iPhone 12 mini
The mini (yes, Apple styles it with a lowercase ‘m’) is the baby of the family, with an aluminum frame wrapped around a 5.4-inch screen. That screen is larger than the 4.7-inch screen on the recently released iPhone SE, but the mini has a smaller overall body. (All hail the return of the small phone!) Technologically, it’s exactly the same as the bigger 12, just tinier, and $100 cheaper. Starts at $700. Pre-orders start November 6th, and shipping starts November 13th.
iPhone 12 Pro
Same 6.1-inch screen as the regular-fit iPhone 12, but the Pro (and Pro Max) get a surgical steel frame and more horsepower. There’s increased memory capacity: the Pro maxes out at 512GB of memory, where the Mini and 12 are capped at 256. The story with the Pro and Pro Max (below) are the upgraded cameras. There are still three lenses on the back —regular, ultra-wide angle, and a new 4x telephoto sensor—plus the selfie-cam sensor on the front, but they’ve all got some very geeky photo and video powers. The Pro and Pro Max can shoot video in HDR (which boosts the vibrancy and tonal range with the help of some math), including Dolby Vision HDR—and have the chips to handle on-the-fly editing of what will be massive files. Also the new LiDAR tech allows for prettier Portrait Mode portraits, faster autofocus in low light, and better 3D mapping in AR. If any of that makes sense to you, then congrats—you’re exactly who the Pro models were meant for.
You can get the Pro in four colors: gold, silver, graphite, and blue. Starts at $1,000. Pre-orders start on October 16th, shipping starts October 23rd.
iPhone 12 Pro Max
The Bryson DeChambeau of the iPhone 12 line. A 6.7-inch screen (which is a bit larger than the current iPhone 11 Pro Max’s screen) is one key differentiating factor from the iPhone 12 Pro. The other: its cameras have slightly larger sensors for improved photo and video quality. Comes in the same four colors as the Pro. Starts at $1,100. And you’ll have to wait longer: pre-orders start November 6th, and shipping starts November 13th.
The iPhone 12 Pro (inside spoon) and Pro Max (outside spoon)
The iPhone 12 Gets 5G! What’s 5G!
You implicitly know that 5G is better than 4G because it has one extra G. But what’s a single G worth when it comes to a mobile phone network? Theoretically, 100 times more data throughput, making downloads and uploads faster, streaming video and video calls more stable, and unlocking more data-intensive uses like streaming video games and 4K videos on the go. All iPhone 12 models support both versions of 5G, and Apple says it’s seen up to 3.5 gigabytes per second under “ideal conditions.” Reality dampens the hype a tad: though the four major mobile networks have already started rolling out their 5G networks, they’re neither comprehensive nor optimized. (As part of the iPhone 12 launch, Apple announced that Verizon is expanding its 5G coverage nationwide-ish to cover 55 cities…and 9 stadiums.)