The iPhone 12 Is Coming — Here's What To Know

It comes in different sizes, too.

by Mia Mercado and Kaitlyn Wylde
The new iPhone12 series comes in new colors and sizes.

During October's highly anticipated Apple event, the tech giant announced its 2020 smartphones: the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Rumors have been swirling about the possible features these latest models will entail — everything from better screens to 5G capabilities have been thrown around. If you’re wondering whether to upgrade your old iPhone, here’s what you need to know.

The iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro

It's not just the iPhone 12: there are four different models, spanning three different screen sizes.

  • A 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini (from $699)
  • A 6.1-inch iPhone 12, the same screen size as the iPhone 11 (from $799)
  • A 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro (from $999)
  • A 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, a bigger screen than the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max (from $1,099).

The company pointed out the iPhone 12 is 11% thinner, 15% smaller, and 16% lighter than the iPhone 11, despite being doubly powerful. Aside from screen size, the main difference between these four models will be camera quality.

iPhone 12 Camera Quality

Both the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 feature dual-lens camera set-ups on the back, as with the iPhone 11. Despite the initial discomfort with the iPhone's three-lens camera, Apple is continuing to include the feature in its higher-end models. Both the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max have triple-lens cameras arrays on the back, like the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Wide and Ultra Wide camera lenses increase the camera's ability to capture low light photos with less noise and brighter results. What's more, Night Mode is now in the front-facing camera, and available with the Time Lapse feature, so you can take selfies in a dark restaurant without calling attention to yourself with a flash.

The iPhone 12 Pro is now the first camera to record in Dolby Vision HDR. While high-dynamic range (HDR) was previously available in for photos, bringing HDR to the moving image is a serious upgrade. Not only can you shoot high definition imaging on your phone, but you can edit and share via Dolby Vision without having to export the footage to a computer. Though if you want to do that, thanks to 5G (more on that later), you can export massive video files in seconds.

iPhone 12 Colors & Durability

Unlike the more recent models, these newest iPhones have a stainless steel frame similar to the first-generation iPhone SE. You'll also be able to choose from a range of brand new colors: black, white, red, green, and blue. The red is branded Apple's (PRODUCT)Red, which donates proceeds to fighting HIV and AIDS. For iPhone 12 Pro models, you can choose from stainless steel finishes of silver, graphite, gold and blue.

Improved screen function is also protected by an improved screen. Apple introduced Ceramic Shield, which improves toughness, making it stronger than any other smart phone glass on the market, per the company. In performance testing, Apple claims the screen was four times less likely to crack than prior iPhone screens. The iPhone 12 is also more water and dust resistant than any other model.

iPhone 12 Works With 5G

All four new models support 5G wireless service. The company says that 5G will function better during busy network hours and locations and have less breaks in service and delays. They will be doubling 5G accessibility in public venues, as iOS 14 runs optimally on 5G. And, with more 5G connectivity, people can rely less on hotspots and or potentially WiFi connections when in public.

Both iPhone 12 Pro models are $50 less expensive than their Pro-model predecessors. This is a notable change given that most phones that support 5G are priced higher than their non-5G counterparts. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and S20 Ultra start at a price point of $1,299 and $1,399 respectively. Apple's least expensive phone that supports 5G, a 64GB iPhone 12 mini, starts at $699. The most expensive new model, a 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max, is $1,399.

Of course, that lower price will come at a cost: These new phones will not come with the standard EarPods or a wall charger. You will have to buy these separately, a change that Apple says will actually reduce the carbon footprint of the iPhone packaging. A pair of EarPods and an Apple power adapter each cost $19, but if you already have AirPods or a power adapter that's compatible, you don't necessarily have to make this purchase.

iPhone 12 Introduces MagSafe

Apple added a super strong magnet to the back of the iPhone 12 to make it more efficient at connecting with wireless chargers, and to also give it compatibility with magnetic accessories, like cases and wallets. And, the magnet is strong enough to connect the iPhone to a wireless charger without taking off most covers. Expect third party developers to come up with lots of creative magnet-friendly accessories in due time.

iPhone 12 Will Be Available For The Holidays

The iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro will be available for pre-order on October 16, and will ship on October 23. You can pre-order the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone Pro Max on November 6, and they will ship on November 13.