It’s had its share of delays and leaks but Apple’s iPhone 12 Hi-Speed event didn’t disappoint this week as four shiny phones were launched with a new design – flatter, squarer edges – and better OLED displays.
Starting with the basic £799 aluminium-covered 6.1in iPhone 12, expect a 12-megapixel dual-camera system with normal and ultra-wide lenses alongside the TrueDepth selfie camera – all of which now use Apple’s Night Mode.
At the smaller end of the scale, Apple’s £699 iPhone 12 Mini delivers all the internal features of its bigger brother in a dinkier 5.4in frame.
At the higher end, the two Pro models come in at 6.1in (from £999) and 6.7in for the Pro Max (from £1,099), and have stainless steel overcoats, including a Pacific blue design.
The triple camera boasts ultra-wide, normal and telephoto lenses for professional-level snaps.
So as well as delivering better autofocus in low light and features such as Night Mode Portrait shots, it adds depth mapping, paving the way for more immersive augmented reality. A ProRAW format available later this year, meanwhile, offers more control over photos.
The Pro is also first to shoot HDR video in Dolby Vision which, coupled with improved stabilisation, means cinema-quality footage.
However, the biggest advances come with the biggest phone. With a larger sensor there’s even bigger low-light improvements and 5x optical zoom compared with the Pro’s 4x zoom.
All the new iPhones arrive loaded with Apple’s A14 bionic processor, which Apple claims is the fastest CPU in any smartphone. Access to mobile network 5G makes its debut, catching up with the competition in terms of download capacity and speed, higher quality streaming and more responsive online gaming.
Apple tells us that the ceramic-infused glass of the iPhone 12 brings ‘four times better drop performance’, and an IP68 water-distance rating means they can withstand depths of up to six metres for 30 minutes.
Mini Maestro: The New HomePod
Amid all the smartphone noise, Apple also announced a small spherical smart speaker that looks suspiciously like the one Amazon announced a couple of weeks ago.
The HomePod Mini is a smaller and cheaper version of its Siri-powered smart speaker and comes with a bunch of new features, including the ability to cast voice messages to Apple devices in your home.
While its big brother started out at £319 in 2018, and hasn’t dropped much in price since, its diminutive new sidekick costs just £99.
This puts it in affordable territory for an iThing, while hoping to catch the attention of cashstrapped consumers hit by the pandemic when it’s released on November 6. Amazon Echo, watch your back!
The iPhone 12 arrives minus ear buds and plug adapter, as part of Apple’s mission to reduce its carbon footprint. However, a USB-C to lightning cable is included, and borrowing from the now-extinct magnetised MacBook, the MagSafe system means quick-attach accessories are available, such as a wireless charging puck.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are available for pre-order today from Apple.com, with the Max and Mini arriving a bit later on November 6.