One possible indicator for the presence of good cameras on a phone is big lenses, and it looks like the iPhone 14 Pro will have some large ones, as newly-unearthed photos of an iPhone 13 Pro in a case supposedly designed for the upcoming 14 Pro demonstrate.
These images – which were shared by known South Korean leaker Lanzuk, on blogging platform Naver (subsequently spotted by GSMArena) – show that all three rear cameras are seemingly growing this year, and by quite a significant amount.
Two of those size increases make sense, as leaks suggest the main camera on both Pro models will be getting a new 48MP sensor – which quite possibly means a new lens too – while the ultra-wide is also expected to be receiving an upgrade as well, sporting a sensor with 40% larger pixels.
What we haven’t heard so much about is the telephoto camera, so it’s interesting to see that all three lenses are being made larger. Most leaks suggest the telelphoto snapper on this year's Pros will either be the same as or very similar to the one found on the iPhone 13 Pro; meaning it will likely offer 3x optical zoom, again.
So why the larger lens? Well, there are three possibilities. One is that the lens actually won’t be larger, and this case is wrong, or at least oddly sized.
As TechRadar's own Senior Phones Editor, Alex Walker-Todd explains, 'there does seem to be a degree of guesswork when making cases for unreleased iPhones. Having spoken with case makers in the run-up to the iPhone 14 line's launch, pre-production cases are sometimes designed based on a mix of existing hardware, leaks and expectations, with the company only firming up the correct tolerances and hardware placement once the finished product is actually released.'
Another potential is that there are more changes planned for the 14 Pro's camera system than we’ve heard of, which is an intriguing thought but probably unlikely this close to launch.
Finally, it could be – as GSMArena points out – that Apple is simply trying to keep the lenses a roughly uniform size, in the pursuit of symmetry. We should find out for sure on September 7 (which is tomorrow, at the time of writing), as that’s when the iPhone 14 line will almost certainly be unveiled.
Analysis: joining the big camera club
With these larger lenses, the iPhone 14 Pro could start following in the footsteps of many Android flagships, which increasingly have huge camera blocks, rippling with lenses.
Be it because of a large number of cameras, larger sensors and lenses, or extra features, like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra’s secondary screen, a big camera block has become a common sight on expensive phones, and it’s one we might soon get used to seeing on iPhones too if this leak is right.
It’s a change that could also make the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max look subtly different from the back – though nowhere near as different as they’ll likely look from the front, given the extensive rumors that these phones won’t have a notch.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.