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How to choose between all the new iPhone 12 models

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There are a lot more iPhones than there used to be these days. Picking a phone used to be simple: Apple would offer just a single new iPhone model, where all you had to do was choose a color and storage size. This year, Apple has launched four new phones: the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max, which join the already available iPhone SE that was released earlier this year for a total of five new phones in 2020.

It’s the most iPhone models that Apple has ever released in a single year, bringing new additions like the A14 Bionic processor (Apple’s fastest yet), a more durable “Ceramic Shield” glass coating, improved cameras, a new design, and the resurrected MagSafe branding for a new wireless charger and accessory system. That’s all in addition to the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR, which Apple will be keeping around as well at new $499 and $599 prices, which means that it’s even harder to choose between the various iPhones you can buy brand-new at a store.

Leading the charge is the iPhone 12 — the “standard” iPhone for 2020, if you will, which starts at $799 for a 64GB model. It has the same 6.1-inch display and overall size as the iPhone 11 from last year, but it’s upgraded to an OLED panel and adds Apple’s new A14 processor (which all four of the new iPhone 12 devices have) as well as support for 5G. Apple seems to have locked in on the 6.1-inch form factor as the default size for its iPhones for now, offering four phones this year in that size. The cameras are also slightly updated from last year’s iPhone 11, with a faster f/1.6 wide camera that Apple says lets in 27 percent more light.

There’s also the $699 iPhone 12 mini, which is actually the smallest iPhone Apple has released in almost half a decade. That’s thanks to the bezel-less design, which allows for the whole 5.4-inch 12 mini to be physically smaller than the 4.7-inch iPhone SE 2020 (because both of those sizes refer to the screen, not the frame). Despite the smaller size, it offers the same high-end specs as the larger iPhone 12, other than the display and, presumably, a slightly smaller battery to accommodate the physically smaller phone, although Apple has yet to confirm. That makes it a good option for anyone looking for a smaller (or cheaper) iPhone.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.
Image: Apple

Things start to get more confusing with the iPhone 12 Pro, which starts at $999 for a 128GB model. While it looks similar to the iPhone 12, there are several key differences between the 12 Pro and the regular model. The 12 Pro has a stainless steel body, compared to aluminum on the regular 12. While both phones have a 6.1-inch display, the iPhone 12 Pro is a brighter panel, with a typical brightness of 800 nits versus 625 nits on the iPhone 12. Both phones offer a maximum of 1200 nits for HDR, however.

The iPhone 12 Pro also has several photography enhancements, including a third camera — a telephoto lens — that offers 2x optical zoom, although the wide and ultrawide cameras, as well as the front-facing camera, are otherwise identical to the iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 Pro also adds a new LIDAR sensor, which allows for better augmented reality and faster autofocus in low-light situations (as well as Night Mode portrait shots). The 12 Pro can also shoot Dolby Vision HDR videos at up to 60fps, instead of 30fps on the iPhone 12.

Lastly, while that $200 price difference may feel significant, you have to consider that the iPhone 12 Pro offers more storage on the entry-level model, with 128GB compared to 64GB on the iPhone 12 (the Pro also offers a larger 512GB option). Compare the 128GB and 256GB models directly, and there’s only a $50 price difference between the two. Whether that’s worth the aforementioned features is up to you.

Image: Apple

There’s also the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple’s biggest (and most expensive) iPhone on the list. Starting at $1,099, it has a massive 6.7-inch panel that also makes it the largest iPhone the company has ever made. And while the triple-camera system looks similar to the iPhone 12 Pro, Apple has taken advantage of the bigger size of the 12 Pro Max to offer far bigger camera improvements over the smaller 12 Pro.

Specifically, Apple is using a new sensor for the primary wide camera on the 12 Pro Max, which is physically larger than the one on the 12 Pro, while also giving it the same new, faster f/1.6 lens. The wide camera is also getting better optical image stabilization, with a new sensor‑shift system that Apple says works similar to DSLR cameras. It moves the sensor itself instead of the entire camera unit, which allows for faster and therefore better stabilization. Apple has also increased the focal length on the 12 Pro Max’s telephoto lens, jumping from 50mm to 65mm, for an increased optical zoom of 2.5x instead of 2x.

The camera improvements on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Image: Apple

Apple is still offering the year-old iPhone 11 for a discounted $599, which is $100 off its original price. With a 6.1-inch panel, it’s the same size as the iPhone 12 for $200 less, with similar cameras, but the newer model’s display is a higher-resolution OLED panel that will look far better than the less detailed LCD display on the iPhone 11. The iPhone 12 also features Apple’s faster A14 Bionic processor, if longevity is a concern. But at $599, the iPhone 11 is still a great phone, even if it’s eclipsed by the flashier, newer models.

Maybe you’d like to save even more, though. In that case, you’ll want the 2020 iPhone SE, which is the least expensive iPhone available at $399. That price tag comes with a few caveats: it’s the only iPhone with the older, chunky bezel iPhone 6-style design — which also makes it the only iPhone with Touch ID. It has just a single rear camera that doesn’t offer the same low-level light performance as the iPhone 11 (or the newer models) or a U1 chip for Apple’s location features. But with the same A13 processor as the iPhone 11, it’ll still likely last years before you’ll need a replacement.

Lastly, there’s the two-year old iPhone XR, which is Apple’s oldest phone in the lineup. At $499, it actually costs more than the faster iPhone SE, which offers an A13 chip that outclasses the XR’s A12 Bionic. Its cameras don’t offer much over the SE, either, making the bezel-less design its sole claim to fame. But at the awkward $499 price, it’s hard to recommend. Your $100 will get you a far better camera on the iPhone 11 or save the cash and get the faster iPhone SE.

The table is best viewed in landscape mode on mobile devices.

2020 iPhone spec comparison

Specification iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 iPhone 12 mini iPhone 11 iPhone XR iPhone SE (2020)
Specification iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 iPhone 12 mini iPhone 11 iPhone XR iPhone SE (2020)
Display 6.7 inches, OLED 6.1 inches, OLED 6.1 inches, OLED 5.4 inches, OLED 6.1 inches, LCD 6.1 inches, LCD 4.7 inches, LCD
Resolution 2778 x 1284 2532 x 1170 2532 x 1170 2340 x 1080 1792 x 828 1792 x 828 1334 x 750
5G mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz N/A N/A N/A
Processor A14 Bionic A14 Bionic A14 Bionic A14 Bionic A13 Bionic A12 Bionic A13 Bionic
RAM TBA TBA TBA TBA 4GB 3GB 3GB
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Rear camera 12MP (ƒ/2.4) ultrawide, 12MP (ƒ/1.6) wide, 12MP (ƒ/2.2) telephoto 12MP (ƒ/2.4) ultrawide, 12MP (ƒ/1.6) wide, 12MP (ƒ/2.0) telephoto 12MP (ƒ/2.4) ultrawide, 12MP (ƒ/1.6) wide 12MP (ƒ/2.4) ultrawide, 12MP (ƒ/1.6) wide 12MP (ƒ/2.4) ultrawide, 12MP (ƒ/1.8) wide 12MP (ƒ/1.8) wide 12MP (ƒ/1.8) wide
Front camera 12MP (ƒ/2.2) 12MP (ƒ/2.2) 12MP (ƒ/2.2) 12MP (ƒ/2.2) 12MP (ƒ/2.2) 7MP (ƒ/2.2) 7MP (ƒ/2.2)
Battery TBA TBA TBA TBA 3,110mAh 2,942mAh 1,821mAh
Water protection IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68 IP67 IP67
Wireless charging? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ports Lightning port Lightning port Lightning port Lightning port Lightning port Lightning port Lightning port
Weight (g) 228g 189g 164g 135g 194g 194g 148g
Dimensions (in.) 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.29 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.29 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29
Starting price $1,099 $999 $799 $699 $599 $499 $399

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RepTrak partners with Onclusive to combine reputation and PR data

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RepTrak and Onclusive are announcing a partnership that Onclusive CEO Dan Beltramo said will combine corporate reputation tracking and PR analytics for the first time.

RepTrak, founded in 2004, helps businesses measure their reputations (and their competitors’ reputations) through a database of more than 1 million company ratings collected every year. Meanwhile, Onclusive (formerly known as AirPR) offers a variety of tools to analyze the impact of PR and earned media coverage on a company’s bottom line.

Those two areas might not sound dramatically different, but Beltramo said that for PR professionals, they represent two separate goals — and that RepTrak’s reputation data helps to fill in some of the areas that Onclusive was missing.

“We made our name in PR analytics, [measuring] what I would call bottom of the funnel,” he said. “It’s an important objective for PR: Are you driving sales? Are you driving downloads?”

By combining Onclusive’s data with RepTrak’s, Beltramo said they’re giving PR people “a good measure to shoot for at the top of the funnel” — and for some, improving reputation may be more important than driving sales: “At bigger companies with longer cycles and bigger issues, reputation is where the PR person’s psyche was focused.”

Conversely, he said that for a chief communications officer who’d previously paid more attention to high-level reputation, Onclusive’s provides more real-time data and tactical tools.

Beltramo added that there will be multiple stages to the partnership. First, the companies are working to present Onclusive’s media analytics in the RenTrak system. Eventually, information will be flowing in the opposite direction too, with Onclusive’s team figuring out how to incorporate RenTrak as well.

“I am pleased that our partnership with Onclusive will give our clients an even more proactive way to activate their reputation management efforts by using the RepTrak Platform to prioritize and diagnose opportunities and threats, then drill into the details of their media presence to take action,” said RepTrak CEO Kylie Wright-Ford in a statement. “The media and cultural environments are very dynamic right now, so companies need to have a complete set of accurate data to make the right decisions.”

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President Trump’s Twitter accessed by security expert who guessed password “maga2020!”

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A Dutch security researcher says he accessed President Trump’s @realDonaldTrump Twitter account last week by guessing his password: “maga2020!”.

Victor Gevers, a security researcher at the GDI Foundation and chair of the Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure, which finds and reports security vulnerabilities, told TechCrunch he guessed the president’s account password and was successful on the fifth attempt.

The account was not protected by two-factor authentication, granting Gevers access to the president’s account.

After logging in, he emailed US-CERT, a division of Homeland Security’s cyber unit Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), to disclose the security lapse. Gevers said the president’s Twitter password was changed shortly after.

A screenshot from inside Trump’s Twitter account. (Image: Victor Gevers)

It’s the second time Gevers has gained access to Trump’s Twitter account.

The first time was in 2016, when Gevers and two others extracted and cracked Trump’s password from the 2012 LinkedIn breach. The researchers took his password — “yourefired” — his catchphrase from the television show The Apprentice — and found it let them into his Twitter account. Gevers reported the breach to local authorities in the Netherlands, with suggestions on how Trump could improve his password security. One of the passwords he suggested at the time was “maga2020!” he said. Gevers said he “did not expect” the password to work years later.

Dutch news outlet RTL News first reported the story.

Trump’s account is said to be locked down with extra protections after he became president, though Twitter has not said publicly what those protections entail. His account was untouched by hackers who broke into Twitter’s network in July in order to abuse an “admin tool” to hijack high-profile accounts and spread a cryptocurrency scam.

A spokesperson for the White House and the Trump campaign did not immediately comment. A Twitter spokesperson did not comment on the record. A spokesperson for CISA did not immediately confirm the report.

Gevers has previously reported security incidents involving a facial recognition database used to track Uyghur Muslims and a vulnerability in Oman’s stock exchange.

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Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is getting its first English release

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Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is launching in the US for the first time ever. The tactical roleplaying game, originally released in 1990, will be available on the Nintendo Switch for $5.99 on December 4th.

As the first game in the Fire Emblem series, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light stars Marth, a character best known Stateside for his appearance in Super Smash Bros. The Switch edition of the game will include fast-forward, rewind, and save state features.

It’s important to note that the release is for a limited time only, until the franchise’s 30th anniversary on March 31st, 2021. Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light isn’t the first game to adopt such a strategy; rather, it appears to be building on a Disney Vault-type play on Nintendo’s part. Super Mario 3D World’s availability is also set to expire on March 31st of next year.

An anniversary edition — which includes a stylized physical NES box and a replica NES Game Pak art piece, in addition to an art book and download code — will be available for $49.99 at select retailers.

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