The new iPhone 12 range has finally been unveiled with Apple fans already desperate to get their hands on the new devices.
The new iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max were revealed in a virtual event by the US technology giant with prices ranging from £699 to £1,099.
One of the main draws of the new phones is that they are 5G enabled, so where a 5G network exists they will be capable of transferring data at much higher speeds than existing 4G models.
5G networks have been steadily rolling out in the UK since May last year with other phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei and Google already launching enabled devices.
The new iPhone 12 range launches this month with four new models at different price levels
However, the phones have also drawn criticism as despite the hefty price tags they are not supplied with an Apple charger or headphones – instead customers are told to buy them separately or use what they already have.
Here we takes a look at the pros and cons of the new models, how much they cost in the UK, when you can get your hands on one and how the 5G capacity could affect buyer choice.
Features of the iPhone 12 range
The iPhone 12 Mini is the company’s entry-level device of this generation and has the smallest display at 5.4 inches and weighs only 135g, making it one of the smallest and lightest phones of the year.
The iPhone 12, meanwhile has a slightly larger 6.1 inch screen.
Both the 12 and 12 Mini have dual rear camera systems made up of 12 megapixel wide and 12 megapixel ultra-wide lenses as well as the same Super Retina screen and support video capture up to 4K resolution.
They also support 5G connectivity and Apple’s new MagSafe magnetic charging and accessory connection features.
Both come in white, blue, green, red and black.
Meanwhile, at the higher end version of Apple’s new iPhone 12 range is the 12 Pro which has the same 6.1 inch Super Retina display as the 12 whilst the Pro Max has a much larger 6.7 inch version.
Another notable feature on all four iPhone 12 handsets is the introduction of Ceramic Shield to the display, a type of hardened glass which Apple says is four times more resistant to damage if the phone is dropped.
The tech giant has also added new technology inside the device, specifically the firm’s own A14 Bionic processor.
The Pro and Pro Max come in different colours to the 12 and 12 Mini – granite, silver, gold and pacific blue.
Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch, said: ‘Not only have Apple introduced the new A14 Bionic chip but we finally welcome the anticipated arrival of 5G in an iPhone for the first time.
‘It’s commonplace to see three models unveiled at a smartphone launch, but Apple went one step further by revealing four variants of the iPhone 12 all of which come ready for 5G.
‘Before this launch, 16 per cent of consumers said they were planning to upgrade to a 5G smartphone in the next year. The industry will be hoping that this iPhone will spur thousands more people to make the leap to 5G.’
The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max will be the more expensive of the four models released
So far, only Apple has revealed how much it will be selling the devices for with phone networks releasing their prices later this month.
The iPhone 12 Mini has the lowest starting price of £699, or £29.12 per month, for the 64GB version.
Ru Bhikha at Uswitch comments: ‘At a modest £699, the iPhone 12 Mini with its 5.4-inch display should prove popular for those who want a more compact 5G device at a lower price point.’
This rises to £749 for the 128GB version, or £31.20 per month, whilst it will set you back £849 for the 256GB version, or £35.37 per month.
The iPhone 12 starts from £799, or £33.29 a month, for the 64GB version. For the 128GB model, customers can expect to pay £849 upfront or £35.37 a month. This increases to £949 or £39.54 a month for the 256GB model.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro will cost £41.62 per month or £999 upfront for the 128GB version – it is not available in the 64GB model.
This rises to £45.79 a month or £1,099 upfront for the 256GB version or £54.12 per month or £1,299 for the 512GB model.
For the iPhone 12 Pro Max – the most expensive of the collection – customers will have to put up £45.79 a month or £1,099 upfront for the 128GB version or £49.95 a month or £1,199 upfront for the 256GB model.
Lastly, for the most sophisticated of the range, customers will have to pay £58.29 a month or £1,399.00 upfront for the 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max.
However, current iPhone owners could save money on their new devices by trading in their old models. Depending on the model, how large the memory is and what condition it is in will depend on how much you will get in return.
When can people get their hands on a new iPhone?
Customers can pre-order the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini from 1pm on 16 October from Apple and all major phone networks.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will be available to pre-order on 6 November at 1pm from the same stockists.
EE has the highest 5G availability across the country with 40.2% of Birmingham able to access
Having a 5G enabled phone is great but only if you are in an area where you can benefit from the faster service.
Not all networks have the same availability across the country at present with EE’s 5G capacity reigning supreme.
It is currently available in 112 towns and cities across the country including Aberdeen, Blackpool, Oxford and Porthcawl. The full list of locations can be found here.
Meanwhile the Vodafone 5G network is currently also available in 54 cities, towns and locations across the UK. To find out if it is available in your area, click here.
Three is currently in 68 towns – check here to see where and cities whilst O2 is available in 75 – click here to see where has 5G.
For this reason, some phone users in some areas will find that splashing out on a 5G phone at the moment is not worth it.
RootMetrics found that Three customers in Leicester would have the fastest 5G speeds
RootMetrics is an analytics firm that has recently walked and drove across the UK, testing its 5G network across different categories including speed, latency and more importantly, availability.
It tested how good speeds and availability were with the different networks in London and found 5G availability rate is varied with EE having 28.8 per cent coverage, whilst O2 has a pitiful 0.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, both Three and Vodafone have 5.2 per cent coverage.
RootMetrics believe that even if Apple’s new iPhone has coverage issues, operators will need to improve its availability rates to see higher rates of adoption.
Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch, added: ‘The infrastructure for 5G is still in the process of being rolled out and while more than 200 towns and cities now do have access to 5G, this doesn’t mean that each of those locations has blanket coverage.
‘If you are thinking of upgrading to a 5G-enabled smartphone, it pays to check with providers’ coverage map to see who has the best 5G signal in your area, then armed with that information, run an online comparison to see what the best price you can get for your new handset is.’
The 5G rollout began last year with phone firms, including Google, launching enabled phones
The best example of a rival to the iPhone 12 is Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S20 FE.
It starts in a similar price range, at £699 for the 5G version, but comes with a larger 6.5 inch screen and also has three rear cameras as opposed to two on the iPhone 12 and 12 mini handsets.
Like the iPhone 12, it promises great pictures even at low-light and can record high-quality video, and all are IP68 water-resistant.
Unlike the iPhone 12, the FE also has a microSD slot for extra storage and can support up to one terabyte of additional storage on a microSD card.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s Note 20 Ultra 5G, announced in August, is the closest rival to the iPhone 12 range’s bigger members. It also has a hefty price tag – starting at £1,179 – and a similarly large display to the 12 Pro Max, measuring in at 6.9 inches.
The Note has a triple rear camera set-up which includes a 108 megapixel wide-angle camera and is also capable of up to 50x Super Resolution Zoom.
Not only that, but the Note 20 Ultra can also capture video in up to 8K resolution, while the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max capture at 4K.
The Note 20 Ultra 5G also includes extras such as the built-in S Pen stylus and compatibility with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which allows users to stream console-quality games to their device.
A host of budget smartphones have been released in recent years as customers look for cheaper alternatives.
Experts say many are now looking for cheaper options as they cannot justify high price points from manufacturers, with costs for some top of the range devices hovering at £1,000.
Apple has already reflected this change with their newly relaunched iPhone SE that costs just £419 upfront. It is now expanding on the need for cheaper models with the introduction of the iPhone 12 Mini.
However, some of the best budget smartphones on the market include the Google Pixel models, the Nokia 3.4 and the Samsung Galaxy A20e. For a super-budget phone at around the £150 mark, many users swear by Motorola’s Moto GP range.
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