APPLE has announced its first 5G iPhone during a virtual event recorded at its headquarters in California.
The iPhone 12 series is out soon and promises breakneck connection speeds and a revamped camera system.
Follow our iPhone 12 launch event blog for the latest news and updates…
Apple is still describing the devices as part of its livestreamed "Hi, Speed" showcase, but we'll update this piece as we know more.
New iPhones – What are they?
The iPhones 12 series make up the latest and greatest smartphones from California tech titan Apple, and are the company’s first to come with 5G connectivity.
Apple boss Tim Cook said: “Today is the day of a new era for iPhone. We’re bringing 5G to iPhone.”
He added that 5G “will bring a new level of performance for downloads and uploads.”
Apple announced the new mobiles during its October 13 “Hi, Speed” event, which was streamed live to fans around the world from its Apple Park headquarters.
New iPhones – design
Apple has gone a bit “retro” with its latest mobiles after three years of sticking to a very similar design.
The company has opted for a distinctive, metal frame that is reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and most recent iPads.
It gives the phones a squared-edge look that is a far cry from the glassy, pebble-like designs of recent years.
Of course, none of this will matter to most people, as they’ll be slapping a case on their pricey new handset at the first opportunity.
New iPhones – Features
The iPhone 12’s headline new feature is 5G connectivity.
It’s the next generation of mobile technology already loaded into top-end smartphones from the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Google.
While it’s only available in select cities in the US and UK for now, 5G promises breakneck mobile data speeds that allow you to download an HD movie in seconds.
Effectively, 5G boosts the upload and download speeds of your phone, making watching Netflix, playing games, or uploading Instagram snaps much, much faster.
Is 5G available in your part of the UK?
READY to upgrade to super-fast 5G internet? You can easily check if you’ve got a 5G mast in your area.
Firstly, it's important to remember that 5G is completely safe, and can't give you cancer or coronavirus.
Scientists have also debunked claims of "deadly 5G radiation", so enjoy your speedy internet in peace.
EE has rolled out 5G in 112 cities and large towns across the UK.
However, it won't be available in every single part of those towns and cities.
You can find out if EE's 5G is in your area here.
Three claims to be building the UK's "fastest 5G network".
And Three is automatically upgrading 4G customers to 5G internet free of charge.
You can check for Three's 5G coverage in your area here.
O2 has sent 5G live in areas within 30 towns and cities.
And the network has pledged to reach a total of 50 locations by summer 2020.
You can check for coverage in your area here.
Vodafone is offering 5G internet in 41 locations across the UK.
And it says you can also access 5G in 70 locations across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland to boot.
You can check for Vodafone 5G network coverage here. Just make sure to hit the "5G" tab on the side of the map.
In order to connect to a 5G tower, you need a 5G compatible mobile. The iPhone 12 is Apple’s first to do so.
According to Apple, the iPhone 12 connects to the most 5G bands in any smartphone, allowing it to work in more 5G areas.
A new "smart data mode" will see the phone automatically switch between 5G and LTE – depending on which is available – to save battery.
Apple called the iPhone 12 the best 5G experience on any smartphone.
iPhone 12 display
Apple's iPhone 12 has a seriously impressive screen.
The 6.1-inch panel has 460 pixels-per-inch for a dense and sharp display.
And it's got a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio that means you'll be able to view HDR10 and Dolby Vision content.
Apple has teamed up with Corning to create a custom screen called “Ceramic Shield” that makes it exceptionally tough.
In fact, Apple says it's the toughest smartphone in the world, with 4x better drop performance – apparently.
iPhone 12 cameras
The iPhone 12 features a dual rear camera system on the back.
It features a 12mp main camera and an ultrawide lens.
Apple said the mobile features Night Mode – the AI-powered technology that lets you take great photos in the dark.
Introduced with last year's iPhones, Night Mode is available in both of the iPhone 12's lenses. It only worked through the main camera of the iPhone 11 series.
Software – What can iOS 14 do?
All of the new iPhones will come with iOS 14, the latest version of Apple’s mobile software.
Released last month, the operating system has revamped the iPhone home screen and added a fun new tool called widgets.
These appear as big blocks on your home screen that show data from, say, your weather app, Apple News, Mail or a host of other apps.
The feature has been available to Android users for some time, and is a welcome addition to iOS.
Another major change is the new App Library, designed to clean up your home screen(s).
All of your apps are now organised automatically inside the App Library – If you’ve got loads of pages, you can tap your screen to hide some of them in the Library.
It’s a major change (already possible on Android devices) that helps users keep their home pages tidy.
With iOS 14, you can also use virtual car keys that can be texted to pals, upgrade your Memoji with a face mask, and even speak in other languages through a live translation app.
Why an October event? And what else was announced?
The company normally unveils new gadgets in front of a raucous crowd at Apple Park during its annual September event.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced event organisers to do things a little differently this year.
Apple exec Luca Maestri confirmed in July that, due to the outbreak, the new iPhones would be pushed back by "a few weeks".
That meant the company had to host a subdued September event without any iPhone news, with headline announcements including minor updates to the iPad and Apple Watch.
The big guns – a handful of new 5G iPhones – were pushed back to an October 13 showcase to line up with delayed production schedules.
In total, four iPhones are expected to feature: A 6.1in base iPhone 12, a 6.1in iPhone 12 Pro, a 6.7in iPhone 12 Pro Max, and a 5.4in iPhone Mini.
It's believed that Apple will release the base iPhone 12 and the Mini by the end of October, while the Pro and Pro Max models will ship in November.
Also announced during Tuesday's event was a new HomePod Mini smart speaker powered by Apple's AI assistant Siri.
A new "Intercom" feature lets you message everyone you live with through all of your HomePod speakers throughout the house, as well as the iPhones of the members of your home.
It'll be available for just $99 in the US from November 6.
More to follow…
In other news, Apple recently unveiled the latest version of the Apple Watch – its cheapest smartwatch in years.
There's a new iPhone homscreen in iOS 14, and fans are divided over it.
Find out about all the new iOS 14 features here.
What do you think of the new iPhones? Let us know in the comments!
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