Twelve iPhone 12 Details You Might Have Missed

Apple on Tuesday unveiled the long-awaited iPhone 12 lineup, which includes the ‌iPhone 12‌, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The 2020 iPhones feature all-new designs with flat edges, edge-to-edge OLED displays, upgraded camera technology, and 5G connectivity.


Apple highlighted many of the features of the new devices during Tuesday's event, but there are some lesser known tidbits that you might have missed. We've rounded up some notable tidbits worth knowing before you make a purchase.

mmWave 5G Availability

If you're expecting to unbox your iPhone, set it up, and get blazing fast 5G speeds, you might be disappointed. 5G is still in the early stages of rolling out, and the fastest mmWave 5G is limited select portions of major cities, which means most people aren't going to be able to use it.

The good news is that there are two kinds of 5G networks, and the slower but still speedy sub-6GHz networks will be more widely available. There's no guarantee you'll see out of the box speed improvements, but things should improve over the course of the next year.

5G Antenna

Speaking of mmWave 5G, it is only available on ‌iPhone 12‌ models sold in the United States, with ‌iPhone 12‌ models in other countries supporting only sub-6GHz models. iPhones that do have mmWave support have a little antenna on the right side of the device, so they look just a bit different.

iphone 12 antenna window

1080p FaceTime Calls Over 5G

When connected to a 5G network or WiFi, FaceTime calls are available in a higher-quality 1080p resolution. WiFi ‌FaceTime‌ calls at 1080p require iOS 14 to be installed as that's an ‌iOS 14‌ feature.

Smart Data Mode

5G connections can drain more battery than LTE, so Apple is adding a Smart Data Mode that will switch between 5G and LTE networks as needed to preserve battery life. When you don't need 5G, such as when an app is updating in the background, your ‌iPhone‌ will swap over to LTE. When you do need 5G for downloading a movie, making a ‌FaceTime‌ call, or streaming video, the 5G connection activates.

There is, of course, a toggle so you can choose to use Smart Data Mode or have 5G activated all the time.

iPhone 12 and 12 Mini Pricing

Apple on stage advertised pricing on the ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 mini as starting at $799 and $699, respectively, but that's not quite accurate. Those are the prices with a discount from U.S. carriers, and right now, only Verizon and AT&T have the new iPhones at those prices. T-Mobile is supposedly launching some kind of similar deal on Friday, but the details haven't been announced.

iphone 12 pricing att verizon
If you want to buy a new ‌iPhone 12‌ or 12 mini SIM-free, it's actually going to cost you an additional $30, so the ‌iPhone 12‌ is really priced at $829 and the ‌iPhone 12 mini‌ is priced at $729.

iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max Optical Zoom

There are different telephoto lenses built into the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ and 12 Pro Max. The ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ has a 52mm telephoto lens, while the ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ has a longer 65mm telephoto lens, which will affect portraits and other shots taken with the two phones.

The 52mm telephoto lens in the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ supports 2x optical zoom and a 4x total optical zoom range across all lenses, along with 10x maximum digital zoom.

The 65mm telephoto lens in the ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ supports 2.5x optical zoom and a 5x total optical zoom range across all lenses, along with 12x maximum digital zoom.

Sensor-Shift Optical Image Stabilization

The Wide camera of the ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ adopts Sensor-Shift Optical Image Stabilization, which, as the name suggests, stabilizes just the sensor of the lens, allowing for better stabilization compared to the Optical Image Stabilization that was used before and for other lenses. ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ users can expect less camera shake and blur from movement.

iphone 12 pro sensor shift
Sensor-Shift Optical Image Stabilization is used in DSLRs, and this is the first time that it's been brought to an ‌iPhone‌. The feature is limited to the wide-angle camera on the Pro Max and is not available for the other cameras or on the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌.

The ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ uses standard Optical Image Stabilization.

15W MagSafe Charging

Apple put a ring of magnets in the ‌iPhone 12‌ models and designed a MagSafe wireless charger to work with those magnets. The charger is similar in design to the Apple Watch charging puck, and it snaps right onto the new iPhones.

With the ‌MagSafe‌ charger, the ‌iPhone 12‌ models can charge at up to 15W, which is twice as fast as the 7.5W Qi-based charging limit.

Night Mode Portraits

With the new LiDAR Scanner in the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ and 12 Pro Max, it's now possible to take Portrait shots in Night mode with the Wide camera. The LiDAR Scanner can map out the scene to separate the subject from the background while the camera captures bright colors and artful bokeh for any lighting in the image.

night mode portrait
Speaking of Night mode, it's also available for the Ultra Wide camera for the first time so you can get some great nighttime wide-angle shots.

Night Mode for the Front-Facing Camera

Apple's new A14 chip includes a new Image Signal Processor that adds new photographic capabilities to the rear cameras and the front-facing TrueDepth camera. Night mode works with the front-facing camera for the first time so you can take neat nighttime selfies.

Deep Fusion and HDR 3 for Front-Facing Camera

The front-facing camera also supports Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, and Dolby Vision HDR video recording. Deep Fusion introduces improvements in color and texture in mid to low-light scenes by pulling out the best pixels from multiple exposures to make one great aggregate image.

Smart HDR 3 improves highlights, shadows, white balance, and contouring in every image for more natural lighting, and Dolby Vision HDR support allows for recording and editing Dolby Vision video.

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Form Factor

The ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro are the same 6.1-inch size as the iPhone 11, but the dimensions are slightly different. The new models are 11 percent thinner, 15 percent smaller, and 16 percent lighter than the ‌iPhone 11‌.

In terms of specific dimensions, the ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro measure in at 5.78 inches tall, 2.82 inches wide, and 0.29 inches thick (7.4mm). The ‌iPhone 11‌ is 5.94 inches tall, 2.98 inches wide, and 0.33 inches thick (8.3mm).

If you were hoping that ‌iPhone 11‌ cases would fit the new ‌iPhone 12‌ models, then you're out of luck. The fit won't be quite right.

As for the ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ and ‌iPhone 12 mini‌, those are all new sizes that have no equivalent. The ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ is the largest ‌iPhone‌ to date with its 6.7-inch display size, while the 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ mini is the smallest ‌iPhone‌ Apple has released since the 2016 iPhone SE.

More Info

‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro pre-orders start at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Friday, October 16, and if you're planning to pre-order, make sure to check out our time zone guide to see when pre-orders are happening in your country.

If you're still trying to decide whether to upgrade from an ‌iPhone 11‌, make sure to check out our Buyer's Guide comparing the ‌iPhone 11‌ to the ‌iPhone 12‌, and if you're trying to decide between the ‌iPhone 12‌ and the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌, we've also got a guide for that.

For more info on Apple's new devices, make sure to check out our iPhone 12 roundup and our iPhone 12 Pro roundup.

Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

sajlonix Avatar
12 months ago
detail you missed.. soo dissapointing



Attachment Image
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
12 months ago
Important to note the sensor of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is different than the iPhone 12. People just think it's a different telephoto lens and sensorshift, but really it has a bigger sensor with bigger pixels = cleaner photos.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
12 months ago

Basically it seems I need to buy the $1000 Pro or Max to get any real update. Talk about misleading features, pricing, and confusion of what phone you actually need for the features you want!
You must have not read the same articles I did, or saw the same presentation. 5G, better glass, super speedy A14, better image processor, better neural engine, lighter, thinner, better battery life. Woah I’m winded already

so where is the mislead?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Dee Avatar
12 months ago

detail you missed.. soo dissapointing


But who is gonna watch a video for 17 hours. Are you working, do you have bills to pay, do you cook, put your phone down, go outside, get some fresh air, talk to people, meditate, use other devices, sleep, eat, shower, do number two? There is life outside of that 18 hrs.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mcfrazieriv Avatar
12 months ago


Nope. Sure didn't miss greasy face big eyebrows man. When I saw him I immediately realized this is how I will look in every FaceTime photo taken at night. smh
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Graham King Avatar
12 months ago
So basically it's the same phone as last year. Cool
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPad pro top feature

What to Expect From Apple's April 20 Event: New iPads, AirTags and More

Friday April 16, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple Event Happening Now April 20 Event Day! Follow along with our live blog for the latest updates, and we're also live tweeting the event on Twitter. Apple is planning to hold its first event of 2021 on Tuesday, April 20, and it's looking like it will be an iPad-centric event. There are several iPad refreshes rumored to be coming for the iPad Pro, iPad mini, and low-cost iPad. Subscrib ...
Apple TV HD vs 4K Feature

Apple TV HD vs. Apple TV 4K Buyer's Guide

Tuesday May 11, 2021 3:43 pm PDT by
In April 2021, Apple revealed the second-generation Apple TV 4K, bringing high framerate HDR with Dolby Vision to the Apple TV for the first time and the A12 chip for improved performance, alongside a redesigned Siri Remote. The Apple TV HD was first released in 2015 and has remained in Apple's lineup since then as an entry-level option, and now it comes with the upgraded Siri Remote....
iphone12pronightmodeselfie

Camera Comparison: iPhone 12 Pro vs. iPhone 11 Pro

Thursday October 29, 2020 4:10 pm PDT by
Apple last week released the iPhone 12 Pro, which is being sold alongside the iPhone 12, 12 mini, and 12 Pro Max. The Pro Max has the best camera of the bunch, but since it's not out yet, we thought we'd take a look at the improvements introduced in the iPhone 12 Pro and see how camera quality compares to the iPhone 11 Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The...
m2 feature black

Apple M2 Chip: Everything We Know

Friday April 30, 2021 12:06 pm PDT by
Apple is developing a next-generation version of the M1 Apple silicon chip, which will tentatively be called the "M2." The M2 is believed to be shipping as soon as 2021, and we're already hearing a limited number of rumors about it. What We Know There are actually several successors to the M1 chip in the works at Apple's labs in Cupertino, and though we don't know the name of the...
0CB23085 7AE1 40AF AA4C CC0002FAE5B2

AirTag vs. Tile Buyer's Guide

Thursday April 29, 2021 1:58 am PDT by
AirTag is Apple's newest product line, a small round disc used to track items using the Find My app. Yet Apple is not the first to offer item trackers of this kind. Tile has been making Bluetooth item trackers for almost a decade and is now AirTag's main competitor. As the two leading item trackers share a number of key features, it may not be immediately obvious which is better for your...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 pro

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro Buyer's Guide

Thursday October 15, 2020 7:59 am PDT by
This month, Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro as the successors to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, with a new squared-off industrial design, the A14 Bionic chip, OLED displays, and MagSafe across the lineup. The iPhone 12 starts at $799 ($829 for some carriers), while the iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999. As Apple's latest iPhones share a large number of features, should you...
iphone12prowaterresistance

iPhone 12 Pro vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max Buyer's Guide

Friday October 16, 2020 1:43 pm PDT by
This month, Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max as the successors to the popular iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, with a new squared-off industrial design, the A14 Bionic chip, a LiDAR Scanner, and MagSafe. As Apple's premium flagship offerings, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the most fully-featured iPhones available. The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 and...
maxresdefault

iPad Pro 2020 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyer's Guide

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:19 am PDT by
In April 2021, Apple updated its popular iPad Pro lineup, introducing a faster M1 chip, a Liquid Retina XDR display, a Thunderbolt port, and more, replacing the previous models from March 2020. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Although the 2020 iPad Pro models have now been discontinued by Apple, it is common to find them available at discounted prices with...
iphone apple watch unlock 2

iOS 14.5 Features: Everything New in iOS 14.5

Monday April 26, 2021 11:34 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to the public, introducing a slew of new features and changes. These updates are the biggest updates that we've had since iOS and iPadOS 14 were released, and we've highlighted everything that's new below. Unlock Your iPhone With Apple Watch When Wearing a Mask With iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4, also available now for the Apple Watch, Apple is...
Beyond iPhone 13 Feature2

Beyond iPhone 13: Long-Term iPhone Rumors

Saturday March 27, 2021 10:00 am PDT by
As we get closer to the launch of the 2021 iPhone lineup, rumors surrounding what may come after the iPhone 13 have already begun circulating. Apple is believed to plan its new iPhones several years in advance of their release, so it is highly likely that plans for 2022 and 2023 iPhone models are well underway at Apple. There have now been a sufficiently large number of reports from reliable ...