Apple has unveiled four new variants of the iPhone 12 at a virtual event this evening, putting to rest many of the rumours that have been swirling for weeks.
The iPhone 12 will come in four different variations:
- The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini is aimed at entry-level buyers with prices starting at £699 and available in black, white, red, blue and green. Storage options available are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. Pre-orders will open on Friday, November 6 with availability set for Friday, November 13.
- The standard 6.1-inch iPhone 12 that is the direct replacement for last year’s iPhone 11. Prices will start at £799 and the phone comes in a choice of white, black, red, blue and green. Pre-orders will open on Friday, October 16 with availability set for Friday, October 23.
- The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro that comes with the same screen size as the standard iPhone 12, but boasts better specs and a higher price. Prices are set to start at £999 and the colour options available include graphite, silver, gold and blue. Pre-orders will be open from Friday, October 16 with availability set for Friday, October 23.
- The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest and most powerful of the entire range. Prices start at £1,099 and the colours available are graphite, silver, gold and blue. The storage options include 128GB, 256GB and 512GB versions. Pre-orders for this phone will open on Friday, November 6 with availability set for Friday, November 23.
Apple has given the iPhone 12 a design change across all the models. The edges are now squared off in a manner similar to the iPad Pro. On the more expensive models, the frame is stainless steel while the cheaper versions stick with aluminium. However, all the phones have OLED displays – which is a noted improvement in colour and detail over regular LED. Furthermore, Apple has added ‘Ceramic Shield’ engineering to the screen to make it even harder to crack.
Even with the design change, Apple has kept the infamous ‘notch’ at the top of the edge-to-edge screen for the selfie camera and FaceID scanner. Apple has also neglected to shift the iPhone over to a USB-C, keeping the gadget running from its own proprietary Lightning connection. However, a new ‘Mag Safe’ magnetic charging ring on the backs of the phones can be used to snap on wireless chargers and other accessories and cases with ease.
There’s still no headphone jack and, going further, Apple now won’t include headphones or a charging brick in the box.
The big news surrounding the iPhone 12 is the inclusion of 5G connectivity for the first time. Apple has so far shunned the technology, but clearly feels the time is right to add it to all the handsets in the iPhone 12 line-up.
One of the key differences between the models is the cameras on the back of the phones. While the more premium tier ‘Pro’ models keep the three-lens camera from the iPhone 11 Pro, the two regular iPhone 12 models make do with a dual-lens camera.
To differentiate between last year’s Pro models and this year’s Pro models, the iPhone 12 Pros have LIDAR sensors added to their camera arrays. This was first revealed on the iPad Pro earlier this year and uses lasers to scan for objects in your immediate surroundings. It makes a negligable difference in terms of photography but it much more suited to augmented reality (AR) applications that need to understand the geometry of objects.
As expected, all the new iPhone models feature a newer, faster processor. The A14 Bionic takes over from last year’s chip as the ‘most powerful in the world’ and boasts a 6-core CPU with a quad-core GPU alongside that will make it an all-round better gaming device. As if to hammer home the idea, Apple announced that eSports favourite League of Legends will launch on the App Store. Apple says it’s up to 50% faster than leading Android smartphones.
Apple was a bit late announcing the iPhone models this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. And while millions around the country are grappling with the economic impact of the virus, Apple hopes the lure of 5G may be enough to tempt people to upgrade.
‘The arrival of 5G marks the beginning of a new era for iPhone and we’re thrilled to bring these impressive new capabilities to our customers with iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini,’ said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
‘We’re once again pushing the boundaries to deliver incredible computational photography advancements, Super Retina XDR displays, and the biggest leap in durability in iPhone history with the new Ceramic Shield front cover.
‘Available in two great sizes, iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini take design to a new level in a new form factor that’s as beautiful as it is durable, and makes it easier than ever for customers to find the perfect iPhone to fit their lifestyle.’
He continued: ‘Each generation of iPhone has changed what we expect from a smartphone, and now with 5G, iPhone 12 Pro provides a new generation of performance. Our tight integration of hardware and software enables incredible computational photography features like the expansion of Night mode to more cameras, and introduces support for HDR video with Dolby Vision.
‘A state-of-the-art LiDAR Scanner means users can experience AR like never before, and also offers benefits to the camera with faster autofocus in low light and the introduction of Night mode portraits. These experiences and so much more make this the best iPhone lineup ever.’