Apple has officially announced its 2020 flagship iPhones: the $999 iPhone 12 Pro and $1,099 12 Pro Max, featuring support for 5G and a new squared-off design that’s reminiscent of the iPhone 4. It’s also the first major redesign for Apple’s full-screen smartphones since it introduced the bezel-less design with the iPhone X in 2017.
Both the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max are bigger than last year’s 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, in particular, is notable for taking the crown as Apple’s biggest phone to date. The Pro models feature a stainless steel design (instead of the aluminum on the iPhone 12) in four colors: gray, stainless steel, gold, and a new blue.
The new iPhone 12 Pro models will feature Apple’s A14 Bionic chip — first introduced on the refreshed iPad Air last month — which VP Greg Joswiak has previously said was the “most powerful chip ever made” by Apple. The new chip is Apple’s first to use a 5nm process (instead of the 7nm process used on last year’s A13 Bionic). Apple says that both the new six-core CPU and the four-core GPU are the fastest ever, with performance that the company claims is up to 50 percent faster than any other phone.
One of the biggest new additions on this year’s models is 5G. The iPhone 12 Pro will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G, meaning that both phones should work with all the various types of 5G networks from all three major US carriers. Apple says that it offers “the most 5G bands of any smartphone” promising that it’ll support a wide array of cellular carriers around the world and their various 5G standards.
Also new — and exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro models — is a LIDAR sensor, which, similar to the iPad Pro, will be used for additional AR effects. Apple also says that the LIDAR scanner will be used to help focus in low-light situations, making autofocus for low-light photography up to six times faster. It also enables Night Mode portrait photography shots.
The new iPhone 12 Pro models also offer “Ceramic Shield” technology, which Apple says offers glass that’s tougher than any other smartphone display, with four times better “drop performance” when it comes to preventing your phone from cracking when dropped.
Like last year’s iPhone 11 Pro models, Apple is once again offering a triple-camera system on both the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, with 12-megapixel wide, telephoto, and ultrawide camera lenses. The wide camera now offers a faster f/1.6 aperture, which Apple says offers 27 percent improved low-light performance, while the 52mm focal telephoto now offers a 4x optical zoom range.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max builds out the camera system even further. There’s a new 12MP telephoto with a 65mm focal length that can optically zoom in up to 2.5 times. There’s a new wide camera with an f/1.6 aperture and a new OIS system. The wide sensor is also 47 percent larger, which combines with the lower aperture for 87 percent better low-light performance.
Apple also teased a new feature it calls “Apple ProRAW” that will be available on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max later this year. The company says that it’ll offer existing computational photography benefits like its Deep Fusion and Smart HDR along with the flexibility of RAW photos. The format will be available across all four cameras and will let users adjust things like sharpening, color highlights, and more while still taking advantage of Apple’s existing photography enhancements.
The new iPhone 12 Pro phones will also be able to shoot in HDR video, a first for the product line, including support for shooting directly in Dolby Vision HDR. The iPhone 12 will also be able to edit Dolby Vision HDR video straight from the Photos app.
Like the iPhone 12 and 12 mini, the two iPhone 12 Pro models will also be compatible with Apple’s newly announced MagSafe wireless chargers and accessories, which offer magnetically attached cases, charging pads, and even attachments like wallets.
Apple will be removing its included USB wall bricks and wired EarPod headphones from the box on the new iPhones as part of the company’s ongoing environmental goals, a change that mirrors the company’s move in removing wall bricks from its Apple Watch smartwatches earlier this year. Apple will, however, still include a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box for charging.
The iPhone 12 Pro will start at $999, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max will start at $1,099, with 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. Preorders for the iPhone 12 Pro will start on Friday, October 16th and will ship a week later on October 23rd, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max will see preorders on November 6th and ship on November 13th.