Every year, the coming of Autumn brings many wonderful things: the return of Pumpkin Spice everything, Halloween decor, scary movies galore, the crunch of the leaves and the changing of colors… and new iPhones.
This year, at a virtual live stream event, Apple unveiled its latest lineup of new iPhones. There’s the iPhone 12 itself; it’s smaller counterpart, the iPhone 12 mini; the iPhone 12 Pro; and the biggest and most expensive of the bunch, the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
There were a lot of rumors about the coming of this latest lineup, and for the most part, many of them turned out to be true. Every member of the iPhone 12 family is now 5G capable and have much better screens with sharper contrast as well as a 40% more durable “Ceramic Shield” glass. In addition, they all include a faster processor, and the addition of the new “MagSafe” feature, which allows for faster wireless charging, as well as an opportunity for more accessories.
Individual models also have their own features. The iPhone 12 mini shares all of the features of the regular iPhone 12, but in a smaller, more pocketable 5.4-inch size. The Pro models both feature a third, brand new and improved Telephoto lens, as well as a slew of other new features that will make film students and photographers very excited–I’m talking Dolby Vision 4K and RAW photo capabilities!
So all in all, there’s a lot to love about the new iPhone lineup. However, there are some downsides as well. So before you go and trade in your current model, you might want to think about what may come a year from now.
Though many of the rumored features for the 12s did come to fruition, there were many that didn’t. There’s no USB C charging, no 120Hz display, no Touch ID, and aside from the new squared-off edges, the form factor is very similar to the iPhone 11s.
What’s more, the battery life on the new iPhone 12s is actually slightly worse than the previous models. Due to limited supply of some hardware this year, Apple had to compromise. Though faster, the new processors also cost a lot more and take a larger toll on the battery. While the previous-generation iPhone 11 Pro gives you up to 18 hours of battery life, the 12 Pro will only give you 17. And though the mini may be cute, its smaller size compromises battery life even more, only getting you up to 15 hours.
But with next year’s lineup, this problem should be solved. According to current industry talk, next year’s iPhones will include that faster, cheaper, and space-saving processor they missed out on this time around. What’s more, there’s also talk that Apple is working on features like an in-display Touch ID and a smaller notch on the top of the screen.
So the question here is: do you upgrade now or do you wait? It all depends. If you’re carrying around an iPhone 8 or earlier, or if your current phone is not performing well, then an upgrade is definitely in the cards for you this year. However, if your iPhone 11 is still holding its own, you may want to take a break this year, save up your money, and hope good things come to those who wait.
Or, if you’re like me, and just can’t resist the temptation of a tiny iPhone no matter the compromise, go grab a mini. After all, it’s the cheapest option. And they’re just so dang cute! — Bren Swogger
Photo: iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max feature a new, elevated flat-edge stainless steel design and Ceramic Shield front cover for increased durability (Apple)
Bren Swogger is a journalism major at Pacific University Class of 2021. They currently live in Oregon City, OR. They are the creator of Indie/Alt Magazine, and also write for Vortex Music Magazine in Portland.