The new iPhone 12 brings 5G, refreshed design, improved set of cameras and four different models suitable for anyone.
The new iPhone edition has just been introduced and we now have a chance to compare the new models with its ancestors to see how much it has evolved. As we may expect from major mobile makers, support for 5G is becoming slowly but steadily a standard in most of the flagships and iPhone cannot be an exception. The new iPhone, even though it comes back to its previous model’s iPhone 5 in terms of design, has done a significant step away from the iPhone X generation of devices.
However, it isnow first time since Apple introduced all four models at the same time: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Apple finally understands and tries to focus its products on wider percentage of its community, from those who love to have an amazing piece of technology worth over thousands pounds/dollars to those who just like to stick with the brand but can’t afford its highest, the most expensive models.
If you want to go small and reap the benefits of a lower price there’s the Mini. If you want the biggest iPhone with the newest in iPhone cameras, get the Pro Max. But how about 12 and 12Pro, are they that similar?
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are the same size. They both have the same design, the same display, the same insanely fast A14 Bionic chip, the same 5G support, the same selfie, wide and ultrawide cameras.
iPhone 12 VS. 12 PRO VS. IPHONE 11
|iPhone 12||iPhone 12 Pro|
|Price (USD)||$829/£799 (64GB), $879/£849 (128GB), $979/£949 (256GB)||$999/£999 (128GB), $1,099/£1099 (256GB), $1,299/£1299 (512GB)|
|Camera||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
There are many people who will just get the iPhone 12 because it doesn’t cost a thousand dollars and it’s a great phone. Which it is. And there are many people who will get the iPhone 12 Pro because it is more premium. Which it is. Either way, you’re getting an amazing phone with the best overall camera system you can currently find.
There might, however, be a slight, yet important difference between 12 and 12 Pro, other then an extra telephoto camera or lidar – design. The iPhone 12 looks jsut more premium. The matte textured back, the shiny stainless steel band around the sides and the fact that the 12 Pro, despite weighing nearly an ounce (25 grams) more, feels solid and premium while holding in hand.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro both have an iPhone 5 design
One of the first things you will notice about the iPhone 12 is its “slabular” beauty. Apple’s idea of premium differs from the flash and spectacle we see in flagship Android phones. Body colours don’t appear to morph from one to another depending on the light. The screen doesn’t wrap around the edges. In fact, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro don’t have curved edges at all.
Instead, a straight-edged polished stainless steel band defines the iPhone 12 Pro (it’s matte aluminium on the 12), much in the way it did on the iPhone 5, 5S and SE, just without the chamfered edges. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have a bold, striking look without any frills. The build and finish on the 12 Pro are extraordinary.
Display without compromises
Finally, without significant compromises. The iPhone 12’s display went through one of the biggest changes. Apple seems to have taken the criticism of past models to heart, and whenever it kept a 6.1 “diagonal, it finally reached out for the OLED panel with a higher resolution of 2,532 × 1,170 pixels. Apple refers to the display as Super Retina XDR, which means HDR support and excellent contrast. Unfortunately, the higher refresh rate we see in the competition is still missing, but it might not be such a big deal while talking about the basic model. Otherwise, the display is great.
The excellent color fidelity will certainly be appreciated by wide spectrum of users. The phone covers the DCI-P3 gamut, which is especially appreciated by photographers. True colour measurement was also confirmed by optical probe measurements. In addition, of course, there is support for TrueTone, blue light filter or Haptic Touch gestures. By being an OLED panel, the dark mode of the phone finally makes sense.
Super durable screen? Not yet.
A novelty in the iPhone 12 is also a cover glass called Ceramic Shield created by an admixture of nanoceramic crystals. It is said to be the most durable glass used in a smartphone, and Apple promises up to 4 times higher resistance to falls. It also boasts higher scratch resistance, which was not confirmed to us during the review. After only a few days of normal use, small hair scratches are visible on the display. Investing in a protective glass may be necessary.
Ready for the future. The Apple iPhone 12 received the Apple A14 Bionic processor – the first 5nm processor among smartphones. It offers six cores clocked at up to 3 GHz and in an editorial comparison with last year’s chip it recorded a shift in the performance of about 15-20%. However, it is still much more economical then used to be. It also has 4 GB of RAM at hand, so you will be rewarded with fast loading and lightning reactions.
But is smaller battery gonna be an issue?
A bit of negative news is about 10% lower battery capacity than last year on the iPhone 11. However, Apple’s excellent system optimization and more economical chip proved that the used 2,815 mAh battery offers practically the same endurance as last year, in our simulated video playback test it even slightly overcome the previous results ( if we are talking about using it in an LTE network). With active 5G, expect a lower endurance. In any case, it can easily handle one full day of normal use.
Full HD video playback (Wi-Fi, 100% brightness): 11 hours 55 minutes
Surfing the web via Wi-Fi (50% brightness): 12 hours 25 minutes
This year, however, recharging the phone itself is much more controversial. As a symbol of ecology, Apple does not pack any charger with the phone and includes only a USB-C / Lightning cable. So it wasn’t possible to test the charging speed this time, because it depends on which adapter you are going to use.
Of course, the iPhone can also be charged wirelessly. You can use any Qi charger, just expect to limit the charging power to 7.5 watts. Much more interesting, however, will be this year’s novelty called MagSafe, which, thanks to a magnetic disk integrated into the back, brings a new ecosystem of accessories that attach precisely to the back of the phone. The most interesting is the wireless MagSafe charger, which offers up to 15W charging. However, a wallet or other accessory can also be connected through the same connector.
Phone 12 and 12 Pro capture excellent photos and videos
The cameras received hardware, software and processing upgrades. While other phones might have a standout camera feature (like the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 100x Space Zoom) that these iPhones lack, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro can capture excellent photos and video and deliver consistently fantastic images. Here’s a sample taken in a range of different environments and lighting.
In iPhone night mode, you can select automatic night mode again or adjust the shutter speed manually to further improve image quality. The maximum is 30 seconds, but so much will only be available to you in really big darkness. Usually the maximum limit is 10 seconds. The good thing is that longer shutter speeds can now be taken by hand, as the display will show you the guide lines so you know how to hold the phone straight. Any hand shaking filters very effectively.
In terms of video, especially on the iPhone 12 Pro, the focus is fantastic and was able to track me even when I was shooting at night. And that’s because of the lidar sensor.
Unlike previous years, we can say with a clear conscience about the Apple iPhone 12 that it is an excellent basic model, without compromise. Finally, it got an OLED display and most of the complaints and differences from higher models were eliminated. Unfortunately, this was also reflected in the higher price tag of £799 in the basic 64GB variant. However, the phone supports 5G and with outstanding performance will serve you well for the money spent even in a few years, which Apple will also support with their long-term software support.
We can even dare to say that this year’s iPhone 12 is even more interesting choice than the iPhone 12 Pro. It pays to reach for it only if you have greater photographic ambitions and 64 GB of memory on the iPhone 12 would not be enough for you and so it may be worth it to add extra £150 for a higher model (Pro) rather then just pay for an extra memory.
Compare all new iPhones: iPhone 12 VS. 12 PRO VS. MINI VS. 12 PRO MAX
|Apple iPhone 12||Apple iPhone 12 Mini||Apple iPhone 12 Pro||Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max|
|Display size, resolution||6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels||5.4-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels||6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels||6.7-inch OLED; 2,778×1,284 pixels|
|Dimensions (inches)||5.78×2.82×0.29 inches||5.18×2.53×0.29 inches||5.78×2.82×0.29 inches||6.33×3.07×0.29 inches|
|Weight (ounces, grams)||5.78 oz.; 164g||4.76 oz.; 135g||6.66 oz.; 189g||8.03 oz.; 228g|
|Mobile software||iOS 14||iOS 14||iOS 14||iOS 14|
|Camera||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)|
|Processor||Apple A14 Bionic||Apple A14 Bionic||Apple A14 Bionic||Apple A14 Bionic|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Battery||Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback||Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback||Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback||Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback|
|Fingerprint sensor||No (Face ID)||No (Face ID)||No (Face ID)||No (Face ID)|
|Special features||5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)||5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)||Lidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)||Lidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB)||$729 (64GB), $779 (128GB), $879 (256GB)||$999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB)||$1,099 (128GB), $1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£799 (64GB), £849 (128GB), £949 (256GB)||£699 (64GB), £749 (128GB), £849 (256GB)||£999 (128GB), £1,099 (256GB), £1,299 (512GB)||£1,099 (128GB), £1,199 (256GB), £1,399 (512GB)|
|Price (AUD)||AU$1,349 (64GB), AU$1,429 (128GB), AU$1,599 (256GB)||AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,279 (128GB), AU$1,449 (256GB)||AU$1,699 (128GB), AU$1,869 (256GB), AU$2,219 (512GB)||AU$1,849 (128GB), AU$2,019 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB)|