IPhone 12 Review
Apple iPhone 12: is it worth your purchase?
This year there are four instead of three new iPhone models, all of which differ in many important ways, with each offering better cameras and bigger screens depending on how much you’re willing to pay. At the same time, there is less difference than ever between the Standard and Pro models.
Retail price (RRP)
- $ 799 (64GB) | $ 849 (128GB) | $ 949 (256GB
IPhone 12 Review
The four new iPhone models this year are a bit harder to differentiate from each other than the three new iPhone 11s we saw last year.
However, they do offer quite obvious differences: the size of the screen and the quality of its cameras are the key points that will make you decide between one iPhone model or another (in addition to, obviously, the price).
The two iPhones you can buy right now, the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, are at first glance more similar than the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.
The latter of which will be available for pre-purchase alongside the iPhone 12 mini in November. Until those models are available, it’s the mid-size models that count, so we start with a test drive of the iPhone 12.
The iPhone 12 has received a lot of welcome improvements compared to the iPhone 11. First of all, the new A14 bionic chip with its 5-nanometer architecture gives it a significant boost in performance and greater energy efficiency.
The A13 was already the best of its class in some situations even at a year old, although it slipped a bit elsewhere compared to the Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus.
The A14 puts the iPhone on top of the performance throne right now. At least in terms of CPU performance. When it comes to gaming graphics, the advantage is not that great and the A14 takes the cake with the competition.
But we’re talking here about performance at the level of a business notebook and graphics in the console class (at least the previous generation of consoles).
Of course, we installed Apple Arcade on the mobile and we can say that everything we exposed it to in terms of game graphics was delivered with good flow, even if the experience on a small touch screen is not directly optimal.
5G: not for everyone
With the iPhone 12 series, Apple is taking a step towards 5G. With 5G launches in only a handful of places in the UK it is not something that will be relevant to many for several years to come.
Honestly, 5G isn’t as shocking an upgrade as you might think, as the vast majority of users won’t benefit much from the new technology just yet. If 5G is your only reason to consider upgrading your iPhone, then we recommend that you wait.
But there are many other reasons to look at the iPhone 12. The first thing that strikes you is the new design. The entire series has received a major design update for the first time in several years. There are now 90 degree edges on the frame and flatter glass surfaces in front and back, without the teardrop rise at the edges.
The redesign is a retro flirtation with classic models from the iPhone 4 and 5 era, and refreshing after half a decade with a rounded design. It’s not as comfortable to hold, but as the external dimensions are more compact than before and the weight is manageably low. It may be less likely to get out of hand.
The build quality is impeccable and the physical build is the most durable that both Apple and the mobile industry in general have produced (as long as we don’t count the rugged armored phones, which are in a category of their own).
The iPhone 12 series has an IP68 rating, but it can withstand more water than competing Android phones right now with submersion to a depth of twenty feet, where most can only handle one to three meters.
The surface in front of the screen is made from a new extra durable material called Ceramic Shield. Like gorilla glass, the ceramic shield is made by Corning, but it should be a little more durable than the latest “regular” version of gorilla glass, Victus.
This may be a reason for the flatter design – this type of glass cannot be molded as flexibly. But that is pure speculation. In any case, the surface does not give any visual distortion to the screen and the viewing angles are excellent.
The other big news is that Apple has ditched IPS panels for the iPhone 12 and has switched to AMOLED displays even on the entry-level model. As a result, you will get a very high pixel density with a resolution slightly higher than that of high definition (1,170 compared to the 828 pixels wide of the iPhone 11).
Sure, Apple called it a Retina display before, but up close it was definitely possible to make out individual pixels. When we examined the screen we could no longer see the pixels, not even up close.
There was a clear difference in experience between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro displays. Previously, OLED technology’s superior contrast and improved color handling justified the upgrade to the significantly more expensive 11 Pro. That differentiator is no more.
Incidentally, the display offers other enhancements, such as the DCI-P3 setting for the color gamut and a maximum brightness of 1,200 cd / m2. However, that only kicks in automatically in direct sunlight or as extra dynamics when viewing HDR footage. HDR support is also new for iPhone 12.
The screen has thin but noticeable edges all around and the notch at the top, the latter being the large sensor panel we’ve become used to today. It is not known if Apple intends to reduce this and give us more space at the top of the screen (although there are rumors that it could be narrower on the iPhone 13).
On the other hand, the iOS and iPhone experience has been adapted to be less dependent on the status icons at the top of the screen, so space for that is less of a priority.
60Hz not 120Hz
If there’s one thing we’re missing from this year’s iPhone screen, it’s an increase in frame rate. It has been perhaps the biggest display trend on the Android side for the past year, both on the IPS and OLED panels with image refresh at 90, 120 or even 144Hz.
It started out as a feature on flesh and blood gaming mobiles, but this year it has become a premium feature for everyone, and it gives an extra direct feel in both the interface and scrolling. Apple is no stranger to this technology, which already exists in the iPad Pro.
However, Apple is sharpening the touch response in 2020 phones with a higher sample rate for the touch layer, but the last ingredient for a more tactile experience on the screen is still missing. It can be one thing that puts an Android user off converting to iPhone nowadays.
The reason Apple will skip it completely in 2020 is said to be 5G. According to knowledgeable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new technology consumes more power, so in order not to jeopardize battery life and keep it compact, Apple has decided to wait before introducing a 120Hz panel.
If that’s true, then in theory Apple could, like many of its competitors, have given users the option of running in high or low frequency, and introduced dynamic frame rate adjustment to save battery power. . If an upstart like OnePlus can, then a behemoth like Apple should be able to too.
But there may be other reasons, such as that the more strictly built iOS is not so easy to adapt, or that it was not possible to get custom display panels in the huge volumes that a generation of iPhone needs quickly enough.
However, it probably doesn’t really matter: 60Hz is great for movies, and the iPhone 11 offers a great video experience that is elevated by powerful and clear stereo sound, thanks to solid bottom speakers and oriented speakers. forward at the top.
There is a slight predominance of bass tones from the bottom, but otherwise the stereo sound is perfectly balanced. This is more sound than we have the right to expect from such a compact and small mobile. IOS doesn’t give you the ability to customize the sound image yourself, but that’s not something we feel a great need for.
The cameras on the iPhone 12 aren’t much different from the iPhone 11. It’s still a dual-lens combo with a 12MP main sensor and an extra 12MP wide screen.
The wide lens has been given a larger aperture (ƒ / 1.6 aperture compared to ƒ / 1.8) and low light photography has been improved, but otherwise the main improvements are in the software and opportunities offered by the new image processor of the A14.
Outdoor photo with the standard iPhone 12 camera.
Outdoor photo with wide-angle camera on iPhone 12.
This means, among other things, that it is possible to shoot in Dolby Vision format, and that the HDR function has been improved on both the main and wide-angle cameras.
IPhone hasn’t been at the forefront for long when it comes to innovations and unique features in its cameras, but it has consistently delivered superior quality in signal processing and the right software and routines to easily take a good photo on the road. most environments.
This is still the case, but it is still impossible to ignore that the camera of this mobile, which costs 799 or more, seems a bit limiting, since without a telephoto zoom lens and the greater range of focal lengths, resolutions and functions – and sometimes only of high quality – it can be obtained even in an economic mobile of the Android range.
However, there it is more difficult to know if what you are buying will be reliable and of high quality. There are no worries about that here.
MagSafe and battery life
The iPhone 12 actually has a smaller battery than the iPhone 11 at just under 3,000 mAh rather than slightly more. With higher performance and a higher resolution screen, it gives us cause for concern on paper, but potential power issues are offset by the fact that the screen is OLED and the fact that the new processor is 5 nanometers consumes less energy.
Apple claims that it is possible to stream video for up to eleven hours, but it is highly dependent on the audio, service and video format.
We could easily stream 1080p YouTube video for much longer than that, while streaming movies through the Apple TV + seemed to consume more power.
You can probably count on a daily charge if you are an active and mobile user, since the operation of other applications – and 4G and especially 5G communication – uses a lot of battery power.
Because of this, the new MagSafe feature on the back is good news. This new technology has very little to do with MagSafe on a MacBook, other than it is about battery charging and magnets.
Apple has simply built a magnet on the back of the new iPhone, making it easy to install a new wireless charger with the same name. Phones can still be charged with standard QI chargers, but this will make it smoother and a bit more efficient (we especially like the fact that we can hold the phone and use it while it is charging, rather than getting stuck on the surface load).
For the rest, there is nothing new on the fast-charging front: 20w fast charging remains standard when connected via the Lightning port. It charges up to 50 percent and then the rate slows, just like the iPhone 11.
This year you have more performance in a more compact package than we’ve seen in a long time. The retro design attracts and the sharper screen convinces. We expected a little more functionality. There may be reasons to wait a bit and see if the iPhone 12 mini will suit you better.
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