Apple iPhone 12 Review: Performance
Performance is also a mixed bag. While the 5nm Apple A14 Bionic SoC is ahead of much of the competition, it isn’t ahead of the iPhone 11 by as much as I expected it to be and it continues to struggle to compete with the best phones around when it comes to battery life.
Indeed, in our video rundown test, with the screen set to a brightness level of 170cd/m² and flight mode engaged, the iPhone 12 lasted 16hrs 30mins. For a phone with bleeding-edge 5nm silicon residing under the hood thats disappointing , although it isnt outside the parameters of Apples quoted stamina. For reference, thats 17 hours of video playback from local storage or 11 hours of streamed video playback.
And although charging speed is likewise reasonably good, with a 20W Apple charger bringing up 50% charge in 30 minutes, this is a long way behind the quickest competition. The OnePlus 8T, for instance, can charge up to 100% in less than 40 minutes. And, dont forget, Apple is no longer including the charger in the box so your mileage may vary here, especially if you dont own a 20W Apple charger already.
Having said all that if youve never owned a super-fast charging phone before you probably wont miss it here and the battery should comfortably last you a day of moderate use.
As Big As Its Always Been
The first iPhone with a 6.7-inch screen was the iPhone 12 Pro Max in 2020. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the about same size as the 12 Pro Max, as well as the iPhone 13 Pro Max it replaces. Its 6.3 inches tall, 3.1 inches wide, and 0.3 inches deep. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is as heavy as the 13 Pro Max, weighing 8.47 ounces . Its a hefty phone that feels substantial in the hand, which some people prefer. Pockets need to be on the deeper side to fit this phone securely.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is difficult to use with one hand, even if your hands are large. Reaching for the far end of the keyboard with your thumb is a stretch and reaching for the upper opposite corner with your thumb is impossible for most people. This is a phone you will sometimes have to use with two handsand the Dynamic Island only strengthens that case. Keep in mind that if you do put a case on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the case could make the phone even bigger.
The camera array on the back of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is about as large as it was, slightly shifted down and to the right compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. However, it looks and feels much bigger since the lenses are raised more. This is a very aggressive camera bump and the kind of phone that actually benefits from having a case.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max camera array protrudes more from the back than the iPhone 13 Pro Max .
Display iPhone 12 Pro With Bright Oled
The display grew slightly to 6.1-inches now. It runs at a native resolution of 2532×1170 pixels, a resolution Apple refers to as Super Retina XDR. Its maximum brightness was increased over the iPhone 11 Pro and will now reach up to 822 nits in the center of all-white content and similar results in the APL50 test with a pattern of evenly distributed dark and bright areas or even manual brightness adjustment. We were, however, unable to verify Apples claims of up to 1,200 nits in our tests. In order to reach those the phone will most likely have to detect the on-screen content as HDR material. The display supports HDR10 and DolbyVision.
Pulse Width Modulation is a topic we have already talked about previously. Like all OLED displays the iPhone 12 Pro will display the typical PWM flicker. Amplitudes differ based on display brightness. When set to minimum brightness, the frequency fluctuated between 117.9 and 245.1 Hz. Between minimum and 21% brightness the frequency remained fairly consistent at 223 to 250 Hz. Between 22% and 50% display brightness we were able to attest a frequency of 60 Hz. Above 50% it started to fluctuate again and measured between 80 and 277.8 Hz.
Due to the nature of its OLED technology the iPhone can display true blacks, which in turn results in a theoretically infinite contrast ratio.
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iPhone 12 Pro Battery Life And Magsafe
Apple doesn’t advertise the battery capacities of its iPhones, but going by some of the recent teardown findings, the iPhone 12 Pro seems to have a 2,815mAh capacity, which is lower than that of the iPhone 11 Pro. This would be laughable on an Android smartphone in 2020, but on an iPhone, it’s adequate for everyday use. On average, I was able to cross a full day and get a few more hours of use the next day before the battery level dropped below 10 percent. With heavier use, I was still getting close to a full day.
For most people, I think this should be satisfactory. These results were on a 4G network, as 5G is still a distant dream in India, and battery life is expected to be lower when connected to 5G networks. Our HD video battery loop test ran just shy of 15 hours, which is good but not the best.
The iPhone 12 Pro supports Apple’s MagSafe wireless charging ecosystem
If you want to be hip, you can opt for one of Apple’s new MagSafe chargers. The iPhone 12 Pro and the rest in the series support MagSafe chargers and accessories, which are designed to magnetically latch onto the back of the iPhone for optimal contact. I’ve been using Apple’s basic MagSafe charger which costs Rs. 4,500 and is able to deliver up to 15W of wireless charging as long as you also buy Apple’s own adapter. The magnets are quite strong, and the charger stays secure on the back of the iPhone unless you yank it off with force.
iPhone 12 Pro Review: Software
- Ships with iOS 14
We won’t dwell on the software, as like all remotely recent iPhones this runs the latest version of iOS, which at the time of writing is iOS 15.
That’s several small updates on from the iOS 14 software that the phone launched with, and these tweaks have added things like Apple Fitness Plus, which gives subscribers access to a range of workout videos, ProRaw, which we’ve detailed in the camera section, App Tracking Transparency, new emojis, and more.
iOS 15 has also added FaceTime improvements, SharePlay, better notifications, a redesigned Safari, and quite a lot more.
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These Updates Are Iterative As Ever But The Cameras And Dynamic Island Shine
by Samuel Axon – Sep 21, 2022 5:35 pm UTC
From left to right: the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
From left to right: the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The backs of the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Whether were talking about the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Pro, or the iPhone 14 Pro Max, this years update focuses on the cameras.
Yes, the Pro models have always-on displays and an oh-so-very-Apple approach to replacing the controversial screen notch. But as nifty as those perks are, they shouldnt be the reasons you buy these phones.
The cameras are now so prominentin the Pro models especiallythat its starting to feel like we should call these devices “smartcameras” rather than smartphones.
The smartphone has been more or less perfected over the years there arent many new frontiers to explore in that space. But in ways both big and small, Apple keeps finding new ways to improve the amateur digital photography experience.
As a result, the iPhone 14 models are some of the best smartcameras you can buyeven though they’re not a revolutionary upgrade over the devices that came before them.
A Brief Interregnum On A Usb
All during rumor season, Apple watchers hoped and prayed this would be the year Apple would transition the iPhone from Lightning to USB-C. Alas, it never came to passinstead, next years high-end iPhone will purportedly ditch Lightning for USB-C. The reason is obvious: a USB-C iPhone would be convenient. With MacBooks and iPads sporting USB-C portscuriously, the new AirPods Pro do notmost people want to live in a Lord of the Rings world where one cable could charge them all. Thats perfectly logical, but isnt the whole story.
Convenience aint everything.
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The Dynamic Island feels as accessible as it is practical. The usability win here, accessibility-wise, is simple: the Island confines many types of system feedback into one area. An incoming phone call, a timer, or multitudes thereof, all live in that inanimate blob such that its a concrete place to look for those things. For many people with visual and/or cognitive delays, this is a huge development an iOS veteran might well know where and how certain interface elements surface, but they can still be discombobulating. An incoming phone call may swoop in from the top of the screen, but timers and the Face ID prompt are someplace else. Thus, the advent of the Dynamic Island strips away that complexity by contorting itself to house these different UIs in a small space. The gymnastics are much more meaningful than adding fun and whimsy they have practical. sensible application in real use.
iPhone 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 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.
This scene really shows off the dynamic range of the iPhone 12.
The iPhone 12 has the exact same cameras as the iPhone 12 Pro, except for the telephoto camera and lidar. But these phones aren’t just dependent on hardware to take good photos and videos. Apple’s new A14 Bionic chip, along with software and machine learning, adds improvements to everything.
For example, the 12 and 12 Pro have the same hardware for their ultrawide-angle camera as 2019’s 11 and 11 Pro. But the 12 and 12 Pro have software to correct the lens distortion. Take a look below at these ultrawide-angle photos of a brick wall. in the iPhone 11 photo, notice how the corners of the brick wall look like they’re bending.
Timed selfie taken with the rear ultrawide-angle camera on the iPhone 12. Getting my Beastie Boys pose on.
Apple added software to reduce the distortion on the ultrawide-angle camera. Lucky the dramatic perspective remains unchanged in this photo taken with the iPhone 12.
The ultrawide-angle camera on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro now has Night Mode support.
Without a lot of light, the iPhone 12 Pro was able to render this scene beautifully.
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iPhone 12 Pro Review: 5g
- 5G is a big upgrade – if there’s coverage in your area
- Many places don’t yet have 5G, and using it is a battery drain
5G has been a tricky feature to review, because some people will find it to be brilliant, and others won’t be able to use it fully, if at all.
If you buy any of the new iPhone range, you’re getting 5G connectivity as standard, and that’s an excellent thing. Apple is smuggling the next-gen connectivity tech into your next phone, whether you want it or not.
When it works as it can, its game-changing. Downloading a 110MB audio book took us just 30 seconds, and where our 4G phone couldn’t connect to Spotify thanks to network congestion in the middle of a city, we were able to instantly connect and start streaming over 5G on the iPhone 12 Pro .
5G might seem flashy, and it’s hard not to be dazzled by promises of speeds of 200Mbps on the go, but it’s actually a really useful and robust technology. It’ll allow you to connect seamlessly to the internet in crowded environments if you’ve ever tried to browse the web at a sports event, or upload a photo while at a concert, you’ll appreciate being able to do those things with ease over a 5G connection.
At least, that’s the theory. The issue here is that while the iPhone 12 Pro can connect to a huge variety of different 5G networks, including mmWave in the US with Verizon, these networks haven’t fully rolled out yet in many locations.
iPhone 12 Pro Review: Magsafe
- Lets you magnetically attach accessories
- The selection of MagSafe accessories is limited
We’ve observed many times how Apple rarely invents a new technology more often it just takes existing tech and puts its own stamp on it it .
That’s the case with MagSafe, a set of magnets under the casing on the back of the iPhone 12 Pro. Its named after the magnetic power adaptor supplied with older-generation MacBooks: this safe magnet would snap out if you snagged the power lead, rather than pulling your laptop onto the floor.
The new MagSafe works a little differently, ensuring a very firm hold when you snap on an accessory. Currently, these accessories are limited to cases, a charger and a wallet add-on. MagSafe accessories can also communicate what they actually are to your iPhone, which has a number of benefits.
With the MagSafe charger, for example, the magnets align the phone right in the center of the charging pad, and because the iPhone 12 Pro knows it’s a compatible charger, itll juice up your phone with twice the wireless power of the previous model.
Actually, that’s unfair. The Moto Mods program unleashed so many cool ideas: clip-on smart speakers, high-end cameras, even a projector. While Motorola couldn’t generate the scale to make its system viable, Apple certainly can, and in a few months we could be up to our eyes in third-party MagSafe accessories.
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Apple iPhone 12 Review: Design
When I said the iPhone 12 takes inspiration from the iPhone 4 and 4s, I wasnt kidding. This is the first iPhone since to have flat sides and glass at the front and back. I rather liked that edition of the iPhone and I like this one even more. The frame is finished here in matte aluminium, where the Pro models are adorned with gleaming stainless steel.
The black forehead and chin bezels have long-since been banished, of course, in favour of an edge-to-edge screen, and the bezels that remain have been slimmed down. This results in a more elegant-looking handset and also one thats smaller in all dimensions than the iPhone 11. Heres a comparison of the dimensions of the iPhone 12 versus last years handset:
Its a surprisingly light phone, too, weighing a mere 164g that’s 15% lighter than its predecessor. For a phone of this size, its remarkably svelte and you can feel that difference in your pocket.
The one area the phone doesnt hold an advantage over last years model, though, is in the choice of colours. Instead of six, theres only four to pick from in 2020: blue, green, white, black and Product Red.
The buttons, Do Not Disturb switch, speaker grille, SIM slot and Lightning connector all reside in their usual positions, as does the square camera bump. The phone is still dust- and water-resistant to the IP68 standard, which means it can be submerged in up to six metres of water for as long as 30 minutes.
iPhone 14 Pro Vs iPhone 13 Pro 12 Pro 11 Pro
If you have last year’s iPhone 13 Pro, I don’t think you should upgrade. While the improvements and new features have a lot of sizzle, you aren’t getting a drastically different experience. Upgrade your 13 Pro to iOS 16 and enjoy the new features from that software update instead.
But if you have an iPhone 12 Pro and have the itch to upgrade, the 14 Pro is a sizable step up in terms of performance, battery life, camera quality and additional features like the Dynamic Island.
And if you’re rocking an iPhone 11 Pro or older, the iPhone 14 Pro is a giant upgrade all around.
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The iPhone 12 And 12 Pro Have The Same 5g Support
It’s brilliant that both the 12 and 12 Pro can connect to sub-6 and mmWave 5G here in the US. One phone doesn’t have better 5G support than the other. They are both the same.
I tested these phones in Greenville, South Carolina on both T-Mobile’s 5G network and Verizon’s Nationwide 5G . I was impressed with the coverage both carriers offered, but not always with the consistency of 5G speeds. Using the app SpeedTest, the iPhone 12 on T-Mobile recorded download speeds between 10.4 and 14.9 megabits per second, while the iPhone 12 Pro on Verizon clocked in between 97.9 and 104Mbps for downloads.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 both offer the same support for 5G.
Speed tests aside, there isn’t a killer app that can show off how 5G is pushing things forward. Right now, you’ll see a lot of reviews showing you SpeedTest scores and how fast you can download season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. That said, most iPhone owners tend to keep their phones for years. Even if you don’t experience fast 5G speeds now, at least your phone will be able to handle them when they arrive down the line.
One cool thing about 5G on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro was that it let me make HD FaceTime calls over cellular. More 5G things like that, please.