The next iPhones are finally here.
After delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple revealed its latest flagship smartphone models in a rare October keynote event. Unlike previous years, the company’s annual September gala was reserved for information about the excellent new Apple Watches, iPads, and services.
But the iPhone wasn’t the only show in town for today’s event. Also on the slate was a new smart home speaker device, the HomePod Mini.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest tech from Apple.
The HomePod smart speaker, which first launched in 2018, got a follow-up that shrinks the size, cut the cost, and to makes it more appealing to the general consumer. The new mini looks to be more than just a music, with features that make it a powerful smart home hub. Here are some of the highlights:
- Rounded mesh fabric design
- Touch surface screen control
- S5 chip to drive computational audio performance
- Automatic connectivity with iPhones
- Intercom feature for communication between all Apple devices in network
- Available for pre-order November 6, shipping November 16
The main event was, of course, the iPhone. CEO Tim Cook touted the smartphone’s jump to 5G networks (complete with an appearance by Verizon CEO Hans Vestburg to announce nationwide 5G coverage)—but there’s more to the devices than the networks they will use. Here’s what you need to know about the new smartphones.
The new iPhone was redesigned with flat edges and rounded corners, with a throwback look—and shrunk-down size—that evokes the classic iPhone 4. But the specs inside the device enable performance that’s miles beyond what you could do with a smartphone a decade ago.
The iPhone 12 will come in five colors: Black, white, PRODUCT(RED), green, and blue. The smartphone is thinner, smaller, and lighter than iPhone 11—but it still boasts the same screen size. There’s also a new high-resolution OLED display, for better screen performance.
Klutzes will welcome another new feature to the screen: a new Ceramic Shield material developed with Corning, which Apple claims is the toughest glass on a smartphone. Under the hood, the new A14 Bionic chip drives performance, which Apple claims is the fastest chip available in a smartphone.
A new wide camera will help photogs take better low-light photos, and Night Mode for all cameras will allow for better shooting once the sun goes down.
This year, new iPhones won’t come with headphones or charging adapters. That might be annoying for you if you’re prone to losing accessories, but the company claims that the move will prevent 2 million tons of carbon emissions annually.
Charging will be a lot more fun, though, with the new MagSafe for iPhone magnetic charging system, which Apple promises to expand to third-party companies, too. USB-C to Lightning chargers will also allow for faster power-ups when you actually plug the device into the wall.
The iPhone 12 will be available starting at $799 for a 64GB model, with options up to 256GB. Pre-order begins October 16, with in-store and shipping availability starting October 23.
iPhone 12 mini
An even smaller iPhone with the exact same features will also be available. The company claims the new compact mini is the smallest, thinnest 5G phone on the market. The 12 mini starts at $699, with the same storage options as the standard 12.
The iPhone 12 mini will take a bit longer for customers who want to go small. Pre-order starts November 6, with shipping starting November 13.
iPhone 12 Pro
The Pro-level phones (the Pro and Pro Max) also got a redesign, but they retain the same triple-camera setup as the 11 Pro. Unlike the standard 12 models, however, surgical grade stainless steel and glass come to the mix. Finishes include silver, graphite, gold, and blue.
The Super Retina XDR displays are even bigger at 6.5 inches and 6.7 inches sizes for the Pro and Pro Max models, respectively, while retaining the same size as last year’s handsets. The new Ceramic Shield glass is also here, making the Pro models tougher than previous generations, and MagSafe charging will also make powering up easier.
The Pro has a new wide camera, like the standard 12 device, while the 12 Pro Max has additional photo capabilities that will improve portrait photos and zoom ranges. The Apple ProRAW feature will give picture pros even more control over their images. New HDR video recording options will be a boon to creators working with their phones at home.
There’s also a new LiDAR scanner for the Pro devices, which will allow for much sharper AR functions in apps, video creation, photos, and more. Apple claims this will help the cameras focus six times faster than previous systems.
The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 for 128 GB (capacity goes up to 512GB), with the iPhone 12 Pro Max starting at $1,099. Pre-orders begin October 16 for both Pro devices, with shipping and in-store availability on October 23.
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