With the release of the iPhone 12 last week, it quickly became the forefront of the tech news community. The iPhone 12 Series includes four models of varying sizes, including brand new additions, never seen before in an Apple iPhone launch.
If you've been considering an upgrade to the newest iPhone, but you're still not sure which one to go for, let's look at some of the highlights (and low points) of the iPhone 12 Series. We'll discuss each model and whether it's worth the upgrade.
Significant Changes to iPhone 12
Lighter and Thinner
Slim is the new sexy. Compared to iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 is 16% lighter while the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models are about the same as their iPhone 11 counterparts, weighing in at 6.66oz (189g) and 8.03oz (228g), respectively. The iPhone 12 mini, in particular, is 15g lighter than the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 8. All four iPhone 12 models have the same depth of 0.29 inches (7.4mm), which is much thinner than any iPhone 11 model.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 11
All iPhone 12 models feature flat edges, reminiscent of older iPhone models (4, 5 and SE) instead of the rounded ones adopted by iPhone 6 and beyond. Apple hasn't explained why they've returned to this old design, but the clean edges are an attractive addition.
However, when Apple launched the flat-edged iPad Pro 2018, then Chief Design Officer (CDO), Jony Ive explained that as curved edges are often used to make a product appear slimmer, they're unnecessary if an iPhone or iPad is ultra-slim.
Apple finally includes OLED display on its more affordable iPhone model, not just Pro versions like iPhone 11. OLED display improves not only image quality but also lower power consumption.
4x More Durable
Ceramic Shield, a new technique of mixing glass and ceramic crystals, makes the front glass four times tougher than previous models. Moreover, the front cover meets flush with the flat edges, which further helps protect the screen. Now you don't need to worry as much about scratching or dropping your iPhone 12. It is the most durable iPhone ever.
New Chip, Faster Performance
As with years previous, Apple introduced a new A-series Bionic chip – this year, the A14 Bionic. Although we know that A14 is more powerful than A13, how much faster is still not clear. However, it's estimated that A14 is about 16% faster than A13 in CPU/GPU performance.
To the surprise of almost no one, Apple brings 5G to iPhone 12. 5G is fast, but probably not as fast as expected. If the 5G spectrum is sub-6GHz, then it's just a bit higher than the 4G network. It's the mmWave 5G that gives you the blazing-fast speed of up to 1Gbps. Only the US-version iPhone 12 supports mmWave 5G, mainly because other regions are deploying sub-6GHz 5G networks only. You may not be able to use 5G currently, but equipping yourself with the advanced gear would not come amiss.
A big focus of the Keynote Apple Event was the return of MagSafe. Revitalized as a charging system for the iPhone 12 lineup, it currently includes a wallet, wireless charger, and phone cases, with more products on the way. All products magnetically snap on the back of the iPhone 12. While we already understand the value and convenience of magnets, many companies are working on new accessories that won't interfere with your iPhone 12.
Is It Worth Upgrading?
All in all, the iPhone 12 is a worthwhile upgrade if you're ready for one, but there are a few things to consider:
No Charging Adapter
Apple decided not to ship EarPods and a power adapter with its newest flagship for environmental reasons. If you don't already have one, you can still buy a 5W power brick, upgrade to a 20W fast charger or take advantage of wireless charging.
What About Third-Party MagSafe-Compatible Accessories?
There are numerous third-party companies producing accessories for iPhone, and while many customers choose them over Apple's, this year might be a little different.
Take phone cases, for example: According to Apple's guideline, you shouldn't use any cases thicker than 2.1mm; otherwise, the MagSafe Charger and wallet may not attach firmly to the iPhone 12. PITAKA Air Case (0.65mm) and MagEZ Case (0.85mm) are known for their lightweight and slim design, and yes, they are compatible with the MagSafe system.
Which iPhone 12 Is Your Best Option?
Once you decide it's time for a new iPhone, which model should you upgrade to?
Big or Small
This year, Apple offers four different iPhone sizes, going from 5.4 inches to almost 7 inches. iPhone 12 mini is the smallest iPhone in years, while the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, undoubtedly, tops the list, followed by the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max.
A small-sized iPhone is fairly manageable in your hand, and it fits more comfortably in your pocket. A larger iPhone is not as easy to hold, but it has the screen for better gaming or video experience.
Maintaining the balance between function, size, and battery life is a challenging task. A smaller phone usually means a smaller battery or less power capacity. Without exception, the iPhone 12 mini has the lowest battery life, with battery capacity standing between iPhone SE and iPhone 12. If you prefer the mini, it's highly recommended to get a magnetic wireless power bank so that you can get a few extra hours when you need it.
The other three iPhone 12 models' battery life is about the same level as the iPhone 11, which is considered ideal given that 5G consumes more energy than 4G.
Camera settings for iPhone have significantly improved in recent years, and the disparity between different models is growing.
Both iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini come with a dual 12MP camera system, ultra-wide camera, and wide camera with aperture upgraded from last year's ƒ/1.8 to ƒ/1.6. Moreover, they are equipped with the 7P lens, which can increase light transmittance. As well as the above features, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max also include a LiDAR Scanner for "Night mode portraits, faster autofocus in low light, and next-level AR scanning."
Although they share the identical triple-camera system, Max is the better option for shooting. Compared to iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max's wide camera boasts bigger pixels (1.7μm) and a new sensor-shift Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Coupled with a longer focal length (65mm), the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best iPhone ever for taking photos and videos.
Each model has its upsides, but hopefully, with our comprehensive rundown, you're a little better equipped to make your choice.