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Apple iPhone 12 Pro review: The best phone money can buy

Here we will be taking a look at how the iPhone 12 Pro performs and should it be the phone you should switch to next?

Devesh Arora Devesh Arora @aroradevesh
New Delhi Published on: November 07, 2020 16:42 IST
Apple iPhone 12 Pro sports an OLED display.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro sports an OLED display.

It is a big year for the iPhone, which now comes with a new design, a new display technology, the world’s first 5nm processor, 5G, Magsafe and more. Just looking at all of these features would make a person appreciate all of the work that the company put in it to make it into a finished product that you hold.

Every single piece of technology inside of the new iPhones makes you feel as if you are living with a phone made for the future. And It is a good thing to have a future-ready phone, as you would not be running for a mid-year upgrade that a lot of other smartphone manufacturers would have you do.

Out of the two models currently out now, the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, I would personally recommend that you splurge a bit and go for the iPhone 12 Pro. I feel that the company has a lot of offer for the price difference with the additional telephoto camera, the stainless steel frame and much more. I will also like to add that the frosted back glass on the Pacific Blue colourway is simply amazing.

Here we will be taking a look at how the iPhone 12 Pro performs and should it be the phone you should switch to next?

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: Design

I have always preferred boxy and industrial design products, whether it be phones, laptops or any other gadget. And just picking up the iPhone 12 Pro made me drool. The overall square-cut design, flush display and back panel, make it feel seamless and perfect. This new design makes the iPhone 12 Pro stand out in front of all other smartphones currently available in the market. Looking at it and using it also makes designs of most other smartphones feel obsolete.

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iPhone 12 Pro manages to stand still on a flat surface.

Keeping the new boxy design aside, the iPhone 12 Pro feels a bit thinner and much more easier to handle than the last generation iPhone 11 Pro.

The new design also brings in new features like 5G and MagSafe. It is a bit difficult to test 5G here in India, and we will have to wait to do that till at least 2021. MagSafe is another technology that Apple has added to the iPhone 12 series, and I have to say its the perfect companion to the new iPhones. More on MagSafe later.

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The flat sides will remind you of the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4 era.

The iPhone 12 Pro features a glossy stainless steel frame that makes it look premium. Stainless steel is a hard material and is much harder to scratch or dent than most other metals like aluminium. The matte back with the glossy camera outlay just makes it look classy. Due to all of these design cues, it is a phone that I did not want to cover up at all during my testing time. And thankfully it is made up of premium materials like stainless steel and ceramic shield glass, I am not scared to damage this beauty.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: Glass

The new iPhone 12 series’ display comes with Ceramic Shield protection on top. Ceramic Shield is basically a hybrid glass and ceramic polymer, which is much tougher than the usual glass. And arguably much tougher than most other smartphone glasses available currently.

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It features a matte finish glass design.

With Ceramic Shield, Apple claims that the iPhone 12 Pro has four times better drop performance and better scratch resistance. All of this present in the iPhone is good, but I still won’t recommend dropping your iPhone as you would be skipping a beat while it falls.

The back panel does not feature a Ceramic Sheild glass, thus is much more vulnerable to drops, but the new design will help out with the durability.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: Display

The iPhone 12 Pro comes sporting a 6.1-inch OLED XDR display. And it looks lovely. I would go as far as to say that this is one of the only phones you should have to consume content like Apple TV, Netflix, YouTube and more.

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The notch up front is similar to the older generation iPhones. 

Gaming is also very wonderful on this display with the graphics looking crisp and true to life.I played multiple games including LEGO Brawls, Team Sonic Racing, Pac-Man Party and more on Apple Arcade, and other games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Call of Duty: Mobile. Playing all of these games made me feel fully immersed and made me forget about the clock, all thanks to such a beautiful display.

The only hiccup I felt was the inclusion of a 60Hz panel and not a higher refresh rate panel. But that was only while scrolling a lot. Otherwise, the display response was completely apt. And everyone buying the iPhone 12 Pro, will love its display.

The bezels and notch remain the same as the older generation, but you will eventually stop noticing them within a day or two of use.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: MagSafe

MagSafe is a wonderful piece of technology. The new MagSafe charger is worth every penny at Rs 4,500. It aligns perfectly to the iPhone 12 Pro thanks to the magnets and is even able to charge through the Apple case you can get from the Apple online store.

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Apple has launched a few MagSafe accessories alongside the new iPhone 12 series. 

All of the official accessories are MagSafe compatible, thus allowing the phone to know that they are attached and even let the wireless MagSafe charger charge through the cases and wallets.

Another benefit of having the MagSafe charger is that unlike any other wireless charging pad, it does not require you to leave your phone at one place, as it keeps itself attached to the device even while using it. Also, it does not require you to find the perfect spot to place your phone and charge it, as it does that itself.

Also Read: Best Apple accessories you can get for your new iPhone 12

Honestly, I think after you get the MagSafe charger your lightning cable would be lying around a corner gathering dust, due to the convenience and the ingenuity of the attachment. So I highly recommend that you splurge a bit and get the MagSafe charger along with the device.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: Performance

Apple iPhone 12 Pro is hands down the most powerful smartphone that I have tested till date. Apple A14 Bionic is the first chipset manufactured using the 5nm process, that is publicly available. That helps the company save space inside of the phone to provide better hardware and is also considerably fast when compared to chipsets manufactured using an older process.

You might not get the technical terms stated above, but know that the device can easily handle any task you throw at it without breaking a sweat. You could be playing multiple hard core games on the device while switching between them through matches, or even doing most of your office work on it, and the device would not show even a strand of lag.

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iOS 14 allows users to place widgets on home screen.

The phone when put through benchmark tests provided a score much higher than any other phone currently available. This just goes to show us, how much Apple leads the pack when it comes to phone reliability. In layman terms an iPhone 12 Pro would remain extremely fast even four to five years in the future, but a competitor smartphone would show its age in around three to four years.

Playing games on Apple Arcade was the smoothest mobile gaming experience I have had till date. Playing multiple titles, trying to find the one that is my beat, and then immediately shifting to watching the Morning Show on Apple TV+, was a buttery smooth experience. And even though spending around six hours playing and watching TV shows the phone did not get as much hot. It was easily held and was asking for a more intense workout.

The chip and the internals do play a role in the performance, but the software also plays a major role in providing a smooth UI. And iOS 14 has been one of the most polished versions of iOS, that I have ever used. Introduction of features like an app drawer and widgets has made the UI look and feel more unique and these new features come handy more than you would imagine.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: Cameras

Cameras are where the iPhone 12 Pro takes a major leap over the 12. It is also one of the main reasons why a person would rather get the Pro variant.

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Apple has added a LiDAR scanner to the iPhone 12 Pro series.

The iPhone 12 Pro consists of a triple camera array on the back consisting of a wide angle sensor, an ultra wide angle sensor and a 2x zoom lens. I personally prefer the zoom lens over an ultra wide angle sensor as it helps take much better portrait photos.

The additional LiDAR scanner helps a lot in detecting people's faces in low light. Apart from that it also helps with rapid auto focusing, not making you tap on a subject again and again to gain focus.

Also Read: How to measure your height using the iPhone 12 Pro

Taking photos in natural light on the iPhone 12 Pro is an experience on its own. The images come out bright, vivid, colourful, sharp and have a good dynamic range. But, all of that was expected from it. If you have ever used an iPhone, you know that you have had one of the best mobile cameras in your hands at all times.

The one surprising thing about thus is that you can use Night Mode on all of the 12MP sensors. It is not a thing that we can say about most other flagship smartphones.

Night Mode photos on the iPhone 12 Pro come out like magic. Photos taken in almost pitch-black environments also come out very bright and pleasing, with almost no grain in them. I would even say, that the iPhone 12 Pro’s camera can even turn night into day.

Apple has even gone as far as to include the Night Mode feature in the front camera too. This comes as a saviour for a lot of people who like to take selfies in dark environments (at clubs, around a bonfire and more).

Night Mode images taken with the rear camera setup also have a major advantage thanks to the LiDAR sensor, as it also captures the objects depth map to make the photos come out more realistic.

All of the cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro also come with smart features like Smart HDR 3 for better image processing, Dolby Vision video recording and Deep Fusion for image enhancement.

The iPhone 12 Pro comes with the ability to record, edit and play Dolby Vision content in 4K at 60fps. The video captured using the phone in Dolby Vision is just stunning, and the image stabilisation of the phone is rivalled by none.

The quality of the video output in Dolby Vision was extremely realistic, with each and every frame looking true to life, leaving me awestruck.

If you are a budding videographer and want to buy a base video camera to help you get ahead in your career, then save some money and get the iPhone 12 Pro. Many professional movie makers use it to make full films, you can also take advantage.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: Battery

With light usage, where I checked my work emails, clicked a few photos, made calls, sent text messages and browsed the internet among a few other things, the iPhone 12 Pro was able to provide me over two days of usage on 4G networks.

But as soon as I punched up the usage a tick, the battery life did slip a bit. Using the phone as my daily driver with all apps fired up, taking a number of photos and videos, playing heavy games, watching shows on streaming services, the phone provided me with a battery life of around 10 hours.

You might be thinking, why such a discrepancy in battery usage stats. To make that clear, iPhones have the best standby time in the industry. iPhones can literally use up only a single percent while in standby mode for the whole night. These optimisations are what make the iPhone 12 Pro extremely special. And in normal day to day usage, most people would easily get over a day’s battery life.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: Verdict

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iPhone 12 Pro is currently one of the best phones money can buy.

Should you buy the iPhone 12 Pro? Well, the answer simply is, yes. And that too for multiple reasons.

The first reason being that the new iPhone 12 Pro is the shiniest and the latest iPhone you can currently get. The new design and features like MagSafe are some of the features that just draw people to the phone. And it is also the phone people will notice when you pass by their side.

Second being that the phone is future-ready and has the best technology any phone as of now has.

Thirdly, the cameras. The iPhone 12 Pro is one of the best camera smartphones you can currently get. Whether it be for photography or for taking videos.

Apart from all of this, there are multiple reasons, why one should buy the iPhone 12 Pro. The baseline is that it is a beauty with brains. If you have the money and want the best phone currently available in the market, this is the phone for you to get. Well, until the iPhone 12 Pro Max is made available, at least.

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