Apple today announced the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro, the successors to the iPhone 11 Pro lineup from last year. The iPhone 12 Pro lineup brings major improvements in the camera, performance, and connectivity department.
New Design and Bigger Display
Apple has tweaked the design of the iPhone 12 Pro lineup. The phones now feature an iPad Pro-like squarish chassis made from stainless steel with a mirror-like finish. The biggest improvement here is that the iPhone 12 Pro Max now comes with a bigger 6.7-inch display, up from the 6.5-inch display found on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The display size on the iPhone 12 Pro has also seen a bump from 5.8-inch to 6.1-inch. Apple has been able to reduce the bezel size which allowed it to increase the display size without increasing the overall dimensions in a big way.
Both devices continue to feature a Super Retina XDR display and there’s no 120Hz refresh rate here. The displays do support Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG. The display on the device is protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass which Apple says is the most durable cover glass ever and in its testing offered 4x better drop performance. There’s also improved IP68 certification rated for up to 6m depth now.
The iPhone 12 Pro lineup features a triple-camera setup as well as a LiDAR scanner. The camera performance of the devices has improved dramatically from last year, though this time there is a difference in camera setup between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max features a different 65mm 12MP telephoto lens that offers 2.5x optical zoom. It also features a bigger 12MP primary shooter that’s 47% larger with 1.7um large pixels. There’s also sensor-shift OIS for even better stabilization that allows for up to 2 seconds of handheld exposure time in low-light scenarios. These improvements allow the iPhone 12 Pro Max to capture better photos, especially in low-light scenarios.
As for the iPhone 12 Pro, it features a 12MP primary shooter with OIS and an f/1.6 aperture. The primary shooter uses a new 7P lens that offers better low-light performance. Both iPhones feature a 12MP ultra-wide shooter with 120-degree FoV and f/2.4 aperture.
Apple is also debuting Smart HDR3 and also improving Night Mode by adding support for the ultra-wide and the front selfie camera. The new iPhone 12 Pro models will be able to record better low-light videos and Apple is also introducing a Night mode Time-lapse.
Apple is also debuting Apple ProRAW for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max that will be available later this year. It will offer full creative controls to professional users over colors, contrast, and much more. This will allow pro users to post-process photos while still taking advantage of Apple’s Smart HDR3 and other processing. Apple is also creating an API for other third-party camera apps to take advantage of.
For video, Apple is adding 10-bit HDR video recording to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Additionally, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the first smartphones to record videos in Dolby Vision HDR at 4K60fps resolution. Users will also be able to edit Dolby Vision videos right on the phones itself.
Apple is debuting a LiDAR scanner on the iPhone 12 Pro lineup. Apart from using it for AR, Apple is using the LiDAR scanner for improving the camera performance. The company claims it helps improve autofocus performance by up to 6x in low-light scenarios, and it also allows the iPhone 12 Pro series to capture portrait photos in such situations.
The iPhone 12 Pro lineup uses the same A14 Bionic chip that Apple first debuted inside the iPad Air refresh announced last month. Apple says the A14 Bionic features 11.8 billion transistors and it is based on a 5nm fabrication process. The 6-core CPU of the chip offers a 40 percent boost in performance while the 4-core GPU brings about a 30 percent performance jump. The Neural Engine has also gotten a major boost and now boasts of 16 cores making it twice as fast as before. Lastly, the second-generation ML boosts machine learning calculations by 10 times.
Apple claims the new CPU is 50% faster than other smartphone CPUs in the market. The GPU is also up to 50% faster than any other smartphone GPU. With such a massive performance bump across the board, the iPhone 12 lineup is once again going to set a new bar in terms of performance. The faster Neural Engine, ISP, and ML will also greatly benefit apps that are increasingly relying on them for complex and specific tasks.
No Charger and EarPods
In a bid to reduce the environmental waste, Apple will no longer be bundling the EarPods and a power adapter with the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro max in the box. This will allow the company to reduce the carbon emission and also reduce the size of its retail packaging. On the plus side, Apple is going to bundle a USB-C to Lightning cable with the entire iPhone 12 series now.
Smart Data Mode and 5G
Apple is debuting a new Smart Data Mode on the iPhone 12 series. Using this feature, the new iPhones automatically switch to LTE to save on battery life but switch back to 5G when an application demands it. In its testing, Apple has seen the iPhone 12 reach download speeds as high as 4Gbps. On LTE, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max offers download speeds of up to 2Gbps.
MagSafe for iPhone
With the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple is debuting MagSafe for iPhone. The iPhones come with magnets inside that allow wireless chargers to auto-align themselves to the rear of the device. This also allows MagSafe chargers to automatically snap at the back of the device. The iPhone 12 Pro series can also charge at up to 15W speeds wirelessly. Apple is introducing a host of MagSafe accessories, with third-party case makers also expected to announce more such cases.
Price and Availability
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in Gold, Pacific Blue, Graphite, and Silver colors. The iPhone 12 Pro goes up from pre-order later this week, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max will arrive next month. Find the complete details on the price, availability, and release date of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max here. The devices will be available with 128GB base storage, with 256GB and 512GB being the other two options. Pricing starts from $999 for the iPhone 12 Pro and $1,099 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.