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This is our best look yet at the iPhone 16’s big design changes

iPhone 15 Pro in Natural Titanium held in hand in front of a cement brick wall.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

It seems Apple is prepping yet another design refresh for its smartphones this fall season. In 2023, the iPhone 15 Pro made an aesthetic deviation by serving thinner bezels and titanium looks alongside a new multi-function button. This year, it’s going to be the entry-point iPhone 16 and its Plus variant that are apparently lined up for a design refresh.

Tech commentator Sonny Dickson has shared dummy units reportedly depicting all four iPhone 16 variants, which seem to confirm what previous leaks have predicted so far. On the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, the camera lenses dance diagonally on a square bump. Apple is reportedly ditching the current camera arrangement for their respective successors in favor of a pill-shaped vertical setup.

Bye-bye, square camera island, and hello to a vertical pill-like array reminiscent of the beloved iPhone X. This modern take on a classic design not only injects some much-needed variety into the iPhone lineup but also serves as a visual differentiator between the standard and Pro models. It’s not much, to be fair, but this is Apple, and even the smallest design tweaks can spark a frenzy of excitement and anticipation.

— Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) April 4, 2024

Another key takeaway from the latest information dump — and one that has been mentioned in older leaks, as well — is the size difference across all four models. The iPhone 16 Pro is expected to be taller, wider, and thicker than its predecessor and the baseline iPhone 16, as well. Similar is the case with the Max trim, which is going to be physically bigger than the corresponding Plus version.

Moreover, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are also expected to feature larger displays than their non-Pro counterparts, thanks to thinner bezels. The iPhone 16 Pro is said to offer a 6.3-inch screen (up from 6.1 inches), and the iPhone 16 Pro Max may hit the shelves flaunting a 6.9-inch (up from 6.7 inches) OLED panel.

In another notable shift, Apple is rumored to introduce a new button on the right edge of all four iPhone 16 series members, positioned below the power button. Reports suggest that this additional button won’t be a physical but a touch-sensitive surface. However, the leaked dummy images make them look like an average tactile button.

What do you think on this new iPhone 16?

— Divine Chinemerem (@Divine__001) March 3, 2024

Speculations say this new button may serve a similar purpose to the Action button, offering users the ability to customize its function. Notably, in order to accommodate the new button, Apple has reportedly relocated the antenna band to the opposite side of the device. Once again, the premium iPhone 16 models are expected to utilize titanium in their construction, but buyers might be treated to a fresh color palette.

Under the hood, the smaller “Pro” model in 2024 is rumored to receive the same advanced 5x telephoto zoom camera system currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Moreover, the iPhone 16 Pro Max may take things up a notch by offering an even more powerful 10x periscope zoom snapper, leveling the playing field with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

As for the Dynamic Island – the pill-shaped area covering the front camera and True Depth sensors – it’s here to stay. Sure, we’d all love to see the entire Face ID and front camera tucked neatly under the screen, but an under-display camera module similar to the one Samsung offers on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is apparently not making an appearance on Apple smartphones anytime soon.

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Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
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