Apple has finally launched its new iPhone 12 and it’s packed of full new features. Should you get ready to upgrade from your iPhone 11? iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 is set to be the question on many people’s lips over the coming weeks, as they decide whether to upgrade to Apple’s latest flagship phone or pick up 2019’s device at a more affordable price. Let’s have a look at 5 important differences from iPhone 11.
1. 5G is here
Arguably the biggest new addition for the whole iPhone 12 range, 5G has been rumoured for ages and it’s finally here. We’ve seen a load of Android 5G phones this year, with the next-gen connectivity tech coming to phones at all price-points, so it’s good to see Apple catch up.
You’ll find 5G on all available iPhones, however you will need to be in a 5G area and have a suitable 5G contract to access these faster speeds. If you’re in the UK, all the big networks (Vodafone, EE, Three, o2 etc) has 5G services live and they have been improving steadily ever since many of them went live over a year ago.
While the iPhone 11 is no slouch when it comes to data speeds, it is limited to 4G networks. While we wouldn’t say 5G alone is a reason to update yet – at least not until it’s available in more areas – it is good to know your device will be future-proof for the next few years.
We’re curious as to whether the addition of 5G will affect the battery life of the iPhone 12. Rumours have suggested Apple ditched the idea of a 120Hz display as having it alongside 5G would have cost too much when it came to endurance.
2. OLED all around
Another big upgrade for the iPhone 12 over the iPhone 11 is in its display. While the notch is still sticking around to house that selection of sensors required for accurate FaceID, there has been a big change in the panel tech.
The iPhone 12 now has an OLED panel, which is a notable upgrade over the LCD that sits on the iPhone 11. The new 6.1-inch OLED should offer brighter, more vivid colours and perfect blacks. Apple said the iPhone 12 has a Super Retina Display XDR, with 1200 nits of brightness and full support for multiple HDR formats.
3. A welcome design upgrade
Apple has finally updated its design blueprint that debuted with the iPhone X. We’ve had a number of years of the curvy iPhone look and while it has changed slightly each year, the iPhone 12 takes things up a notch.
The iPhone 12 looks more like the iPhone 5 than the iPhone 11. It has a whiff of the iPad Pro about it, with flat metallic sides and back. While we haven’t got our hands on the phone yet, it certainly looks good in the pictures. During the launch event, Apple said the iPhone 12 is 11% thinner; 15% smaller and 16% lighter than the iPhone 11. It has also a new tougher glass coating, which Apple says offers 4x better drop protection.
Neither phone has a headphone jack and with the iPhone 12 you don’t get a charger or even a handy pair of Lightning EarPods in the box. Thankfully both are IP68 rated and charge via either the Lightning port on the bottom or wirelessly using the new MagSafe tech and various accessories. Both phones are available in a range of colours.
4. A14 vs A13 – Bionic face-off
Apple first introduced the A14 Bionic chipset inside the iPad Air 4, and since that reveal we’ve been expecting it to sit at the heart of the iPhone 12.
The A14 Bionic is the first 5nm chip inside a mobile device, and as such should offer far greater efficiency with improvements to battery life. We’ll, of course, get superior performance in terms of processor and graphics, and the A14 skills should also aid some of the new camera tricks.
Apple said the A14 packs a 6-core GPU, 4-core GPU and a 16-core neural engine that is 80% faster. During the keynote we saw a demo of a new League of Legends title which showed off the chipset’s graphical prowess.
In terms of battery life, we’ll have to really test the iPhone 12 to learn how long it’ll last. It’ll be interesting to see if 5G affects the stamina and whether the more efficient chips offsets that somewhat. We managed to go more than a day with the iPhone 11 so hopefully it’s at least on par with that.
5. The iPhone 12 should have a better camera than iPhone 11
The iPhone 11 has a dual-camera array on the back, with the Pro version expanding that to three sensors. Both of those sensors are 12-megapixels, with one having a wide lens and the other an ultra wide lens. There’s OIS, a night mode and 4k 60fps video recording.
For the iPhone 12, Apple is keeping that dual sensor array. While it looks like the ultra wide is the same, the main 12-megapixel wide now has a faster f/1.6 aperture and a 7 element lens for sharper shots. You can now use the night mode on both sensors, and the wider aperture allows for brighter video.
When are the new iPhones coming out?
Apple isn’t known for having confusing pre-order and release schedules. The iPhone X and iPhone XR launch was the first time the company staggered the launch of its new iPhones.
In 2020, many products have been delayed from several manufacturers, with Apple’s iPhone event even coming later than usual. These delays have affected when we are getting the new iPhones this year and have led to three separate release dates for the four new 2020 iPhones. Let us provide some clarity on the rather confusing situation.
The regular iPhone 12 is available to pre-order from Friday (October 16) and will be released on October 23. iPhone 12 Pro is the other model that will share these dates.
For iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, you’ll be able to pre-order the new phones from November 6 – with the release date landing on November 13.
Ahead of the launch, rumours emerged we could see separate release dates for different iPhone 12 models. However, many logically assumed this would mean an earlier release date for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini then a later release date for iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
A later launch for the more high-end devices would’ve been reminiscent of that later launch of iPhone XS release. For as yet unclear reasons, circumstances have led to this different and rather muddled release schedule for Apple’s 2020 iPhones.
iPhone 12 colours: Which colours can you get?
Apple has been getting particularly jazzy with its regular iPhone model colours in recent years and iPhone 12 colours are no different, while Pro models opt for just one colour switcheroo. Here are all the colours you can get for iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
What colours does the iPhone 12 come in?
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini are available to buy in Black, White, Product Red, Green and Blue – the same as last year with one exception.
The new colour added to the iPhone line-up is Blue, which we got a taste of with the earlier reveal of the iPad Air 4. The shades are identical to last year but, due to the industrial redesign of iPhone 12, they have all been given a new lease of life.
What colours does the iPhone 12 Pro come in?
iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are available in some less adventurous colours but stylish nonetheless – these variations being Gold, Silver, Graphite and Blue.
Like iPhone 12, the new colour addition to the Pro line-up is the Blue variant. Ahead of the launch, it seemed like the new dark blue may only come to the Pro line-up – replacing the Green of last year – however, it is available on the regular model too.
The Green colour was a bit of a departure of the understated colours of the iPhone X and iPhone X of previous years so many may be sad to see it go, even if dark blue fans are quids in.