site to report a smaller notch in the iPhone 13: as MacRumors reports, the same prediction previously came from Japanese site Mac Otakara and from leaker Ice Universe.

The smaller notch is down to a new Face ID camera module, which will be supplied by Foxconn and LG Innotek, and a new front-facing camera from O-Film. Although renders floating around online indicate that the notch is less wide, previous rumours indicated that the notch would stay the same width but be reduced in height instead.

According to DigiTimes the iPhone 13 will have the same lens module as the iPhone 12 but the iPhone 13 Pro will get an improved image sensor with increased resolution. The standard iPhone 13 will inherit the CMOS image sensor that’s currently in the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which is a significant upgrade.

The iPhone 13 will be a very stable genius

It looks like the iPhone 13 will get another feature from the iPhone 12 Pro Max: sensor-shift optical image stabilisation, which is currently reserved for Apple’s flagship iPhone. At least two of the models in the iPhone 13 range will get the stabilisation, according to ETNews; DigiTimes says it’s coming to all models.

Sensor-shift is a different approach to image stabilisation, and first appeared in DSLR cameras: instead of stabilising the optical lens, it stabilises the camera sensor. As implemented in the wide lens of the iPhone 12 Pro Max it delivers better stabilisation and improved image quality. According to Apple, “Whether you're shooting video of your kids as you chase them around the park or holding your iPhone out the window on a bumpy road, you'll get more precise stabilization than ever.”

These reports suggest that the iPhone 13 is going to have a very similar specification to Apple’s current Pro and Pro Max models for considerably less money: the LiDAR Scanner is expected to come to all models too, and mmWave 5G support is also expected to come to iPhone 13 models sold outside the US market. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).