As iPhone 12 series took centrestage, bedazzling everyone, people may have missed these tiny but important bits Apple revealed during the launch.
At its iPhone 12 launch event, Apple announced four new iPhones and a new smart speaker, Homepod Mini. Apple covered the major features during the keynote, but there were several things that went under the radar.
Here is a quick round-up of what you might have missed:
1. MagSafe chargers – Did you get excited looking at the slick MagSafe chargers that offer fast wireless charging for the new iPhones? What Apple smartly didn't include in the event was the price of these chargers. For India, the MagSafe charger costs a whopping Rs 4,500 and keep in mind that price is only for the MagSafe charger; you will need to purchase a fast USB-C wall charger separately to use it.
2. USB-C charging wires – It's not just the MagSafe charger that has switched to USB-C for connectivity. All the iPhone's will now come with a USB-C to lightning cable in the box. Since Apple has done away with wall chargers, this means you would need to spend money on buying wall chargers with USB-C ports, effectively rendering your older wall chargers with USB-A port useless with the new cables.
3. iPhone 12 Pro camera is inferior to 12 Pro Max – Apple sped through the iPhone 12 Pro range's camera features, so you might have missed the fact that the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max have different cameras. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 47% large sensor that would deliver improved dynamic range and better low light performance. It also has a larger focal length up to 65mm (iPhone 12 Pro has 52mm), therefore offering more zoom and better results than the iPhone 12 Pro.
4. New sensor shift OIS – Along with better sensors, the iPhone 12 Pro Max also gets a new optical image stabilization technology – sensor shift. The sensor-shift OIS technology has been used majorly in mirrorless cameras, and it does offer better stabilization compared to standard OIS. Apple says sensor-shift OIS makes 5000 micro adjustments per second to deliver unmatched stabilization from a smartphone.
5. Ultrawide lens correction – On the iPhone 11 Pro camera, one of the issues with taking ultra-wide photos was that Apple did not have any lens correction. Thus the images were distorted at the edges. The only way to fix them was to edit the photos in an image editor. With iPhone 12, Apple has updated the camera system to include lens correction for ultra-wide images.
6. Improved water resistance – This was mentioned on one of the slides, so it was a hit and miss for most viewers. The new Apple iPhone 12 series has improved water resistance of up to 6 meters. In comparison, the iPhone 11 series only had a water resistance of up to 4 meters. That being said, keep in mind that water damage is still not covered under the one-year limited warranty.
7. Smart data mode – While the new iPhone comes with 5G connectivity to be future-ready, they also have smart features for data and battery optimization. Especially in India, where 5G is still a distant dream, users will have to stay with 4G LTE connectivity. iPhone 12 has smart data mode that automatically chooses 4G connectivity for optimized battery backup.
8. Faster wired charging – The new iPhone 12 range comes with support for faster-wired charging of 20W. In comparison, the iPhone 11 range supported up to 18W charging. Once again, you would need to purchase a compatible USB-C charger that supports fast charging output to enjoy this fast charging functionality on the new phones.
9. No more LCD displays – One of the big complaints some users had with the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 was that Apple offered LCD diDisplayith low resolution on them compared to the Pro series. This time, Apple offers the same high-quality OLED screen on all four iPhone models and that too with a resolution of super retina resolution, HDR, True-Tone and Dolby Vision support.
10. Pro series gets 128 storage minimum – While the iPhone 11 Pro range came with 64GB of minimum storage, Apple has finally moved ahead and made the minimum storage to be 128GB on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max variants. The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 still come with 64GB minimum storage capacity.
11. No chargers and earphones on older iPhones –Apple announced that they are removing the wall charger and earphones from the iPhone 12 range during the event. However, going ahead, all iPhones will be switching to this new setup. Apple iPhone SE, iPhone 11 and iPhone XR will also no longer come with chargers and wired earphones in the box.12. Explore the device in AR – While the iPhone 12 and HomePod Mini will be available in November in India, interested consumers can go ahead and explore both the products in AR (Augmented Reality). You would need to use Safari on an Apple device and open the product page of the iPhone or the Homepod mini. Scroll to the bottom and you will see the option to view the device in AR – you can then check out the phone’s new design in 3D using your iOS device.
Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi.