Well, I messed up and bought the iPhone 11 just weeks before the announcement of the iPhone 12. I knew I should have looked it up, and I would have either saved some money or gotten a better phone for the same price. The “event” is for this year’s iPhone refresh, and in lame CCP Virus style, it was just a pre-produced video very well done using the space ship campus as a set. I looked up the leaks the night before and returned my iPhone 11, and with the friendly Pacific time zone they used meant I could sleep in before the announcement video.
They started the video with the second of the least exciting product in my mind. The HomePod mini is a HomePod but smaller, around the size of a softball. They claim it has great sound, along with a set of updated voice commands. They spent a reasonable amount of time talking about using it as an intercom between a family with the mini’s around a house and connecting to family members using other Apple products. The option to have two of these in a room for better sound was interesting. If they get the option for the HomePod to switch from different pods as you go from room to room, that would be slick, but it’s not ready yet. With a more reasonable price of $99, I expect many people to pick the mini up for Christmas presents.
The big star of this show was the iPhone 12 in a few different sizes and features combinations. All of the 12 models will have 5G wireless networking. They brought out Verizon to pimp their network. They claimed “4.0Gbps” using millimeter-wave radios. These 58Ghz radios only work in the open air, and I have had experience working near gear like that technology in the 60Ghz range that gives me headaches. It’s “turning the frogs” type stuff. If they use more frequency bands with better radios, then you should see better speeds. They even have some software that only turns on the 5G radio when you are actually using a lot of data and puts everything else through LTE to save battery.
Next, they are offering two sizes under both the normal 12 model and the 12 pro model. The iPhone 12 has a 6.1” OLED display, and a new iPhone 12 mini with a 5.4” OLED display. I am guessing the demand for an updated smaller phone for people who only have skinny jeans or kids and women was high enough for them to get one out. Over on the Pro line, you get iPhone 12 Pro with a 6.1” OLED display and the iPhone 12 Pro Max with a 6.7” OLED display. All of these have their “Super Retina XDR” marketing, but the OLED displays should look really nice up close.
All of the phones got a new processer chip, the A14 that is supposed to be super much better than anyone else. (Lol, the spell checker didn’t like that sentence.) Basically, smaller transistors let them put more power into the chip with better GPU, image processing, machine learning, and lower power. With Apple controlling everything, just expect everything to be just a little more snappy and work without a problem. They use this chip to do a lot of work to make taking photos look better along with recording videos.
That takes us to the cameras. A lot of time was spent showing the camera on both lines of phones. Things like better low light photos and video with improved sensors and lens systems, then sending the image to be processed using HDR with the fancy new A14 chip. The standard 12 has a wide and ultra-wide and front camera. All use the extra processing for better photos from the front.
The 12 Pro has a wide, ultra-wide, telephoto, front, and they added LiDAR to help with low light photos and video. The LiDAR can also be used for 3D scanning, but they mostly push it for pictures. On the 12 Pro Max, they also increased the wide camera’s size for even better video. Also, in the 12 Pros, you can use ProRAW along with the image processing and video recording in Dolby Vision. There was a few bits in there about how you could use the 12 Pros cameras to record movies, but we know most people will just be recording random stuff in their lives.
The normal 12 is aluminum with thinner bezels and glass front and back. The 12 Pro is stainless steel with glass front and back. There are some different colors for both lines. Normal has black, white, red, light green, and navy blue. Pro has graphite, white, gold, and pacific blue. They also kept up with the waterproofing, making the pro line even more sealed, so you won’t have to worry about dumping your water on it. Both phones come with a new glass called “Ceramic Shield.” It is some new way of hardening the glass while keeping it clear. They still sell cases that I will get into later, so even they think you need something to protect your phone from falling and breaking.
That takes us to accessories, and they are cheaping out and not giving you as many. The claim is it will save all kinds of waste, and they can make the packaging smaller (my iPhone 11 had a lot of extra space under the power adapter they could have already gotten rid of). The phone will now only come with a USB-C to Lightning cable, rather than make everyone happy and use a USB-C connector like everyone else. The headphones and charger are gone, and they are pushing for “just use the ones you already have” or buy the AirPods that make them a lot of money.
They are getting one thing right with charging. They now improved the wireless charging to “snap” or MagSafe to your phone. So you get a better charge, and it let them use the magnets to sell magnetic cases for protection and a magnetic card wallet. There were images of a new multi-device charger for all things Apple and an in-car charger, but those are not on the website or talked about much.
So the big take away, don’t buy a new phone a week before they announce a new one. The new iPhone 12 now has “5G”, some improvements to cameras, processers, and charging, all in a smaller box. I have set my 11 up to be returned, and I will be getting the iPhone 12 Pro Max because I like all the extra screen size, memory, and cameras. They are not releasing the Pro Max and mini for another month. They gave no reason for that. Some rumor sites even talked about how this release is way late too. Below is a table of prices and release dates for sizes. If you want to support my site and help me pay for gadgets, take a look at my Savings & Support Page for ways to help.
|Model||Price / Storage||Price / Storage||Price / Storage||Screen Size||Order Date|
|12 mini||$749 / 64GB||$779 / 128GB||$879 / 256GB||5.4 inch||11/06/2020|
|12 normal||$829 / 64GB||$879 / 128GB||$979 / 256GB||6.1 inch||10/16/2020|
|12 Pro||$999 / 128GB||$1099 / 256GB||$1299 / 512GB||6.1 inch||10/16/2020|
|12 Pro Max||$1099 / 128GB||$1199 / 256GB||$1399 / 512GB||6.9 inch||11/06/2020|