Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

iPhone 16 Pro: Top 5 features that will matter the most to users & upgraders

Renders of the iPhone 16 Pro.

Last updated

This September, all eyes will be on Apple's iPhone 16 Pro lineup. Here are the top five new features and upgrades that matter the most.

As is always the case for Apple, the rumor mill continually leaks and speculates about Apple's next iPhone.

With September only a few short months away, these are the top five upgrades you should be looking out for from Apple's iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max.

iPhone 16 Pro upgrades: Camera

As one of the most important elements of the iPhone, the camera system's changes are of particular interest to leakers and rumor merchants.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max significantly pushed the camera system forward, adding a 5x optical zoom with its tetraprism lens. In the iPhone 16, the Pro may get it too.

Close-up view of a smartphone camera module showcasing multiple lenses and intricate internal components against a dark background.
iPhone 15 Pro Max camera module

After adding one 48MP sensor to the rear, there's the possibility of adding a second, affecting the Ultra Wide camera. That would theoretically leave the telephoto as the last to use a 12MP sensor.

Claims of thinner lenses could help reduce the size and weight of the camera module Meanwhile a redesign could mean a slimmer bump for the non-Pro models.

iPhone 16 Pro upgrades: A18

The chip at the heart of the iPhone is a very important part of the entire device. Each year, it gets faster and more powerful, offering users to do even more.

With Apple's apparent push into AI, the changes could be a lot more pronounced. Rather than a simpler update to the CPU and GPU performance, Apple could make an alteration to the Neural Engine.

Indeed, analyzing the A-series as a whole, it is probable that the A18 will have six GPU cores and six CPU cores, with two performance cores accompanied by four efficiency cores.

The Geekbench score improvements could be about 10% for both single-core and multi-core testing compared to the A17 Pro used in the iPhone 15 Pro range.

Apple's A10 chip, modified to show A18.
Apple's A18 chip will have proper labelling.

The Neural Engine has always been a 16-core component, except in Ultra versions of Apple Silicon chips. There's always a chance more cores could be used in the next iteration to handle AI tasks.

Apple's already made a performance boost to the Neural Engine in the A17 Pro, with its 38 trillion operations per second more than double the 17 trillion of the A16.

More operations per second is likely. How Apple achieves it is anyone's guess.

iPhone 16 Pro upgrades: Display

The screens for the iPhone 16 Pro lineup could be bigger than ever before. Rumors claim the iPhone 16 Pro could have a 6.3-inch screen, instead of a 6.1 version.

The Pro Max could go even better, growing to 6.9 inches overall.

Two smartphones on a maroon surface, one showing a colorful geometric lock screen with the time 12:53 PM.
Renders of what could be the iPhone 16 Pro

To go with the size increase, Apple could try to keep the overall mass of the iPhone down by using even thinner bezels than in the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The display could end up being even brighter, thanks to using technologies like a Micro Lens Array.

Lastly, the screen may finally say goodbye to black gaps at the top. Rather than a notch or the Dynamic Island, Apple could do away with it entirely by implementing an under-display Face ID system.

iPhone 16 Pro upgrades: Buttons

Not necessarily what you would expect to be a hotbed of rumors, but the buttons on the side have caught the attention of leakers.

The arrival of the Action Button in the iPhone 15 Pro may lead to another addition. This time, a Capture button that would offer similar physical control over photography as a camera's shutter button.

Capture button on models and cases.
Assorted prop models and cases showing the Capture button placement

There have also been claims that Apple could use capacitive buttons in the update.

Naturally, an extra button means case producers have to rethink their plans.

iPhone 16 Pro upgrades: Battery

All other upgrades to the iPhone are useless without power. Thankfully, there could be some changes on the way in that regard.

For a start, there are expectations of capacity increases, with the cells holding more charge than in the iPhone 15 Pro lineup. This alone will extend battery life, but it will do even more if Apple improves overall performance in other areas.

There have also been reported tweaks to the design, including the use of a "frosted metal shell."

Smartphone screen displaying an almost full green battery icon with 84% charged text against a dark background.
More battery capacity is better in the iPhone.

A graphene heat sink may help improve heat transfers from the battery, minimizing wear from thermal load. A new high-performance cathode could reduce charging times and increase capacity further.

The batteries could also be a lot greener in the end. In 2023, Apple said that battery designs in 2025 will use entirely recycled cobalt, though it can always make changes earlier than its self-imposed deadline.