Today, Apple announced four new phones, and while the new iPhone Mini (and it’s brother the iPhone 12) might seem like the standout, Apple has you covered if you’re a fan of larger form factors. In addition to the phones mentioned above, Apple announced the new $999 iPhone 12 Pro and $1,00 iPhone 12 Pro Max.
A Tweaked Design Years in the Making
The iPhone lineup hasn’t seen a new design since the introduction of the iPhone X. The iPhone XR and 11 series largely followed the same design language, and at times you could confuse them for each other.
But that changes to some extent with the iPhone 12 line, though it’s still clearly an iPhone. This time around, Apple went with a stainless-steel frame design harkening back to the iPhone 4 age, and it tweaked the camera layout ever so slightly. It’s hard not to see the new flat edges immediately.
The metal frame enables a new series of accessories called MagSafe. MagSafe accessories, like wallets and wireless chargers, will magnetically attach to the iPhone, so you get it in the right place every time. That’s pretty helpful with wireless charging, where positioning makes a big difference in fast charging.
Across the line, this marks the first time iPhones can access 5G networks as well. With that inclusion, you’ll get faster speeds when you’re on the go—if you have 5G in your area yet. If you’re a Verizon customer, you’ll be pleased to know the iPhone series supports the company’s faster 5G Ultra Wide Band service.
The latest iPhone series uses a new display material from Corning, called Ceramic Shield. Apple promises that it’s four times better in drop performance, thanks to ceramic crystals buried in the glass. Apple says Ceramic Shield is tougher than any other smartphone glass.
The main differences between the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are, of course, price and screen size, and to a smaller extent cameras. The iPhone 12 Pro tips the scales at $999 with its 6.1 inch OLED Display, while the Pro Max jumps up to $1,099 and a 6.7-inch display. As always, you can spend more on storage with choices ranging from 128 GB to 512 GB.
The Best iPhone Cameras Yet
If you want the best iPhone cameras, you’ll need to step up to the iPhone Pro series. While the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini work off a dual-lens system, the iPhone Pro series gets a triple array system.
That means you can move between wide, ultra-wide, or telephoto lenses. For the iPhone 12 Pro, that you get 12-megapixel wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide camera lenses. But the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets slightly better cameras, with bigger sensors and more optical zoom.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max also introduces sensor-shift image stabilization technology, which stabilizes the sensor instead of the heavy lens. That leads to clearer photos, thanks to the ability to make 5,000 micro-adjustments per second.
Apple iPhone Pro phones also get access to the company’s new Apple ProRaw format, which combines Apple’s computational photography with the control of the Raw format. In theory, that should give you better-looking photos upfront, but retain the ability to make changes later that you get with RAW.
If you step up to Apple iPhone Pro, you also get HDR Video recording for the first time. It’s also the first smartphone camera to record in Dolby Vision HDR, even when recording 4K 60fps video. Additionally, Night Mode is coming to new lenses. You can use it with the ultra-wide lens and the front-facing lens now, for more dynamic shots and better portraits even when lighting isn’t ideal. And if you have a tripod handy, you can use Night Mode Time Lapse.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max also pickup a LiDAR scanner. The scanner can fully scan a room, subject, or nearly anything else to get a better 3D view of the world. That not only helps Augmented Reality apps, but it can help with low-light photos and videos.
Preorder Time is Coming
You can preorder the iPhone 12 Pro on October 16, and it releases October 23. The iPhone 12 Pro Max goes up for preorder November 5 and releases November 23.
You can get the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max in four stainless-steel finishes: graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue.