Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review

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Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review

Quick Summary – Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Despite being called a "Pro" this Apple iPhone model from the 12 series is middling. It’s not quite a great phone, but it’s certainly a very good phone. The big question is: should you spend the extra money to get an iPhone 12 Pro, or should you go all-out on the iPhone 12 Pro Max? We’ve compared it to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max to find out if the upgraded specs are really worth it.

4 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Nice design and colour options
  • Effective optical zoom, night camera and third-party photo apps
  • Powerful processor
  • MagSafe is a success

Cons

  • Charging isn’t simple, no block included
  • 5G is expensive and not entirely worth it
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max is better but not much more expensive

iPhone 12 Pro Full Review

At first glance, this phone is impressive. It’s array of features and brilliant specs earn it a 4-star rating easily. But the problem is, it’s not that simple. In reality, when you’re buying a new smartphone, you compare it to other models. And this is the iPhone 12 Pro’s downfall. When you compare it to the standard iPhone 12 and the top-of-the-range iPhone 12 Pro Max, you’re left wondering if the new specs really are all that great, if they can be upgraded for an extra few £100’s. Regardless, it’s hard to find faults with the iPhone 12 Pro only improvements.

Main Features

To help you quickly compare this model to the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max, etc., here are the main features.

  • Released: October 2020
  • Weight: 187g
  • Dimensions: 14.67 x 7.15 x 0.74cm
  • Display: 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR display
  • System: Apple A14 Bionic processor with iOS 14
  • Cameras: Trio rear 12MP cameras, single 12MP selfie camera
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB with 6GB RAM

Below are the three main key features that Apple are excited about with the Apple iPhone 12 Pro.

Key Feature – 5G

All the big players are enabling their top lines with 5G tech, nowadays. Theoretically, this is great because it futureproofs our phones so when 5G is available we will be ready.

In reality, the 5G will be a hindrance to many people. Having the 5G mode on really drains the battery. Turn the display to the highest Hz and start streaming or recording a video at the same time, and the battery is suddenly under a lot of strain.

So, while the super powerful processor and latest iOS (more on those below) are completely capable of getting you those fast connection speeds with 5G, it’s not actually a feature that’s useful for many people yet. When 5G is available to more widespread areas, this might change.

Key Feature - MagSafe

Put simply, the MagSafe feature is a magnet stuck to the back of your phone so you can add accessories to it.

Currently, we have a range of cases, chargers and a few wallet add-ons that use MagSafe. The magnets keep a very VERY firm grip on them, so you won’t lose your wallet or knock your phone off wireless charging and smash it on the floor. It also allows the accessories to ‘communicate’ with your phone, letting you know what they contain for example.

Does it work? Yes. Is it effective? Yes. Is it something to get excited about? Hmm. Not really. There are plenty of interesting features on this phone, but while the MagSafe is a useful feature, it didn’t blow our socks off.

Key Feature - Cameras

Even with Apple focusing on the 5G and new MagSafe features, it’s still the camera that really draws in customers. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro has a trio of cameras on the back and a single TrueDepth selfie camera on the front (detailed specs below).

In terms of performance, the cameras are pretty amazing. Portrait mode, especially, is very good. The LiDAR scanner gives you that bokeh blur effect while easily finding a very sharp and fast autofocus on the subject. Photos taken in low lights are brighter too.

Of course, the big problem is that the Pro Max has even better stabilisation, improved low-light image sensor, and a better zoom. So, if the camera is the most important aspect to you… why would you buy this model instead of the Pro Max?

Design and Screen Size

  • Dimensions: 14.67 x 7.15 x 0.74cm
  • Weight: 187g
  • Display: Super Retina XDR
  • Screen Size: 6.1 inches
  • Resolution: 2340 x 1080
  • Pixels Per Inch: 460
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Starting with the design, it’s very nice! The colours available are silver, graphite, gold and Pacific blue. These muted yet dark shades have a classier feel compared to other flagship models from the likes of Samsung, which verge more towards sunny pastel shades.

The iPhone 12 Pro has a stainless-steel body, which is sturdier than the aluminium iPhone 12, a matte glass back (minimises greasy fingerprints), and Ceramic Shield front which is more robust than the usual glass front. It still won’t survive falling on tiled floor, though.

As for the display, it’s notably more bright, clear and deep. The HDR display is definitely better than the iPhone 12, even though the dimensions are identical. The only thing missing is a 120Hz refresh rate to make it extra sharp when scrolling.

Battery Life

  • Energy: 2815mAh
  • Performance: Up to 17 hours of video playback

Battery life is not bad at all. 17 hours of video playback is decent, sure, but not great. With 5G on and heavy use, it will drain quickly. But with moderate use (a few games, a few Netflix shows, a few photos throughout the day) it will last until bedtime easily. It’s most efficient when the phone is on standby. With very light use, it lasted us around 2 days!

In the box is a USB-C to lightning cable. And that’s it.

We recommend buying the 20W fast-charge adapter block, so you charge up to 50% in roughly 30 minutes (longer if you’re using it actively). MagSafe wireless charging is 15W and Qi wireless charging is 7.5W.

Memory, Storage and Performance

  • Processor: Apple A14 Bionic
  • Operating System: iOS 14
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 6GB

Although the processer and operating system are the same as the iPhone 12, they’re certainly not something to turn your nose up at. It’s fast and powerful – more than powerful enough to juggle 5G, large games, multiple cameras and keep that decent 60Hz display refresh rate.

The main improvements here are the storage and the RAM. Rather than starting with 64GB sizes, the iPhone 12 Pro comes in at 128GB and the largest capacity is a massive 512GB. That’s plenty of space for gamers and photography geeks. 6GB of RAM isn’t as huge, but it does the job and won’t let you down.

All in all, the performance is great even if not an improvement on the iPhone 12.

Cameras

  • Rear Camera: 12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.4)
  • Rear Camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.6)
  • Rear Camera: 12MP Telephoto (ƒ/2.0)
  • Front Camera: 12MP TrueDepth (ƒ/2.2)

As mentioned above, the cameras are pretty good! At first glance, the specs aren’t that different to the other iPhone 12 models. Even the iPhone 12 Mini has the same two wide and ultra-wide rear cameras.

The real difference here is that extra Telephoto camera on the rear and the LiDAR scanner tech for improved low-light photography. The optical zoom is good enough to be one of the main pros of this phone model but there’s room for improvement, as the greater optical zoom specs on the iPhone 12 Pro Max prove.

You also have a good range of third-party apps that can outperform the pre-loaded programs Apple have for photographers. If you’re really into your photography, it’s good to have those options there.

How does it compare to the Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max?

All three models, the iPhone 12, the 12 Pro, and the 12 Pro Max, all have the same A14 Bionic processor and iOS 14. In terms of performance, they’re all very similar. The main differences are in the updated designs (check out our iPhone 12 Mini review for a table comparing dimensions and screen sizes), sturdier materials, larger capacities, new LiDAR and photography features, and the improved display.

Conclusion – Should you buy the Apple iPhone 12 Pro?

This is a good phone that’s designed for photographers, videographers and gamers. If it’s in your budget and has every feature/spec you’re looking for, then there’s no reason why you won’t be happy with it. It’s a good phone! But you’d be wise to carefully examine the differences between the iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max before making a final decision.

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