iPhone 16 is getting a bigger sensor but no more megapixels, say rumors

Photo of the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

September is nearly eight months away and already we are hearing exciting things about the iPhone 16 including rumors the sensor is getting a significant upgrade. 

iPhone releases are as regular clockwork. As soon as summer is over, it’s only a matter of weeks before Apple makes what is arguably their most anticipated announcement of the year.  The launch of the iPhone 15 series was one of the most significant in a while, largely due to the fact we said goodbye to the lightning port, and hello to a 48MP sensor in all the models. But looking ahead to September 2024, and it looks like the sensor itself might be getting bigger.

According to Wccftech who have in the past proven to be a reliable source, the sensor in the iPhone 16 Pro Max will have the same number of megapixels as the sensor in the iPhone 15 but it’ll be slightly bigger at 1/1.14 inches. Although it is not a huge difference from the current 1/1.28-inch sensor, users should see a noticeable difference in image quality and low-light capabilities. 

It’s no surprise we’ve heard very little else about the iPhone 16 just yet, after all, it is only January.  There have been rumors it could feature a shutter button like Sony phones used to allow users to adjust the camera zoom, focus and record a video with gestures.  The Pro Max could also have a 300mm zoom periscope lens making super-telephoto photography even easier and the design might get a bit of an aesthetic makeover but we can only take these leaks with a pinch of salt until Apple announces more concrete evidence. 

One area where the iPhone seems to be lacking in comparison with the Google Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the AI tools available in-camera. While the iPhone 15 can detect if there is a person or pet in a picture and automatically switch to portrait mode, the other phones I mentioned have tools to remove objects, swap faces, eradicate blur, and move parts of the photo. If Apple wants to stay in the running of the best camera phones, we would expect there to be a few more fun AI tools to play with. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.