Apple iPhone 12 Series Goes Official: Better Screens, Better Cameras, But No Charger in the Box

Faisal Rasool

Yesterday was Apple’s much-hyped launch event where they introduced this year’s new iPhone 12 lineup. Like every big tech event in 2020, it was virtual. Apple announced four new iPhones: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The headlining feature of the new series is 5G across the board, powered by the A14 chip.

iPhone 12

The iPhone 11 was the most sold smartphone in the world (with 19 million units sold and counting). The iPhone 12, building on its popularity, gets the spotlight this time. The big changes to note here are the screen, the camera, and the return of MagSafe. 

The display went from the 720p LCD to a full HD+ OLED panel. It’s still 6.1” but it has a better resolution, more pixels per inch, and of course, better contrast thanks to the OLED. The wide wedge-shaped notch is back once again to house the sensor cluster for Face ID. And iPhone 12’s screen is covered in Apple’s new tougher ‘Ceramic Shield’ for improved shatter and scratch resistance.

The number and resolution of dual 12MP camera system are the same as the iPhone 11, but the standard camera has a wider f/1.6 aperture. The iPhone 12 also introduces Smart HDR 3 and Night Mode for the front camera.

The MagSafe feature has been revived. It essentially allows you to snap accessories (including the MagSafe Charger) on the back of your phone. Plus, Apple brings back the ‘retro’ flat edge design from the iPhone 5 days to the iPhone 12. To no one’s surprise, the design of the phone didn’t get a drastic overhaul. It’s the same classic-but-predictable layout. 

The iPhone 12 is a $100 (~ Rs. 16,000) more expensive than last year, starting from $799 (Rs. 130,999). And just as the rumor mill had predicted, this year’s entire iPhone lineup will be shipping without any accessories in the box — no charging brick or earbuds.

iPhone 12 Mini

If you’re in the camp that finds modern smartphones too bulky and oversized, the iPhone 12 Mini might be for you. Think of the iPhone 12 Mini as a miniaturized iPhone 12.

The smaller iPhone 12 mini offers the same features as the iPhone 12, including a 5G, Super Retina XDR OLED display with Ceramic Shield, A14 Bionic system circuitry, and two rear cameras.

It’s more compact than 4.7” iPhones, despite the bigger 5.4” display. But it has the same MagSafe, colors, and cameras as the iPhone 12. It starts from $699 (Rs. 114,500).

iPhone 12 Pro 

Let’s get what didn’t make it the Pro models this year out of the way first: the much-rumored ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate. It’s a feature every major smartphone brand has introduced in their flagships this year, but the iPhone 12 Pro gets more subtle upgrades instead. Its screen size has grown from 5.8” to 6.1”.  And it now comes in Pacific Blue, Silver, Graphite, and Gold colors.

The iPhone 12 Pro has Apple’s cutting-edge camera technology since it's a 'photographer's phone.' The triple-camera system adds a LiDAR sensor for advanced depth mapping, AR, and autofocus in low-light.

The pixel count is the same, but the iPhone 12 Pro has a larger sensor and 2x telephoto zoom. It starts from $999 (~Rs. 163,999), so the price remains unchanged.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is Apple’s most souped-up, highest-end iPhone yet. Its screen size has increased from 6.5" to 6.7”, but the major improvements are found in the camera department. The night mode benefits from the LiDAR sensor and Deep Fusion’s AI produces more detailed shots in low and mid-light. Plus, the new Smart HDR 3 fine-tunes shots outdoors and the 65mm telephoto offers 2.5x optical zoom.

Apple has almost doubled the sensor size and used a new sensor-shift mechanism for better optical image stabilization for the Pro Max. Another highlight is Dolby Vision coming to the new iPhones.

It can shoot 4K videos at 60FPS, while Dolby Vision captures 60x more color. The base storage now starts from 128GB, available for $1099 (~ Rs. 179,999) — the same as last year.


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