Lidar on the iPhone 12 Pro: What it can do now, and why it matters for the future

The iPhone 12 Pro’s lidar sensor — the black circle at the bottom right of the camera unit — opens up AR possibilities and much more.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Apple is going bullish on lidar, a technology that’s brand-new to the iPhone 12 family, specifically to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. (All four iPhone 12 variants, including the iPhone 12 Mini, are on sale now.) Peer closely at one of the new iPhone 12 Pro models, or the most recent iPad Pro, and you’ll see a little black dot near the camera lenses, about the same size as the flash. That’s the lidar sensor, and it’s a new type of depth-sensing that could make a difference in a number of interesting ways.

Read more: iPhone 12’s lidar tech does more than improve photos. Check out this cool party trick

If Apple has its way, lidar is a term you’ll start hearing a lot now, so let’s break down what we know, what Apple is going to use it for and where the technology could go next. And if you’re curious what it does right now, I spent some hands-on time with the tech,

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2021 Hyundai Elantra first drive review: Standout style with plenty of substance

Hyundai is launching a few new 2021 Elantra models right now, including the super-efficient Hybrid and zippy N Line. They’re all pretty great, and that’s largely thanks to the fact that the standard Elantra is a solid foundation on which to build. It drives well, looks cool and has a bunch of new tech — all the things you’d want in a modern compact sedan.

Lookin’ sharp

At first, I thought the new Elantra’s design was a little much, but the more I see it — especially in the real world — the more cohesive it looks. My favorite angle is actually the rear three-quarter, where you really get a sense of the fastback shape, which is sliced through the middle by a horizontal light bar and pointy taillights. It’s like something out of anime. I’m into it.

Like most cars, the Elantra looks best all loaded up in high-end trim — in this case, that means the Limited model with its full-LED lighting and largest 17-inch wheels (only the N Line gets the best-looking 18s). Base SE models roll on 15s while the mid-range SEL comes standard with 16s, but at least Hyundai delivers alloy wheels across the

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2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid first drive review: Effortlessly efficient

The new Hyundai Elantra launches with a pretty strong hand, but this Hybrid model is the ace up its sleeve. It has the same standout styling, comfortable accommodations and long list of tech as the standard Elantra but it ups the ante with better on-road manners and a real mic-drop detail: 54 miles per gallon combined.

That makes this Elantra more efficient than the Honda Insight and Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and it even bests some versions of the Toyota Prius. With the aforementioned accolades backing up that great efficiency, the Elantra Hybrid isn’t just the most economical of the bunch, it’s also the most compelling.

The Hybrid’s drivetrain consists of a 1.6-liter I4 engine, 1.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and 34-kilowatt electric motor. All told, 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque are sent to the Elantra’s front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The battery isn’t large enough to give the Elantra any real electric range, but it can store enough energy to offer gas-free operation at parking lot speeds, and the engine can shut off when you’re coasting. Sure, the Elantra Hybrid is kind of slow, and the gas engine is a little buzzy when you lay into

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2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line first drive review: A sprightly sport compact

Hyundai has big plans to grow its N performance portfolio in the US. The company will soon offer a spicy little Elantra N sedan, but in the meantime, this softcore N Line version should be more than enough to whet your appetite.

The N Line effectively replaces the old Elantra Sport, packing turbo power, upgraded suspension hardware and lots of active safety tech, all for around $25,000. The brand-new 2021 Elantra is already a great foundation on which to build, and these N Line enhancements only make Hyundai’s compact sedan more appealing.

Without question the most striking thing about this car is its design. The new Elantra stands out, all geometric and weird. The N Line builds on that character with a slightly more menacing front end, black side moldings and 18-inch wheels. There’s definitely a lot going on, but I think the new Elantra wears these sporty tweaks well. It’s a little more in-your-face than a Honda Civic Si, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.

The Elantra is decidedly less polarizing inside, where N Line models get comfy sport

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