Apple iPhone 12 with 5G, HomePod Mini and more: Everything announced today

2020-10-13-11-06-15

Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Another year, another iPhone. (Did I say that last year?) This is the iPhone’s last year of tweendom before it hits teenhood: Apple announced its four-model iPhone 12 line on Tuesday, the first major revamp of the iPhone’s design since 2017’s iPhone X, which introduced face unlocking and better screen technology. This year they sport an array of colors, more models and 5G wireless support across the lineup. In addition to the HomePod Mini smart speaker, we were treated to the MagSafe wireless charging system for the iPhone and a stealth release of the $50 Beats Flex wireless headphones.

Apple’s late to the 5G party (if you can call it “late” when the party’s just started), and incorporating the new wireless tech poses potential problems for Apple, but it could still be a big win for the company and carriers. And experts are already worrying about the new design’s affect on repairability, given that Apple already ranks pretty low on that score.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg came out to talk about the iPhone on its 5G Ultra Wideband network and its expansion plans, including turning on its nationwide 5G network. The iPhone 12 has a custom antenna design and, according to Apple, a boatload of testing. All models support mmWave 5G, at least in the US.


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Apple updated its wireless charging with MagSafe for iPhone, a new charging coil design with a magnet that allows any compatible accessory — such as cases and other docks — to snap onto the back.  

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Thinner, smaller and lighter, the iPhone 12 incorporates the new OLED Super Retina XDR display, boasting 460 ppi pixel density and Dolby Vision HDR support. It has a new Ceramic Shield protection layer on the screen as well. It uses the A14 Bionic, the same chip that’s in the new iPad Air with improved AI processing. It’s got a new camera, of course, a dual setup with an f2.4 ultrawide camera and f1.6 wide, Night Mode available on all cameras and night time lapse. It starts at $799 in the US, £799 in the UK and AU$1,349 in Australia.

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Both the 6.1-inch Pro and 6.7-inch Pro Max get premium materials and three cameras, as well as lidar for depth mapping, AR and low-light autofocus. The Pro Max has a new sensor on its third telephoto camera with sensor shift image stabilization, which is popular in regular cameras. It also has a new format, Apple ProRaw, which synthesizes computational photography and applies processing as parameters, so you can change adjustments like sharpness after the fact. For video, it can record 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR. The Pro starts at $999 (£999, AU$1,699), with the Pro Max at $1,099 (£1,099, AU$1,849).

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This 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini has the same features as the iPhone 12 — just smaller, thinner and lighter. It starts at $699 in the US, £699 in the UK and AU$1,199 in Australia (the same as last year’s iPhone 11).

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HomePod Mini

Available Nov. 15 for $99

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Apple’s tinier smart speaker looks like a restaurant table candle. The new Mini has a completely redesigned audio architecture and uses “computational audio” to automatically adjust sound characteristics. It can autopair with your iPhone when it comes into proximity, and of course has deep integration with Siri. It costs $99 (£99, AU$149).


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