October has come and gone, and in 2020 that means the second round of iPhone pre-orders has begun. Apple unveiled its iPhone 12 lineup last month and two of those devices — the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro — have already gone on sale. But we’ve still been waiting for the biggest and the smallest iPhones to become available, along with the new HomePod mini speaker. If you’ve been holding out for either the iPhone 12 Pro Max or the iPhone 12 mini, today’s the day you’ll be able to place your order.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini and HomePod mini will be available for pre-order starting on Friday, November 6 at 8am ET. The phones will be widely available starting November 13, while the HomePod mini will be available starting the week of November 16.
iPhone 12 Pro Max
Before we get into what makes this a “pro” phone, let’s recap all of the standard iPhone 12 features that are included here. The Pro Max packs Apple’s five-nanometer A14 Bionic chipset and a 5G radio. The A14 Bionic promises to be 15 percent faster and 30 percent more power-efficient than the A13, making it a decent step up from last year’s iPhone 11 series. As for 5G, the Pro Max supports mmWave and sub-6 5G connectivity.
The Pro Max has a 6.7-inch “Super Retina XDR” touchscreen that’s nearly edge-to-edge (with the exception of the top notch) and a stainless steel body with flat edges. It also separates itself from the standard iPhone 12s with a shiny finish. As with all of the latest iPhones, the Pro Max supports Apple’s MagSafe tech, which lets you magnetically attach things like cases and other accessories to the device’s backside. It also helps you properly position the handset on compatible Qi wireless chargers. An unfortunate thing that buyers will have to make do with is the lack of included charger: Apple is not bundling it in the box with its newest iPhones. Instead, it’s including just a Lightning to USB-C cable.
As for those pro features, the Pro Max has LiDAR sensors for better AR capabilities plus a telephoto lens on the rear camera setup with a slightly longer zoom range than on the smaller Pro smartphone. Its main 12-megapixel shooter also has a larger sensor and better image stabilization.
As you might expect, the iPhone 12 Pro Max also has a decidedly “pro” price tag — it starts at $1,099 and comes in silver, graphite, gold and blue.
iPhone 12 mini
Apple heard the demand for smaller smartphones and it answered with the iPhone 12 mini. It has a 5.4-inch OLED touchscreen, which is larger than the 4.7-inch display on the iPhone SE, but it is the smallest screen size available in the 12 series. It also has the same edge-to-edge display (and top notch) as the other iPhone 12s. That’s a departure from the iPhone SE, which still has larger top and bottom bezels plus the physical Home button with TouchID.
The iPhone 12 mini runs on Apple’s A14 Bionic chipset and has 5G connectivity with mmWave antenna modules. It also has the same rear camera system as the standard iPhone 12 and the same ceramic shield technology that better protects the device against drops.
The iPhone 12 mini starts at $699 if you buy through AT&T or Verizon. If not, it’ll cost you at least $729. It’s available in blue, green, black, white and Product Red color options.
Apple’s HomePod mini is exactly what it sounds like: a smaller, more affordable version of the full-sized HomePod. At $100, the HomePod mini runs on Apple’s S5 processor, which is the same chipset that powers the Apple Watch SE. It’s less than half the height of the standard HomePod, but Apple promises a “360-degree sound experience” out of the tiny speaker. It has four microphones so it can better hear all your Siri commands, and you can pair multiple HomePod minis together to get stereo sound.
As with the original HomePod, the mini is deeply integrated into Apple’s ecosystem. That means that Apple Music subscribers and iPhone users will get the most out of this speaker, being able to do things like hand off music and calls and receiving listening suggestions on your iPhone screen. The HomePod mini can play tracks from Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, radio.com, TuneIn, Pandora and even Amazon Music, but Spotify has been left out of the picture for now.