• Alex Abbey

The Apple iPhone 12

A comprehensive look at the new iPhone 12 range by Apeiron Communications

For the first time since the launch of the original iPhone back in 2007, Apple’s iPhone 12 launch was a virtual one, delivered solely through their digital channels. But that hasn’t stopped the hype leading up to the event, or post launch, and we think it’s justified – they’re brilliant devices.

With the launch of the new iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, Apple has taken its first steps into 5G. It takes the iPhone 11 range and betters it, with improved performance across all devices, new styles and colours, brilliant camera setups and gorgeous screens.

Let’s take a closer look at the key features of the new devices and the key benefits they’ll deliver.

For iPhone, 5G just got real.

5G capable iPhones were always on the horizon, but it took Apple a little longer than their competitors to launch a compatible device. Some might view this as a mistake, but actually 5G was in its infancy when the iPhone 11 launched (O2 hadn’t even turned their 5G network on) and it has allowed Apple to craft their 5G experience for customers a little more carefully.

As a result, Apple claims you will not get a better 5G experience on any other device. And, while you might argue that they would make this claim, there is some proof in the technology. Firstly, the iPhone 12 range carries the most 5G bands of any smartphone, meaning that you’re more likely to pick up a 5G signal in more places. In addition, the devices also carry a unique feature called Smart Data Mode, something that helps the device adapt the network connection depending on the requirements of the user. For example, when your iPhone doesn’t need 5G speeds, for things like background updates, it automatically uses LTE to save battery life. And when you do require 5G speeds, to download a large file for instance, iPhone will pick up 5G wherever it’s available.

It’s worth remembering that 5G in full flight will allow faster upload and download speeds, be more reliable with less dropped calls, and truly empower a remote workforce. With all iPhones 5G ready there’s a 5G device to suit all employees within a business.

A new yet familiar design

The iPhone 12 range has undergone a significant design change for 2020, with a new look and feel across all models. That being said, those who have been iPhones users for a bit longer might recognise similarities to the iPhone 5 from 2012, as the new range has reverted back to straight edges (replacing the curved ones on the iPhone 11 range).

There are some obvious differences in some of the range, and some slight tweaks that are less easy to spot. One of the more obvious changes though is the introduction of a new iPhone 12 Mini. It’s the first of its kind, boasting a tiny (at least by today’s standards) 5.4” inch screen yet the same capability as the standard iPhone 12. Both the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 boast edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR displays for a brighter, more immersive viewing experience and come in an aluminium design. There are five gloss colour options to choose from– blue, green, black, white and (PRODUCT)RED.

Step up to the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max and you’ll get what we can only consider to be a more premium finish. Unlike the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, the Pro models have a stainless-steel design and come in four colours - graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue. These are matt colours which look slicker, in our opinion.

With many premium devices in the market, stylish design has often meant compromising on the durability and ruggedness of the phone. Naturally, glass is more fragile than certain plastics or rubber, but on the iPhone 12 range, both Ceramic Shield and an IP68 rating help protect the device.

iPhone 12 range cameras

Photography has always been a keen focus for Apple and this year is no different, with brilliant setups across each device. New features, such as a LiDAR scanner, Smart HDR 3 and the ability to film 4K HDR with Dolby Vision, take things to the next level, especially for those using the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.

Before we talk about the Pro models, let’s look at the camera setup on the new iPhone 12 and 12 Mini. Each device has a 12Mp dual camera system – made up of the Ultra-Wide and Wide Camera lenses. It benefits from many of the features carried by the pro versions, including Night Mode on both rear and front facing cameras, allowing you to capture both regular pictures and selfies (including Portrait mode versions) in low light areas. Smart HDR 3 also comes to the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, which balances elements in a shot (such as subjects, light and colour) to create the perfect photo. It’s a significant upgrade.

When stepping up to the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, you immediately get an extra lens (telephoto) which helps capture subjects in a photo from further away. For comparison, the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini have a 5x digital zoom and the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max have 10x and 12x digital zoom respectively. The Pro models also come with a built in LiDAR scanner, which measures how long it takes light to reflect back from objects. It creates a depth map of whatever space you’re in and helps with autofocus in low light. However, it really comes to life when using AR apps – because of its speed and reliability you can now turn a room into a space for games or place a piece of furniture to see how it might fit before you purchase (such as in the Ikea app).

Performance goes up a notch

The iPhone 12 range is powered by the new A14 Bionic chip – the first 5-nanometre chip in the industry with 11.8 billion transistors. In layman’s terms this means the devices are incredibly fast, which is necessary when you consider all that the hardware and software can do. But it’s also about optimised performance, and the iPhone’s chip boosts performance while saving battery (thanks to the transistors movement of energy). Because of the efficient inner workings of the device, user experience is improved, with smooth transitions that look and feel smooth. Most users are reporting a good solid days use from their iPhone 12, which is pretty comparable to other devices out in the market right now.

The verdict

Apple has once again stepped up their game for 2020. The introduction of 5G as standard across all models will help global adoption and help build a digital future, the cameras are arguably the best in the smartphone market, and iOS14 is adding more personality and functionality to the devices than ever before. They also look great, with stylish colours and finishes, and are complimented by an equally gorgeous set of accessories, including new MagSafe cases and chargers.

Still, despite all the positives there is a few negatives that we uncovered. The fact Touch ID has been removed completely is tough to take, especially as Face ID has issues recognising faces with masks! There’s also no chargers and headphones in the box, a move from Apple that they say will help them reduce waste and carbon emissions, but an issue for those who are new to the brand – an option to include them for a small additional fee would have worked better. Lastly, and this might be down to personal preference, but the notch remains. The more stylish approach in our opinion is that of the “hole punch” seen on devices such as the Galaxy Note20 or Google pixel 5.

All iPhone 12 models are now available for purchase.

Why not challenge us to review your mobile set up and see how we can factor these stunning devices alongside the best tariffs from the UK’s three major networks - EE, O2 and Vodafone.

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