One thing is very clear about Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup: The standard iPhone 12 is the device that most Apple users should consider buying if they are looking for a new iPhone.
While this was also the case with last year’s iPhone 11, updates Apple has made to the smartphone, including the new 6.1-inch / 5.4-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display on the iPhone 12 / iPhone 12 Mini, 5G capabilities. , its A14 processor and more equate to an impressive smartphone package.
Except for the telephoto lens of the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, the light range and detection sensor (LiDAR), and a few other relatively minor technical differences, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini are almost identical to the iPhone 12 Pro series.
As expected, these updates also have a price increase, with last year’s iPhone 11 costing $ 849 and iPhone 12 pushing the price up to $ 1,129. A $ 280 difference is a pretty substantial price jump any way you look at it, although the inclusion of an OLED display helps to soften that bump. On the other hand, the iPhone 12 mini costs a slightly more reasonable $ 979.
With all that in mind, it is clear that the iPhone 12/12 mini is probably the device that most Apple users should be interested in.
Updated 09/11/2020: This review was updated with photos, image comparisons, and information on the iPhone 12 mini. The review score was unchanged.
Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum
I’m surprised I’m writing this, but actually I prefer the look of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini over the iPhone 12 Pro.
The smartphone features the same flat-edged iPad Air / iPhone 4-inspired design as the iPhone 12 Pro, but its matte aluminum edges become much less greasy than the stainless steel trim featured on its high-end counterpart. This gives the device a cleaner look when not in a case and makes the smartphone feel better when you hold it in your hand.
Like the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12/12 mini features a ‘Ceramic Shield’ front which Apple claims is more durable than previous iPhones. It’s impossible to verify this claim, but given how surprisingly tough the iPhone 11 was, I tend to believe Apple.
The smartphone itself is about 15 percent smaller than the iPhone 11, but it still features a 6.1-inch screen thanks to its narrowed bezels. This makes the device easier to hold in one hand than its predecessor. The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini feels ridiculously small, measuring even smaller than the iPhone SE (2020). Although I found the smartphone too small for my liking, it is great to see that Apple offers a modern device with this screen size. There is definitely an untapped market for smaller smartphones like the iPhone 12 mini.
Color wise, I prefer the shades that Apple offered last year with the iPhone 11, but the new green color that Apple sent me to review looks impressive. It is light green in color and has an intensity that is not present in the colors of the iPhone 11. The black iPhone 12 mini, unfortunately, has a shiny back, with fingerprints and a dust magnet that I don’t like. IPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini are available in the following colors: ‘Black’, ‘White’, ‘Green’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Product Red’,
Each color and the still grease-resistant rear glass, with black being the only exception, also matches the overall tone of the iPhone 12, giving it a consistent look.
It’s worth noting that the boxy design can take some iPhone users to get a bit used to it, and for a select few it might even seem like a step backwards.
Although I initially counted myself in this field, design quickly grew on me. It looks and feels great and is a solid step up for Apple’s iPhone line in terms of aesthetics.
Say hello to OLED
The most interesting thing about this year’s iPhone lineup is that the iPhone 12/12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max are nearly identical in several respects.
For example, the iPhone 12 features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display that is 2,532 x 1,170 pixels and 460ppi, just like the iPhone 12 Pro. The display also supports HDR ‘True Tone’ capabilities, features a wide color gamut P3 and includes the same 2,000,000: 1 contrast ratio as the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro.
The only difference is the standard maximum brightness measurements of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max at 800 nits compared to the 625 nits of the iPhone 12. This change is not noticeable at all and, in general, the screen of the iPhone 12 And from the iPhone 12 mini it looks impressive and a significant step up from last year’s solid but rapidly aging Liquid Retina LCD screen that came with a 1,792 x 828 pixel resolution. Video content with apps like Netflix and YouTube, as well as games and even just surfing the internet all look great.
“My experience with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini has been extremely smooth over the past few days and I haven’t encountered a single instance of lag”
Like last year, the iPhone 12 features the same chip as its more expensive counterpart, the new A14 Bionic processor. Although I don’t give much thought to benchmarks because they don’t talk about how a phone works in the real world, the iPhone comes in at 1,596 for its single-core score and 4,025 for its multi-core score with Geekbench, which is a Substantial increase over the A13-equipped iPhone 11 to 1,326 and 3,397. My experience with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini has been extremely smooth over the past few days and I have not encountered a single instance of lag.
The other differences worth noting about the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini are that they weigh 162g and 133g, respectively, compared to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max at 187g and 226g. While the iPhone 12 feels light, I sometimes forgot that the iPhone 12 mini was even in my pocket. Like last year, the storage options include 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
Regarding battery life, I found that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini are roughly a day with moderate use, which is similar to my experience with the iPhone 12 Pro.
Similar to the iPhone 12 Pro, the most significant changes to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini relate to the smartphone’s camera performance.
First of all, the matrix is very similar to that of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, which includes a wide f / 1.6 lens and an ultra-wide f / 2.4 aperture. However, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini do not feature the telephoto lens of the iPhone 12 Pro series, which means it does not have 2x optical zoom capability. However, both smartphones include nearly identical camera arrays.
I’d say that a wide angle lens is probably more useful for taking group photos and capturing landscapes, but it really depends on the type of photography you take with your smartphone. For example, I value 2x / 2.5x zoom over wide-angle photography because I often find myself shooting landscapes and not large groups of people.
While the ultra-wide lens measures at the same f / 2.4 aperture, the wide lens comes in at f / 1.6 and now has seven elements, allowing more light to enter the sensor, resulting in brighter and less noisy images overall. , especially when under low light.
It is also worth noting that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini do not support Apple’s new ProRaw image format that will be released later this year because the phones lack the LiDAR sensor of the iPhone 12 Pro.
While not a significant impact to camera quality, this means that the iPhone 12 does not benefit from the same faster focus and improved low-light performance as the iPhone 12 Pro. However, it still features new Smart HDR technology. 3 from Apple along with Deep Fusion, night mode, and of course portrait mode.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini feature the same new night-mode selfies with the smartphone’s 12-megapixel front camera, but they are a bit darker and quite noisy. I don’t find this new feature very useful and feel like it gives the skin a weird, over-detailed, almost plastic tone. The device’s ultra-wide camera now also works in night mode and produces nearly identical images to the iPhone 12 Pro featuring slightly more noise and less contrast.
Photos generally look better than those taken with the iPhone 11. However, they are a bit louder, a bit less sharp, and don’t feature as much contrast as the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max can take. Overall, the difference is surprisingly marginal.
Also, instead of dual optical image stabilization or sensor switching technology, iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini feature optical image stabilization. In my tests, I didn’t find that this really made a big difference when taking photos, even when using the smartphone’s night mode.
Finally, the iPhone 12 also features 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR video recording, a first for any smartphone, which can only be viewed on compatible televisions and monitors.
That said, even YouTube doesn’t support the format. The iPhone 12 only includes 4K Dolby Vision HDR video at 30fps compared to 60fps on the iPhone 12 Pro.
Unlike previous years, the iPhone 12 / iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max offer a very similar smartphone experience, and because of this, there are several aspects of the device that this review does not address.
If you’re interested in finding out more about what it’s like to use an iPhone 12 with 5G in Canada and Apple’s MagSafe accessories, follow this link to my iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max review.
Other things worth noting are that the iPhone 12 features Face ID that seems as reliable as last year, with authentication working roughly 95 percent of the time.