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Small iPhone 13 upgrades will make a big difference

The iPhone 13 looks all set to be revealed this week and if the rumours are to be believed then it might be a smaller upgrade than many have been hoping for.

But I am completely fine with this as the rumoured headline-grabbing iPhone 13 series updates address all the issues I had with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

Probably the biggest reported update coming to at least the Pro models is a new LTPO panel. This should finally bring the iPhone 13 Pro on par with many of the best Android phones and enable a faster display, hopefully with a refresh rate that can jump up to 120Hz. The 60Hz iPhone screen has felt very dated recently, especially when compared to the smoother scrolling and more responsive gaming achieved by the latest iPad Pro.

I’ve been wanting Apple to implement this feature in the iPhone range for a number of years now and it got ever so close to being a reality with the iPhone 12 Pro only for it to be reportedly ditched at the last minute.

If you’ve never used a phone with a faster refresh rate display then it can be quite tricky to explain the benefits. It’s a cliche, but it’s really one of those things that needs to be seen to be appreciated.

Basically, a faster refresh rate makes the display update more often (usually 120 or 90 times a second, rather than 60) and this gives a smoother look when scrolling and gaming. Smart higher-refresh displays, like those on the Galaxy S21 Plus and the iPad Pro, can also ramp the speeds down to 24Hz (or lower) when you’re watching video content or reading to save juice.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has an LTPO display

It does seem like the iPhone 13 Pro will be the only model packing this screen tech though, which is a shame.

Another highly-touted change coming to the iPhone 13 series is a smaller notch. Rumours suggest the iPhone 14 will be the first Apple phone to ditch the notch in favour of a smaller camera cut out.

The notch was fine when it debuted on the iPhone X and it allowed the phone to have both a larger panel that went edge-to-edge and a class-leading biometric unlocking system. A number of years on though and it feels ancient compared to what’s available elsewhere, so a change, however minor, will certainly be welcome.

iOS 15 running on an iPhone
Could we be getting a smaller notch?

There are, of course, other features tipped to appear on these new phones. A faster Apple A15 chip is a given, as are improvements to the camera that could include better video recording features.

So while nothing might initially stand out as much as the radical redesign we saw last year, the smaller upgrades set to feature on the iPhone 13 series could make it the most complete iPhone ever.

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