Apple Unveils iPhone 12 Lineup and HomePod mini; More Info at B&H

Technology News: Today, at its “Hi, Speed” event, Apple introduced the iPhone 12 lineup, along with the new HomePod mini.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Apple–B&H is excited to announce the debut of Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup, as well and the HomePod mini. Apple officially unveiled both at its virtual “Hi, Speed” event, which aired earlier today. The live event gave us our first detailed look at the four new iPhone 12 models and Apple’s latest smart speaker. In case you missed it, here’s everything we saw at today’s event.

HomePod mini

Apple started the event with a detailed reveal of the HomePod mini, the miniaturized follow-up to the original HomePod. Like the original, the HomePod mini features an attractive mesh fabric exterior that’s available in either white or space gray. Similar to the HomePod, the HomePod mini also features an illuminated touch surface on the top that allows users to navigate music, adjust volume, and interact with Siri.

According to Apple HomePod mini features the new S5 chip, which works alongside the company’s specialized acoustic waveguide technology to produce immersive, true-to-life sound. This approach follows the same acoustic principles Apple used with the original HomePod, which is widely credited for its audio production.

Just like the original, the HomePod mini is a smart speaker with “Hey Siri” functionality, so you can ask it questions and get answers to all your pressing queries. However, in addition to its digital assistant capability, the HomePod mini also comes with the all-new intercom feature, which lets users send voice messages between HomePod minis and other supported devices, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay.

The HomePod mini also appears to play well with others. Obviously it’s going to work flawlessly within Apple’s own ecosystem, but according to Apple, the HomePod mini will support lots of third-party music apps and services, including Pandora, Amazon Music, and iHeartRadio. That support won’t be available right away, but should roll out later this year.

iPhone 12

Although we knew that the iPhone 12 was going to be the star of Oct 12 Apple event, not all of us knew there would be so many iterations. In total, the iPhone 12 lineup features four different models. According to Apple, those models are the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

One way to think about the four different models is by separating them into two different classes: Standard and Pro. The Standard class includes the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini. Both of these models feature Apple’s newest smartphone chip—the A14 Bionic—a powerful dual-camera system, a “Super Retina XDR” display, and Apple’s new “Ceramic Shield” front cover. Additionally, both fully support current 5G technology.

The big difference between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini is screen size. Both models feature an edge-to-edge custom OLED, but the iPhone 12’s display is 6.1″, while the iPhone 12 mini offers 5.4″. Both screens are said to deliver “industry-leading color accuracy” with better visuals and more peak brightness than the iPhones before them, so it doesn’t sound like there will be any difference in picture quality.

Additionally, both phones also support the new MagSafe system. We’ve seen a version of MagSafe before with the MacBook, but this updated MagSafe system will feature a suite of useful functions and accessories, including a magnetic wallet and combination folding charger; it will also help facilitate wireless charging, which is a nice add-on for those that prize contactless charging.

Shifting over to the “Pro” class, which includes the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, we noticed many of the same features as the “Standard” class: A14 Bionic chip, 5G performance, Ceramic Shield, and edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR displays. Those displays, by the way, measure in at 6.1″ for the iPhone 12 Pro (same size as the standard iPhone 12) and 6.7″ for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Despite those similarities, what makes these “Pro”-caliber phones are their camera setups, which might just be some of the most powerful smartphone camera systems ever made—definitely among the most sophisticated and capable.

Both Pro models employ a triple-camera system with telephoto, wide, and ultra-wide lenses (although the Max’s system is spec’d a little higher). On top of capturing gorgeous stills, both Pro phones can record in 10-bit HDR. Both also support an end-to-end Dolby Vision HDR experience, including editing. Both models also feature sensor-shift stabilization—a first for any iPhone—which should add optical stabilization to all three of the camera lenses, including the ultra-wide (older iPhones could only stabilize, at most, the wide and telephoto—not the ultra-wide). The list of pro-grade camera features goes on for a while, but suffice to say, if you’re in the market for a new iPhone and you’re looking for superior camera performance, the Pro class is the way to go.

Beats Flex

Although they weren’t announced at the live event, Apple-owned Beats also released a new product: Beats Flex. These new earphones are said to combine the signature sound quality of Beats with Apple’s advanced audio processing tech. The result is a relatively inexpensive pair of wireless earphones that are powered by Apple’s sophisticated W1 chip and feature impressive sound quality and bass, reliable Bluetooth connectivity, and a 12-hour battery life. They’re available in four stylish colors—Beats Black, Yuzu Yellow, Smoke Gray, and Flame Blue.

Apple Beats Flex Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Read all about the Apple Announcement

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Henry Posner
B&H Photo Video


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