Shrunken notch, bigger camera, and a new iPhone 13 Pro design

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The iPhone 13 is expected to be a doorbuster for Apple this holiday season, at least according to analyst supply channel checks, but the Pro models will be where it's at this year. They will be the ones sporting the iPad's flashy 120Hz ProMotion display technology, after all, while the vanilla iPhone 13 would be duking it out with a slow display panel still.

With those leaks in mind, the famed graphics designer Jermain Smith aka Concept Creator, has concocted a depiction of the upcoming iPhone 13 Pro for LetsGoDigital. It's complete with the alleged shrunken Face ID kit hence camera notch, and camera lenses that are bigger than on the 12 Pro, as the 13 Pro is now said to inherit the 12 Pro Max camera that has larger sensors and better low-light sensitivity. Here's everything you need to know about the iPhone 13 camera.


The upcoming iPhone 13 Pro will allegedly be 7.57mm thick, an increase of 0.17mm over the 7.4mm thick iPhone 12 models, to accommodate said larger sensors and the respective camera bump. 

The iPhone 13 Pro Max, in its turn, is expected to again one-up every member of its own series with an even bigger camera sensor than all of them, the largest one Apple has ever put in a phone, so only CAD render leaks could flesh out this one. What about the front of the iPhone 13, though?

Will the iPhone 13 have a notch?


Yes, you can bet on it, as, even on the iPhone 14 the notch will be clearly visible albeit greatly diminished compared to what we have now. Apple has been laboring over the miniaturization of the Face ID components ever since its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund poured $390 million into Finisar, the makers of the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) that are a major part of the Face ID kit.

Said kit consists of four components - structured light transmitter and receiver, a front-facing camera, and a time of flight/proximity sensor. The sensors that Apple uses for Face ID are all clustered in the "notch" at the top bezel. Those structured light sensors are the vital part, as they collect depth information which is combined with images taken with the front-facing camera to produce a 3D map using software algorithms.

Apple reportedly managed to make those components smaller, thus achieving the shrunken notch on the iPhone 13. Visibly it is not that much smaller, of course, as you can see from the renders here. Next year, when Apple pairs Face ID with a Touch ID under-display fingerprint scanner, the face recognition component may be used just for unlocking which may allow it to skip on some of the current components and achieve a greater notch size reduction compared to what the iPhone 13 will bear.

In short, Apple is bringing that distinguished gentleman with a storied history as a 3D face-scanning provider - the OG iPhone X's notch - to all of its phones this year and the next, just in a more compact, bite-sized form, especially on the iPhone 14, but the iPhone 13's notch will undergo some shaving, too.

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