Lately, you must have certainly heard a lot of chatter about Apple launching new iPhones, and as expected, there is a lot of excitement around these new devices. Unfortunately, we won’t see reports of fanboys lining up at Apple Stores in wee hours to get their hands on the latest Apple smartphones this year, thanks in no part to the global pandemic raging around us. But that hasn’t diminished the signature fervor for the yearly iPhone upgrade. So, you must be wondering what’s the latest iPhone, what does it look like, how much it costs, what are the upgrades it brings to the table, and how can you buy one. Well, there you go:

Say hello, to the iPhone 12 quartet!

To answer your question first, the iPhone 12 is the latest iPhone out there right now. But wait, there are more! Apple has further expanded its smartphone lineup this year by launching not one, but a total of four new iPhones in 2020

  1. iPhone 12 – The vanilla iPhone upgrade for this year, and the next. 
  2. iPhone 12 Mini – Essentially the iPhone 12, but smaller. For the ‘small phone’ fans. 
  3. iPhone 12 Pro – For pro users with demanding use case and powerful cameras.
  4. iPhone 12 Pro Max – A larger iPhone 12 Pro with better cameras.

How much does the latest iPhone cost?

iPhone 12
iPhone 12 in White and iPhone 12 Pro clad in Pacific Blue

Let’s get done with the pricing part first. So, Apple will charge you $699 for the compact iPhone 12 Mini, and will go all the way up to an eye-watering $1,399 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Here’s a breakdown of the iPhone 12 series models based on the storage variant you pick:

64GB128GB256GB512GB
iPhone 12 Mini$699$749$849——-
iPhone 12$799$849$949——-
iPhone 12 Pro—–$999$1,099$1,299
iPhone 12 Pro Max—–$1,099$1,199$1,399

As for the color options, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini are up for grabs in black, blue, green, PRODUCT(RED), and white. Talking about the pricier Pro models, they are available in a choice of gold, graphite, silver, and pacific blue shades. You can check out the differences between all four iPhone 12 series models in detail here.

What’s new in the iPhone 12 series?

There is a lot to talk about here. Let’s start with the design first. The iPhone 12 series takes a generous dose of design inspiration from the iPhone 11 series, but rocks flat sides akin to the iPhone 4 instead of rounded edges. Apple has also enhanced the durability factor by using what it calls Ceramic Shield on the display to offer 4x better drop protection. Also, the IP68 certified iPhone 12 series can survive immersion up to a depth of 6 meters (vs 2 meters for the iPhone 11 series) for a maximum duration of 30 minutes.

Unlike its predecessor, all four members of the iPhone 12 series now feature an OLED display. Unfortunately, Apple has yet again shied away from using a high-refresh-rate panel on the iPhone 12 series. Notably, all four iPhone 12 series devices support 5G for blazing fast internet speeds, provided you live in an area with good coverage. Apple has also fitted magnets beneath the rear panel to support the new Magsafe wireless charging technology. And hey, did we tell you that the new iPhones don’t come with a charger or headphones in the retail package

Now, let’s talk briefly about the key internal upgrades and the new features. Being a next-generation device, Apple has equipped the iPhone 12 series with its new A14 Bionic processor. The battery capacity, on the other hand, has remained more or less the same. The key upgrade, this year, are the cameras on the new iPhones. Check out Pocketnow’s iPhone 12 video review to see what I’m talking about:

The iPhone 12 and its Mini siblings have two rear cameras, while the iPhone 12 Pro and its Max version have three cameras at the back and a new LiDAR sensor for AR applications and better night photography results. All three cameras offer 12MP resolution, but there are few notable changes. 

Apple has equipped the iPhone 12 series with a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a new 12MP wide sensor with a wider f/1.6 aperture that allows 27% more light for more detailed photos and videos. The iPhone 12 Pro and its Max sibling add a 12MP telephoto camera to the mix, but there are a few differences here as well.

The wide camera on the iPhone 12 Pro Max relies on a larger sensor that collects 87% more light, while the telephoto camera uses a 65mm lens (vs 52mm lens on the iPhone 12 Pro) to offer a higher optical zoom output. Plus, the iPhone 12 Pro Max uses a new and more efficient stabilization technique called Sensor-Shift image stabilization

But hardware upgrades are only half the story. The iPhone 12 series introduces the Smart HDR3 technology for clicking photos. More importantly, it also adds the ability to record Dolby Vision HDR videos and Night Mode Time Lapse videos. Plus, the front camera has also gained support for Night Mode and Deep Fusion.

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max take things a bit further by offering support for Night Mode portrait shots and the new Apple ProRAW image format that blends the benefits of RAW capture with Apple’s computational photography tools such as Smart HDR3 and Deep Fusion. Check out Pocketnow’s review of the iPhone 12 Pro to find out whether the iPhone 12 Pro is worth a thousand dollars:

Why should you spend money on the iPhone 12 series?

But as they say, nothing is all sunshine and rainbows in this world, and the iPhone 12 series is no exception. So, here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons that you should weigh before splurging some serious cash on any of the iPhone 12 series members: 

Why say yes to the iPhone 12 series?What’s not good about iPhone 12 series?
1. A beautiful OLED display on all four models
2. Finally, a smaller (and cheaper) phone without many compromises
3. The flat sides add more appeal to the
design
4. Blazing fast performance courtesy of A14 Bionic processor
5. A smooth software experience with iOS
and assurance of long-term updates
6. 5G and Wi-Fi for fast connectivity
7. Versatile cameras 
8. Promising new video capture
capabilities and tools
1. The bar for a vanilla Apple flagship has gone up by $100
2. Incentives to upgrade from iPhone 11 to iPhone 12 are not high
3. You don’t get a charger in the box of a shiny new iPhone 12
4. Face ID is not the best authentication solution in a world of masked people
5. Best camera hardware and tools are reserved for the pricey Pro models
6. Apple really needs to upgrade the fast charging technology
7. You are far from reaping the benefits of
5G despite paying for it

Where to buy the iPhone 12 series? 

All four iPhone 12 series devices are now up for grabs from the official Apple Store starting at $699 for the iPhone 12 Mini. However, you can also pick one from your carrier of choice such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Xfinity, Visible and Red Pocket. Alternatively, you can also buy one from retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, and SamsClub to name a few.

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.
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