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5G iPhones and more at Apple’s October event

Posted October 14, 2020

Tuesday’s Apple Special Event introduced the iPhone 12 line and some cool new accessories as well. Here is an overview of the new and upcoming product releases that were announced at the event:

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini

The look of the new iPhone is reminiscent of previous models: flat sides and a more boxy look in general.

Technically, probably the biggest change is compatibility with 5G wireless networks, which are currently being rolled out worldwide. The 5G standard has two basic flavors: sub-6 5G and millimeter wave 5G. Apple says that the new iPhone can work with both 5G variants, but that only models sold in the US will support the faster (but less common) millimeter wave 5G. The new mobile devices will also include a “Smart Data”

; mode that only uses 5G speeds when needed, thus saving battery life.

All devices in the iPhone 12 family will be powered by the A14 Bionic chip, which debuted at last month’s special event as the brain of the new iPad Air. The A14 is the first Apple Silicon processor to use 5-nanometer process technology, and Apple claims that it can achieve speeds that exceed the competition’s chips by as much as 50%.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will have OLED screens, just like their high-end iPhone Pro and Pro Max counterparts. In terms of size, the screen on the iPhone 12 comes in a familiar 6.1 ”, but the iPhone 12 mini has a compact 5.4” screen. All the devices in the iPhone 12 series also have a new type of screen glass called Ceramic Shield, which is produced using extremely tough nano-ceramic crystals that Apple and Corning have found a way to make transparent. According to Apple, this will result in 4 times better fall performance than before.

iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12
Storage 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
Price starts at $ 699 starts at $ 799
Availability pre-order November 6; available November 13 advance booking October 16; available October 23

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple’s advanced iPhone 12 offering includes the same enhancements as the base models (5G support, A14 Bionic chip, Ceramic Shield glass), but also has some extra bells and whistles.

All the new iPhone 12 models have upgraded camera systems, but the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max seem designed to admire serious photo enthusiasts. In particular, the iPhone Pro Max has a dramatically larger sensor which Apple says will provide an improvement of 87% when it comes to shooting in low light. In addition, both the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max support Apple’s upcoming ProRaw image format, which combines the benefits of computational photography with editing and processing control provided by the RAW image format.

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max also include LiDAR scanners. LiDAR is a method of measuring distance and mapping surroundings by emitting laser light and measuring the time it takes to reflect back to the source (think radar, but with lasers). It is widely used in autonomous driving systems, but Apple has another purpose here: LiDAR will be used to enhance Augmented Reality (AR) functionality, and it will also enhance shooting in low light by improving autofocus speed (up to 6 times faster)) and allows night mode portraits. Hardcore photo files can check out the complete technical specifications of the new camera systems for themselves on the Apple website.

This year’s advanced iPhones are also bigger than last: the iPhone 12 Pro has a 6.1 “screen (significantly larger than the iPhone 11 Pro’s 5.8” screen), while the iPhone 12 Pro Max boasts an oversized 6.7 “screen.

iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 Pro Max
Storage 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
Price starts at $ 999 starts at $ 1099
Availability advance booking October 16; available October 23 pre-order November 6; available November 13

About this accessory

The new iPhone 12 family was obviously the main attraction at the October event, but there were also some other announcements worth mentioning here.

Starting with what is not including: the new iPhones no longer come with chargers or earbuds, something Apple says often goes unused and contributes to the growing environmental problem of electronic waste. The new, more compact iPhone packaging contains only a simple USB-C for charging cable for charging.

Apple is also bringing back MagSafe, but with an emphasis on mobile this time: MagSafe wireless mobile chargers that click perfectly into place with the new iPhones for faster and more reliable charging. There are also a number of MagSafe cases that can be fitted with accessories such as a magnetic leather wallet that clicks on the back of an iPhone and is shielded to protect the credit cards inside.

Last but not least, Apple introduced the HomePod mini, a 3.3 ”high-end smart speaker that marks the latest addition to Apple’s HomePod line. Paired with an iPhone, the HomePod mini lets users play music, podcasts and more in room-filling rooms. The HomePod mini can be used to control smart home accessories, and can even be used as a family intercom, and relay messages from one room to another if multiple HomePod devices are spread throughout the house. The HomePod mini can also be used with Siri as a productivity tool, read messages, answer calls or provide calendar reminders to users.

From a security and privacy perspective, perhaps the most important thing about the HomePod mini is the $ 99 price tag, which makes it competitive with similar offerings from Amazon and Google. This means that budget-conscious buyers can now buy a smart speaker that comes with Apple’s focus on privacy: the HomePod mini does not send data to Apple’s servers until Siri is enabled; all requests are separated from the user’s Apple ID; and user data is never sold to third parties.

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