Apple's stunning iPhone 12 family has 5G, better cameras, and a superior ceramic-hardened display

A month ago, Apple held its usual hardware event, taking the wraps off Watch Series 6, and new versions of iPad and iPad Air. What was missing was the one thing everyone wanted to see -- iPhone 12.

Delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Apple today finally reveals not one, but four iPhone 12 models -- the iPhone 12, mini, Pro, and Pro Max -- offering something for everyone, and supporting 5G.

The iPhone 12’s design has been tweaked slightly and it gains an edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display and a new Ceramic Shield front cover to better protect the screen from drops and knocks.

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The iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch display, while iPhone 12 mini is 5.4-inch, and both are powered by the A14 Bionic, which Apple says is the fastest chip in a smartphone, and the first built on 5-nanometer process. It features a 16-core Neural Engine (delivering an 80 percent increase in performance) capable of completing 11 trillion operations per second.

iPhone 12 and 12 mini’s camera system features an Ultra Wide camera and a new Wide camera with an ƒ/1.6 aperture, which Apple says provides 27 percent more light for low light photos and videos.

The new phones support MagSafe high-powered wireless charging, and Apple will be bringing out accessories to make use of this. You can still use your old wireless charger with the new phones though.

"The arrival of 5G marks the beginning of a new era for iPhone and we’re thrilled to bring these impressive new capabilities to our customers with iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini," says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We’re once again pushing the boundaries to deliver incredible computational photography advancements, Super Retina XDR displays, and the biggest leap in durability in iPhone history with the new Ceramic Shield front cover. Available in two great sizes, iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini take design to a new level in a new form factor that’s as beautiful as it is durable, and makes it easier than ever for customers to find the perfect iPhone to fit their lifestyle."


iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in five aluminum finishes -- blue, green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED. Pre-orders for iPhone 12 start Friday, October 16, with availability on Friday, October 23. iPhone 12 mini will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, November 6, and in stores beginning Friday, November 13.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities, with the iPhone 12's pricing starting at $799 and the mini's from $699.

iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max

For those that want the best, and have big pockets, there’s the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Pro has a 6.1 inch display and the Pro Max a 6.7 inch screen.

iPhone 12 Pro has a new seven-element lens Wide camera with an ƒ/1.6 aperture, for 27 percent improved low-light performance in photo and video. The Ultra Wide camera offers a 120-degree field of view, and a 52 mm focal length. The Telephoto camera brings the optical zoom range to 4x.

The Pro Max steps things up even further. The new ƒ/1.6 aperture Wide camera boasts a 47 percent larger sensor with 1.7μm pixels for an 87 percent improvement in low-light conditions. There’s the Ultra Wide camera and a 65 mm focal length Telephoto camera. Combined, this system offers 5x optical zoom range.

Both iPhone 12 Pro models allow for shooting and editing of HDR video with Dolby Vision, at up to 60 fps, and there’s a new built-in LiDAR Scanner that can measure light distance, use pixel depth information of a scene, and deliver more realistic AR experiences.

The iPhone 12 Pro models also support the new Apple ProRAW, which combines RAW with Apple’s computational photography features. It's coming later this year, although Apple didn't say exactly when.

"This is a huge leap for iPhone, bringing the best 5G experience in the market and delivering our most advanced technologies to users who want the absolute most from their iPhone," says Joswiak. "Each generation of iPhone has changed what we expect from a smartphone, and now with 5G, iPhone 12 Pro provides a new generation of performance. Our tight integration of hardware and software enables incredible computational photography features like the expansion of Night mode to more cameras, and introduces support for HDR video with Dolby Vision. A state-of-the-art LiDAR Scanner means users can experience AR like never before, and also offers benefits to the camera with faster autofocus in low light and the introduction of Night mode portraits. These experiences and so much more make this the best iPhone lineup ever."

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max come in four stainless steel finishes -- graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue. Pre-orders for iPhone 12 Pro begin Friday, October 16, with availability on Friday, October 23. iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available for pre-order Friday, November 6, and in stores beginning Friday, November 13.

The phones are available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacity with the Pro's pricing starting at $999 and the Pro Max from $1,099. 

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