It’s October, which means it’s new iPhone time! While the iPhone 12 mini was the newest and freshest design in the event, the iPhone 12 Pro is still the unquestionable maxed-out, best iPhone that money can buy. As always we have 2 sizes this year, an iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. While we know that this is the first iPhone to support 5G, there are lots of other changes.
Design and Build Quality
Apple has dusted off the old design language from the beloved iPhone 4 and blown some life into it to design the new iPhone 12 Pro. The curved stainless steel sides on the frame are now replaced by flat sides, akin the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5. It looks very refined and there is something to be said about the style statement of the flat and shiny stainless steel frame around the iPhone.
The front glass now has “Ceramic Shield” which is supposedly the most durable glass ever put in a smartphone according to Apple. Apple claims that it can take much more abuse without cracking than any other smartphone. Apart from that, the Super Retina XDR Displays also get a small size bump from 5.8” on the iPhone 11 Pro to 6.1” on the iPhone 12 Pro. Similarly, the 6.5” display on the iPhone 11 Pro Max is now bumped up to 6.7” on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The increase in display size is thanks to a much-needed reduction in the side bezels, although the notch at the top is here to stay.
Another new addition to the iPhone 12 Pro is MagSafe. For the uninitiated, MagSafe used to be a magnetic connector used by Apple as a charging solution on their Macbooks. In the back of the new iPhones, there is an array of magnets which can be used to align properly and snap on to MagSafe compatible accessories. MagSafe on the iPhone 12 Pro can be used to fix alignment issues faced by usual wireless chargers and also design accessories that fit perfectly. MagSafe support also enables fast wireless charging on the iPhone 12 Pro.
Like the flagship iPhones before it, the iPhone 12 Pro still has IP68 water and dust resistance. There are 3 new finishes available for the iPhone 12 Pro. We have the new Pacific Blue along with Silver, Gold and Graphite.
Processor Bump: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
The iPhone 12 Pro lineup comes with the A14 Bionic CPU which is a bump up from the A13 bionic that came on the iPhone 11 Pro last year. The A14 Bionic is the first 5-nanometer chip in the industry, which Apple claims is upto 50% faster than any other smartphone CPU. There is a huge bump of up to a 16-core Neural Engine which is 80% faster, a new machine learning accelerators which is upto 70% faster. There’s also an all new Image Signal Processor and support for 4K HDR Recording with Dolby Vision.
If all that went above your head, it basically means that the A14 Bionic is insanely capable and performance is going to be one of the strongest suits of the iPhone 12 Pro.
The iPhone 12 Pro is the first iPhone to support 5G and Apple has added a number of smart improvements to enhance the experience. The iPhone 12 Pro has the most bands for 5G out of any smartphone. The software is also optimised to keep a balance between the high 5G speeds and battery consumption. There’s also a new Smart Data Mode which automatically switches between 5G and LTE depending on the internet speed requirements at that moment. Of course, you can override it if you want to constantly stay on 5G or LTE.
The iPhone 12 Pro uses a LiDAR Scanner which basically scans the space you’re in to create a depth map. After this depth map is created, AR(Augmented Reality) Apps can be used in a more optimised way to give a more life-like experience. Like the sensors used for FaceID, LiDAR can be used in the dark to help the new camera system take photos and videos in the dark. For what it’s worth, LiDAR technology is used by NASA to scan the surface of the moon so we can infer that it is an incredibly innovative and sophisticated technology. With the LiDAR sensor built into the iPhone 12 Pro, it will undoubtedly provide the best AR experience out of all smartphones.
Pro Camera System: The Meat of the Upgrade
The new cameras in the iPhone 12 Pro are perhaps what differentiate it the most from it’s predecessor. This time around, Apple has primarily worked on revamping the Night photography and videography experience. To start things off, both the Wide and Ultra Wide Cameras now have support for Night Mode. The LiDAR sensor is used to provide upto 6 times faster autofocus in the dark. It is also used to make Night Portraits possible, something which couldn’t be done in previous iPhones.
There’s also a new Wide Primary Camera with an f/1.6 aperture which lets in 27% more light, allowing for better results compared to its predecessor. It has a new 7-element system which Apple claims, enhances the overall detail and sharpness in both photos and videos.
Then there’s the new Optical Image Stabilisation system, which can make up to 5000 adjustments per second, which is 5 times faster than the iPhone 11 Pro, to ensure that the videos shot are buttery smooth with minimum jitter.
12 Pro Max: Maxing out the Pro
With the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple has made use of the extra space and further enhanced the Pro Camera System from the iPhone 12 Pro. The primary camera on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is 47% larger which captures way more light to provide excellent output. Even the OIS system is bumped up to ensure that videos shot are as smooth as possible. To stabilise the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s Wide Camera, Apple uses Sensor-Shift Stabilisation technology, something that they claim has only been used in DSLRs and mirrorless before.
While the Ultra Wide sensor on both the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max is the same, the primary Wide sensor on the 12 Pro Max gets larger 1.7 nano-meter pixels compared to 1.4 nano-meter on the iPhone 12 Pro. Talking about the Telephoto sensor, the iPhone 12 Pro gets a 52 mm focal length unit with f/2.0 aperture compared to the 12 Pro Max’s 65 mm focal length, f/2.2 aperture unit. This enables the iPhone 12 Pro Max to have a 2.5x optical zoom compared to 2x on the smaller iPhone 12 Pro.
All the sophisticated camera technology in both the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max combines to give amazing new features like-
- Night Mode Portrait
- Enhanced Deep Fusion
- A more refined Portrait Mode powered by Machine Learning
- Smart HDR 3 for better highlights, shadows and contours
For the professionals out there, Apple has also announced a ProRAW mode for the iPhone 12 Pro which will basically give all the standard RAW information along with the Apple image pipeline data for better flexibility and editing. It is still a work in progress and won’t come out of the box, added later via a software update.
The front facing TrueDepth camera on the iPhone 12 Pro has also been upgraded to support Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3 and Dolby Vision recording.
Super Retina XDR Display
To complement the industrial flat stainless steel sides of the iPhone 12 Pro, the new display is completely flat with flat edges unlike previous year’s iPhone 11. The display supports up to 1200 Nits of brightness for HDR Photos and Movies and gives a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 for true blacks. Apple claims that the colours and vibrance on the new iPhone 12 Pro series is better than ever and we cannot wait to test it out.
What’s In The Box? Less than Ever!
The iPhone 12 Pro, like the iPhone 12, comes bundled only with a USB Type C to Lightning cable. Apple says this is a move to reduce their carbon footprint by having carbon savings equal to 450,000 lesser cars on roads per year. So your new, expensive iPhone 12 Pro will not come with an included Charging Brick and wired EarPods. You can buy these separately or opt to use an older power adapter instead.
Other than that, the iPhone 12 Pro starts off with 128GB instead of 64GB now. You can bump up to 256GB or 512GB as per your needs.
Just like the iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 for the smaller iPhone 12 Pro and $1099 for the larger iPhone 12 Pro Max.