Apple iPhone 12 Review

The Apple iPhone 12 seems to be a blend between the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone X.

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Apple iPhone 12 Review

The Apple iPhone 12 seems to be a blend between the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone X.

We are supported by our audience, this post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclosure for more details.

Apple iPhone 12 review
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We rate the Apple iPhone 12 an 8/10

8/10

Quick Summary

The Apple iPhone 12 saw many new and improved features over last year’s Apple iPhone 11. It seems the main focus for the Apple iPhone 12 was to improve the display, and for the first time, include an OLED display in each Apple iPhone 12 model. Other than the display, there haven’t been many changes over the Apple iPhone 11. The design of the Apple iPhone 12 looks almost identical, the cameras, whilst amazing, haven’t seen any notable improvements, and when compared to last year’s Apple iPhone 11, the battery size has actually gotten smaller by almost 300mAh.

Pros

  • Great improvements to the display
  • Amazing cameras, despite being almost identical to last year's Apple iPhone 11 cameras
  • 5G technology
  • MagSafe charging innovation

Cons

  • Smaller battery than the Apple iPhone 11
  • Not many changes over the Apple iPhone 11

Rating

Apple iPhone 12 review

Apple is one of the biggest names when it comes to the technology industry. Although Apple is most commonly associated with the Apple iPhone, Apple also sells other electronics, software, and online services. Each year, Apple release a new range of Apple iPhones, bringing the latest and greatest technology into three or four Apple iPhone models. This Apple iPhone 12 review will go in-depth about the pros and cons of the base Apple iPhone 12 model.

For all Apple iPhone 12 reviews, please see below:

Apple iPhone 12 specifications

Released: October 23, 2020
Price (at release):
£799 / $799
Colours:
White, Black, Blue, Green, Product (Red)
Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Display: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (460 PPI)
Processor: Apple A14 Bionic
Memory/RAM: 4GB
5G Technology: Yes
Cameras: 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP front camera
Battery: 2,815mAh
Operating System: iOS 14
Weight: 164 grams

Apple iPhone 12 specs infographic
Apple iPhone 12 specs infographic

Apple iPhone 12 review: Design

The Apple iPhone 12 is available in five different colours. These five colours are: white, black, blue, green, and Product (Red). The colour option of Product (Red) is simply the colour red, but each purchase of that Apple iPhone 12 colour will contribute towards The Global Fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you can see how each Apple iPhone 12 colour looks.

Apple iPhone 12 colours
Apple iPhone 12 colours - Credit: Apple

When you compare the design of the Apple iPhone 12 to last year’s Apple iPhone 11, you’ll find very few differences. While the camera housing looks identical, and the sizeable notch and bezel remains, some are calling the Apple iPhone 12 a blend between the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone X. The main similarities from these iPhones are the notched, full-screen display first introduced in the Apple iPhone X, and the flat-edge design from the Apple iPhone 4.

Apple iPhone 12 design
Apple iPhone 12 design - Credit: Apple

This year’s Apple iPhone 12 features a sleek flat-edge design, similar to the Apple iPhone 4 design, along with an aerospace-grade aluminium enclosure. This, along with the new Ceramic Shield front cover, which goes beyond just glass protection by growing nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix, ultimately increases drop performance by 4x.

Possibly the most controversial change with the Apple iPhone 12 is its charging capabilities, with the introduction of MagSafe. MagSafe is a new feature on all Apple iPhone 12 models that allows magnetic accessories to be attached to the back of your Apple iPhone 12, including Apple’s MagSafe charger for precise wireless charging. We’ll go into more detail about Apple’s new MagSafe charging in the battery section of this review.

Apple iPhone 12 review: Display

For the first time ever, Apple has included an OLED display in every iPhone model this year, not just the high-end models like in last year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro. The iPhone 12 features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution at 460 PPI.

This year’s Apple iPhone 12 has made some huge improvements to the displays this year in many ways. Firstly, the biggest improvement has been that now all models of the Apple iPhone 12 come with OLED displays, rather than the mediocre Liquid Retina LCD displays Apple has provided to the standard iPhone models over the past few years.

Apple iPhone 12 display
Apple iPhone 12 display - Credit: Apple

Secondly, the Apple iPhone 12 comes with a resolution of 2532 x 1170. This is yet another great improvement over the Apple iPhone 11 display which had a resolution of just 1792 x 828.

Thirdly, the Apple iPhone 12 sees a great improvement to the screen-to-body ratio when compared to the Apple iPhone 11. The Apple iPhone 12 has a screen-to-body ratio of 86%, very impressive when compared to the 79% screen-to-body ratio of the Apple iPhone 11.

Finally, to accompany this is a significant improvement to the Pixels Per Inch (PPI). Last year’s Apple iPhone 11 had just 326 PPI, this is compared to the Apple iPhone 12 which has 460 PPI, seeing a huge increase of 134 PPI. Generally speaking, the higher the PPI, or pixel density, the more detail you can see on your display.

Although this year has seen many great and much-needed improvements come to the Apple iPhone 12 display, Apple still has quite a lot of catching up to do with Samsung’s flagship displays. The Samsung Galaxy S series has been a leader in display technology for many years now, and the Samsung Galaxy S20 puts the Apple iPhone 12 display to shame, which was released 7 months earlier than the Apple iPhone 12. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S20 display has a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440, a 563 PPI, and support for 120Hz display refresh rate.

Apple iPhone 12 review: Cameras

As always with Apple iPhones, the cameras on the Apple iPhone 12 are great, but there hasn’t been much change when compared to the previous year’s Apple iPhone 11. The Apple iPhone 12 includes dual 12MP wide and ultrawide cameras, as well as a 12MP front camera.

The dual 12MP rear cameras are housed in a slightly raised, rounded glass square. This design may take some getting used to and is much more noticeable if you tend to use your phone on a flat surface, especially when typing.

Apple iPhone 12 cameras
Apple iPhone 12 cameras - Credit: Apple

The Apple iPhone 12’s ultrawide lens has a 0.5x zoom compared to the standard wide camera. This allows you to essentially zoom out without having to move. This is great for tight environments such as the indoors where you may not have any room behind you. 

This ultrawide camera opens up the possibility for so much more. When you’re using the standard wide camera, under the user interface you can actually see what you could capture if you were using the ultrawide camera. This small, yet great feature helps you know when you should be making use of the ultrawide camera.

As well as this, the Apple iPhone 12 also a great option that allows your ultrawide camera to take a picture at the same time as the standard wide camera. This acts as a backup in case the standard wide photo doesn’t capture everything that you was hoping to capture, these backup images last 30 days if not used.

Apple iPhone 12 camera app
Apple iPhone 12 camera app - Credit: Apple

The Apple iPhone 12’s TrueDepth 12MP front camera is also great but is exactly the same as the front camera from the previous year’s Apple iPhone 11. The front camera features its Smart HDR for more balanced images, whilst also allowing for additional features such as Animoji, Memoji, and slofies.

As well as this, both the wide and ultrawide lenses on the Apple iPhone 12 include night mode and Deep Fusion. Night mode greatly improves camera low-light performance and allows for incredible night shots. This is made possible as your Apple iPhone 12 will ask you to hold the phone as steady as possible for a few seconds so that the shutter can take multiple pictures, all at different sharpness and exposure levels, for it to then merge the data together, which results in an incredible low-light photo.

Deep Fusion is Apple’s new image processing system, first introduced in the Apple iPhone 11, which works automatically in certain environments. Apple describes it as “an advanced image processing system that uses the A14 Bionic Neural Engine to capture images with dramatically better texture, details, and reduced noise in lower light.”  This feature is completely automatic and has no indication to show when it’s being used. However, there are a few scenarios where Deep Fusion won’t be used. Deep Fusion won’t be used when you’re using the ultrawide lens, shooting burst photos, or when you have the feature “Photos Capture Outside the Frame” turned on.

The Apple iPhone 12 also has very impressive video recording capabilities. The rear cameras on the Apple iPhone 12 are capable of capturing video at 4K at 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps (frames per second). As well as this, the Apple iPhone 12 is also able to record at 1080p at 30fps, 60fps, 120fps, and 240fps. Not only this, but the front camera is also able of recording at 4K at 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps. As well as this, it can also record at 1080p at 30fps, 60fps, and 120fps.

What are the camera specs of the Apple iPhone 12?

  • The wide lens is 12MP, f/1.6, 26mm, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS.
  • The ultrawide lens is 12MP, 120-degree view, f/2.4, 13mm, 1/3.6″.
  • The front camera is 12MP, f/2.2, 23mm, 1/3.6″.

Apple iPhone 12 review: Battery

Apple has never been the best when it comes to battery size, and unfortunately, this year’s Apple iPhone 12 is no different. The Apple iPhone 12 has a battery size of 2,815mAh, significantly smaller than the 3,110mAh battery found in last year’s Apple iPhone 11. Not only is this a step backwards, but even the Apple iPhone 11 battery wasn’t enough to compete with last year’s similar flagship smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, which comes with a 3,400mAh battery.

For comparison, the Apple iPhone 12 has a 2,815mAh battery, and Apple’s main competitor, Samsung, released the Samsung Galaxy S20 7 months earlier than the Apple iPhone 12 and includes a much bigger 4,000mAh battery.

According to Apple, the Apple iPhone 12 can last up to 17 hours of video playback, up to 11 hours of streamed video playback, and up to 65 hours of audio playback.

Possibly the most controversial change with the Apple iPhone 12 is its charging capabilities, with the introduction of MagSafe. MagSafe is a new feature on all Apple iPhone 12 models that allows magnetic accessories to be attached to the back of your Apple iPhone 12, including Apple’s MagSafe charger (sold separately) for precise wireless charging. For more information, check out Apple’s MagSafe charger support page.

Along with this, Apple will no longer include a power adapter in the box of the Apple iPhone 12 or any future Apple iPhone models, nor will they provide Apple’s wired earphones, the Apple EarPods. However, the Apple iPhone 12 will come with a Lightning to USB-C cable, which you can use to charge your Apple iPhone 12 by connecting to a laptop, desktop PC, or your own power adapter, as long as they have a USB-C port.

These changes come as a result of Apple attempting to reduce its carbon emissions and overall environmental impact. By removing the power adapter and Apple EarPods, it allows Apple to reduce the size of the Apple iPhone 12 box, as well as future Apple iPhone boxes. It’s not all bad, however, as you can still buy the power adapter and Apple EarPods, each sold separately.

Apple iPhone 12 review: Performance

The system-on-chip found in the Apple iPhone 12 is the new A14 Bionic. The Apple A14 Bionic chip features a very powerful CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and allows for advanced features such as Deep Fusion, Apple’s newly-introduced image processing system. Apple’s A14 Bionic chip is the fastest Apple has ever made.

Released on September 16, 2020, the Apple iPhone 12 comes preinstalled with iOS 14. The main focus for iOS 14 was to bring a fresh look to the things you do most often, making them easier than ever. Some of the main features of iOS 14 are widgets on the home screen, a redesigned app library, and compact calls. Feel free to check out everything new with Apple’s iOS 14.

The Apple iPhone 12 comes with three internal storage options: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Although competitors to Apple’s iPhone are starting to offer storage of up to 1TB, 64GB is usually enough for the average user. The Apple iPhone 12 also has 4GB of RAM (Random Access Memory), which in most cases is more than enough for day-to-day activities such as streaming Netflix.

Apple iPhone 12 review: Pricing

The Apple iPhone 12 was released on October 23, 2020. At release, prices started from £799 in the UK, and $799 in the US. Below are some of the best deals from Amazon.

Quick Answers

How much does the Apple iPhone 12 cost?

The Apple iPhone 12 was released on October 23, 2020. At release, the Apple iPhone 12 started from £799 in the UK, and $799 in the US.

What are the differences between the Apple iPhone 12 and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro?

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro comes with 2GB more RAM, includes larger storage options, features a telephoto camera, and comes in gold, silver, graphite, and Pacific Blue colour options.

Is the Apple iPhone 12 worth buying?

If you bought the Apple iPhone 11 and would like to upgrade, we actually recommend the Apple iPhone 12 Pro or the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max rather than the standard Apple iPhone 12. If you didn't buy an Apple iPhone 11, we recommend all four Apple iPhone 12 models.

Apple iPhone 12 review: Conclusion

The Apple iPhone 12 saw many new and improved features over last year’s Apple iPhone 11. It seems the main focus for the Apple iPhone 12 was to improve the display, and for the first time, include an OLED display in each Apple iPhone 12 model, rather than the Liquid Retina LCD display we’re used to seeing.

Although Apple has made some great improvements to the Apple iPhone 12 display, Apple still has quite a lot of catching up to do with Samsung’s flagship displays. The Samsung Galaxy S series has been a leader in display technology for many years now, and the Samsung Galaxy S20 puts the Apple iPhone 12 display to shame.

Other than the display, there haven’t been many changes over last year’s Apple iPhone 11. The design of the Apple iPhone 12 looks almost identical, the cameras, whilst amazing, haven’t seen any notable improvements, and when compared to last year’s Apple iPhone 11, the battery size has actually gotten smaller by almost 300mAh.

If you currently have the Apple iPhone 11, we don’t believe it’s worth upgrading to the Apple iPhone 12. If you do have an Apple iPhone 11 and you want to upgrade, we recommend you check out the other Apple iPhone 12 models, such as the Apple iPhone 12 Pro or the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. If you didn’t buy the Apple iPhone 11 and you’re looking for a great flagship phone without spending extra on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro or Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max models, we recommend this Apple iPhone 12.

For all Apple iPhone 12 reviews, please see below:

Rating

Visually Reviewed Rated 8

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