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iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: the rumored key differences

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: the rumored key differences

The iPhone 13 is two years old now, so a lot of owners will probably be looking to upgrade, and the most obvious candidate to upgrade to is the rumored iPhone 15, set to launch on September 12 at the Apple September event.

The standard iPhone 15 is set to arrive alongside the iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Any one of these would likely be a big improvement on the iPhone 13, but it’s only the iPhone 15 itself which will probably carry a similar price tag.

Just how much of an upgrade will the iPhone 15 really be? While we can’t answer that definitively just yet, we do have a good idea thanks to leaks and rumors. So below we’ve used those to build up a comparison between the aging iPhone 13 and the upcoming iPhone 15.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: specs comparison

Given that we know exactly what specs the iPhone 13 has and have a good idea (from leaks and rumors) of what specs the iPhone 15 will probably have, we’ve made a list of the key ones below, so you can see some of the likely similarities and differences at a glance. Keep reading for a more in depth look at these two phones though.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: price and availability

The iPhone 13 laying on a table

The iPhone 13 costs less than we’re expecting the iPhone 15 to (Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPhone 13 is widely available and is still sold direct by Apple. It may get discontinued once the iPhone 15 launches, but given that the iPhone 12 is also still available we wouldn’t count on it.

Either way, the iPhone 13 currently starts at $699 / £749 / AU$1,229, although if it’s not discontinued then prices may drop when the iPhone 15 launches.

As for the iPhone 15, that’s expected to be unveiled on September 12, and based on Apple’s usual patterns will probably ship on September 22. We don’t know for sure what this phone will cost, but we’d expect the iPhone 15 price to at least match the iPhone 14, which starts at $799 / £849 / AU$1,339.

A price increase is possible, with sources suggesting the iPhone 15 costs more for Apple to produce than the iPhone 14 does. But most talk of price rises has been focused on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, so there may not be an increase, and if there is, we wouldn’t expect a major price hike.

Either way though, that would make the iPhone 15 more expensive than the iPhone 13, and all the more so if the latter phone drops in price.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: design and display

Unofficial renders showing the front and back of the iPhone 15 Plus

An unofficial render showing how the iPhone 15 might look (Image credit: 9to5Mac)

The iPhone 13 has a glass back, an aluminum frame, a square camera block, and a flat screen, with a notch jutting into the top of the display. Most of that will probably be true of the iPhone 15 as well – with one key difference: the phone is expected to have a Dynamic Island rather than a notch, so it could look a lot more modern from the front.

There may be other differences too, with the iPhone 15 possibly having a matte glass rear, likely to leave the colors looking more muted, with the specific iPhone 15 colors possibly including black, white, light blue, light yellow, and soft pink. There has also been talk of a cyan shade, but we haven’t heard anything about that recently.

In any case, the iPhone 13 colors include Product (RED), Midnight (black), Starlight (white), blue, and pink.

Another small design difference could be to the edges, which will reportedly be curved on the iPhone 15 while they’re flat on the iPhone 13.

However, the iPhone 15 is likely to match the iPhone 13’s IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, and it will probably have a similar weight and dimensions too, with the iPhone 13 coming in at 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm and 174g.

As for their screens, the iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch 1170 x 2532 OLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate, and we’re expecting more or less exactly the same from the iPhone 15. So the only significant difference there will probably be the presence of a Dynamic Island on the newer phone.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: cameras

The iPhone 13 in a yard

The iPhone 13 has a dual-lens camera (Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPhone 13 has a dual-lens real camera array, with a 12MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide; there’s a 12MP sensor on the front for selfies. The iPhone 15 will probably get some upgrades here, though not to the number of cameras.

Leaks suggest the iPhone 15 camera will include a 48MP main sensor, so that aspect could be significantly better than on the iPhone 13. However, the other cameras will probably remain at 12MP. And as with the iPhone 13 there probably won’t be a telephoto camera here.

So if you primarily use the main sensor on your phone then this could be a big reason to upgrade, but for improvements to the other lenses or an extra lens you’ll have to look to the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, or another phone altogether.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: performance

A picture of the A16 Bionic chipset

(Image credit: Apple)

One almost guaranteed changes you’ll likely find if you upgrade from an iPhone 13 to an iPhone 15 is the performance, as while the iPhone 13 has an A15 Bionic chipset, the iPhone 16 is widely rumored to have an A16 Bionic chipset.

This should make for a substantial power boost, but not as substantial as you might have expected. That’s because the A16 is only actually one year newer than the A15, even though the iPhone 15 will be two years newer than the iPhone 13.

Apple actually used the A15 Bionic in both the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14. And while there is expected to be a new A17 Bionic chipset this year, that will probably be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

You’ll also almost certainly get more RAM with the iPhone 15 than the iPhone 13. The latter has just 4GB, but Apple upped it to 6GB for the iPhone 14, and we’re expecting the same again this year. So all in all, performance should get a noticeable boost in the upcoming phone.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: battery

The iPhone 13 being charged up

The iPhone 13 has quite a small battery (Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPhone 13 has a 3,240mAh battery, which is marginally smaller than the 3,279mAh battery in the iPhone 14. So at the very least we’d think the iPhone 15 will match the iPhone 14 there, and therefore beat the iPhone 13. But leaks suggest it could have a big battery upgrade.

Specifically, the iPhone 15 battery might be 3,877mAh, which could translate to much longer life than the iPhone 13 has. For reference, in our iPhone 13 review we found that it reliably lasted a day but not much more.

Another change could come in the form of how you charge these phones, as while the iPhone 13 has a Lightning port, the iPhone 15 is widely expected to use USB-C. And it might charge faster, as while the iPhone 13 tops out at 20W, one leak suggests the iPhone 15 might reach up to 35W, though the source adds the caveat that it’s possible this upgrade will only come to the Pro models.

Finally – and less likely – the iPhone 15 might support reverse wireless charging according to one leak, which would allow it to wirelessly charge other devices, such as an Apple Watch. We wouldn’t count on this feature making it though, as it has only been mentioned by one source.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15: verdict

Based on the leaks and rumors we’ve heard so far, it’s likely that the iPhone 15 will have a more powerful chipset than the iPhone 13, along with more RAM, a Dynamic Island rather than a notch, curvier sides, an upgraded main camera, a bigger battery, USB-C charging, and possibly faster charging.

However, its screen might sport the same specs as the iPhone 13’s, its remaining cameras might be no better, and it will almost certainly cost more.

So it should make for a respectable upgrade overall, but not a game-changing one. For that, you’ll need to upgrade even further, to an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max.

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