How does the new iPhone 12 range measure up to its rivals?

14 October 2020, 08:04

Apple iPhone 12
apple_iphone-12_new-design_10132020. Picture: PA

Apple’s newest iPhones have 5G for the first time, but are they better than the competition?

Apple has declared a “new era” for its iPhone as it unveiled the four versions of the iPhone 12 handset.

But how does the new line-up compare to its rivals in the smartphone market?

– iPhone 12 and 12 mini

The new iPhone 12 mini is the company’s entry-level device of this generation, with the lowest starting price of £699.

The iPhone 12, meanwhile starts at £799.

The mini 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
The iPhone 12 is Apple’s first 5G-enabled smartphone (Apple)

In contrast, the iPhone 12 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.

Both phones also have the same Super Retina XDR OLED screen and support video capture up to 4K resolution.

The two devices support 5G connectivity and Apple’s new MagSafe magnetic charging and accessory connection features.

– So what about rivals?

The best example of a rival to the two iPhone 12 models 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 Super AMOLED screen.

The FE also outdoes the iPhone in camera specifications thanks to its triple rear-camera set-up compared to the dual on the two iPhone handsets – the extra lens an eight-megapixel telephoto camera – and a 32-megapixel front-facing “selfie” camera.

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.

– How about the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max?

The high-end version of Apple’s new iPhone 12 range, the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are finished with stainless steel bands rather than aluminium.

The Pro has the same 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display as the 12, but the Pro Max has a much larger 6.7-inch version.

iPhone 12 Pro
The new iPhone 12 Pro (Apple)

Both devices have a triple rear camera array of 12-megapixel wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, as well as a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) scanner, which is used for better object detection and room scanning, improve autofocus on subjects in low-light images as well aid augmented reality experiences.

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.

– And what about the competition here?

Samsung’s Note 20 Ultra 5G, announced in August, is the closest rival to the iPhone 12 range’s biggest members.

The Samsung 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.

And much like the smaller iPhone models, the Note 20 Ultra 5G can offer many similar features and tools to Apple’s latest device.

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.

So while the latest iPhone range has plenty to offer existing iPhone users and to tempt other smartphone users to switch, in specification terms the competition appears more than capable of matching up to them.

By Press Association