Apple held its second event in the space of a few weeks today and, as expected, the star of the show was the iPhone 12. It’s something of a watershed release, being the first 5G iPhone.
It wasn’t the only thing unveiled, of course: there are updated iPhone Pro models for the fancier and/or more demanding punter too, a new HomePod smart speaker and a little something else in the form of the iPhone 12 mini – the smallest 5G handset on the market.
Let’s dive in and take a look at what Tim Cook and co showed us.
The first iPhone to support 5G, the iPhone 12 supports more 5G bands than any current smartphone. Not only that, Apple says the handset’s A14 Bionic chip is the fastest system-on-chip around, with the best GPU in a smartphone and a 16-core Neural Engine for machine learning.
There’s also a new dual camera pairing 12MP ultra-wide and 12MP wide modules. The latter comes with a larger f/1.6 aperture and new seven-element lens. Night mode is now available on the front and ultra-wide cameras too.
Design-wise, the iPhone 12 has an iPad Pro-style smooth aluminium frame and flat front and back made of “Ceramic Shield”, a material developed in conjunction with Gorilla Glass maker Corning. It’s tougher than any other smartphone glass, with Apple saying it has four times the drop protection of previous models. Compared to the iPhone 11, the 12 is 11% thinner, 15% smaller and 16% lighter.
It packs a 6.1in Super Retina XDR OLED with 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio and double the resolution of the iPhone 11’s screen (2532 x 1170 to be precise), as well as higher HDR brightness and support for Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG.
It also introduces MagSafe for iPhone, which not only helps with wireless charging alignment but allows for accessories like stands, cases and wallet attachments to fix securely to the phone’s backside. It’s a very interesting-sounding development which we’re excited to try out in the flesh.
The iPhone 12 comes in black, white, green, blue and Project (RED) finishes, and pricing starts at £799 for the 64GB model (128GB and 256GB are the other capacities). It’ll be available to pre-order from Friday 16th October and will be on sale from 23rd October.
iPhone 12 mini
This cute miniature iPhone 12 comes with all the features of the “regular” model but looks much tidier thanks to a smaller 5.4in display (with a resolution of 2340 x 1080). All its other specs match the iPhone 12’s, which makes it the world’s smallest 5G handset!
It’ll be available at the same time as the iPhone 12, priced from £699.
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max
These higher-end models are constructed of “premium materials”, with stainless steel used for the edge band and, like the iPhone 12, Ceramic Shield and IP68 water- and dustproofing.
The Pro and Pro Max models have 6.1in and 6.7in displays respectively – the latter being the largest ever screen seen on an iPhone.
The real innovation seems to come in the Pro models’ triple rear camera, though. It now supports 10-bit HDR video recording in 4K, including Dolby Vision – a world first. It also comes with a LiDAR scanner for improved AR, low-light autofocus and depth measurement.
The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will be available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, with a choice between graphite, silver, gold and pacific blue finishes. The 128GB models start at £999 and £1,099 respectively, with pre-orders and on sale dates the same as the regular iPhone 12 models.
It’s a smaller, cuter version of the HomePod, as you may have guessed from its name. Apple is promising big sound despite the compact design, with help from what the company calls “Computational Audio” – an algorithm-based live-tuning of audio as it plays. Multiple Minis will sync up perfectly around your house for multi-room party playback, and two in close proximity will combine into a stereo pair.
The speaker will also work hand-in-hand with Siri and your iPhone, coming with new integration features and Siri capabilities. Siri’s Intercom feature, for instance, will let you send quick messages not only to HomePod speakers at home but other Apple devices like iPhones, Watches and CarPlay.
The HomePod mini will be available for £99 in white and space grey finishes, with pre-orders beginning on 6th November and orders shipping out from 16th November.