We’ve come a long way since Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007. Since then, the tech giant has announced new models of the iconic handset every year.
iPhones make up a significant part of the tech landscape with Apple devotees ready and willing to trade-up their handset every time a new model comes out. The latest iPhone incarnation features what Apple fans have all been waiting for: 5G.
We’ve taken a look at the new iPhone 12 to see what it offers (a lot) and where it comes up slightly short compared with rivals. You can click on the boxes below to see how you can get your hands on the best iPhone 12 deals.
iPhone 12 - the details
iPhone addicts have four iPhone 12 models to choose from: iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
For the purposes of this feature we’ll focus on the base handset, the iPhone 12. This features a 6.1” Ceramic Shield screen with a 2532 x 1170 resolution, pixel density of 460 pixels per inch, and a Super Retina XDR display. The iPhone 12 comes with either 64, 128 or 256GB of internal memory, 4GB RAM, dual SIM, Bluetooth, NFC, and wireless charging.
The iPhone 12 is thinner and lighter than the iPhone 11. Working within the device is the iOS14 operating system and A14 Bionic processor. Its IP68 rating means the phone can be immersed in 6m of water for up to 30 minutes.
Caught on camera
For photography, the iPhone 12 camera system still consists of three lenses, but it has had a substantial upgrade. The main camera has a wider, brighter aperture and a new seven-element lens arrangement. But it’s the phone’s ability to capture 10-bit Dolby Vision video footage, enabling cinema-grade videos to be captured, edited, and shared from your handset, that is really eye-catching.
Another feature that’s new on the iPhone 12 is the MagSafe connector on the rear of the handset. MagSafe is a mounting and charging system for all models of iPhone 12.
As well as offering faster charging, this magnetic connection tech enables you to attach accessories to your phone, such as a charger or a case, and you can also tell what’s been connected through a special chip. MagSafe looks likely to open up a new ecosystem of iPhone accessories such as camera mounts and games controllers.
The iPhone 12 comes in six colours: white, black, blue, green, purple and red. The red version is technically called (PRODUCT) RED due to Apple’s partnership with the brand Product Red, which raises funds to fight HIV/AIDS. However, every red iPhone 12 purchased donates cash to combat Covid-19.
Apple’s first 5G phone
Arguably, the most newsworthy addition to the latest iPhone is that all the handsets in the iPhone 12 range are 5G-ready.
5G is the next generation of wireless technology, and it’s a game changer. UK mobile networks have been rolling out their 5G networks for the past couple of years and we’re now starting to see more 5G-enabled handsets on the market to take advantage of much wider coverage.
To use 5G on the iPhone 12, you’ll need a 5G mobile tariff and to live in a 5G-enabled area. Currently, 5G coverage is mainly limited to major towns and cities although reception varies from area to area. Different networks have coverage in different locations, so bear this mind when you’re researching the best iPhone 12 deals.
How to compare iPhone 12 deals
There are loads of iPhone 12 deals to choose from. Do your homework, as it’s important to find the right tariff for your needs.
Some networks, such as Sky and Tesco Mobile, offer 36-month contracts. O2 (which earlier this year announced a merger with Virgin Media) also offers 36-month device plans combined with flexible airtime tariffs.
You can calculate the total cost of a mobile phone deal by multiplying the monthly cost by the number of months, adding on the upfront fee, and subtracting any cashback amount. This will give you the total contract cost to compare with other contracts of the same length.
Fancy as the iPhone 12 is, it lacks certain features. For example, there’s no fingerprint recognition option for starters. Balancing that, it does have Face ID which is widely regarded as quicker and more convenient, but just as secure.
But Face ID doesn’t work well with a face mask, so you might be better off with a phone which recognises your fingerprint if you’re still taking Covid precautions.
Apple has never enabled users to expand iPhone storage with a microSD card on any of its phones and the iPhone 12 is no exception. This means you need to assess in advance how much built-in storage you need, as well as how much you can afford. The 64GB iPhone 12 is cheapest at £799, the 128GB model costs £849, and the 256GB device £949.
All iPhone 12 models have screen refresh rates of 60Hz – half the refresh rate of 120Hz offered by the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the OnePlus Nord – and somewhat disappointing for Apple fans who were expecting more.
Finally, there’s no charger in the box but dedicated Apple fans will probably already have one (or several!) at home.