The iPhone 12 sports a gorgeous new design, with full 5G support, fantastic cameras, and even greater performance. The absence of a charging dock in the box and the limited storage in the base are the main drawbacks, especially since the iPhone 13’s release.
New and attractive design featuring MagSafe
Comprehensive 5G coverage
Impressive dual cameras
The fastest performance on a phone
Long life of the battery
Just 64GB of base storage
No headphones or charger inbox.
Digital zoom can still work
iPhone 12 review: Specs
Cost:$729 unlocked; $699 per contract
OS: iOS 14
Display: 6.1-inch OLED (2532×1170)
CPU: A14 Bionic
Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Rear camera: 12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4)
The front camera is12MP (f/2.2)
Battery: 2,815 mAh
The battery life is8 25, (5G) 10, 23 (4G)
Dimensions:5.78 x 2.81 x 0.29 inches
The iPhone 12 is one of the best iPhone value phones available today, and it’s available for sale at a price of just $699. It’s among the top phones available and offers a beautiful design, 5G connectivity, excellent camera, and performance that is better than the average Android phone.
Before it was announced that iPhone 13 appeared, the iPhone 12 was far from the perfect device. The lack of storage on the base and the absence of a charger in the packaging means that the iPhone isn’t as cheap as it may appear. In addition, some of the top features available within the Android space — such as the impressive digital zoom feature and the fast-refresh rate display from Samsung Galaxy S21 Samsung Galaxy S21 — aren’t available here.
There’s a lot to like about the iPhone 12 mini that is worth considering if you are looking for an affordable and compact phone and it’s worth a look if you want something smaller and less expensive. iPhone 12 Pro series is ideal if you’re looking for a telephoto lens. The regular iPhone 12 gets our nod for its versatility as a phone. Take a look at the iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12 comparison for more information.
Our complete iPhone 12 review below shows how this phone is highly recommended.
Are you looking for more powerful cameras? Look at our iPhone 12 Pro review
The best iPhone 12 cases
iPhone 12 review: Release date and price
The iPhone 12 was released in the month of October 2021. It is still available from Apple along with several carriers. The price has been reduced to $699 for 64GB storage. The upgrade to 128GB is $749 while 246GB will cost $849.
For those in the U.K., the iPhone 12 is now priced at PS679 in the 64GB version However, pay an extra PS30 and you’ll be able to have 128GB of storage for PS849. The 256GB model is now priced at the price of PS829.
If you’re looking for the cheapest cost, we’ll continue to keep track of iPhone 12 deals for all of Apple’s phones. It’s possible to save between $110-$790 on one iPhone 12 when you buy at Apple and then trade in your current iPhone with at least an iPhone 8 or newer. (Newer models offer the best yield.)
Apple doesn’t include headphones or a charging adapter in the box of the iPhone 12, so you’ll have to purchase one separately for one if you require it.
iPhone 12 review: Design
Apple does not often alter the design of its iPhone over time So any change however small is usually welcomed with excitement. The iPhone 12’s flat-edge design is one of the more subtle changes.
We’ll conduct drops of our own, however, we’re pleased to report that the Ceramic Shield display performed very well when tested in EverythingApplePro‘s test of torture on YouTube. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro didn’t crack at the shoulder or hip level when dropped. The display on the standard iPhone 12 didn’t even crack at 10 feet, even though the back of the phone did.
Furthermore — and I’m not going to blame you for thinking this is unimportant nitpick, as a long-time iPhone 11 Pro user, I’m unable to resist feeling that the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 is a tiny bit taller than it should be. I consider the 5.8-inch size the perfect balance between display size and portability, however, in this iPhone 12 series, Apple has left the design to go to. Those looking for smaller devices will be forced to choose a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini. Although I am awestruck by Apple for releasing a compact flagship phone for this year’s Lord 2020 however, I do think that a 5.4-inch display is too small for today’s users.
But, I’m generally thrilled by the design of the iPhone 12. I’m happy that Apple’s cut down the bezels significantly in comparison with the iPhone 11 and XR, although a smaller screen would’ve been nice. Although I’m not a big fan of the blue hue (I find this navy to be a little dull do like the mint green available I particularly like the elegance of the design. iPhone 12 comes in three colors. iPhone 12 comes in three other colors: black, white, and red.
It’s a great phone. iPhone 12 feels substantial and luxurious, but it’s not more extravagant than its predecessor the iPhone 12 Pro. It also comes with the same IP68 water resistance as on the Pro (20 feet for 30 minutes) that is far superior to other smartphones available in addition to Crystal-infused Ceramic Shield material protecting the display and which Apple claims will be four times more likely not to break in the event of a drop — an assertion we’re looking to test in the near future.
iPhone 12 review: MagSafe
Although the wonder of magnets is still astonishing the world’s most renowned minds, Apple has made magnets a central feature in the design of its iPhone 12. A ring of magnetic elements located at the rear on the iPhone 12 enables Apple’s new MagSafe range of accessories, ranging from wireless chargers to cases, and wallet attachments that snap in and out.
There’s nothing unique with Apple’s model of wireless charging in this case. The MagSafe charging device uses the same Qi standard as every other wireless charger that works with any other device It just adds magnets as well. The iPhone 12 will still be incompatible with the Wireless chargers and Qi accessories you have, but to access the 15-watt speed you’re looking for you’ll require a first or third-party device that includes MagSafe.
The downside is MagSafe is slower than Apple’s 20W wired charging. Much slower. In a test of third-party charging, iPhone 12 charged iPhone 12 charges to 50 percent full in just 28 minutes with the fast charger 20W. Its MagSafe 15W charger took an hour. MagSafe charger took more than an hour.
However, this doesn’t mean that we should negate the idea behind MagSafe which is a good idea in many ways. MagSafe’s magnets aid in locating iPhone 12 to the right place iPhone 12 on chargers and facilitate accessory attachment. It’s also simpler to charge your phone by placing it on a stand that immediately aligns itself instead of having to fumble by your bedside, trying to connect a tiny Lightning connector.
I think it’s going to require more involvement from third parties and experimentation to get to MagSafe realize its maximum potential. This is the case with the leather-bound wallet that Apple has developed. It’s an innovative idea and I’m certain that some iPhone users will appreciate the feature. However, the magnets in the iPhone 12 aren’t quite strong enough to ensure that the wallet stays securely attached at all times. In actual fact, the force when I pulled the iPhone 12 out of the pockets of my jeans was sufficient to knock it off the center a couple of times and doesn’t seem to be a very Apple-like look.
iPhone 12 review: Display
The iPhone 11’s LCD display has been the weak point of Apple’s premium entry-level iPhones in recent times however, the iPhone 12 improves on that. This is due to a brand-new 6.1-inch Super RetinaXDR OLED display, which corresponds to what you can get from the iPhone 12 Pro.
The panel has 2532×1170 pixels, which makes for an enormous increase in the clarity of the on-screen content, compared to the older iPhone 11’s 1792×898 display. It’s also HDR10 certified and allows you to stream any video recorded using the phone’s Dolby Vision-equipped rear camera exactly the way that they were meant to be watched.
The trailer for the forthcoming Monster Hunter film that really seems like it wasn’t meant to be produced, I felt a bit satisfied with the authenticity to the scales, the horns, and teeth on Black Diablos glinting in the desert sun. The black smoke of an explosion was also starkly contrasted against the bright sunlight scene in a way that wouldn’t be as attractive on the iPhone 11’s LCD display which is unable to show true black.
The screen on the iPhone 12 isn’t ideal, and the reason for this is evident to anyone who’s used the latest Galaxy, Pixel, or OnePlus phone for any time. After months of speculation suggesting the contrary, Apple decided to forgo high-refresh-rate displays for the whole iPhone 12 line, which have become quite standard in the world of flagship smartphones over the last year.
The result is that animations don’t feel as smooth, and scrolls and taps do not respond with the same speed and speed on the iPhone 12 as they do on like, for example, an 90% Pixel 5 or 120Hz Galaxy S20. While iPhone 12 is more powerful than the Galaxy S20 and Pixel 5, as we’ll see later in this review it is slow to use in some instances, because the display doesn’t feel as athletic. It’s a problem that Apple must surely work to fix before when the iPhone 13 becomes reality.
As for brightness in our lightmeter, the iPhone 12 topped out at 569 nits when it was at its maximum setting, which is significantly from Apple’s 625-nit figure. It could render 114.5 percent of sRGB color space, which is just shy of 122.8 percent in the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 -suggesting slightly more restrained and natural hues, and less than oversaturation.
When it comes to the Delta-E test of color accuracy In the Delta-E color accuracy test, the iPhone 12 scored a result of 0.29 and is less than the iPhone 11, which scored a 0.22 result. (Numbers closer to zero indicate more accurate hues.) The colors seemed to be appropriate to me and the change to OLED is a huge leap in comparison to the previous generation generally being.
iPhone 12 review: Cameras
If you look at the exterior it’s hard to imagine there have been any major changes in the camera department of the iPhone 12. iPhone 12. The dual-lens rear shooters are set up in the same way similar to the way they were in 2019. Both of the ultrawide and wide optics are supported by 12-megapixel sensors.
Don’t let your eyes fool you, though, since improvements have been made to the iPhone. The primary camera, in particular, has a brand new design that has seven elements and the f/1.6 aperture, the most powerful yet on an iPhone. The result of both these improvements will be a significant 27% boost in low-light performance. This together with improvements towards Smart HDR and Deep Fusion can provide greater clarity even in the worst conditions.
Let’s get started by showing two Night Mode shots that illustrate the year’s worth of enhancements that have brought to the iPhone’s performance in low light. These two photos create stunning, dramatic scenes at night, however, the iPhone 12’s rendering is better all around, with more realistic colors within the brick’s shadows and greater ability to detect specular highlights, apparent in the way the brick picks up illumination from the lamps that are above. However, iPhone 11 Pro isn’t a bad choice. iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t lose in any way over the more modern handset.
However, Apple has some work to complete. Google appears to be ahead in the evening, as evident by the way that the iPhone 12’s most impressive work contrasts with the Pixel 5’s in the image above. Although Apple’s software expands the boundaries of objects by giving everything in the frame a hint of in-depth, the Google algorithms produce the same result but with a greater amount of visibility and with less noise overall. There’s a glaring vignetting effect appearing in the corners on the iPhone’s photo that isn’t visible in the Pixel’s image.
In sunlight, the iPhone 12’s main camera isn’t many complaints. Although it is true that the Note 20 painted this idyllic lakeside scene slightly more clearly, especially in the trees further away I generally like the iPhone’s approach to conveying a more authentic set of shades, from the dark blue of the mid-afternoon sky to the oranges, yellows, and greens that surround the water. Samsung has once more gone too far with its post-processing and it’s a thing that it has been known to do.
If we zoom in on the fountain to the right the limitations of the iPhone 12 are made clear. The camera isn’t optically zoomed this iPhone 12 — for this, you’ll need to buy an iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max. However, even if you did you wouldn’t be able to get the same clarity and clarity offered through Note 20’s hybrid 3x zoom that can capture the water’s beads as well as the ripples that appear on the lake’s surface, as well as the tree’s wall on the background.
The image below shows the same lake but seen through the ultrawide lenses from both the iPhone 12 and $749 OnePlus 8T. Both photos go out of line in various ways The iPhone 12 bungles the white balance, resulting in green-colored casts in the clouds and water and the OnePlus 8T’s picture doesn’t have enough sharpness and also significantly distorts the image around the edges.
To complete this autumn-themed photo the photo op includes a pair of portraits of my friend Jesse and me, shot with an iPhone 12 and Pixel 5. Incredibly, The iPhone 12 defaults to a more rounded perspective for portraits than Pixel 5, which automatically adds some cropping.
However, the iPhone 12’s version is slightly sharper to me, thanks to more attention paid to Jesse’s skin color, as well as Smart HDR being able to manage his contrast with the dark shadows that cover his right shoulder as well as other parts of the hoodie. It’s also more precise in its use of shadows. iPhone 12 also applies a more precise bokeh on Jesse’s ears and hair which is often a problem of creating shallow depth-of-field images like those.
To test what iPhone’s Deep Fusion mode, which prefers images with granular detail in low-light situations I utilized both the iPhone 12 and Pixel 5 to take a picture of a canvas painting. Deep Fusion is intended to blend multiple exposures of various lengths to achieve the best sharpness. I was shocked to discover that Google’s camera produced the most precise results, in this case, rendering the surface of the hatchwork of the canvas with a clarity that the iPhone 12 couldn’t quite match. However, I think that the iPhone’s use of colors across the entire canvas and the warmth it imparts to the whites, reds as well as a neutral-toned background creates an image that is more appealing.
Another example to show Deep Fusion at work maybe this picture I took when the sun was setting down. The iPhone 12 rendered the individual fibers of my sweater with depth and nuance, compared to that of the Note 20, which is blurry. The iPhone 12’s front-facing 12MP camera is surprisingly more detailed than the Note 20’s 10MP sensor however, Apple’s algorithms don’t super-brighten shadows or drain the brightness from my face as Samsung’s does. If I were forced to upload one of these photos to Instagram it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Overall it’s clear that it’s a good phone overall. iPhone 12 lands among the highest end of the cost-per-dollar range as far as camera performance is concerned, however, it’s not the most efficient for every situation. If I wanted to shoot night photos I’d prefer a Pixel that can create the same scenes, but without the noise. If I were working from an extended distance, I’d prefer to use Pixel 5 as well for its super-high-resolution super-resolution digital zoom as well as one of the Samsung phones that include or the Galaxy S20 FE or the Note 20 — for their 3x optical zoom and multi-camera zooms.
iPhone 12 review: Video
Apple has gone all-in regarding the 4K HDR video recording on the iPhone 12 line. As with its predecessor iPhone 12 and Pro Max, the standard iPhone 12 (and the smaller iPhone 12 mini) can record Dolby Vision videos, but only 30 frames/second, compared to the Pro models 60 frames per second. Dolby Vision is a type of HDR encoder that is more advanced than the traditional HDR10 format to offer greater color depth while making sure that the visual presentation is in a way that is as accurate to the source material as it is possible regardless of the way in which content is displayed.
It’s not easy to see, but believe us when we say the distinction becomes apparent when viewing the same video both in HDR or SDR. I shot a short video in a park while the sun was setting behind the trees. The differences in contrast in each of the instances were eye-opening. The sky was lighter in the Dolby Vision recording and I was able to see the individual trees and leaves reflect the sunlight. The details were blurred or washed out in the SDR capture and for someone who’s used the iPhone 11 Pro for video for the greater part of the year, I was unsure of the details I’d been missing.
In fairness, it’s true that this iPhone 12 is far from the only smartphone that has the capability to shoot HDR video. It is, however, one of the few Dolby Vision-certified phones and I’m able to affirm that the HDR footage I’ve taken on Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Plus has never been as sharp and without editing as it, iPhone 12 churns out by default.
iPhone 12 review: 5G
Many smartphones today are compatible with 5G and you don’t have to spend more money to enjoy it anymore. But, Apple’s approach to 5G is what sets its iPhone 12 from all other 5G-capable phones.
While the majority of phones that support 5G have one type of 5G and not the other or only the bands that are required to function on specific networks and the iPhone 12 goes all out. It’s designed to work across the broadest range of brands available on every 5G handset that means it has a higher likelihood of coverage on 5G particularly in the beginnings of the technology. Furthermore the iPhone 12 works on both sub-6GHz 5G — which is the nationwide 5G that is the basis for T-Mobile and AT&T’s services currently as well as the much more efficient and shorter-range millimeter-wave 5G, which is similar to the one that Verizon is focusing on installing in the cities of America.
This dual-pronged strategy for 5G is crucial as it ensures that when 5G does eventually become widely available that your 5G-capable iPhone will not be tied to an internet connection that is only compatible with certain networks but not all. However, this day could be from the horizon; using AT&T’s network located in Pennsylvania town, I was able to get download speeds at around 85Mbps for the iPhone 12 while pulling a two-bar signal. It’s a decent speed, but around a third of the speed as the top speed LTE Advanced networks, we’ve tested.
5G can increase the demands on the iPhone’s battery however, to meet this need, Apple has developed Smart Data Mode. The feature is intelligently switched from LTE and 5G, based on whether or not the phone truly requires the extra speed. For example, if just streaming music on Spotify without the screen turned off the iPhone 12 may elect to stay on 4G to conserve energy. However, once you start active web surfing or making the FaceTime HD call, 5G will be in full effect. Intelligent Data Mode is totally optional If you’d like to have 5G at all times, declare it as such in your phone’s settings.
iPhone 12 review: Performance
With the world’s first five-nanometer processor to ever be embedded into smartphones, Apple’s brand new A14 Bionic The iPhone 12 delivers best-in-class performance that never falters. Its A13 Bionic processor that’s part of the iPhone 11 series was already more efficient than Qualcomm’s top 2020 processor known as that of the Snapdragon 865, however, the A14 makes it even faster and is even faster. As 2021 approaches, however, we’re beginning to see Snapdragon phones running 888, including Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series.
The majority of phones need an hour or more for our test of video encoding in which a 4K short video is transcoded into 1080p with Adobe’s Premiere Rush app. For instance, the iPhone 11 Pro needed 46 seconds to finish the task while it was 888, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra, 1 minute and 2 seconds. But the iPhone 12, though? It’s only 26 seconds.
A Geekbench 5 test, which assesses the overall performance of the system has a similar benefit for Apple’s new CPU. In this test, the iPhone 12 set a blistering pace, scoring 3,859 for the multicore section of the test. Galaxy S21 Ultra scored 3,440 points. Galaxy S21 Ultra garnered 3,440 points.
Furthermore, Apple hasn’t slain its way on graphics-related things too. Apple claims that the GPU in the A14 Bionic is 50% more efficient than that of the A13. Although the most recent mobile games may not always fully benefit from phones’ speedy innovation I can report it was smooth and responsive. Asphalt 9 Legends — an app that may be a bit sluggish on certain high-end Android handsets — played crisp and smooth with the iPhone 12. (Of, Of course, a higher refresh rate display would have enhanced the impression of smoothness and responsiveness however that’s a different issue.)
An even better gauge for performance would be 3DMark’s Wild Life graphics benchmark, which tests devices to render complicated, demanding sceneries in real-time. Its Galaxy S21 Ultra tops out at 34 fps during this test. It is an iPhone 12 that hit 39 fps during our tests.
iPhone 12 review: Battery life and charging
Apple does not release the battery capacities of its products, making it hard to gain any information about longevity from a specification document. A teardown of the iPhone 12 shows that an iPhone 12 could be working with a battery of 2,815 mAh which is about 200 mAh less than what the iPhone 11 Pro had at its capacity.
But, bigger screen iPhones tend to perform better in our battery test in which devices are constantly surfing the web on mobile with 150 nits of screen brightness.
To put things in perspective For a bit of perspective, to give you a sense of scale, iPhone 11 tallied 11 hours and 16 minutes during the assessment, so we consider anything above the 11-hour mark as excellent. However, the iPhone 12, however, averaged 8 hours and 25 mins in the same test, which is an impressive decrease.
However, there’s an even deeper meaning to this. Similar to Apple’s iPhone 11, Apple rates the iPhone 12 for an identical 17 hours of video playback and an audio playback time of 65 hours. But, unlike iPhone 12’s iPhone 11 didn’t have 5G to compete with. Also, when we conducted our test using 5G again but with it turned off to use LTE The iPhone 12 performed better -significantly better.
iPhone 12 lasted for a long time. iPhone 12 lasted 10 hours and 23 minutes on 4G2 hours more than the 5G time. If we were to speculate, the cause might be the fact that 5G draws greater power or the limited coverage of 5G networks make it hard to allow the iPhone 12 to maintain a continuous 5G connection, which forces it to switch between 4G and 5G. It could be an amalgamation of both in the sense that we observed certain switching during our tests however it’s still too early to say the cause.
The battery story becomes worse as we get closer to the big issue Apple’s decision to abandon a charging brick and wired headphones on each iPhone in the future.
You can argue about the extent to which this could be attributed to the environmental initiatives of Cupertino however the reality, in the end, is it will mean that prospective iPhone purchasers without the most efficient charging option for their iPhone 12 until they pay an additional $20 to purchase Apple’s USB-C adapter that’s 20 watts. In addition, to further complicate matters the USB-C Lightning cable Apple includes in the include along with it with the iPhone 12 won’t work with older chargers, and will not provide much value to you unless you purchase the latest brick.
The charging situation is similar in the case of U.K. buyers, with Apple seeking PS39 in exchange for the MagSafe charger, and PS19 for the 20-watt wired charging block.
In our tests, the adapter that we tested was 20 watts and took an iPhone 12 from empty to 57% in just 30 minutes. It’s more than Apple’s 50% figure, however, you’ll never experience that speed if you rely on the old 5 watt brick of the iPhone of old to charge your new iPhone. iPhone 12 can now charge wirelessly. iPhone 12 can also now recharge wirelessly at a top power of 15 watts which is significantly higher than Apple’s lukewarm old 7.5-watt requirement.
iPhone 12 review: iOS 15
As you’ll find within the iOS 15 review, Apple’s OS offers some great improvements to your iPhone Many of them concentrate on shared experiences. FaceTime lets users listen to songs or stream movies and TV with their friends or their family. The Messages app offers a brand-new Shared With You section with pictures, articles, and more.
The new Focus feature included in iOS 15 lets you filter notifications according to what you’re doing. Notifications are now more refined and come with a brand new overview view. Additional iOS fifteen highlights are a new Safari and an improved Maps app that has more details and a better road view.
Live Text Bites is like Google Lens, as it recognizes text in real-time through the camera whenever you’re looking things up or find translations.
iPhone 12 review: Verdict
I’m not sure about this iPhone 12. It’s clear that this is an outstanding phone in general and the majority of modifications Apple has introduced to its most adored iPhone are more improved. The brand new Super Retina XDR panel is an incredible improvement over the poor LCD panels of previous models for this price although it’s not equipped with an impressive refresh rate. The layout, MagSafe system, and excellent dual-camera system are all worthy of an iPhone 12 high marks.
However, Apple’s reluctance to make changes in crucial areas is unsatisfactory. Nearly every major phone producer has stopped tight in terms of storage capacity. The fact that the iPhone 12 still only starts with 64GB of storage is criminal particularly in light of the iPhone 13’s increased storage capacity.
A few might choose to purchase an iPhone 13 instead, even although an iPhone 12 costs $100 less. The latest iPhone has improved performance, higher quality cameras, and has a slimmer and more compact notch. However, nearly an entire year after its launch this iPhone 12 is still very worthwhile to purchase.
Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and was previously a writer for Tom’s Guide covering smartphones, gaming, and automotive technology. His passion for all things mobile started with the first Motorola Droid; since then the device has been a number of Android and iOS-powered phones and has resisted the urge to stick to one particular platform. Their work of his has been featured at Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he isn’t playing with the latest technology or a new gadget, he’s either at an indie-pop show, making podcasts, or using the Sega Dreamcast.