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  • Cheryl Tan

Apple Announces iPhone 12 series and HomePod Mini

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

It’s that time of the year again, where Apple holds its big announcement for its newest phones. Granted, this iPhone 12 event is a bit later this year, but the announcement was no less exciting. Let’s take a look at what was announced.

iPhone 12 Series

Credit: Apple

There were four variants of the iPhone 12 announced, with the iPhone 12 Mini being the smallest, followed by the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, which follows the naming convention of previous iPhones.

The iPhone 12 series takes a radically different frame, with flat edges instead of the rounded curves we’ve come to expect. There are four colours, with the standard three we’ve come to know and an all-new Pacific Blue.

The screen’s brightness gets up to 1,200nits and supports Dolby and HDR10. The front glass is what Apple calls Ceramic Shield, which has 4x better drop performance and 5G capabilities are integrated into all the phones. The iPhone 12 Pro also geta IP68 water resistance, so no worries about rain.

The new iPhone 12 Mini is the outlier in the lineup, which still keeps the Super Retina XDR 5.4″ display. Apple claims it’s the smallest, lightest and thinnest 5G phone in the world.

Apple claims its iPhone 12 series has the most 5G bands than any other smartphone. When 5G networks aren’t available, the phone switches to 4G to save battery.

The iPhone 12 series is powered by the new A14 Bionic chip, which also marks a very important milestone as it’s the first 5nm chip in the market. Apple claims this is the fastest GPU on the market and Apple claims the A14 chip enables console-quality gaming experience.

The iPhone 12 has a dual-camera system that utilises computational photography to help bring out details in low light situations. The iPhone 12 Pro has three cameras, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max has four cameras. There’s also Deep Fusion for all four cameras on the rear, and iPhone 12’s cameras are the first to capture Dolby Vision video.

Credit: Apple

Magnetic charging is also coming to the iPhone 12, with the MagSafe for iPhone. The magnets in the phone will automatically adjust the charger so that it will attach correctly to the back of the iPhone. Cases will also support MagSafe chargers and other Qi-compatible chargers.

There’s also a new LiDAR scanner for the iPhone and it enables object and room scanning, delivering the phone’s camera capabilities to a whole new level.

There won’t be any earbuds or chargers provided in the box when you purchase a new iPhone, which Apple claims is reducing their carbon emissions on their supply chain. There will still be a USB-C to Lightning power cable included in the box.

The iPhone 12 Mini will start at S$1,149 while the iPhone 12 will start at US$1,299. The iPhone 12 Pro starts at S$1,649 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max will start from S$1,799. Customers will be able to preorder the phones on Friday, October 16, with availability beginning Friday, October 23, and pre-order for iPhone 12 Pro Max will begin on Friday, November 6, with availability beginning Friday, November 13.

HomePod Mini

Credit: Apple

HomePod Mini is the miniaturised version of the original HomePod speaker, with a smaller price point to match. At just US$99, this is definitely something that might make its way into homes all over the world.

The HomePod Mini speakers can also be paired to provide stereo sound, with a touch surface on the top allowing users to adjust the volume, play/pause, skip songs or talk to Siri.

If you have an iPhone and you’re playing music on it near a speaker, you can also hand off the music to the speaker. The HomePod Mini uses the Apple S5 chip, which enables something Apple calls Computational Audio. The speaker will measure the sound playing from the speaker and adjust accordingly.

There’s also a new Intercom feature where someone away from home can make an announcement that will play on the speakers, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and more for family members.

It’s still unclear if the HomePod Mini will be coming to Singapore, but fingers crossed.

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