Apple is expected to announce its iPhone 16 lineup later this year, likely in September as usual, and leaks suggest some major upgrades are in store. The new iPhones will bring improvements to key areas like the camera, storage, connectivity, and more.
Redesigned Camera Button Enables New Functionality
One of the most notable changes coming in the iPhone 16 Pro models is the addition of a new physical camera button. According to The Information, Apple is testing a redesigned mechanical capture button that will support pressure sensitivity and gestures.
The new button could allow for zooming in and out by swiping up or down while shooting video. This would make it easier for creators to film more cinematic looking horizontal videos. Other possibilities include using pressure on the button during photography to adjust things like focus and exposure.
This dedicated camera button mirrors what other Android phones have offered in the past. It shows Apple focusing efforts on improving the video recording experience as more people create content directly on phones rather than separate cameras.
Massive Improvements to Rear Camera Design
In addition to the new capture button, the iPhone 16 Pro models are also getting major upgrades to the rear camera system itself according to leaked information. The camera bump on the back will grow in size to around a 1-inch square.
Comparison of iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Camera Size
|Camera Bump Size
|iPhone 15 Pro
|iPhone 16 Pro
This enlarged camera housing will allow for significant improvements in image quality. The main wide angle lens will jump from 48MP to 64MP. The ultra wide angle will go from 12MP to 48MP. And finally the telelphoto will upgrade from 12MP to 24MP.
These specification increases should result in much more detailed photos and videos captured on the iPhone 16 Pro. Especially with improved optical image stabilization and sensor-shift stabilization to reduce blur.
Faster 5G Connectivity with Custom Modem
On the connectivity side of things, the iPhone 16 Pro models are expected to use a new 5G modem chip built on the cutting edge 3nm manufacturing process according to MacRumors.
The Qualcomm X75 should provide faster 5G speeds compared to the X70 chip in the iPhone 15 Pro. Real world tests will reveal exact performance differences, but the X75 theoretically supports speeds up 40% faster than the X70.
This new modem will be exclusive to iPhone among smartphones launching in 2024. The X75 gives Apple an advantage in 5G connectivity speed against Android competitors reliant on the X70 chip.
Faster 5G will improve experiences like high quality video streaming, multiplayer gaming, downloading apps/media, and more. Users will really notice the increased performance in day-to-day phone usage scenarios.
Up to 2TB Storage via QLC NAND Flash
In a move likely aimed at reducing costs, the iPhone 16 line is expected to shift from the TLC NAND flash storage used in past models over to QLC NAND. This will allow Apple to offer up to 2TB of storage on the Pro models.
Comparison of iPhone Storage Types
|iPhone 15 Pro
|iPhone 16 Pro
However, QLC does come with some downsides compared to TLC NAND:
- Slower write speeds
- Lower endurance ratings – less data can be written over the lifespan
So there are some concerns that real-world performance may take a hit, especially for users that need consistently fast storage speeds for tasks like 4K video editing.
But for most everyday users focused on consuming content rather than creating it, the improvements to maximum storage capacity outweigh the potential negatives of adopting QLC NAND flash.
Up to 8GB of RAM for Enhanced Multitasking
Finally, a major boost is reportedly coming to the amount of RAM even in the non-Pro iPhone 16 models. According to a Chinese supply chain report, the next iPhones will jump from 6GB of RAM currently up to 8GB of RAM.
More RAM translates into keeping more apps and browser tabs active in the background without having to reload content from scratch. This leads to a much smoother overall multitasking experience. Competing Android flagships have already offered 8GB+ of RAM for a couple years now, so this brings Apple up to par in memory capacity.
The RAM upgrade will be especially useful when combined with the expected new A18 Bionic chipset built on an enhanced 3nm process. Performance should reach new heights across both CPU and GPU intensive workloads like editing photos/video, 3D gaming, augmented reality applications, and more.
What Happens Next?
While the leaks cover a lot of details already known about the iPhone 16, there are still some key remaining questions as we approach the launch later this year:
- Final pricing details, especially for those high-end 2TB storage tiers
- Exact battery sizes and life estimates
- Names of colors that will be offered
- Potential surprise software features that take advantage of the new hardware
- Reviews and benchmark testing results once units start reaching the hands of technology journalists
But based on the information available so far, the iPhone 16 lineup seems primed to be one of Apple’s biggest upgrade cycles in recent history. Almost every core aspect of the devices from design to performance to cameras and connectivity is getting sizable improvements. iOS device loyalists have a lot be excited for when Tim Cook takes the stage this fall to unveil the newest iPhones.
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