Apple’s first smartphones to support 5G networks are about to hit the streets. The new 6.1 inch iPhone 12 and 5.4 inch iPhone 12 mini are coming this month with starting prices of $799 and $699, respectively.
And next month the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available for $999 and $1099 and up, with better cameras, premium design features, and a LiDAR scanner for improved depth detection.
All of the new phones are powered by the same Apple A14 Bionic processor used in the latest iPad Air, and Apple says that means you can expect 50-percent better CPU and graphics performance from its phones than from any others on the market. Normally I don’t place much stock in that sort of bragging, but Apple does have a pretty strong track record of outperforming the competition in smartphone chip performance.
Here are some other highlights for the new phones:
- The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini have a new 12MP dual camera system with support for computational photography that leverages the A14 chip for improved night mode photos and low-light video recording.
- The iPhone 12 series phones have aluminum fames and the glass screen is covered with “ceramic shield” technology for better durability.
- The iPhone 12 is 11 percent thinner and 16 percent lighter than the iPhone 11.
- Apple’s iPhone 12 mini has all the same features of its larger sibling, but in a smaller package with a smaller display. I suspect a smaller battery as well.
- The 6.1 inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7 inch 12 Pro Max feature stainless steel bands instead of aluminum, three rear cameras (there’s a telephoto lens) and LiDAR sensors. They also support Dolby Vision HDR video recording at 4K resolutions, and you can edit Dolby Vision HDR video on device as well.
- All of the new phones have a MagSafe system that allows accessories including cases and wallets to snap onto the back. This also works with wireless chargers, allowing you to quickly ensure that the charger is connected properly. Wireless charging also works through supported cases and other accessories.
- All of the phones also feature IP68 water and dust resistance ratings, which means they can be submerged in up to 6 meters of water for up to 30 minutes without suffering damage.
- Apple is no longer shipping charging adapters or earbuds with its new iPhones to cut down on electronic waste (and cost, presumably, but the company is also using recycled rare earth materials for magnetic components of the phones, so it’s not like this is the only eco-friendly decision the company has made).
Here’s a run-down of the prices and release dates for each of Apple’s new phones:
- iPhone 12 – Pre-order Oct 16, ships Oct 23 for $799 and up, with 64GB/128GB/256GB storage options
- iPhone 12 mini – Pre-order Nov 6, ships Nov 13 for $699 and up with 64GB/128GB/256GB options
- iPhone 12 Pro – Pre-order Oct 16, ships Oct 23 for $999 and up with 128GB/256GB/512GB options
- iPhone 12 Pro Max – Pre-order Nov 6, ships Nov 13 for $1099 and up with 128GB/256GB/512GB options
Apple will also continue to sell the iPhone SE for $399 and up, the iPhone XR for $499 and up, and the iPhone 11 for $599 and up for folks looking for a better bargain on an iOS smartphone.