iPhone 12 Pro – A comprehensive breakdown and review

On 23rd October 2020, Apple released the iPhone 12 alongside the iPhone 12 pro. These are the latest and best offerings by the company currently available for purchase. And in true Apple style, it managed to create a whirlwind of excitement and controversy. Read on as I explore the iPhone 12 pro giving you a run-through of the specs, features, and final verdict.

 What's new on the iPhone 12 pro?

The iPhone 12 pro is the 2nd best offering by Apple in the 12 series, released ahead of the 12 pro max and the 12 mini which are scheduled to be released on the 13th of November 2020. Apple has made a multitude of changes over its predecessors this year. In particular, the latest and most innovative features are premiered on the pro models for customers seeking the absolute best out of their devices.

In particular, the most apparent change is the updated design language, reminiscent of the iPhone 5 models. With a larger display and variety of updated color variants unique to the pro models. And a new ceramic shield front protecting the larger display.

Apart from the aesthetic changes, there have also been improvements made with regards to performance with the introduction of the new A14 Bionic chip, 5G connectivity support, and the lowest storage variant being bumped up to 128gb. Additionally, there has also been an extremely innovative new feature dubbed "Magsafe" debuted across the new series. Also the camera setup has been improved upon by the addition of a LiDAR scanner and the ability to record HDR video recording with Dolby vision up to 60 fps.

Specifications

FinishSilver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue Ceramic Shield front Textured matte glass back and stainless steel design
Capacity128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Size and Weight146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm, 6.66 ounces (189 grams)
DisplaySuper Retina XDR display 6.1 inch all screen OLED display 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution at 460 ppi Scratch-resistant ceramic glass, oleophobic coating Dolby Vision Wide color gamut True-tone
Splash, Water, and Dust ResistantRated IP68 (maximum depth of 6 meters up to 30 minutes) under IEC standard 60529
ChipA14 Bionic chip
Camera12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera12-megapixel (wide)
Video capture4K
RAM6GB
Mobile softwareiOS 14
Special featuresLidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM), Face ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Siri natural language commands and dictation
BatteryLi-Ion 2815 mAh, non-removable (10.9 Wh) Fast charging 20W, 50% in 30 min (advertised) USB Power Delivery 2.0 Qi fast wireless charging 15W
Full specifications of the iPhone 12 Pro

Pricing and Availability of iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Pro is priced at the following rates according to the official Apple website, for any color variant:

128GB – $999.00

256GB – $1,099.00

512GB – $1,299.00

With options available for trade-in discounts for numerous devices including older iPhones and android devices. Visit the apple trade-in site to check for eligible devices.

It is available for preorder in Sri Lanka through Kapruka at the following rates, for any color variant:

128GB – Rs.245, 000.00

256GB – Rs.265, 000.00

512GB – Rs.305, 000.00

In Depth Analysis

The following is a comprehensive look into the updated hardware and newly introduced features:

Design

The updated design of the 12 series sports slimmer bezels, a flat-sided design with squared-off edges showing resemblance to the iPad Pro and older iPhone 5 models. While the all-glass front and back of the device sandwiched between a stainless steel frame. Replacing the Aluminum used in previous generations to provide more durability and scratch resistance. The steel frames are glossy and match the different color variants. While the pro model styles a textured matte glass back along with a glossy camera bump. 

The rest of the device remains unchanged with the notch on the display housing the TrueDepth camera, speaker, and microphone. While the volume rockers and silent button are placed on the left side, the power button on the right, and the lightning connector along with the stereo speaker and microphones positioned on the base of the phone.

iPhone 12 pro color variants

Camera

The iPhone 12 Pro features a triple-lens rear camera setup along with the TrueDepth front camera. And the new addition of a depth-sensing imaging technology called LiDAR.

The triple-lens rear camera setup consists of a 12MP f/1.6 wide lens, 12MP f/2.0 telephoto lens, and a 12MP f/2.4 ultrawide lens. The wide lens is upgraded from an f/1.8 aperture to the f/1.6 aperture lens allowing for slightly better low light performance. There has also been fitted a new 7-elemnt lens, which Apple claims to allow 27% more light into the sensor. Consequently, improves sharpness and reduces noise in the shadows.

The LiDAR scanner works by measuring the time taken for light to reflect off objects, to create a depth map of your environment. This technology enables you to capture low light pictures by focusing up to 6 times faster. Also it also boosts the AR capabilities of the device.

A few of the new camera features are:

  • Night mode now available on the wide, ultrawide and selfie lenses as opposed to only the wide on the previous model.
  • New smart HDR 3 and Deep Fusion technology introduced on all 4 lenses.
  • Faster image processing due to the new A14 chip.
  • 4K Dolby vision video recording at 60fps.
  • Night mode enabled for video recording.
Image taken with Night Mode on iPhone 12 Pro
Image taken with Night Mode

Display

The iPhone 12 Pro has a 6.1 inch super retina XDR OLED display with a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels and 460 pixels per inch. A peak brightness of 1200 nits (for HDR photos and viewing videos) and a typical max brightness of 800 nits. The display has a wide color gamut, for providing true to life colors while True Tone ensures an easier viewing experience by matching the white balance on display to the ambient lighting.

Protecting the screen is a scratch-resistant ceramic shield and an oleophobic coating for smudge resistance. Haptic touch support is retained, enabling haptic feedback.

Battery

The battery is a 2815 mAh Li-Ion which is actually a drop in size over the previous series which had a 3046 mAh battery. Apple claims video playback up to 17 hrs and audio playback up to 65 hrs. It is also fast charge capable and advertised to reach up to 50% charge in 30 mins via the 20W adapter. In addition, Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W and MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W are available.

Chipset

The new A14 Bionic chip is the first 5-nanometer chip in the industry. It has increased efficiency for better battery life and faster CPU and GPU compared to any other smartphone chipset currently available. The 12 pro model has an upgraded 6GB of RAM.

MagSafe

The new 12 series contains a magnetic ring embedded in the back of the phone enabling it to be used by different accessories. The currently available accessories are cases, Snap-on wallets, and wireless chargers. And it is worth noting that the charger and wallet can be attached to the phone over the case. The MagSafe charger is capable of charging up to 15W. Moreover, it is safe to presume that soon third-party manufacturers will be producing newer accessories.

MagSafe accessories

5G connectivity

The new series is the first to feature 5G connectivity. To ensure that you remain connected in most places, the iPhone 12 Pro has been equipped with the most 5G bands amongst all smartphones capable of supporting 5G. In addition, Apple has also custom-engineered antennas and radio components for higher sensitivity.

5G connectivity enables faster download and upload speeds. Causing a speed up of web page load ups and downloads. Also increases bandwidth for streaming services and Facetime. However, these increased speeds come at the cost of a faster battery drain, and to deal with this issue the phone will automatically switch to LTE when faster speeds aren't necessary.

Controversy

In September of 2016, Apple created an uproar within the tech community by opting to not include a headphone jack in the iPhone 7. Nevertheless, over time the rest of the smartphone manufacturers have followed suit and omitted it too.

Apple has done it again! This time with their decision to not include a power adapter in the box along with the phone. They have cited environmental concerns as reasoning for this omission, claiming that they are reducing carbon emissions drastically by reducing packaging size and avoiding mining of precious metals. Although Apple points out that most adapters go unused, the issue arises since the USB C cable shipped along with the box is not compatible with the USB A power adapters of previous models except for customers who purchased the iPhone 11. As the iPhone 11 was the only device to be shipped with a USB C power adapter.

However in Apple's defense, the USB A to lightning cable of previous models are still compatible with the newer phones. As for Apple's attempt at providing a more environmentally conscious product, they have made remarkable progress with the iPhone 12 pro. And this is highlighted on the "Product Environmental Report."

Reviews of the iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Pro has received a mixed bag of reactions. The main aspect leaving customers in a dilemma is Apple's new pricing strategy, whereby they are attempting to offer an iPhone at all price points. As a result of this, the 12 pro model appears to be an awkward middle child in between the 12 and the 12 pro max.

The 12 pro design, with the matte glass back and the glossy camera bump has been preferred amongst most users. Although the shiny steel frame is reported to be a fingerprint magnet.

The camera upgrade has received both praise and criticism. The introduction of LiDAR has been well received; people are praising its performance with low light photography and AR capabilities. While the additional telephoto lens has not been a hit with many, as the primary lens seems to perform better than the telephoto lens at its job in certain instances.

The battery life of the device has been claimed not the greatest in comparison to other smartphones at the same price point. And the performance is reportedly slightly worse than the iPhone 12 even though both are of the same capacity.

Final Verdict

Overall, the iPhone 12 Pro is a reasonably sized, elegant device with excellent video and photographic capabilities. Although at the price point it is being offered, it might not be the best value for money in comparison to the iPhone 12. And if you are after the latest and best offering regardless of price, the iPhone 12 pro max will be released in the coming month.

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