iPhone 12: What you need to know about Apple’s latest and fastest phone lineup

Apple announced the new iPhone 12 lineup during a virtual event on Tuesday. They are the fourteenth generation, lower-priced iPhones, succeeding the iPhone 11. They are packed with new cameras, new iOS 14 a new body design, support for 5G and “ceramic shield” displays. The new phones are named just like the iPhone 11 family: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. There is also a mini version of the iPhone 12 – the iPhone 12 mini. It’s the smallest iPhone you can buy new, and it’s even more petite than the current iPhone SE.

Then there’s the tale of two different telephoto cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. The Pro has a similar 52-millimetre lens as last year’s iPhone 11 Pro. But the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets a new longer 65-millimetre lens which offers a 2.5x optical zoom instead of the 2x optical zoom on the 12 Pro – for the camera enthusiast.

As far as price, Apple says the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will starts $799 and $699 respectively. Prices for the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max stay at $999 and $1,099 respectively. (See the chart below for a full price breakdown, including international prices.) Meanwhile, the iPhone 11 dropped to $599, the iPhone XR is $499 and an iPhone SE starts at $399. 

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in five beautiful aluminium finishes, including blue, green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED.1 Pre-orders for iPhone 12 begin Friday, October 16, with availability beginning Friday, October 23. iPhone 12 mini will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, November 6, and in stores beginning Friday, November 13.

The new iPhone has many features which distinguish them from other iPhones.

Ceramic shields displays, increases drop performance by 4 times

iphone 12
A sophisticated flat-edge design introduces the Ceramic Shield front cover for the biggest jump in durability ever on iPhone.

According to Apple, Ceramic Shield is tougher than any smartphone glass, with a dual-ion exchange production process ensuring protection against scratches and everyday wear and tear.

The new iPhones also use an improved glass covering called Ceramic Shield which is co-developed with Corning Inc. Apple describes it as having “4 times better drop performance” and being “tougher than any smartphone glass”.

The newly designed iPhone 12 models feature expansive edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR displays for a brighter, more immersive viewing experience, and a new Ceramic Shield front cover, providing the biggest jump in durability ever on iPhone.

Apple

The Ceramic Shield front cover, goes beyond glass by adding a new high temperature crystallisation step that grows nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix.

A Breakthrough 5G Experience on iPhone

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini support an advanced 5G experience, enabling faster download speeds, higher quality video streaming, FaceTime in HD, and more.

The new iPhone 12 support 5G and are the first iPhones to support 5G networks; they are also compatible with both mmWave and Sub-6GHz 5G, which are the two types of 5G.

Beyond hardware support for 5G and working with carriers, Apple optimized iOS to be faster and more efficient when on a 5G connection. The new iPhones also have a “Smart Data” mode that toggles between 5G and 4G LTE to save on battery life. Apple says the iPhone “models in the US support millimetre wave, the higher frequency version of 5G, allowing iPhone 12 to reach speeds up to 4Gbps, even in densely populated areas”.

A14 Bionic Chip

apple a14 bionic chip
The Apple-designed A14 Bionic packed with 11.8 billion transistors delivers unparalleled performance and power efficiency, while delivering great battery life.

According to Apple, the new brains of the iPhone 12 family are 50% faster than any other phone sold today. The A14 brings Smart HDR 3, which optimizes the dynamic range of photos, identifies scenes like skies and optimizes for people’s skin and hair. Smart HDR 3 and Night Mode work on the wide, ultra-wide and selfie camera.

The A14 Bionic processor is Apple’s new processor which contains a next-generation neural engine and is the first chip in the smartphone industry built on 5-nanometer process.

The A14 features 40 per cent more transistors (11.8 billion) than the A13, for better battery life and faster performance.

Lidar, Smart HDR 3 and a new camera

Lidar, Smart HDR 3 and a new camera
Both the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have lidar which will help AR apps detect objects, depth and spaces.

The main wide-angle camera on all four iPhones has a new lens with an aperture of f/1.6 and a new larger sensor. Apple claims this combo offers 27% improvement in low-light situations.

Then there’s the tale of two different telephoto cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. The 12 Pro has a similar 52-millimeter lens as last year’s iPhone 11 Pro. But the 12 Pro Max gets a new longer 65-millimeter lens which offers a 2.5x optical zoom instead of the 2x optical zoom on the 12 Pro.

Both Pro models also have Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). It will help AR apps detect objects, depth and spaces.

With the help of the A14 chip, Smart HDR 3 uses ML to intelligently adjust the white balance, contrast, texture, and saturation of a photo for remarkably natural-looking images which optimizes the dynamic range of photos, identifies scenes like skies and optimizes for people’s skin and hair.

MagSafe: Innovative wireless charging

MagSafe

Apple previously featured magnetic connection on the Macbook before removing it. But apple is back with this feature on the new iphones.

The iPhone 12 models have a built-in magnetic ring that is designed to work with a MagSafe charger and other magnetic accessories. The MagSafe charger snaps right onto the back of the iPhone 12 and charges at 15W, up from the maximum 7.5W wireless charging available with Qi-based chargers.

Joshua Osagie

Software Developer | Lover of Tech

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