Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup includes four new phones, all running 5G (finally!) and a powerful A14 Bionic processor.
The two high-end iPhone 12 Pro models also have a new LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) Scanner for immersive augmented reality and an ability to shoot sharp Portrait Mode shots in dark scenes, Apple said an event on Tuesday.
The 5G bands in all four iPhone 12 models support millimeter wave in the U.S., allowing speeds up to 4 Gbps even when networks are crowded, Apple added.
The A14 Bionic is the first chip in the smartphone industry built on the 5-nanometer process with the fastest CPU and GPU—up to 50% faster—for use in computational photography and high quality gaming.
The chip was first introduced last month with the latest iPad Air.
As well, the A14 Bionic has a 16-core engine for an 80% jump in performance to provide 11 trillion operations per second, which can be used for better performance on machine learning models. ML is typically used in smartphones in various ways, including for speech-to-text and also in mapping and search functions.
The new LiDAR Scanner (a kind of sensor) in the Pro line means the camera can measure light distance and rely on pixel depth data from a scene. “This technology delivers faster, more realistic AR experiences and improved autofocus by 6x in low-light scenes for more accuracy and reduce capture time in photos and videos,” Apple said in a statement. When combined with the neural engine in the A14 Bionic chip, users can take Night Mode portraits in an effect called “bokeh" which provides some mild blurring of pixels.
A LiDAR instrument emits rapid laser signals in pulses which bounce back from obstacles. A sensor that is part of the instrument measures the time it takes for each pulse to bounce back. That process also allows it to detect the precise size of an object. LiDAR uses light waves (laser) much the same way that RADAR uses radio waves.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will start at $999 and $1,099 respectively. Other details and availability are available on the Apple web site.
The other two models introduced are more affordable. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will start at $799 and $699 respectively. More details are available on the Apple web site.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will be available Oct. 23, while the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available Nov. 13.