What Kind Of Battery Life Do You Get With The iPhone 12 Series
Given the different sizes and battery capacities of the iPhone 12 devices, youll understandably get different battery life experiences. As enticing as its compact size might be, the biggest downside of getting the iPhone 12 Mini is its small battery.
It managed a full day of use with around five hours of screen-on time, which isnt great, and certainly not as good as what you get with the larger phones. Its not going to be particularly power-efficient either, since it packs the A14 processor. Its perhaps the biggest trade-off when picking up the smaller phone.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro come with the same 2,815mAh battery, and unsurprisingly, offer similar battery life. In his reviews, David got very close to six hours of screen-on time with both, with about a day and a half of use.
At the higher-end of the battery life spectrum is the iPhone 12 Pro Max with its 3,687mAh unit. In his testing, David saw nearly eight hours of screen on time and two entire days of use with the large phone. The excellent battery life is just one reason the Pro Max is the best of the lot.
Of course, theres the whole controversy surrounding the fact that while Apple includes a USB-C to lightning cable in the box, theres no actual charger. Youll have to buy your own USB-C charger separately if you dont already have one. Apple sells one too, for $19.
iPhone 12 Pro Review: Cameras
- Larger f/1.6 aperture lets in more light for brighter images
- Night mode works for all cameras now, including selfies
- Better overall image quality than Galaxy Note 20 Ultra but weaker zoom
The iPhone 12 Pros photography capabilities are so impressive that its almost an insult to call it a camera phone. Although the 12MP resolution remains the same on the wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, there are a ton of upgrades here, starting with a faster f/1.6 aperture for the main camera, which results in 27% improved low-light performance.
The iPhone 12 Pros photography capabilities are so impressive that its almost an insult to call it a camera phone.
Other highlights include Night Mode for the Ultra Wide and TrueDepth cameras, Deep Fusion on every camera for better detail and Smart HDR 3 for getting the best results in tricky lightning conditions.
I took a bunch of photos compared to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and the iPhone 12 Pro won nearly every round. Take this shot of some mums and pumpkins on a bench, photographed at daytime in the shadows. The iPhone 12 Pro brings out more details in the pumpkins and especially in the flower petals, resulting in a sharper and brighter image.
The iPhone 12 Pro also outperformed the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra when we tested both cameras at a nearby park. Samsungs picture is overly bright in the leaves toward the top of the frame and blows out the sky a bit, while the iPhone 12 Pro delivers a deeper blue in the sky and more contrast overall.
A New Processor And Battery Life
- A14 Bionic processor
- 5G connectivity
- All-day battery life
The big upgrade on the tech specs is 5G and the new A14 Bionic processor to power it all. As with every new iPhone, the device is more powerful than the one before and that allows Apple to offer more things beyond just allowing you to load apps and games faster.
And of course, most of it will be invisible. The iPhone just works when you ask it to do something. Whether that’s getting you to your latest puzzle to solve in a game, or processing Dolby Vision ready HDR 4K footage in-camera as you go. And all at the same time not draining your battery really quickly.
It’s worth noting that the iPhone 12 Pro now starts at 128GB storage, double that of the iPhone 11 Pro, which makes the iPhone 12 Pro actually a little better value for money than the previous version, based on launch prices.
On the battery front, the iPhone performs as we would expect. It’s always hard to gauge battery life, especially as the new-normal means we really aren’t travelling as much as we once were. We’ve yet to really see how 5G usage affects performance long term, but a morning using 5G didn’t cause any major concerns. We will update this review over time as we use the iPhone 12 Pro more and in various use cases – especially on 5G – but so far we’ve not seen any indicators that this phone will struggle to make it through the day on a charge.
- Auto 5G mode means only uses 5G when needed
- Works with all 5G networks
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iPhone 12 Review: 5g & Performance
If anything is the headphone feature of iPhone 12, it’s 5G support. It’s Apple’s first phone with 5G, and it comes at a good time, when 5G is arriving in a lot of cities , but isn’t so widespread that Apple looks late to the party.
The 5G support that’s here is comprehensive: in the US, every type of 5G is supported, including mmWave, which is where the truly hilarious speeds can come in, rather than just the mind-blowingly fast speeds. Elsewhere, there’s no mmWave support , but again the phone will work on any 5G network as seamlessly as it will 4G or 3G.
I took it for a 5G speed test, and hit 500Mbps. I was able to download a nearly 2GB film in a little over two minutes .
Even just regular web browsing is so quick that it feels weird no waiting for images and text to pop in as a page loads. You hit go and the whole thing just appears at once. This is next-gen stuff, isn’t it?
Well, yes and no. Here’s the thing: I then switched 5G off, and standing in the exact same spot I ran a speed test on 4G. I got 250Mbps. That is, admittedly, only half as fast. But on the other hand, it’s 250Mbps! That’s 10 times faster than the average UK wired broadband.
The way that 5G is being rolled out in many places, it’s basically being added on as part of major upgrades of existing infrastructure, so where you get incredible 5G speeds, you’ll often get incredible 4G speeds, raising the question of whether the 5G technology was really what we needed to make major improvements happen.
How Do You Know When Its Time To Upgrade
My iPhone 6S Plus is still going strong, but I had heard that with Apples next release, it would no longer be compatible with the newest OS upgrade, said Donna Schwartz Mills, in Los Angeles. If thats true, I think I need to upgrade?”
These days, upgrading an iPhone is mostly a question of when, and how much you want to spend.
Holding on to a phone for three or more years is now completely normal. Phones have been getting more expensive, without getting a whole lot better. Apple is stuck in a cycle of trying to market some flashy new iPhone feature each year something it gave up trying to do on Mac laptops.
You need a new iPhone when yours isnt doing what you want anymore. For many people, that happens when you crack the screen beyond repair, or when you feel youre taking photos that are inferior to your friends.
When Apple drops support for your phone in iOS upgrades, thats a sign you might soon be missing out on the latest apps, security or new features like this years coronavirus exposure notifications. The latest iOS 14 supports phones as old as 2015s iPhone 6S, and its fair to assume that next years iOS could drop support for it. For anyone still on a 6S, that means you have at least another year.
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Magsafe For The iPhone 12 And iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro use a fun new “MagSafe” magnetic accessory system. The name was first used back when Apple’s MacBook chargers had magnets that held them in place.
MagSafe is used for wireless charging and for sticking accessories to the back of your iPhone. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro still work with regular wireless charging pads, but they’ll juice up twice as fast â 15 watts instead of 7.5 watts â with the MagSafe charger. It magnetically sticks to the back of the phone.
MagSafe works well, though I wish the charging puck didn’t slide off tables so easily. Apple partners such as Belkin are building some pretty nice stands, though, and Apple says more MagSafe products are coming.
Apple’s new cases work with MagSafe, too, so the wireless charging puck still attaches even if you have a case on. You can attach things like a new leather wallet to the back of the iPhone 12, though I found that the magnet wasn’t strong enough to keep the wallet on while it was sliding around in in my pocket.
Oh, and the MagSafe charger works with older iPhones that have wireless charging, they just don’t attach magnetically.
MagSafe is a fun new system. It’ll probably help drive accessory revenue even more for Apple. I’m excited to see what Apple and its partners bring in the future.
Battery Life Youll Need To Provide Your Own Charger
There were notable gains across the board in terms of battery life last year, however things are more modest with the iPhone 12. The 2815mAh battery has been getting me roughly the same about of juice as the 11, which is impressive considering all the extra benefits youre getting.
The lack of huge jump in endurance might irk some though and this remains a phone youll most likely be charging every day.
Per charge, I have been getting around 6 hours of screen on time and this is very much the same as the 12 Pro. An hour of HDR streaming from Netflix ate through 8%.
Now, there are some caveats here. Due to the current situation, I am using Wi-Fi more and mobile networks less. I also dont live in a reliable 5G area so if youre pounding downloads on a 5G network expect to hit 0% far quicker.
Probably the biggest controversy with the iPhone 12 is the lack of a plug in the box. Theres just a USB C cable and, well, nothing else. EarPods and a wall brick have been ditched, which make for a far slimmer box and hopefully a benefit to the environment in the long run. Im all for this decision, but I do think Apples way of dealing with it is a bit odd.
While its great the included cable is USB C, very few people would have plentiful USB bricks lying around their house. This would be nulled somewhat if Apple has switched the phone over to USB C so could use the same plug and cable combi you charge an iPad or laptop with, but it didnt. Lightning remains and I just cant see why.
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Top Performance Long Battery Life
The iPhone 12 has the same A14 Bionic processor as used to great effect in the new iPad Air and the iPhone 12 Pro. It is an extremely powerful chip that runs rings around most of the competition and can handle anything you would demand of an iPhone, including graphically intensive gaming, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Everything is snappy and slick but it doesnt feel night and day faster than last years iPhone 11 or the iPhone SE, although it will be a significant step up from older phones.
The iPhone 12 line is the first of Apples smartphones to have 5G. Performance was similar to the top Android smartphones, which have the same Qualcomm-made 5G modem, although indoor reception was slightly worse than the OnePlus 8T or Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. Note that only models sold in the US also support mmWave 5G on top of the more standard mid-band 5G used in the rest of the world.
Battery life was very good. The phone lasts about 40 hours between charges with the screen used for well over six hours in that time, which is longer than most similarly sized rivals. That means the phone made it from 7am on day one until 9pm on day two, spending four hours on 5G and the rest on wifi, while I used many different chat and social apps, various health apps, Safari, Gmail, OneNote, Google Maps, the Premier League app, six hours of Spotify over Bluetooth headphones, one hour of Netflix and shot about 20 photos.
iPhone 12 Model Accuracy
These dummy models that we are showing are sourced similarly to the iPhone 11 dummies that AppleInsider showed ahead of the iPhone 11 launch.
They are based on leaked schematics that case manufacturers utilize to create cases ahead of the official announcement. We talked about these schematics previously in our “iPhone 12” rumor roundup.
Schematics only give us so much information, however. Mainly, just the parts that case manufacturers care about. That means the layout and size of the notch may not be accurate. And, case companies only care about the dimensions of the bump, but not what is contained in the bump.
That’s why even though we’ve heard rumors of LiDAR coming to “iPhone 12 Pro,” these dummies only have the same three camera modules as the iPhone 11 line.
We can discern some information from the outside, though, such as the location of the SIM card tray, size of external buttons, and retention of the Lightning port.
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iPhone 12 Review: Verdict
Im of two minds about the iPhone 12. Theres no question this is a great phone overall, and many of the changes Apple has made to its most popular iPhone are for the better. The new Super Retina XDR panel is a phenomenal improvement over the disappointing LCD panels in previous models at this price, even if it lacks a high refresh rate. And the fresh new design, MagSafe system and excellent dual-camera system all earn the iPhone 12 high marks.
But Apples resistance to change in key areas is still disappointing. Practically every major phone maker has stopped being stingy with base storage. The fact the iPhone 12 still only starts with 64GB is borderline criminal. Equally frustrating, Apple has stopped including a charger, although Samsung does the same thing with the Galaxy S21.
Some may want to wait for the iPhone 13 this fall. The new iPhone promises even faster performance, better cameras, Touch ID in the display, a smaller notch and 120Hz displays . But nine months after its arrival, the iPhone 12 is still very much worth buying.
iPhone 12 Review: Video
Apple has gone all in on 4K HDR video recording with the iPhone 12 line. Like the iPhone 12 and Pro Max, the regular iPhone 12 can record Dolby Vision video, albeit only at 30 frames per second to the Pro models 60. Dolby Vision is a type of HDR encoding that goes beyond the standard HDR10 format to provide superior color depth, while ensuring a consistent visual presentation as closely aligned to the source material as possible, no matter where or how the content is viewed.
It may be hard to visualize, but trust us on this one the difference is immediately clear when observing the same content side-by-side in HDR and SDR. I recorded a short video in a park as the sun descended behind the trees, and the gap in contrast in each instance was eye-opening. For one, the sky was markedly brighter in the Dolby Vision capture, and I could actually make out individual leaves and trees reflecting the sun. These aspects were faded, washed out and obscured in the SDR take, and as someone who has been using an iPhone 11 Pro for video for the better part of a year, I had no idea what Id been missing.
Now, to be fair, the iPhone 12 is far from the only smartphone out there that can shoot HDR video. However, it is the only Dolby Vision-certified one, and I can definitely say that HDR video Ive shot on our Galaxy S20 Plus has never looked anywhere near as good unedited as what the iPhone 12 churns out by default.
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A Fast And Powerful Chip
A14 Bionic makes everything from gaming to photo editing extremely fluid, and enables things like 4K Dolby Vision recording
Incredible efficiency gives you all these advanced capabilities while still providing great battery life
Brings the latest AR experiences to life from reliving the NASA Apollo space missions to trying out a new couch
Same chip as iPhone 12 Pro
iPhone 12 Review: Screen & Speakers
Aside from the design, the screen is the biggest upgrade from iPhone 11 to iPhone 12, and again it’s a knockout. Instead of the LCD panel in its predecessor, the iPhone 12 has a beautiful OLED display that’s also higher resolution, so you get a boost in a whole range of areas. In fact, it’s nearly identical to the screen in the iPhone 12 Pro, and feels it.
The screen is now 1170×2532, making it 460 pixels per inch it’s impossible to see individual pixels without glueing it to the end of your nose. It supports the P3 wide colour gamut, so everything is as vibrant and realistic as possible .
It’s also an HDR screen, which is primarily of use when watching HDR movies from Netflix, Disney+, iTunes etc. The iPhone supports Dolby Vision HDR, which is a more advanced form of HDR, and is delivered by all those services I just mentioned.
When an HDR video demands it, the screen can peak its brightness as high as 1,200 nits, which is extremely impressive. Very few TVs can achieve this, and that includes flagship OLED TVs. Combined with the precision of OLED’s self-emissive pixels, there’s genuinely stunning contrast and realism here, whether that’s more stylised blockbusters or just watching nature documentaries with the most true-to-life colours around.
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