Apple steps into 5G with the new iPhone 12 range

Since its introduction in 2007, the iPhone has always launched during Apple’s global reveal events in California. For the first time ever, this year saw an all-virtual reveal, delivered solely through Apple’s digital channels. But amongst everything, it was another Apple first that caught our eye for 2020 – their first steps into 5G.

On Friday 13th October, Apple revealed its new 5G iPhone range with the launch of the iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. Available in a range of colours, including a new Pacific Blue, each device boasts incredible cameras, gorgeous screens and a best-in-class OS.

So, what are the key takeaways from the event?

For iPhone, 5G just got real

The Apple iPhone 12 range is the manufacturer’s first step into the world of 5G connectivity. Apple claim that 5G will transform iPhone with accelerated wireless speeds and better performance on congested networks. iPhones also carry the most 5G bands of any smartphone, meaning that you’re more likely to pick up a 5G signal in more places.

Apple also takes 5G a step further with Smart Data Mode, a feature that adapts depending on the requirements of the device. For example, when your iPhone doesn’t need 5G speeds, for example when it’s running updates in the background, it automatically uses LTE to save battery life. And when you do require 5G speeds, to download a large file for instance, iPhone will pick up 5G wherever it’s available.

It’s worth remembering that 5G in full flight will allow faster download and upload speeds, be more reliable, with less dropped calls, and empower a truly mobile workforce. With options across our full mobile proposition, DWS has got a package to suit you and your customers.

A change in design that’s also familiar

The iPhone 12 design has shifted quite significantly this year, with its shape likely to be familiar to older iPhone users who remember 2012’s iPhone 5. Most noticeably, Apple has replaced the curved edges with flat ones, and encased both parts of the device with a steel or aluminium (model dependant) band. The screen has been updated too, now coming with a Ceramic Shield, replacing the standard glass found in older models, infused with nano-ceramic crystals and offers 4x better drop performance.

The back of the iPhone is still glass, however, and the devices come in a range of stylish colours. iPhone 12 and 12 Mini users can choose from a glossy blue, green, black, white or red finish, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max is available in Silver, Graphite, Gold and a new Pacific Blue. Both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models offer IP68 water and dust resistance and can handle submersion in 6 metres of water for up to 30 minutes.

Next-level photography

Photography has always been a focus for Apple and this year is no different with all variations of the iPhone 12 getting upgrades. The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini come with a two-camera setup, missing the telephoto lens found on the Pro models. The iPhone 12 Pro has three 12-megapixel cameras on the rear – these being the main, telephoto and ultra-wide cameras. Each has its own features that help users capture the very best in smartphone photography.

In even more exciting news, Night Mode and HDR comes to both the rear-facing and front-facing cameras, allowing you to capture brilliantly clear shots even in low light conditions. Apple says that the new Wide camera brings in 27% more light to help capture detail when using Night Mode. And it’s smart too, kicking in automatically when it detects low light, while still maintaining clarity on pictures.

Furthermore, the new iPhone 12 range comes with Smart HDR 3. It sounds technical, but in layman’s terms, it’s just a way of measuring the crispness and detail captured in photos. Smart HDR 3 balances the elements in a shot, bringing out detail in almost every element, from trees in the background to skin tone and textures in the main subject. It also benefits from machine learning, recognising scenes and adjusting sharpness, colour and white balance where needed.

On each of the two Pro models, you’ll also get a LiDAR scanner which helps measure precise depth maps of a scene. This is great for augmented reality, but also works to improve autofocus in low light scenes. In fact, Apple states that LiDAR-assisted autofocus is six times faster in low light and improves depth calculations when using Night More for portraiture.

For videographers, the ability to film 4K HDR video with Dolby Vision might swing you to team Apple, if you’re not there already. The Pro models allow for filming in Dolby Vision up to 60fps and also carry a built-in editing suite, similar to that found on the Sony Xperia 1 II.

MagSafe – taking accessories up a notch

MagSafe has come to iPhone. In its simplest form, it’s a set of magnets under the casing on the back of the iPhone 12 Pro. It is inspired by the magnetic power adaptor supplied with selected Macbooks, which ensure the charging cable disconnects from the device when pulled to prevent the entire laptop tumbling to the floor if someone were to trip over the cable, for example.

Although it’s the same premise, it works a bit differently for the iPhone 12 Pro, ensuring it holds firm when you snap on an accessory. Said accessories are currently limited, with only a charger, case and wallet add-on available at launch.

One of the key immediate benefits to the MagSafe charger is that the magnets align the phone right in the centre of the charging pad, and because the iPhone 12 Pro knows it’s a compatible charger, it’ll juice up your phone with twice the wireless power of last year.

Verdict

The iPhone 12 range is a substantial upgrade on its predecessor, the iPhone 11, with the added bonus of 5G. Great design and cameras are backed up by excellent software, with iOS14 on the new range, and the price points are more flexible too, with the iPhone 12 Mini suited to those looking at mid-tier devices.

One downside, depending on how you look at it, is the new devices no longer come with chargers (USB aside) or headphones in the box. The argument for this is it will reduce packaging, waste and carbon emissions, but for those completely new to iPhone this might be a problem as they likely won’t already own the accessories.

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