The release of the new iPhone 12 series is an interesting experience even though I wasn’t there in-person to show how interested I was about the tweaks in order to see what the devices would look like in my hands but one thing is that majority of our predictions about the iPhone 12 are true.
First of all, this is the first iPhone with 5G network support and yeah we predicted that and again, it came in four variations which includes the new iPhone 12 Mini which is a 5.4-inch tiny device that’s definitely targeted at those who just don’t like the giant iPhones nowadays because if we look in the past, iPhones had always been small and ver compact in the hands when the likes of Samsung were experimenting with large device formats such as the first Galaxy Note with 5.5-inch display. It was pretty large that time but its tiny now.
The devices all come with support for the OLED screen irrespective of the Pro or non-Pro add-ons and the endless list of interesting additions to this new devices makes you wonder if you really need to spend US$999 or US$1,099 on the high-end variants rather than stick with the smaller US$699 or the US$799 models which are obviously the non-Pros.
One of the cool things about the new iPhone 12 series includes the sleek design which is pretty decent much like the iPad Pro as it sports the boxy edged design unlike the previous generation iPhone 11 with curved sides. This kind of make you wonder “Is that all?” Well…Yes! That’s all because Apple these days seems to be very conservative with its designs.
That can be seen with the new Watch Series 6 which looks pretty much like the older Watch Series 5. Then there was the iPhone SE (2020) which took the design form of the older iPhones in the past and then we have the iPhone 12 which looks like the much older iPhone 5 though not entirely.
But if you do not mind but just want the new iPhone 12 for that matter, then you can go on to pre-order the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro by October 16th and the devices will hit the shelves by October 26th but the other variants such as the iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max starts pre-ordering by November 6th while they’ll be available by November 13th.
The device on the paper have some pretty decent features such as the camera tweaks, 5G network support and even OLED displays on all of the devices as well as the inclusion of stainless frames on the pro models. But here is a break down of everything about the four new iPhone 12 models.
The new square-shaped edge of the device
If there is anything new about the design of the iPhone 12 series, its the fact that Apple stuck along with its previous iPhone 4, 5 and iPad Pro-ish design. It also now have some protective layers called the ceramic shield which makes things much more interesting.
The edges of the devices houses its 5G antennas which are made from aluminum on the smaller iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 while the higher variants, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max sports stainless steel.
Compared to the iPhone 11, the 12 sounds like a Radiohead song: It’s smaller, thinner, lighter. Sadly, no mention from Apple about killing moths or putting boiling water on ants.
In terms of color options, both the iPhone 12 and 12 mini come in black, white, product red, mint green and dark blue while the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max come in silver, graphite, gold and pacific blue colors. There is also a textured matte glass at the back of the Pro models which is similar to what you get from the iPhone 11 Pro.
Baseline iPhone 12 and 12 Mini models come with 64GB of storage. I’ll be honest, I was kind of hoping this would be higher, especially since the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max start out with 128GB of storage.
Ceramic shield and OLED displays
Another pretty decent thing Apple did on this new device is the inclusion of OLED panels on all of the iPhone 12 series unlike the previous models whereby only the pro versions had the OLED panel while the non-pro iPhone 11 had IPS LCD display.
Also, there is now a ceramic shield which Apple didn’t refer to as a screen protection which could signal to the fact that the new devices will have a really tough glass that’ll be pretty hard to break although that’s not entirely guaranteed until we’re able to try that out by ourselves to see how true that claim is.
All four phones have a ceramic shield display that’s made by infusing glass with nano ceramic crystals to make them more durable. Apple claims these displays have 4x better drop performance which could mean your iPhone has a better chance of surviving a drop out of your pocket.
One big miss by the way is the fact that the new device doesn’t have a 120Hz refresh rate. Not even the iPhone 12 Pro Max. You might even think what about the ProMotion….nope! None of the above and that might seem disappointing considering the fact that this is one of the premium quality that majority of Android devices out there that costs well over US$799 have.
5G support on all the iPhone 12 series
The fact that all the new iPhone 12 models have 5G network capability is interesting and they in fast support the ultra-fast mmWave 5G but the problem is that not every state in the US even have this capacity and in fact, 5G network as a whole isn’t a global phenomenon just yet and the infrastructure isn’t just there yet.
The devices also support the low-band and midband 5G network which offer a longer range but less speedy network whereas the mmWave 5G is much faster but short range. So short that a little blockage to the network will hurt the connectivity.
Speaking of the nonavailability of the 5G network globally, the reality is that iPhones are actually built to last and Apple do support their devices no matter how old they are which will put those who purchase these 2020 models in the position whereby they wouldn’t need to necessarily have to upgrade next year or 2024 just because of 5G since they have the iPhone 12 with 5G network support already.
And not to forget that Apple did tweak up the iOS 14 in the iPhone 12 series to be much faster and efficient while supporting the new 5G network.
The new iPhones also have a “Smart Data” mode that toggles between 5G and 4G LTE to save on battery life.
If you’re interested in getting any of the iPhones 12 solely because of 5G, I’d recommend checking out which carriers offer 5G in your area, what the speeds are like and what the carrier’s plans are for building 5G out further.
LTE speeds also get a boost: The new phones are able to support data speeds up to 2Gbps.
Lidar, Smart HDR 3 and a new camera upgrade
Lidar is now on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max and why shouldn’t it considering the fact that people use the cameras on their smartphones more than they use those on their tablets such as the iPad Pro, Apple probably realized this so quickly because I was going to start calling out their design lead for not thinking about such pretty quick.
But aside the LiDar, the camera module of the new iPhone 12 models are pretty cool and interesting. Although we thought there would be 4 new cameras on the new iPhone but there are three. There is a wide-angle primary sensor now on all the four iPhone 12 models with an aperture of f/1.6 and a new larger sensor which Apple claims offers 27% improvement in low-light photography.
The ultrawide-angle camera on all the phones gets a boost via software to help correct distortion better.
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.
The LiDar sensor is reserved for the Pro models only and to be more precise about this, it basically stands for Light Detection and Ranging which is meant to help AR applications detect objects depth and spaces much easily. The sensor can also help improve autofocus with video and photos even in low light according to Apple.
The cameras are powered by the A14 Bionic chipset which is meant to boost the new lineup’s speed and efficiency. The new chipset supports HDR 3 that helps in optimizing the dynamic range of photos, identifying scenes and help in night mode.
Then there is Deep Fusion which optimizes pictures on a pixel level in order to reduce noise and improve its details on all the iPhone 12 cameras while the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have telephoto lenses as well.
All four phones can record video in Dolby Vision HDR which automatically color grades your videos in the Dolby Vision standard. The Pro models support Dolby Vision HDR at all settings up to 4K 60fps and the 12 and 12 Mini support it up to 4K 30fps. All of this happens inside the Photos app which is kind of amazing.
The 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max will also be able to record a special RAW photo file called ProRAW. The idea is to provide the flexibility of a RAW photo file but with the smarts of computational photography. This feature that will come out later.
MagSafe but no power brick
There were rumors that Apple might decide to exclude a charger in the box of the iPhone 12 and yes that’s true they excludes it. The box is now very smaller but they added the Magsafe from the MacBook which basically latches to the back of the device to charge it without the need to plug something to the bottom port of the device.
The wireless charger costs about US$39 and offer 15 Watt of wireless charging which isn’t bad. But how durable the Magsafe is on the iPhone 12 series is yet unknown but this will be a cool feature whereby third-party companies can make other cool modules that can be latched to the back of the iPhone 12 such as wallet and so forth.