I have an iPhone 12 and 12 Pro.
They both offer a slew of improvements and refinements of the 11 and 11 Pro like 5 V, new cameras, and new design.
So let's do this review.
Every few years there's a new generation of iPhones Phone.
Obviously there was the original one back in 2007, the iPhone 4 and 2010, the iPhone six in 2014, the iPhone 10 and 2017.
And now in 2020, the iPhone 12.
What marks these generational changes is largely a new hardware design.
And that will be refined on future iPhones for the next three or four years.
And one of the first things I noticed about the iPhone 12 is its slab color beauty.
Yeah, I know slab color isn't a word but Apple's idea of premium differs from the flat and spectacle we see in premium Android phones.
Body colors don't seemingly morph from one to another, depending on the light.
There isn't a screen that wraps around the edge.
In fact, the iPhone 12 doesn't have any curved edges at all.
Instead, a straight edge metal band defines the iPhone 12 much in the same way it did for the iPhone 4, 5 and se just without the chamfered edges, and it's the lack of frills that gives the iPhone 12 a bold, striking look.
When I picked the 12 up, it feels more solid than any iPhone I've ever held.
And the build and finish, especially on the 12 Pro are simply extraordinary.
That metal band is also a visible indication of another feature that marks a generational change by key and that's because the band houses multiple 5g antennas.
And these are the first iPhones to support a 5g connection.
There's even a cutout for one of the millimeter wave 10 is on the side.
The iPhone 12 is also defined by a stunning OLED panel, which Apple calls super XDr display.
Gone is the LCD found on the XR 11.
And what makes this screen pop besides the contrast and resolution.
Are the significantly thinner bezels around it.
The cameras are outstanding, having received hardware software and processing updates.
iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the best overall camera systems on any phone you can buy.
They're capable of capturing excellent photos recording excellent video, and delivering consistently fantastic images in a range of different environments and lighting.
But the iPhone 12 is not without complexity.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are ridiculously similar They both have the same size.
They both have the same design, the same display, the same a 14 bionic chip.
The same 5G support, the same selfie wide and ultra wide camera tech.
They both come in Blue.
Okay, the 12 Pro is technically Pacific blue.
But the reason to upgrade from the 12, to the 12 Pro, is not as clear as the black and white boxes the phones come in might indicate.
The 12's higher price tag doesn't distinguish it as a value buy as much as the 11 did last year.
That during my time with both phones, I found myself picking up the 12th Pro more, not because it had a telephoto camera or [UNKNOWN], which allows it to take night mode portraits.
I picked it up more because of the [UNKNOWN] textured back, the shiny stainless steel band around the sides.
The fact that the phone despite weighing nearly an ounce more than the 12, AKA 25 grams, The phone feels solid in premium.
And I think that the CRO name should actually be called premium.
The iPhone 12 Premium because it reflects more closely with the 12 Pro truly is.
Now there are many people who would just get the iPhone 12 because it doesn't cost $1,000 and it's a great phone which it is And there are many people who will get the iPhone 12 Pro because it is more premium, which it is.
But there are some of you who might be trying to pick between the two phones and that's when we need to talk about dollars and storage.
The iPhone 12 cost $829 That's $150 more than last year's iPhone 11.
Now to activate the 12 on a carrier when you buy it, then you save $30 and it costs $799 but that's still $100 more than the 11 Wish you could make an argument that the 12 is worth that price increase and I guess it kind of is.
But when you compare the 12 to the 12 Pro, you need to consider that the 12 comes with 64 gigabytes of storage, while the 12 Pro comes with 128 and an iPhone 12 with 128 gigabytes of storage cost $879 Unless you activated get the $3 discount thing, but get this, the iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999, whether or not you activated on a carrier so really, there's $120 difference between the 12 and the 12 Pro with the same amount of storage.
And when you consider that it makes much more sense that both of these phones are so similar because There's not that huge of a difference in price features or value like there was between last year's iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.
Look, I'm done talking about dollars a storage so let's talk about five key.
It's brilliant that both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro support sub six and millimeter wave 5G here in the US.
One phone doesn't have better support for 5g than the other.
They are the same.
Now I tested both of these phones while in Greenville, South Carolina on both T-mobile's 5g network and Verizon's nationwide 5 GB non millimeter wave version.
Now that said, I was impressed by the coverage both networks had but not always with the consistency of speeds.
I got between 10.4 and 14.9 megabits per second downloads on T Mobile and 97.9 and 104 megabits download speeds on Verizon.
But that's where I am right now.
I was recently in Chicago testing Android phones there and I got 110 megabit per second download speeds on T Mobile, so your mileage with 5g is definitely going to vary.
During Apple's event.
They mentioned that the iPhone 12 family supports the most 5g bands on any phone.
Which bodes well if you hold on to your iPhones, three, four or.
Five years, but there isn't that killer app or that amazing service yet that really shows off how 5g is pushing things forward.
Right now you're gonna see a lot of reviews showing you speed test scores and how fast you can download the third season of the marvelous Mrs.
nasal on Amazon.
Actually, okay, there is one cool thing with 5G that I was able to do on this phone and that was having HD baseline call over cellular.
So yeah, that's nice.
more of that place.
Connecting to 5G can tax your phone's battery so One of the clever features Apple implemented in terms of software is called Smart Data, which balances your needs for data speed and power.
Smart data looks at a number of factors to determine if 5G is needed like is your screen on or are you playing music.
It also looks at network traffic.
And if using 5G isn't needed, it will automatically switch you to a 4G connection.
Smart data can even switch between different bands of 5G that your carrier offers, which I think is really cool, especially as 5G networks grow down the line.
And if you want, you can override smart data and select high 5G connectivity all the time.
It's really up to you.
Let's switch from 5G and talk about the cameras.
The iPhone 12 has the exact same cameras as the iPhone 12 Pro except the iPhone 12 Pro has a telephoto camera and LIDAR more than that in a moment.
But the phones aren't just dependent on hardware to take good photos and videos.
Apple's new a 14 bionic chip along with software and machine learning Allows for improvements to, well pretty much everything.
For example, the 12 and 12 Pro had the same hardware for the ultra wide angle camera as last year's 11 and 11 Pro, but the 12 and 12 Pro have software to correct the lens distortion.
Now take a look at these ultra wide angle photos of a brick wall Here it is taken with the 11 and here it is taken with the iPhone 12 Pro now, that's quite a difference.
The main wide angle camera on both phones has a faster lens that lets in more light.
The new lens combined with smart HDR 3 yields truly amazing photos with accurate colors and solid dynamic range.
Night mode is now on the ultra wide angle and selfie camera.
I'm shocked at how good some night mode photos came out even selfie portraits that I took the affer mentioned telephoto camera on the 12 Pro is a huge step up in zoom compared to the 12 but there are a number of phones that offer much longer zooms with better results in terms of video, especially on the iPhone 12 Pro The focus is fantastic and was able to track me even when I was shooting at night.
And that's because of the LIDAR sensor.
In fact, some of the clips in this review video were shot on the iPhone 12 Pro
Let's move on from cameras and talk about performance.
The new 814 bionic chip which is also used in the iPad Air powers both of these phones and to be honest It's kinda hard to see the difference in speed over the 813 ship which is still very fast and very peppy.
The a 14 ship is as much about power right now as it is about future proofing your phone so it can handle iOS 17 in the few years but I did run performance benchmark test on the new phones and both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro recorded the highest scores of any phones seen that has ever tested.
Playing games was fast and fun.
AR apps were lively and never stuttered in terms of battery life.
I got through a day a day and the next morning for the most part, do I want more time to really take a look at battery In life, especially when I'm not spending every second testing, photographing and reviewing these phones.
Now I was able to run a single battery test with a loop video playing at 50% brightness in aeroplane mode, and the iPhone 12 Pro lasted 15 hours to 56 minutes while the 12 lasted 17 hours and 14 minutes Then obviously we have to run more tests on the 12 and 12 Pro so check back to my review article on CNET for updates but so far pretty good.
In terms of charging the phone comes with a USB C to lightning cable which can offer some superfast speeds.
If you haven't heard by now Apple is no longer including a pair of wired ear pods in the box.
Or a power adapter.
And then there's MagSafe, which uses magnets in the phone to help position it more ideally on the new MagSafe wireless charger that you can buy.
The idea is it will charge your phone more efficiently.
Also, I've tried out some MagSafe cases which Work really well and allow for wireless charging do the case without the loss of power.
But these magnets also allow for this detachable wallet with or without a case which I never thought I was a wallet guy but this one over I'm excited by the idea of magsafe.
I'm excited to see what Apple in third party companies use it for, But last, let's talk about durability.
And there's a lot to talk about here.
Both phones have a new material that covers the screen called ceramic healed.
It starts off as glass, and then it gets infused with nano ceramic crystals.
Now when this happens, it's no longer considered glass.
And Apple claims it offers four times the protection when it's dropped.
I'm not sure exactly what that means, and I don't know how you test for that.
But I do know my colleagues will be putting the 12 and 12 Pro through a series of drop tests, as well as water test to see if Apple's claims Hold up.
Now, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are both rated for ip 68 water and dust resistance and can withstand being submerged in water up to a depth of six meters.
At the time I had the phones it handled spills just fine, some rain just fine, and being submerged in water Just fine.
To wrap things up here, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are amazing phones, but we only have half the picture right now because there's also the iPhone 12 Mini which I'm particularly excited about because of its petite size and value proposition.
There's the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which on paper maxes out the size of the phone's display and offers camera improvements that none of the other iPhones 12 have.
So that's all I got, but I want to hear from you.
What do you think of the iPhone 12 and 12 pro?
Is there one you'd pick over the other?
Is there one you're planning on buying?
And if so, how would you choose between these two?
Throw your thoughts in the comments.