At last year’s Apple Keynote, the monstrously valuable, $ 2-trillion tech company revealed its googly-eyed, camera-forward smartphones. We’re calling them that for the trio of cameras bugging out from the back of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the duo on the back of the regular iPhone 11. Then, this past spring, hell year that it’s been, Apple debuted the iPhone SE, a budget-friendly (relatively speaking) smartphone with a single camera and pared-down features. So many iPhones, every year, like clockwork.
Now, at this October Keynote, the second Keynote Apple’s put on this year—the first Keynote in September revealed the Apple Watch Series 6 and the next generation of iPads—Apple introduced the next class of iPhone, which is now 5G enabled: the iPhone 12. There are four sizes of this new phone. An abundance of options.
Here’s all the important stuff Apple revealed about the iPhone 12 with 5G, so you can chose to spend your money wisely. (Or stupidly. Your call; we’re not the boss of you.)
The iPhone 12
The iPhone 12, starting at $ 799, melds the old with the new. It has more angular bevels, similar to the iPad Pro or the new iPad Air. The aluminum frame allows the screen to lay flush with the bevels, which may seem like a small difference, but should drastically help with screen shatter and case protection. That, partnered with its ceramic shield, which appears to tap the same idea behind bulletproof glass, should make the iPhone 12 actually tough to break. And like the iPhone 11 before it, it has two cameras on the back.
iPhone 12 also has the Super Retina XDR visual capabilities that we’ve seen in some of the newly announced iPads, allowing for more true tone colors, darker blacks, and just generally a better picture. It comes in several colors, including black, silver, green, blue, and Product Red. It has a 6.1-inch screen. Pre-ordering opens Friday, October 16.
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5G With iPhone 12
Like cameras were the big selling point of last year’s crop of new iPhones, 5G is this year’s. To be abundantly clear: Apple is not the first smartphone company to hawk 5G. In fact, Google, Samsung, and the others have already debuted their 5G smartphones. Apple just went last in the rotation. To sum up 5G: It’s faster, like LTE was to 4G. And though 5G coverage isn’t everywhere this early in the game, it’s spreading.
Apple’s iOS is getting an update for 5G. Most importantly, it’s getting a system that monitors if 5G is needed with each app and activity. If 5G isn’t necessary it will default to LTE, then automatically switch back, similar to how a dual-band mesh network automatically switches between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz based on your activity. (If you’re streaming in 4K, you’ll automatically draw from the 5 GHz, but if you’re just online shopping, chances are you’ll be on 2.4 GHz.) There are certain activities that just don’t require faster speeds. Apple also claims the new software will allow apps to work with 5G without using more battery power, which technically makes sense. If you use faster WiFi, your computer doesn’t necessarily die faster, but if it downloads more quickly, it could be using more of its processing power.
5G’s a new beast, so how this iOS update will work in practice is yet to be seen, but it’s good to know Apple is thinking about it regardless.
Thanks for tuning into Magnet Alert, a column inside of Esquire that is dedicated to magnets. There is, in fact, a magnet on the back of the iPhone 12. Onto this magnet you can attach: an Apple cardholder, some cases, a new magnetic wireless charger, and third-party car mounts. Or your favorite fridge magnet! All kidding aside, we love magnets in tech; they help with organization and packaging as the world becomes more and more cord free.
The iPhone 12 Mini
It’s small, only 5.4 inches diagonally. The iPhone 12 Mini, starting at $ 699, is nothing more than the iPhone 12 in a smaller size—same features, same cameras, same screen quality, same magnets. If you can compromise on screen size, by all means, have at it. It’s available for pre-order on Friday, October 16.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
They’re bigger. Significantly bigger, with a 6.1-inch screen for the iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch screen for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Pros come in four metallic colors, and don’t worry, they also have magnets build in. Apple concentrated its camera upgrades on the Pro models, too, with new editing and image-capture features for the triple cameras. The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $ 999, with pre-ordering opening up Friday, October 16.
Beyond confusing us with screen sizes and pro/max/mini monikers, Apple also announced a new HomePod speaker, a cool-enough looking smart speaker, but really, nothing more than yet another smart speaker. Now, back to Amazon Prime Day.
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