Apple iPhone 12, features: different in hand but more iPhone than ever

iPhone 12

Of the four new iPhone models for the next 12 months, the iPhone 12 that we have analyzed features in Technoeager is the one that a priori has a broader potential market and seems the most sensible choice if you are looking for a new phone under iOS.

The new iPhone 12 is planted on the market with a higher resolution OLED screen, a renewed design that affects the daily experience with it and a conservative double camera on paper. Enough not to opt for an iPhone 11 with a better price? And to overshadow the 12 Pro model ? We are going to talk about it in this iPhone 12 review.

iPhone 12 datasheet feature

SCREENOLED Retina 6.1 “
2,532 x 1,170 pixels, Super Retina XDR, 19.5: 9
460 dpi
True-tone
PROCESSORApple A14 Bionic,
4th Gen 5nm NPU Neural Engine
VERSIONS64/128/256 GB
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.4mm
162g
SOFTWAREiOS 14
REAR CAMERASMain: 12MP, f / 1.6, OIS, QuadLED flash
Secondary wide angle: 12MP, f / 2.4
Video: 4K Dolby Vision, 1080p / 240fps, HDR
FRONTAL CAMERA12MP, f / 2.2, TOF 3D, slow-motion
DRUMS18W fast charging and 15W MagSafe wireless
OTHERSWiFi 6, 5G, BT 5.0, NFC, GPS, dualSIM, eSIM, Dolby Atmos stereo speakers, face recognition, IP68 water resistance
PRICEFrom 909 euros
iPhone 12 datasheet

Back to the future at the design level

Without at first glance the design change has been enormous, the iPhone 12 is presented on the market with a different idea regarding what has been the design language of Apple’s phone in recent years. And this is important because it greatly affects the user experience with it.

The change from curves to straight edges may seem minor but the experience of using the iPhone 12 changes quite a bit

The design of the iPhone 12 takes elements of a reference model at the design level like the iPhone 5, but with technology and advances that should give it a long useful life or at least, with a significant return in the second-hand market.

Curves fit mobile terminals very well. They make them more pleasant and soft to the touch but above all they achieve greater communion between hand and phone.

The first few days with the iPhone 12 I felt very strange of its features. We have several generations of iPhone with curved edges and the Android ecosystem is also dominated by this way of looking at the design of phones.

The first sensation when taking the iPhone 12 is of a larger size precisely because of those straight edges and, although it sounds crazy, a certain initial rejection by the strangeness of those edges so far away in time and therefore, forgotten in our ” sensory memory “.

I am left with the doubt of knowing the feeling of grip of this same design in a 5.8-inch format. And also with the memory of the matte finish that I always prefer on a phone and that Apple leaves for the Pro version of this iPhone 12.

The glossy finish , especially intense in the navy blue tone that we have tested, results in a rear that we are going to want to clean compulsively because especially the fingerprints and grease adhere consistently. And that, in a glossy finish , is obvious.

Once you have gotten used to the novelty of the straight edges, the lightness and better grip of the iPhone 12 are positive points of the design change

After the first few hours with the new design of the iPhone 12, the phone was more pleasant to handle and comfortable. But always far from what the curvature of the sides achieves.

iPhone 12 feature
iPhone 12 design

I have been especially interesting how light the iPhone 12 transmits in hand and how less slippery it is. The grip and safety in hand against accidental slipping has improved substantially.

By the way, speaking of falls, the resistance of the back or the screen, which Apple boasted in the presentation, in the time that I have been tested, with the same use and care as my day-to-day terminal, no I have been able to regret neither fall nor marks or wear out of the ordinary.

Nor have we tested its resistance to water, which is IP68 and in practice it leaves us calmer against accidental splashes or spills. Or an occasional cleaning.

At the level of physical connections, this iPhone 12 maintains the Lighting port, as well as the perennial physical controls on an iPhone: power on the right and volume controls under the physical mute button on the left. They are easily accessible and have a good touch and travel.

iPhone 12 feature
iPhone 12

The rear part, which we have already advanced that has a glossy finish, houses the camera module. In the iPhone 12 there are two, but the module occupies the same area as in the Pro model. This module still sticks out to the touch but on a table, although there is some sway, it does not prevent a comfortable handling of the screen.

Bright OLED panel, one of the reasons for the iPhone 12 features

The great evolutionary leap of the this phone this generation is found on the screen. And it is something that is quickly appreciated if you come from an LCD panel.

The new OLED Super Retina XDR screen raises the level of the terminal and clearly differentiates it from version 11, which was limited compared to the Pro model in many more respects.

The OLED screen for the non-Pro model makes this generation the line of separation between the two most common iPhone 12 not so clear

This year, with practical equality of screen and interior, the difference between the version 12 to dry and the Pro makes less sense than ever. It would have seemed logical that Apple had chosen to simplify its catalog and unite these two terminals into one, with the iPhone 12 Mini below in size and the Max above (in size and camera performance.

OLED feature
iPhone 12 OLED

The OLED panel on the new iPhone 12 looks great both indoors and outdoors. There is a lot of brightness to offer a satisfying experience when the light is bright, although it is not the best in this regard that we have encountered this year.

The iPhone 12 screen is also very enjoyable with multimedia content. It includes HDR 10 support and its density above 450 dpi is appreciated. That he is not older seeing the competition is still strange. But consuming content in it is very satisfying.

As it is a brand of the house, the possibilities of personalizing the experience with the screen are far from those that we can find in high-end Android terminals. It plays in your favor that the panel is beautifully calibrated at the factory , but leaving a little more margin beyond being able to choose whether to have True Tone active or not is always welcome.

The great absence of the iPhone 12 panel is the arrival of a refresh rate higher than the standard 60 Hz. Here Apple is behind the competition , but the experience with panels at 90 or 120 Hz of this last year we liked so much so that it is now a value that we do not want to give up.

The iPhone 12 screen now has an OLED panel and higher resolution, but a refresh rate greater than 60 Hz is left behind.

Also the notch remains as in the previous generation, occupying a relatively large screen if we compare with the best smartphones on the market in this regard, although in practice it does not bother as much as one might think at first. A matter of assuming it on a daily basis.

That notch houses, in addition to the selfie camera, the entire technological arsenal for biometric Face ID identification . It is a technology that continues to work very well even in environments with almost no light … unless you get caught in the middle of a pandemic in which, on the street and at work, we must wear a mask. It is the only reason we miss a physical reader on this iPhone 12.

I like to complement the multimedia experience with the sound section. In the iPhone 12 it repeats the stereo sound with the main speaker placed next to the charging port and the one located in the notch. There is still no 3.5mm port or adapter to fit ours. And in the case of standard headphones, Apple has already removed them from the equation on this generation of phones.

The sound of the iPhone 12 is powerful and very clear at key frequencies such as voices. At just over half the available volume, listening is perfect using the speakers, which continue to sound quite a bit even if they are lightly covered.

The bass is more fair but the overall experience is very satisfactory. The same happens when we resort to headphones. Like other aspects of Apple terminals, it is a team to take out of the box and start enjoying at an excellent level without user intervention.

Excellent performance, “as usual”

performance
iPhone 12 performance

It sounds repetitive but it is the reality. Each year’s iPhone starts off with little or no doubt about its performance in terms of raw performance and processing power. The new Apple A14 Bionic is primarily responsible for this.

iPhone performance is a guarantee year after year

On a day-to-day basis, the iPhone 12 has only left us with total fluidity and a very satisfactory user experience features. This feeling of sufficiency is also demonstrated in more demanding tasks such as photo editing, virtual reality applications and especially games . In this last aspect, the iPhone has been offering a superior experience for a couple of generations.

If you look at the benchmark figures, we have data of 631596 in Antutu and 5702 in 3DMark’s SlingShot. Excellent performance that is not accompanied by noticeable heating of the terminal.

The amount of RAM, without being official, is estimated at 4 GB. And as for the internal memory, the starting iPhone 12 model features only 64 GB , leaving the next model, 128 GB, as the most sensible choice for 50 euros more. In this range and price, Apple should have already ignored that entry model as it is far from what the competition offers.

An important hardware element is the arrival of 5G to the iPhone 12 with its great features. Its use will depend a lot on the operator and area in which we are, so, in my case, for now it is a functionality that looks more towards the future and a possible useful life of 3-4 years than today.

iOS 14 advancing at your own pace

The operating system with which the iPhone 12 hits the market is iOS 14, the latest available. Being in control of hardware and software and their timing allows Apple to brag about it. And, as with this iPhone 12, offer great stability from the beginning.

The novelties of iOS 14 are not too many. In the user experience, the widgets, very visual but still limited, come into play, as well as the app library , which opens up a new possibility of organizing the installed applications, not having the obligation to place them all on successive screens.

For the rest, we continue to find quite a bit of contention in the possibilities that are given to the user and an arsenal of system applications that do not seem to advance at the same rate as the hardware or general aspects of the operating system.

Back to autonomy

The iPhone 12’s low weight and thickness don’t give us much hope for a large battery capacity. If we add the bright screen and the higher resolution of the panel, the result is an autonomy that lets us go little beyond the day of intensive use.

The iPhone 12 takes a small step back in autonomy compared to its 2019 version

In my experience comparing it to the iPhone 11 Pro, I have appreciated somewhat less autonomy with a similar usage pattern. In figures, my day to day this week with the iPhone 12 has been translated into an average of 20 hours of use of which between 6.5 and 7.5 have been on the screen.

With these figures there is room to reach the end of the day with a lot of solvency but it leaves us far from the tranquility of being the next day without looking for a charger.

That charger where we surely cannot find it at the outset is in the iPhone 12 box. The controversial decision of this generation of iPhone has for now been associated with the absence of the charging adapter in the sales package.

Difficult decision to argue positive or negative about this issue because it will depend on the arsenal of adapters you already have at home, whether they are valid or not, as well as your alignment with doing something small in caring for the environment.

Associated precisely with the load we have another novelty in the form of Magsafe . Apple has chosen a somewhat different path to improve the efficiency of wireless charging, focusing on achieving perfect placement on compatible chargers using magnets. Magsafe returns yes, but as a technology that is still far from what we can achieve with the wired at the level of charging speed, and that the fast charge of this iPhone 12 features limited to 18 W, far from the competition but perhaps with more security regarding less degradation over time.

Double camera to secure the photo

Camera feature
iPhone 12 camera

The photographic base of the iPhone 12 is an old acquaintance. At least in the technical sheet and the cold data. We have before us a 12 MP dual camera system composed of a wide-angle camera (f2.4, five-element lens and 120-degree field of view) and the main camera, where the large aperture f1.6 and 7 stand out. elements of your lens. The latter camera enjoys optical image stabilization.

The available shooting modes are not too extensive. There is portrait mode with six different lighting effects and depth control that we can later modify the panoramic mode.

iPhone 12 camera
iPhone 12 camera

The most prominent absence at the photographic level in the iPhone 12 is the zoom. In 2020, in a terminal of this category, a user already tends to almost automatically search for that 2X button on the camera interface. But in this iPhone 12 it has great camera features.

We do have a 5X digital zoom that is integrated as a wheel both when we take photos and when we are recording video, something that is comfortable as we will see later in the corresponding section.

With a good base, the main camera of the iPhone 12 is more than enough in almost all situations. It’s an all-rounder for good and bad. Point-and-shoot, as the iPhone camera has always been.

HDR image iPhone
Main chamber. 
Automatic mode

The improvements are subtle, for example in the approach that seemed faster to me, but in general the photos with the iPhone 12 will show a great dynamic range, good shadow treatment in difficult situations and a very real color reproduction in almost all situations.

The main camera, with an aperture of f1.6, allows a natural but intense background blur as soon as we get close to an object. You have to take this into account if you were looking for something more depth of field.

And that same good luminosity can be seen in night scenes, where the main camera is still at a high level, somewhat behind the wide angle.

A noticeable improvement in photos taken with the iPhone 12 is the Intelligent HDR mode with scene detection. Although it can give some other result that escapes from reality, the majority of successes and good results have convinced us enough to leave it active in a preferential way.

HDR image iPhone
On the left, no HDR. 
Right, with Smart HDR running

In any case, with a single touch we can block it and that it does not come into action if we have chosen these options the settings, which, to the confusion of the user who is new to iOS, are divided between the application and the general settings.

Another interesting mode but that we cannot select a priori is the night mode. Its results have improved features in this iPhone 12 especially when we use the main camera, but it is still the Apple terminal that decides when it begins to be available.

If it detects a scene that could be improved, the night mode icon lights up in yellow and we can already rely on the seconds of exposure that Apple considers necessary to improve the photo, or if we prefer, we can modify it slightly and even leave it to zero so that mode does not apply automatically.

The night mode is especially recommended to “look for it” as much as possible when we use the ultra-wide angle camera because the results bring it a little closer to the performance of the main camera, with a significant improvement in the level of detail compared to the result without applying said mode.

The portrait mode of the iPhone 12 maintains a good level of detail and a wide field of action features. It gives us a lot of room to take closer or distant portraits. The clipping, if we don’t force it and there is enough light, it is quite successful.

The secondary camera of the iPhone 12 is based on a 12 MP f2.2 sensor that offers us selfies without exaggerating in detail, something that in my case I prefer, and quite naturally in the representation of colors.

It admits that we customize it both in the amount of bokeh and in the already classic lighting effects. And we can activate the HDR mode directly.

Where Apple is at a level above the competition is in video mode. In this iPhone 12 we have video recording in HDR with Dolby Vision up to 30 fps, as well as the usual modes at 4k, 1080p and 720p, in the first case with a choice between 24, 30 and 60 fps. And there is also the stabilization that, already in the previous generation, was one of the best executed in the market.

One thought on “Apple iPhone 12, features: different in hand but more iPhone than ever

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