It is the only smartphone that lets users edit this effect after shooting, Apple boss Tim Cook said.
The new cinematic mode “anticipates when someone is about to enter the frame” and shifts focus to them, Apple said – something known as “pull focus”.
However, most other features on the new model were incremental updates over previous versions.
Apple released a security patch on Monday for the previously-unknown flaw, which could let attackers access its iMessage service without the user clicking on a malicious link or file.
The event was also overshadowed by news of a new security flaw in Apple devices which could expose users’ messages.
The new iPhone includes a faster A15 chip, a brighter display, and a battery life of up to 2.5 hours longer, and comes in new colours including pink, blue, midnight, starlight and red.
The new iPhone will also have up to 500GB of storage with its lowest available storage rising to 128GB from previous models’ 64GB.
Apple was also keen to stress its green credentials, saying the phone used many recycled materials – including antenna lines made from plastic water bottles, it said. The launch comes as buyers are keeping their phones for longer before upgrading. Investment firm Wedbush Securities estimates that around 250 million iPhone users have not upgraded their phones in 3.5 years.
Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight, said many have yet to experience modern features. “While many will see some upgrades as incremental, there are millions of users who have yet to upgrade to 5G. Therefore, this so called ‘supercycle’ moment is still relevant,” he said.
The 5G connectivity is only available on the iPhone 12, released last year, and the newly-announced models. In the second quarter of this year, Apple shipped 25.9% of all 5G handsets in the world, according to analyst firm IDC.
Marta Pinto, senior research manager at IDC, said: “With the new portfolio, this number will grow and consolidate the dominance of Apple in that space.” “Not being the first [to launch a 5G phone] paid off.”
Apple also launched an iPhone 13 Mini, Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max contain three cameras and what Apple calls “its most advanced camera system yet”.