Test: iPhone 12 – Same old, or something completely new?

Test: iPhone 12 - Same old, or something completely new?

With the iPhone 12, Apple goes back to the more angular design from the iPhone 4 era. But other than that, what’s really new compared to the 11 Series?

To directly answer the above question; not very much. Then it does not necessarily have to be something negative. The concept iPhone has largely had the same basis since the first model was released in 2007. With refinements of both hardware and operating systems until what we have today.

The question you should really ask yourself is; when to buy one iPhone 12? Something I was going to try to figure out here. But we start with some thoughts about the biggest change compared to previous years iPhonemodels, the look.

A more angular phone

Personally, I have always been extra weak for the classic design, especially iPhone 5 / 5S and SEE (the first variant). Both because I appreciated the slightly smaller format, but perhaps mainly because the phones felt relatively robust.

Since iPhone 12series (consisting of iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max) has Apple thus releasing the rounded design that followed iPhone 6. Although I really appreciate the look of mine iPhone 11 Pro I still have to say that Apple gone in the right direction with their latest creation.

iPhone 12 - Review - Test - Back - Buttons
iPhone 12 returns to the more angular design from the iPhone 4 and 5 era.

Another nice detail, surprisingly nice even, is that the weight has been reduced to 164 grams in iPhone 12. Another small plus here is that the weight distribution is centered on the middle of the phone rather than the bottom, as was the case with iPhone 11. Which makes it easier to hold the phone and in the long run also (I guess) reduces the chance of losing it.

Which of all the iPhone 12s is the best?

I have tested the black variant of iPhone 12 which are also available in the colors white, blue, green and red. The same color scale applies to the mini variant while Pro and Pro Max got the slightly more flashy color options graphite, silver, gold and Pacific blue. So, apart from colors, what is the difference between the different models?

In terms of content, all four phones have exactly the same variant of processor (Apple A14 Bionic), exactly the same OLEDscreen panel (but with slightly different resolutions), the same 12-megapixel camera on the front and running the same operating system version. The biggest differences between the models are instead seen mainly in the camera functions, there iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max gifted with a so-called Lidar-sensor. Something that both adds better tracking in AREtools but also increases the ability to take sensible photos in dark environments and improves the speed of autofocus.

Pro and Pro MaxThe models have also been equipped with an extra telephoto-type camera. This makes it possible to optically zoom 2.5 times and digitally up to 10 times. Said camera has at Pro Max also has a higher light input with an aperture of ƒ / 2.2 compared to ƒ / 2.0 at Promodel. Pro Max also offers a slightly better battery life compared to other models.

iPhone 12 - Back - Camera
Apart from the addition of a third camera and an extra sensor in the Pro models, there are no extreme differences in the iPhone 12 family.

Apart from the above, the differences are isolated to the more obvious ones in terms of pure size. Here is iPhone 12 mini (not entirely surprising) at least with its 5.4 inch display (2340 x 1080 pixels). iPhone 12 and 12 Pro comes next with exactly the same screens and outer dimensions (6.1 inches, 2532 x 1170 pixels). While iPhone 12 Pro Max with its 6.7 inches and a resolution of 2778 x 1284 pixels is the largest phone Apple ever launched.

So to sum up: iPhone 12 Pro Max is undoubtedly the best phone, in terms of performance and features. However, you do not have explicit use of Lidarsensor and telephoto camera or really want the largest possible screen are common 12 or mini (if you want a slightly smaller phone) probably better choice.

But MagSafe then?

A novelty that is, however, unique to iPhone 12series is the support for Apples MagSafetechnology for charging. What it’s about is concise that Apple launched a wireless charger called just MagSafe (just like the previous ones MacBook-chargers confusingly enough also called). What makes the difference MagSafe against ordinary wireless chargers is that magnets automatically click MagSafecharger in place on the back of the phone, which ensures the best possible wireless connection for charging.

iPhone 12- Details - Page -Thin
Although the angular design has quite a few years on its neck, it feels as current as ever.

Apple has also taken the opportunity to launch and license a variety of MagSafe-compatible accessories. Everything from wallets and ordinary simple shells to car holders. The whole thing with MagSafe is thus that all accessories click firmly on the back with the help of the built-in magnets. A pretty good idea that will surely evoke a lot of smart accessories and uses over time. For the moment, however, I would not say that MagSafe itself is an argument for buying a new one iPhone.

Using the iPhone 12

So how is then to use iPhone 12? Apart from the new old design, everything is just as it usually is. Small upgrades from previous years’ models add to a whole that is still really good. Support for 5G is nice, but feels more like something given than a revolutionary news. Possibly I think that the more angular design is not quite as comfortable in the hand as the more rounded version of iPhone 11. But it still feels like a petitess.

iPhone 12series has received some criticism for that Apple not yet jumped on the trend of monitors with higher refresh rates than the usual 60 Hz. Something that would have been nice, but for me it does not feel like a deal breaker. Especially not when the screens of both iPhone 12 and its siblings now all are of the really fine OLEDquality that is also found in iPhone 11 Pro.

iPhone 12 - Review - Test - Front - Screen
Apple has not yet jumped on the trend of screens with higher refresh rates, which gives more flow when scrolling and movements in general. Personally, this is not something I miss extremely much, although it would definitely be nice.

Otherwise, most things are as usual. iOS continuously updated with new features, this year’s processor gives a little more flow compared to previous years, the sound is still surprisingly good for a phone and overall the whole device feels even a little more polished than previous models. Apple know how to make good phones and above all the sense of quality is still in a class by itself.

A thinner cardboard

However, something that is worth noting is that Apple with this installation of iPhonemodels scrapped both the included wall socket and EarPods in the packaging. Something Apple themselves refer to are for environmental reasons. Which of course is true to some extent as fewer charge pads and headsets in theory need to be produced.

iPhone 12 - Smaller, thinner cardboard
New for iPhone 12 is that both the included wall charger (but not the USB cable) and EarPods have been removed from the package.

However, it is important to keep in mind that it included USBcable now also disconnected Lightning at one end and plain USB-A in the other to Lightning and USB-C. So you do not have one USB-C-charger at home, this now needs to be bought for extra. Unless you choose to use your old Lightningcable, which of course works just as well.

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