The iPhone 12 has several new features and updates to push the device even further. A new design, new colors, better cameras, and a better processor. Apple positioned the latest lineup as "iPhone for everyone" with the biggest variation in screen size and color ever in the company's history.
The Ceramic Shield will protect the iPhone 12 from drops
This is the first iPhone generation to include OLED in every model. The display uses Apple’s Super Retina XDR technology with a 2 million-to-1 contrast ratio with better HDR and true blacks. This display comes in at 460ppi and can display up to 1200 nits of HDR content.
Apple states this is the most durable iPhone display ever made. It has a new Ceramic Shield, which improves durability when dropped. The temperature crystallization process used to toughen the glass improves drop protection by up to 4x compared to older models.
The 6.1-inch display size is not new to the baseline model, though the flat bezels and improved design give way to a better screen to body ratio.
New 7-element lens and better image processing make for a much-improved camera
The rear camera setup is similar to the iPhone 11. There are two 12-megapixel rear cameras— one wide and one ultra-wide. The layout is the same as the iPhone 11, but features wider aperture on both lenses.
The Wide Camera has an f/1.6 aperture, which improves on the iPhone 11's f/1.8 aperture. This allows 27% more light for better low light photos and videos.
Computational photography is vastly improved thanks to the A14 Bionic processor. Deep Fusion and Night mode work on all the cameras, including the front-facing selfie camera.
Smart HDR 3 uses ML to adjust white balance, contrast, texture, and saturation in every photo. Each photo taken is analyzed by the image signal processor built into the A14 to bring out the most accurate detail and color.
The iPhone 12 can shoot video in HDR with Dolby Vision grading, the first for any smartphone. Recording in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision will allow filmmakers to create video that has never been possible on an iPhone before. Apple touts the fact that you can record, edit, view, and share Dolby Vision content all on the same device.
The front-facing camera is still a 12-megapixel, f/2.2 lens. The TrueDepth system is unchanged.
The front camera features a portrait mode with advanced bokeh and depth control, Portrait Lighting with effects, 4K video recording, 1080p HD video recording, and next-generation Smart HDR. It also features cinematic video stabilization, wide color capture, Live Photos, burst mode, and auto image stabilization.
As mentioned before, the front-facing camera can now take advantage of Night mode and Deep Fusion computations.
The A14 makes the iPhone 12 faster and more powerful than ever
The A14 Bionic is a custom Apple Silicon processor that uses the 5-nanometer process. It features a 50% faster CPU and GPU than other manufacturers' smartphone chips and has over 11.8 billion transistors. Benchmarks show the A14 has around a 20% improvement over the A13 in single-core and multi-core performance.
The Neural Engine features a 16-core processor that is up to 80% faster than the A13 Bionic. It performs over 11 trillion operations per second. The Neural Engine is responsible for everything from machine learning to photography when using the iPhone.
5G will bring a new level of performance to streaming, gaming, and workflows. All the new iPhone 12 models get 5G and support mmWave bands in the U.S.
Apple built the iPhone 12's frame with custom 5G antennas and has enabled more 5G bands than any other smartphone. iOS frameworks have been tooled to work with 5G from the ground up for maximum optimization.
Verizon 5G ultra-wideband offers 4Gbps download and 200Mbps upload during ideal conditions. The network will reach 60 cities by the end of the year. Verizon’s standard 5G network is launching, too, giving iPhone 12 buyers a widely available network at launch. AT&T and T-mobile also have nationwide 5G networks available at launch.
MagSafe returns for the iPhone 12 lineup. Apple has added a magnetic charging and accessory solution to the new lineup which allow users to easily attach and swap cases and other objects.
Cases purchased for iPhones with MagSafe will need to have a special magnetic charging coil in order to be compatible with MagSafe charging. The charger can output up to 15W to the iPhone, and will still charge Qi compatible devices at 7.5W.
Accessories like wallets and stands can be attached via MagSafe as well, which will open up an entirely new category of iPhone accessories.
Size and Weight
Dimensions and weight of the iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 11
Apple slightly reduced the borders in the new models. In the iPhone 12, this makes for a smaller and lighter device with the same display size.
Compared to the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 is 2.7% shorter, 5.4% narrower, and 12% thinner. The new model is also 15.5% lighter than its predecessor.
iPhone 12 mini
iPhone 12 Pro
iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone SE (2020)
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPhone SE (2016)
Common iPhone 12 Questions
Is iPhone 12 waterproof?
All iPhone 12 models have a rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529. They're rated for a maximum submersion of 6 meters deep for up to 30 minutes. However, Apple's warranty does not cover water damage.
Will the iPhone 12 ship with a charger?
Apple no longer ships the iPhone with a power adapter or headphones. This stops substantial waste caused by shipping the extra components and cuts down on the box size.
What does the iPhone 12 LiDAR do?
LiDAR is used for computational photography, significantly improving portrait mode, night mode, and other pro photo features. It is only available on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.