If you own an iPhone 11, the iPhone 13 might arrive just in time for you to upgrade.

The new iPhone 13 expected this fall shapes up to be a gradual update over the last year’s iPhone 12 model with a similar boxy design with flat edges, and even a similar camera hardware. Apple, however, is said to be working on a larger battery, and improved camera software, all alongside a new Apple A15 Bionic chip that is once again expected to become the fastest mobile processor on the market.

Wiht this in mind, here are the most important new features that will define the iPhone 13 and how they compare against the two generations older iPhone 11.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11 expectations in a nutshell:

  • iPhone 13 comes with newer flat-edge design with smaller bezels and more compact form factor
  • Same 6.1″ screen size, but iPhone 13 has OLED screen with more vibrant colors vs LCD on iPhone 11 
  • Faster Apple A15 Bionic chip inside iPhone 13 vs Apple A13 on iPhone 11
  • Both have 4GB RAM
  • Wide and ultrawide cameras on both
  • Roughly the same battery size:  3,095mAh on iPhone 13 vs 3,110mAh in iPhone 11
  • Possible fingerprint scanner in iPhone 13 (not certain)
  • Faster Wi-Fi 6E connectivity on iPhone 13

Display and Design

6.1″ OLED screen on iPhone 13 is a big upgrade, even if it doesn’t have 120Hz ProMotion

The iPhone 13 features the new Apple design styling with flat edges and a more boxier look, while the iPhone 11 has the older design with with curved edges. However, the big design change might just be in the physical size: the iPhone 11 is extra wide because of the thicker bezels around the screen, which add width and make it hard to grasp with one hand, while the iPhone 12 is noticeably more compact and with slimmer bezels. While the two phones differ in the looks, they are about the same in terms of practicality with an IP68 water protection on both, so no need to worry about them getting wet in the rain.

One of the biggest reasons to upgrade to the newer iPhone 13 has got to be the screen. While both phones have the same 6.1-inch screen size, the type of screen is different in the iPhone 13. It uses the newer OLED technology which results in much more vibrant colors, deep blacks and excellent contrast and viewing angles, while the iPhone 11 screen is of the older LCD type where blacks appear washed out in comparison, contrast is not that great and colors don’t look quite as lively. In addition to that, the iPhone 13 also has a higher resolution at 1170p compared to just 828p on the iPhone 11, and this is a difference that you will notice.

One feature that is lacking on both is a fast refresh rate. Unfortunately, the newer iPhone 13 is expected to run at 60Hz, just like the iPhone 11. Apple seems to reserve 120Hz ProMotion screens for its Pro series of iPhones that cost a bit more.

iPhone 13 with Touch ID?

Fingerprint scanner rumored to work in addition to Face ID

One change that the iPhone 13 is rumored to bring back from the past is the Touch ID sensor, however, in a new form under the screen. This will work in addition to the Face ID scanning, so users can have both Face ID and Touch ID set up, and use whichever one is more convenient at a specific time. For example, when you are wearing a mask it might be easier to just do a Touch ID fingerprint scan instead of taking the mask off for Face ID.

That sounds like a welcome change, especially considering the times we’re living in, but it is not certain just yet. It first surfaced in a rumor by the usually very reliable Bloomberg, however, so it’s more likely to happen rather than not.

Cameras

Similar dual camera setup

Over the past two years, Apple has clearly differentiated its Pro iPhones from the non-Pro versions like the ones we are comparing here. The cheaper non-Pro models lack a zoom camera, and this trend only continues with the iPhone 13. It has the same two cameras as the iPhone 11: you have a main wide camera and a secondary, ultra-wide snapper.

And while they do seem pretty similar on the outside, rumors do mention a few changes and improvements in 3 key areas:

  • iPhone 13 to have more advanced, 6-element ultra-wide lens construction
  • also getting f/1.8 wider aperture for the ultra-wide camera for better low-light shots in low light
  • overall software improvements to image quality

We should also mention that the iPhone 11 was among the first to receive the Night Mode feature, but it only works with the main camera, while on the iPhone 13 that feature will work with both cameras.

And yes, the iPhone 13 will deliver better image quality, but don’t expect a gigantic upgrade in that regard.

In terms of new camera features, we have heard about Apple planning to introduce astrophotography modes in the camera, but that rumor is a bit sketchy. What seems more likely is another rumor mentioning a new portrait video mode much like portrait photo where it blurs the background. Android phones have had this feature for a couple of years now, so it’s not exactly innovative, but it is definitely welcome.

Finally, rumors say that all iPhone 13 models will get the sensor-shift stabilization feature that Apple introduced on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. With this feature, the whole lens moves to stabilize your movement versus just the lens moving in a typical optical stabilization (OIS) system.

LiDAR scanner on iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 is also allegedly getting a LiDAR scanner. That one made its debut in the iPad Pro in 2020, and then arrived to the iPhone 12 Pro family, but it’s coming to all iPhone 13 models, while the iPhone 11 lacks that feature.

So what is LiDAR? Well, LiDAR stands for “light detection and ranging”. LiDAR technology is essentially a 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor. Part of the sensor emits light beams and as they bounce off of your surroundings, a different sensor measures the time it took for the light to bounce back from surfaces and uses that information to estimate a distance with a pretty good accuracy. Unlike Face ID which is optimized to scan your face, the LiDAR scanner shoots more dispersed light beams better optimized for scanning a whole room.

Performance: Apple A15 vs A13

Apple’s custom made silicon has led the market in terms of performance over the past few years, and we only expect this lead to continue with the new Apple A15 Bionic processor in the iPhone 13. Expect improvements on all fronts: CPU, GPU, AI and even the camera ISP.

At the same time, we don’t expect to see any change in the RAM memory on board, the iPhone 13 is expected to have the same 4GB of RAM as the iPhone 11. If this hasn’t bothered you on the iPhone 11, you probably shouldn’t care about that on the iPhone 13 either.

In terms of storage, the iPhone 13 is said to start at 64GB on board, just like the iPhone 11. You will also have a 128GB and 256GB models for a higher price, and if we had to recommend something here is definitely to spend a bit more and get at least a 128GB model, as 64GB is just not enough for a phone that you will probably be using for at least a couple of years.

One area where the iPhone 13 brings a notable improvement over the iPhone 11 is connectivity. First, because the iPhone 13 supports 5G while the iPhone 11 does not, and second because of the sheer amount of bands and bandwidth supports. Also, you get Wi-Fi 6E support on the iPhone 13 for faster data rates and lower latency, plus it supports a 6GHz channel that is useful for urban areas congested with existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.

So far, we don’t have any leaked benchmarks or other details about the Apple A15, but new rumors come in quite often and this article will be updated with new information as it appears.

Battery and Charging

iPhone 13 fixes one of the iPhone 12’s biggest flaws

Apple introduced a thin and appealing iPhone 12, but to get to that thinness, it had to go on a battery diet, cutting nearly 10% of the battery size from the iPhone 11. Well, the iPhone 13 takes those 10% back and it will come with about the same sized battery as the pleasingly big battery on the iPhone 11. In fact, if we have to be perfectly precise, rumors actually say the older iPhone 11 will still have a slightly bigger battery!

Here are the expected battery capacity numbers on both:

  • 3,095mAh battery on iPhone 13 vs 2,815mAh in iPhone 12 vs 3,110mAh in iPhone 11

On the charger front, Apple “innovated” in the past couple of years by not including a charger or headphones, and this will to carry on with the iPhone 13. So yes, while you might have an older charger around, if you want to benefit from fast charging speeds you would need to spend an additional $20 bucks for a fast charger for the iPhone 13.

As for charging speeds, the iPhone 13 max charging rate is set at 20W compared to 18W on the iPhone 11, so no big difference. Both phones also support wireless charging and any Qi charger will work, but the newer iPhone 13 has magnets inside and it snaps neatly to compatible chargers to get optimal speeds. Also, in terms of wireless charging speeds, you get up to 15W on the iPhone 13, and only up to 7.5W on the iPhone 11.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Specs Comparison

And here is a detailed specs comparison between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 11.

Keep in mind that the below specs are based on leaks and rumors, so they are constantly changed and may be different in the final device.

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