It might be happening a bit later than usual, but Apple has just announced the iPhone 12. Featuring the same 6.1-inch display size as the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR before it, the latest “main” iPhone — and likely the model most people will gravitate toward — is making the transition from an LCD screen to OLED. And as rumored, the phone has flat aluminum sides for an overall look that more closely matches the iPad Pro and iPad Air (plus the iPhone 4 from years ago).
The iPhone 12 will come in black, white, blue, red, and green. Pricing starts at $829. Preorders start this Friday, and the iPhone 12 will be available on October 23rd. For storage, you can pick between 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Aside from the flat sides, it still largely resembles the iPhone 11. There’s still a notch at the top that houses Apple’s Face ID technology, though the bezels around the screen have been reduced — another perk of the OLED switch. (Crushingly, the combo Touch ID / power button from the new iPad Air didn’t make it to the iPhone this year.) Around back, the iPhone 12 has two cameras housed in a matte glass squircle, which makes for a nice contrast with the rest of the glossy back panel.
The iPhone 12’s OLED screen has a peak brightness of 1200 nits and supports Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HLG. The glass is coated with what Apple describes as a “ceramic shield” for better durability when dropped. Water resistance has also been improved.
Apple’s latest iPhone is powered by the company’s new A14 Bionic processor, which the company says is the first smartphone chip built on a 5nm process, leading to improved performance and efficiency. Apple claims it’s “up to 50 percent faster” than the leading chips in Android smartphones. Same goes for the GPU, which Apple says is the best in any mobile phone.
The iPhone 12 represents Apple’s first major foray into 5G cellular technologies. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg was on hand during the event to announce the nationwide launch of the carrier’s sub-6 5G network. Apple says it has designed the iPhone 12 lineup to achieve ideal network performance while balancing battery life. A “smart data mode” uses LTE when your current activity doesn’t demand 5G speeds. Apple says it has tested 5G performance with 100 carriers across 30 countries to ensure a smooth launch. The iPhone supports both millimeter wave and sub-6 5G. The former offers ultra-fast speeds (but spotty coverage), while the latter provides a more consistent signal — but at speeds that very between good LTE and 500Mbps.
The iPhone 12 has a 12-megapixel f/1.6 main camera — the fastest aperture in any iPhone yet — and a 12MP ultrawide. Apple says low-light performance has improved, and the company has continued its advancements in computational photography to maximize detail and dynamic range. The front camera on the iPhone 12 is gaining Night Mode, as well.
Apple has also sought to improve wireless charging on the iPhone 12, which contains a “MagSafe” system with built-in magnets to guarantee that the iPhone properly lines up with supported MagSafe accessories. Cases, charges, and other accessories snap onto the iPhone 12 magnetically. Apple is introducing a dual wireless charger for the iPhone and Apple Watch that utilizes the new MagSafe tech.
As rumored, Apple is removing the charging brick from its iPhone 12 boxes, a move it says is meant to push forward the company’s environmental goals.
Alongside the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, Apple also introduced a smaller 5.4-inch model that it calls the iPhone 12 mini.
Correction: Apple originally announced the iPhone 12 would cost $799. The MSRP is actually $829. That lower price only applies after a $30 discount from specific carriers.