iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro landed on shelves on Friday October 21, with those who managed to pre-order earlier this month receiving their new smartphones through the post on the same day. Apple looks like it’s struggling to keep up with demand – with shipping estimates now slipping well into mid-November on most models. This could be a sign that Apple fans are flocking to the new design, reworked cameras and 5G support… or the widespread shutdowns due to the global pandemic have seriously impacted the Californian company’s ability to manufacture handsets and ship them around the world at its usual scale. Who knows, it could be a bit of both.
What we do know is exactly how the iPhone 12 series stacks-up against its closest rivals from the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, Sony and Google. So, to breakdown exactly what the new iPhone has going for it – as well as what it’s sorely missing – here is a list of five features that you won’t find on its Android counterparts.
1) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: Ceramic Shield
Ceramic Shield is a new toughened glass developed with Apple and smash-proof specialists Corning. Although you’ll find Corning’s super-strength Gorilla Glass product, including the latest Gorilla Glass Victus (which is designed to prevent against day-to-day scuffs and scratches as much as drops) announced back in August, on a huge array of Android smartphones, the company uses a custom formulation when it works with Apple. And according to both companies, the latest result of this partnership is truly special.
Dubbed Ceramic Shield by the Apple Marketing department, the Californian company says it’s tougher than any other smartphone glass available right now. Corning and Apple have infused the toughened glass with nano-ceramic crystals to improve toughness. The result? Apple says all four new iPhone 12 models are four times more likely to survive accidental drops.
2) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: MagSafe
Android smartphones have had wireless charging support for years… and Apple was incredibly slow to jump on the bandwagon. However, now that wireless charging is baked into every iPhone on-sale in the Apple Store, the US company is now bringing some interesting new additions to the table. MagSafe, which borrows its brand name from the trip-proof magnetic charging cables previously shipped with all MacBooks, lets the wireless charging puck snap to the back of your iPhone. This ensures the smartphone can’t buzz itself out of alignment with the charging coils after a few notifications and means you’ll be able to pick-up and use your iPhone when it’s charging.
Of course, you can do all of that with a good ol’ fashioned cable. But a charging cable isn’t much good if you trip over it – it’ll send your £999 iPhone 12 Pro flying across the room. That’s something that won’t happen with MagSafe. And more interesting than charging, Apple is already using MagSafe for a series of new accessories, including a lightweight card-holder that magnetically sticks to the back of your handset and new cases that trigger custom animations to match the colour of the accessory. Third-parties will be allowed to make their own MagSafe gadgets, so we’re likely to see a truckload of interesting applications – from car charging mounts, to wallets and folios – over the coming months.
3) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: A14 Bionic
While most flagship Android smartphones are fuelled by the latest-and-greatest from US chipmaker Qualcomm, Apple designs its own processors. This has enabled the Californian firm to focus on what it prioritises – battery life, speed, camera – compared to a one-size-fits-all approach designed to work in devices from a wide variety of manufactures, like the Snapdragon 865. For the last few years, Apple’s approach seems to have really paid off, with iPhones regularly toppling Android handsets with three times the amount of RAM during benchmark tests.
With the A14 Bionic, Apple is toppling its own MacBook Air models. The chipset inside the iPhone 12 series is the first smartphone silicon to be built on a 5-nanometer process. In a nutshell, that means all of the core components are squeezed together on a minuscule chip – allowing data to travel less distance and using less energy, which makes the smartphone faster and boost battery life, respectively. That’s a (very) simplified explanation, but all you really need to know is that A14 Bionic is a true beast.
It boasts the fastest CPU and GPU by up to 50 percent compared to the fastest competing smartphone chips. A14 Bionic also includes a 16-core Neural Engine – designed to hope with AI tasks handled on the handset itself, like identifying faces in the Photos app, suggesting iOS apps throughout the day based on your habits, and more.
Apple says its A14 Bionic boasts an 80 percent increase in performance and is capable of completing 11 trillion operations per second. Android cannot match that… until the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, which will use a Huawei-designed chipset built with a 5nm process – but no access to YouTube, Google Maps or the Google Play Store, launches in the coming weeks.
4) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: Smart Data Mode
5G is clearly the future. This next-generation mobile signal allows super-speedy downloads and lower latency. Better yet, 5G smartphones won’t lose speed when in a crowded area, like a packed football stadium, sell-out gig, or festival – something that can’t be said for 4G. However, 5G can be a bit of a tax on battery life.
Most Android manufacturers have solved this issue by increasing the size of the battery cell. There’s no denying it, this works pretty well. However, Apple has taken a different approach to enable it to create the “smallest and lightest” 5G smartphone on the planet – the diddy new iPhone 12 Mini, which launches in November.
Dubbed Smart Data Mode, the iPhone 12 will toggle between 4G and 5G based on how much bandwidth it thinks you need. So, if you’re reading an email, or a long-form article – like this one – chances are, 4G speeds will work fine. So, Apple will quietly shift over your iPhone 12 to this slower mobile technology and conserve battery life. But, if you’re about to jump on the train to start the morning commute and try to download an entire season of a show on Netflix, iPhone 12 will connect to 5G and download hours of HD content in a few minutes.
5) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: Dolby Vision
If you’re a budding Hollywood director, the iPhone 12 is the first device on the planet that offers the ability to film and edit Dolby Vision HDR footage. Video can be shot in up to 60 frames-per-second – comfortably more than the 24fps most blockbusters are filmed at – and edited within the Photos app or iMovie. Dolby Vision grading is processed live and sustained during editing thanks to the grunt of the A14 Bionic (see above). Apple’s professional-grade editing software Final Cut will be updated to support Dolby Vision HDR soon and you can already playback your latest movie with an Apple TV too.
1) Android features you won’t find on the iPhone 12: High-Refresh Rate Display
A dizzying number of Android smartphones – at the same price point as the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, as well as much cheaper – already offer a high-refresh rate OLED display. For those who don’t know, until recently, most smartphone displays were 60Hz, which meant they refreshed the image 60 times each second. Doubling that to 120Hz makes system animations smoother, removes the stuttering from scrolling, makes fast-paced video games feel more responsive and much more.
Unfortunately, Apple has decided to keep the refresh rate at 60Hz across the iPhone 12 series. It’s a shame as Apple is well aware of how brilliant 120Hz panels can be – the company was one of the pioneers of this technology when it introduced it to the iPad Pro range years ago. Given the shared “Pro” branding between this premium tablet and the iPhone 12 Pro, it seems odd Apple hasn’t included it in the £999+ smartphone at the very least.
Xiaomi announces the Mi 11 ahead of tipped January launch; to feature the new Snapdragon 888 – Notebookcheck.net
Xiaomi will release the Mi 11 series as the direct successors to the critically acclaimed Mi 10 series. That has been known for a while now but the company officially announced the next-generation flagship phone earlier today.
Following the unveiling of the Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm’s latest flagship mobile chipset, Xiaomi confirmed that it will release the Mi 11 in the near future and that the phone would be among the first to be powered by the new Snapdragon 888. That’s about par, of course, as Xiaomi has strong ties with Qualcomm and usually leads the race for the adoption of new Qualcomm silicon.
It’s unknown when the Mi 11 will be released but word on the grapevine currently leans towards a January launch. It appears most OEMs may launch their new devices around the same window, rather than in February as has been traditional for a while now.
While there’s no concrete information about the details of the Mi 11 series, reports indicate that the more powerful—and, of course, more expensive—Mi 11 Pro will offer a quad-curved QHD+ AMOLED display. That would be a first for Xiaomi and would be strong evidence of the company’s plans to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S21 series.
Amazon says 2020 holiday shopping season is its biggest yet – CNET
In a year that’s been anything but ordinary, Amazon on Tuesday said it still managed to have its “biggest holiday season to date,” though the company didn’t share overall numbers to demonstrate just how big it was.
Amazon said in a blog post that independent businesses selling on the platform are “seeing record demand from customers so far this holiday season in the U.S. and around the world.” These businesses surpassed $4.8 billion in global sales from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, an increase of more than 60% compared with last year, Amazon said.
The e-commerce giant offered a slew of deals for the, on everything from to (and some of the deals ). Amazon said a record number of customers have been shopping early and supporting small- and medium-size businesses. Amazon’s new has been a top seller, the company said, as well as its and SharkNinja’s Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty Robotic , among other items.
Best 75-inch TV for 2020: TCL, Samsung, LG and Sony compared – CNET
While aremains an ever-popular size, if you feel like you’re ready for an upgrade, the most common next step is to check out 75-inch models. It’s a size available in a lot of the — even those fancy OLED TVs (technically they’re 77 inches, but they’re still included on this list).
If you’re choosing between an excellent 65-inch model or a 75-inch set that performs a bit worse, but has a comparable cost —! More than a slight increase in color accuracy, image quality, viewing angle or any smart functionality, stepping up in TV screen size is the best use of your money. I’m not advising you to get a 75-inch TV that doesn’t perform well enough to satisfy you, however. That’s where the reviews come in: to help you decide just how much money to spend.
The list below represents the best TVs I’ve reviewed in CNET’s test lab, where I compare them side by side to see which is most worth buying. In, and as usual, I’ve actually reviewed the 65-inch sizes in the series listed below. That said, the 75-inch versions are basically identical beyond screen size.
Here are my latest recommendations, which I update as I review new TVs, with the following notes to keep in mind.
No TV I’ve ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. The 2020 TCL 6-Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming that helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It’s also a solid choice for gamers with a new THX mode that combines low input lag and high contrast. As if that’s not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.
What’s that you say? You just want the best TV in this size class, money no object? Here you go. In my side-by-side tests, the 2020 LG CX is the best TV I’ve ever reviewed, barely beating its 2019 predecessor. OLED TVs don’t come in a 75-inch size, so this 77-inch model is the closest equivalent.
Splitting the difference between the two models above in price and picture quality, his TCL features Mini-LED, a technology that isn’t found on any other TV currently available. The result is superb picture quality that outdoes any other LCD-based TV we’ve tested, although it doesn’t quite hit OLED levels. And just like the 6-Series above, it uses the Roku smart TV system.
Samsung sells more TVs than anyone and our favorite for 2020 is the Q80T series. Its sleek design stands out compared to the other TVs on this list — although the ultra-thin LG CX OLED is even sleeker — and it also offers excellent image quality, next-gen gaming connectivity and a great smart TV system. The TVs above are superior values but if you want a Samsung anyway, this is a great choice.
Roku is our favorite platform for streaming apps like Netflix, and it’s even better baked into this 75-inch TV. Image quality on this TCL can’t beat any of the models above — its 4K UHD screen resolution and HDR compatibility don’t do anything to help the picture — but it’s perfectly fine for most people, especially at this price.
Other stuff to know about buying a new TV
I’m pretty sure you’d be happy with any one of the TVs above, but a new smart TV set can be a big investment, so maybe you’re looking for a bit more information. Here’s a quick and dirty list.
- 2020 has been a strange year and many new TVs are shipping late. A few of the TVs on this list are still 2019 models, but I expect to review more 2020 TVs soon.
- On the other hand, since TVs are generally a mature technology, the new models may not include major upgrades over the 2019 versions. Most buyers will still be perfectly happy with a 2019 TV, especially since they’re generally cheaper.
- If you don’t like the built-in smart TV system, you can always add a media streamer for more content. They’re cheap and easy to use, and receive updates more frequently than most smart TVs. See the best media streamers here.
- Most TVs have built-in speakers with terrible sound quality, so it’s worthwhile to pair your new set with a soundbar or other speaker system. Good ones start at around $100. See the best sound bars here.
Looking for even more info? Here’s everything to know (and more) about.
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