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Apple has quietly improved video call quality on aging iPhones with iOS 14.2

By Nadeem Sarwar December 3, 2020, 10:31 am

In an era of remote work where the chaos of video calls has become the norm, bad video quality is a major pain in the neck. While smartphones have got better over the years by using higher resolution sensors, the older ones still in the hands of not-to-tech-savvy folks continue to give them trouble with their awful front cameras during video calls. Apple has provided some relief to its iPhone users by quietly bumping up the quality of FaceTime video calls from 720p to 1080p resolution

1080p FaceTime video calls supported only on Wi-Fi

Following the rollout of iOS 14.2 for all eligible iPhones, Apple appears to have quietly made the change for improving the video call quality. Surprisingly, the update changelog on the official support page doesn’t mention the upgrade from 720p to 1080p resolution for video calls. However, Apple has updated the official comparison sheet for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone 11 trio to reflect the change. 

A screengrab of the comparison page for iPhone 8 vs iPhone XS vs iPhone 12

All the aforementioned iPhones are now listed with support for FaceTime video calls at FHD (1080p) resolution, up from HD (720p) video calls. The change was spotted by the folks over at MacMagazine, which notes that the comparison page was updated at some point in November. However, do keep in mind that FaceTime video calls at 1080p are only supported over a Wi-Fi network, and not cellular data. It must be noted that the older iPhones come equipped with a lower-resolution 7MP camera, while the newer models have since been upgraded to a 12MP sensor for clicking better quality selfies and video calls. 

iPhone 12 can make 1080p FaceTime calls over 5G too!

That is slightly different in the case of the iPhone 12 series. Since the iPhone 12 quartet comes with 5G support, you can take advantage of the faster data speed to make 1080p FaceTime video calls over your cellular 5G network. However, how well that experience turns out on the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max over finicky mmWave 5G bandwidth remains to be seen. 


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