Following a livestream on its YouTube channel on Friday, iFixit published a full in-depth breakdown of its teardown for both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. And, it confirms what we basically already knew: Both phones are almost exactly the same on the inside and out.
For starters, the displays are interchangeable and can be swapped between the two phones (although, their respective max brightness a bit different). Considering the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro both feature 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR screens, this makes sense.
Apart from the camera shields, it’s tough to tell a difference between either phone under the hood. iFixit points out that these phones are actually so similar in layout, that where the 12 Pro has an extra camera sensor and LiDar scanner, the 12 packs a plastic spacer.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the new lineup, the iPhone 12 includes a dual camera module (a 12-megapixel wide-angle and 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle) while the 12 Pro has a triple camera setup with an additional 12-megapixel telephoto lens.
As for other similarities between the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, the teardown points out that aside from a few serial numbers, the logic boards on both phones are also practically identical. Additionally, both phones feature the same Face ID, flash modules, and Lightning connector assemblies.
But the one component I was waiting for confirmation on is battery life — specifically the exact size. Both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the same 2,815mAh battery, which is smaller than 3,110mAh on the iPhone 11 and 3,046mAh battery on the 11 Pro.
Apple claims the new A14 Bionic chip is supposed to help make up for that, but I can confirm from experience that battery life is iffy. In my review, I mention that the 12 Pro lasted me about seven and a half hours before reaching 22 percent on a busier day. The iPhone 11 Pro, on the other hand, lasted about three hours longer.
iFixit also notes the battery is no longer in an L-shaped design, as featured in its predecessors. According to rumors, Apple used parts that were cheaper in an effort to keep the cost low with the addition of 5G connectivity.
As for its repairability score, iFixit gave the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro a six out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). While its important parts are modular and easy to find or replace, the glass on the front and back make it super fragile — so you’ll most likely have gut the entire phone and replace the body itself if you break it.
I like my PS5. And as time goes on, I am realizing how lucky I am to have one out of the batch of day one pre-orders, as trying to secure one new through extremely limited stock is nothing short of a nightmare.
In almost every way, the PS5 is a better console than the PS4, which was itself, a great console. This is obvious for things like power and load times, but I appreciate the other upgrades I’ve seen like the DualSense, game cards and other new features.
But in general, there is one thing that I think Sony made a mistake with regarding the PS5, and something that makes it decidedly worse than the PS4.
Man, I just cannot get into this UI.
The PS4 UI was clean and extremely simple, and it was one of the best advantages over the Xbox One UI for most of its lifespan until after like seven different redesigns, Microsoft finally got something that was functionally halfway decent. And then they kept it for the Xbox Series X/S so that transition was seamless for users.
But Sony did the opposite, they took a perfectly great UI and changed a lot of it, and the result is just worse than before, and probably worse than Xbox now, if I’m being honest.
There are a bunch of things I don’t like about this new system, first and foremost the giant full page ad I am greeted with every time I log into the console.
Yes, this is usually tied to a game I own, or at least one I used to have installed, but it’s still fundamentally…an ad, it is not starting up with a cool background I select or the last game I played. And sometimes it’s literally serving me an ad for something I already have downloaded. Just…why?
For some reason, I’ve seen that some people actually do not have the Explore tab for whatever reason, and the system does default to the last game they played. But those I’ve talked to do not know why this is the case, and playing around in settings I cannot figure out how to remove or move the explore page.
The new UI has changed in a way that negates seven years of learned behavior. I keep trying to hold down the middle button when I want to shut off the system or change volume settings or something, but that no longer does anything. Instead you press the button once and have to scroll around to the right setting you’re looking for, and for pretty much everything, whatever you were doing before on PS4 now takes more button presses to do it on PS5.
The card system may be functionally good, jumping into side missions and such, but it’s messy looking, and most of the time it’s suggesting I jump into a game with a random friend that I have no desire to play with, prominently displaying that which is not at all what I’m trying to do when I bring up the menu 99% of the time.
It just feels like Sony redesigned the wheel here into a haphazard octagon shape that still rolls, but is just worse in almost every way. I don’t enjoy being served giant ads on startup, nor do I like the changes they’ve made to the menus and the functions I had long grown used to in a UI that absolutely no one was complaining about. This just feels like change for change’s sake, and I hope we see some significant, Microsoft-level tweaks to it in the future.
In previous years, Amazon has been the undisputed home of some of the best Cyber Monday deals, especially once Cyber Monday had turned into Cyber Week. You could feel confident that searching “Amazon Cyber Monday deals” would turn up all the best deals available, no need to look at Best Buy or Walmart or Target—the in-store mobs would have already picked those places through. This year, however, was a little different. The big box stores launched early Black Friday sales almost a month in advance. Not all of those sales were anything special, but enough were to make it clear that Amazon is no longer the reigning champ of fabricated deal holidays. This is not to say Amazon did not come to play. Now that the retailer’s Cyber Monday sale has become its Cyber Week sale, it might be fair to say that Amazon was just playing its cards close to the chest. Even if not all the sales are truly excellent, the amount of sales is pretty mind boggling. Most of the best deals are on tech and kitchen goods, like noise-cancelling headphones and electric pressure cookers. But there are plenty of options for people looking for menswear and home goods. Here are the best Amazon Cyber Monday deals we’ve found so far, including a cozy hoodie, a solution for your Wi-Fi troubles, and one of our favorite robot vacuums.
All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
The chip that will power most high-end 5Gphones next year is here: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. And for the first time in its ultra high-end lineup, Qualcomm has integrated its 5G modem on the same chip as the brains, AI and other processor features, likely giving 5G phones a boost in battery life.
Smartphones need a lot of components to operate, but two key parts that make a phone a phone are the application processor that acts as the brains of a device and a modem that connects it to a mobile network. The first 5G devices needed standalone modems that worked alongside the main computing processor. That was because 5G technology was so new, it was too difficult to combine it with the brains.
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Last year’s Snapdragon 865 also had a standalone modem, while Qualcomm integrated 5G connectivity with the processor system on its midrange Snapdragon 765 and 765G systems on a chip, or SoCs. Many people expected Qualcomm’s highest-end chip to be the first Snapdragon SoC to have an integrated modem, but the company at the time said if it didn’t pare back the modem or the app processor features, the resulting chip would be too big and too power hungry for high-end smartphones. Qualcomm chose not to compromise on either feature for its high-end phones but was willing to make some compromises for its midrange chip lineup.
With the Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm gets back to its SoC strengths, and phone users will benefit. The biggest advantages of SoCs are better battery life and lower cost. Instead of two chips taking up room in a phone, there’s just one, resulting in thinner, sleeker phones or more room for bigger batteries. Having an integrated chip also enables device makers to quickly develop phones for essentially any 5G network in the world, and it makes 5G handsets cheaper for consumers.
“It gives you everything you need in a single package and theoretically makes phone design easier, cheaper and just better integrated,” Technalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell said.
The continued advance of 5G is more critical than ever now that the coronavirus has radically changed our world. People are stuck at home and are maintaining their distance from each other, forcing them to rely on home broadband service — something 5G could amp up. The next-generation cellular technology, which boasts anywhere from 10 to 100 times the speed of 4G and rapid-fire responsiveness, could improve everything from simple video conferencing to telemedicine and advanced augmented and virtual reality. Gaming is one area that’s expected to benefit from 5G’s responsiveness and fast speeds.
Qualcomm is hosting a two-day virtual Tech Summit in lieu of its annual in-person event in Hawaii. Instead of releasing a flood of new chips and news, the company is keeping its digital event focused on the Snapdragon 888’s capabilities. Wednesday featured technical deep dives into features like Snapdragon 888’s camera.
The world may be grappling with a widespread pandemic, but that’s sure not slowing down 5G’s rollout. The super-fast technology reached more customers this year than expected and will cover about 60% of the global population by 2026, according to report from Ericsson on Monday. That makes 5G the fastest deployed mobile network ever, the Swedish networking giant said.
A lot of those people are using phones powered by Qualcomm’s processors. Even the new iPhone 12 lineup, which uses Apple’s own application processor, relies on Qualcomm modems to connect to 5G networks.
For Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, the focus is on four areas: 5G, artificial intelligence, gaming and camera, Alex Katouzian, Qualcomm senior vice president and general manager of mobile, compute and infrastructure, said in an interview ahead of Tuesday’s news.
“It really rounds off all of the use cases and capabilities that this device has,” Katouzian said. “We concentrated on really core technologies for low power compute as well as communications.”
The integrated modem is Qualcomm’s X60, which is capable of downloading data at up to 7.5 Gbps and uploading information as fast as 3 Gbps. The modem, unveiled in February, taps into super-fast but unreliable millimeter-wave airwaves favored by Verizon and the slower and steadier sub-6 spectrum preferred by virtually all other carriers in the world. It supports many features that allow for faster speeds and other network benefits.
“On the 5G side, the communication capabilities are going to become much better,” Katouzian said.
While the peak download speed isn’t much faster than the previous generation, the X60 aims to boost the average speed on devices by aggregating different types of wireless signals. The X60 has the ability to aggregate the slower sub-6 networks with the faster mmWave spectrum, boosting overall performance.
The X60 also increases network capacity and expands coverage. Networks operators will be able to double sub-6 peak speeds in standalone mode (that’s where the phone goes straight to 5G instead of today’s non-standalone networks, where 4G works as the anchor to make the initial handshake between a phone and a network before passing the device along to a 5G connection).
T-Mobile is one carrier that will benefit from carrier aggregation. Users of the earliest T-Mobile 5G phones haven’t seen speeds much faster than 4G connectivity. But when T-Mobile can combine its different airwaves, users should see faster download and upload rates. The modem in 5G phones this year, the X55, couldn’t aggregate that spectrum together.
“The X60 is really the first modem that does all the 5G stuff you really need,” Technalysis’ O’Donnell said. Qualcomm “now really has a modem that can be leveraged more successfully to get the best possible 5G speeds.”
And AI, gaming and camera
When it comes to artificial intelligence, the Snapdragon 888 includes Qualcomm’s new, sixth-generation AI Engine. Qualcomm re-engineered its Hexagon processor, which it said provides a “pivotal leap forward in AI” when compared with the previous technology. It improves performance and power efficiency and crunches data at 26 tera operations per second, or TOPS. Qualcomm also included its second-generation Sensing Hub, which includes lower-power, always-on AI processing.
AI “underpins so many different applications that [are] very widely used today,” including in photography and videography, Katouzian said. It “really just takes [out] all of the headaches that were there before in terms of choosing the right parameters, putting it in the right mode, making sure the lighting is correct, even recognizing scenes and faces and backgrounds and depth. All of those things are taken care of through AI capabilities.”
And the Snapdragon 888 features a faster Spectra image signal processor that lets users capture photos at videos at 2.7 gigapixels per second. That equates to about 120 photos in one second at 12MP resolution, which is up to 35% faster than the previous generation.
“That’s huge,” Katouzian said. “When this capability comes out, people will start to [develop] different applications and services associated with it.” That could include things such as ultra-sharp video conferencing or giving users the ability to capture photos of what they’re doing throughout the day and share those on social media with others, he said.
The Snapdragon 888 adds a third image processing module that allows flagship smartphones to handle three simultaneous video streams, all in 4K resolution with high dynamic range imagery. And for photos, the chip now uses artificial intelligence training to better judge photo focus and brightness.
That will result in better low-light and night photos and action shots of something moving very quickly — or very slowly. Combining AI and the camera, the phone will automatically know which setting to select for each circumstance, and users won’t have to “worry about the technical details, Katouzian said.
Qualcomm’s new Kryo 680 CPU, the brains of the Snapdragon 888, is 25% power powerful and 25% more battery efficient than its predecessor. The updated Adreno 660 graphics processor renders graphics 35% faster while being 20% more power efficient.
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 is expected to power most high-end Android phones next year. Companies that plan to use the Snapdragon 888 in devices include Asus, Black Shark, LG, Meizu, Motorola, Nubia, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo, Sharp, Vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE.
“I’m glad that our new flagship smartphone Mi11 will be the one of the first devices with Snapdragon 888,” Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said in a press release. “This is another cutting-edge product from us and will be loaded with various hardcore technologies.”
Qualcomm didn’t specifically name Samsung, but it’s likely the next Galaxy S handsets will include the Snapdragon 888 when they launch early next year. The first phone to have last year’s Snapdragon 865 was the Galaxy S20.
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