The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are here and mark the beginning of a new generation of iPhone.
Supported for 5G, a new hardware design and camera improvements are a significant step away from the iPhone X generation of devices.
This is nothing new. Apple did something similar in 2010 with the iPhone 4 and in 2014 when it released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
There is one big difference with the iPhone 12 generation, though.
It’s the first time there are four new iPhones at once: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. 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.
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.
Heck, they both come in blue. (Technically, the 12 Pro is Pacific blue.) This is a departure from the base and pro models from last year.
The $699 iPhone 11 and $999 iPhone 11 Pro were similar but had enough differences to distinguish themselves from each other.
The $829 iPhone 12 (or $799 if you activate it on a carrier when you buy it) is $130 more than the iPhone 11 when it was released.
An iPhone 12 with 128GB of storage (the same as the baseline 12 Pro) costs $879 (sans carrier discount) which is only $120 less than the $999 iPhone 12 Pro.
It’s best to think of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro as “better” and “best” versions of the same phone.
During my time with both phones, I found myself picking the 12 Pro more. Not because it had a telephoto camera or lidar, which the 12 lacks: I preferred 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, felt solid and premium in my hand.
Connecting to 5G can tax your phone’s battery life. Apple implemented a clever software feature called Smart Data mode, which balances data needs, speed and power.
Smart Data looks at a number of factors to determine whether you need to use 5G. If you don’t, your iPhone will switch to a 4G connection. Smart Data can even switch between different bands of 5G. You can override Smart Data and select to have 5G connectivity all the time.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have an iPhone 5 design:-
One of the first things I noticed 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 colors 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.
In terms of battery life, I typically got through a day and the next morning OK. I was able to run a single battery test with looped video playing at half brightness in airplane mode.
The iPhone 12 Pro lasted 15 hours, 56 minutes and the iPhone 12 lasted 17 hours, 14 minutes. I want more time to evaluate the battery life on the 12 and 12 Pro once I’m done reviewing the phones and we have more battery tests to run, so check back to this article for updates.
Both phone screens are covered with a ceramic shield, a new material that starts off as glass and is infused with nano-ceramic crystals.
Apple claims it offers four times the protection when dropped. I’m not sure exactly how that number was calculated by Apple, but I look forward to my colleagues putting the 12 and 12 Pro through a series of drop tests.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are both rated IP68 for water- and dust-resistance and can withstand being submerged in water to a depth of 6 meters for 30 minutes. In the time I had the phones, both handled spills, light rain and minimal submerging in water just fine.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are amazing phones, but we only have half the picture right now.
There’s also the iPhone 12 Mini (which I’m particularly excited about, given its size and price) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which maxes out the size of the phone’s display and offers camera improvements that none of the other iPhones 12 have.
But that’s just what we know based on the specs. We’ll have to wait until November to see how they work out in reality.