Should You Get an iPhone 12 Pro?
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are Apple’s latest smartphones, offering 5G connectivity, an A14 chip for better performance, an advanced camera system with LiDAR scanner and MagSafe in an all-new, square-shaped design.
Announced in October 2020, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max remain among the latest iPhones in Apple’s lineup, but they’re nearing the end of their product cycle. Apple tends to release new iPhone models every September, and it looks like the new iPhone 13 Pro models will launch this fall normally in September, although the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max will launch a month later than usual in 2020.
There are clear signs that the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will come with a host of upgrades and improvements later this year, and they are believed to be less than a few months from their launch. Many customers may now choose to wait until new models arrive in the fall. Those who need a new device right away should still buy the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max, with new models still a few months away from launch, but most people should wait if possible.
While the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the most full-featured, high-end iPhone options currently available, users who don’t need professional-grade camera features or a premium design may want to consider the iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro share a lot of key features like the same 6.1-inch OLED display, 5G connectivity and A14 chip, but the iPhone 12 is $200 cheaper than the iPhone 12 Pro.
Likewise, if you think the iPhone 12 Pro might be too big for you and are conscious of one-handed use and pocketability, the iPhone 12 mini offers the same comprehensive feature set as the iPhone 12, only in a smaller design.
Overview of iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
On October 13, 2020, Apple introduced the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, its latest high-end flagship iPhones to be sold alongside the more affordable iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. Apple has heavily emphasized the “Pro” aspect of its new iPhone 12 Pro models this year, suggesting that the more expensive iPhones are “pushing the limits of innovation” for those who “want the most from their iPhone”.
Available in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch size options, the two new Pro models feature full-screen Super Retina XDR displays, apart from the Face ID notch.
The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro has a resolution of 2532 x 1170 with 460 pixels per inch, while the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max has a resolution of 2778 x 1284 and 458 ppi. The displays offer HDR support with 1200 nits peak brightness, Wide Color, Touch Touch and True Tone, all features introduced over the years.
Protecting the screens is a new Ceramic Shield cover that Apple says goes “beyond glass” and is tougher than any smartphone glass. It is infused with nano ceramic crystals and offers 4x better drop performance.
The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max have a completely new look, similar to the iPad Pro design with straight edges instead of the rounded edges used on previous models. It has a precision machined matte glass back surrounded by a stainless steel band.
Color options include graphite, silver, gold and pacific blue, with the shade blue replacing the midnight green used last year. iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max offer IP68 water and dust resistance and can withstand 6 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
The new iPhone 12 models are the first models to feature 5G connectivity for faster downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, enhanced gaming and higher resolution 1080p FaceTime calls. To conserve battery life when using 5G, Smart Data Mode reverts to LTE connectivity when 5G speeds are not required.
5G coverage is available worldwide, but only iPhone 12 devices sold in the United States support mmWave 5G, the fastest 5G technology available. iPhone 12 models sold in other countries are limited to the slower but more widely available Sub-6GHz 5G connection. 5G speeds in the US can be as high as 4Gbps, even in densely populated areas.
Gigabit LTE is supported when 5G is not available, such as WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. Like the iPhone 11 models, the iPhone 12 Pro models feature a U1 Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness and interaction with other devices that include the U1 feature, such as the HomePod mini.
The iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new A14 chip and is the first in the smartphone industry to be built on a 5 nanometer process for performance and efficiency improvements. Apple says the 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU in the A14 are 50 percent faster than competing fastest smartphone chips. The A14 chip contains a 16-core Neural Engine that offers an 80 percent increase in performance for machine learning tasks.
For the most part, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max offer the same features, but the exception is the camera, where there are some key differences. iPhone 12 Pro is equipped with a new seven-element Wide camera with f/1.6 aperture that provides 27 percent improved low-light performance for photos and videos.
There’s also an Ultra Wide camera with a 120-degree field of view and a 52mm telephoto lens that offers 4x optical zoom.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max also has a seven-element Wide camera with f/1.6 aperture but a 47 percent larger sensor for 87 percent improvement in low light. It has the same Ultra Wide camera and 65mm telephoto lens that provides 5x optical zoom.
The iPhone 12 Pro offers dual optical image stabilization, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max supports sensor-shifted optical image stabilization for the Wide lens, which fixes the sensor instead of the lens. Sensor-shift stabilization was previously limited to DSLRs and offers better-than-ever stabilization for photos and videos.
For both models, the A14 chip powers a new image signal processor and computational photography capabilities that weren’t possible before. Night mode is now available for the front-facing TrueDepth camera and Ultra Wide camera, and Deep Fusion is available for all cameras. A new Smart HDR 3 feature brings more realistic images.
There is also support for ProRAW, which combines Apple’s image processing and computational photography with the versatility of the RAW file format and offers full control over color, detail and dynamic range.
As for video, iPhone 12 Pro models support 4K 60fps video and HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 60 frames per second, and better video stabilization. The night mode time-lapse video option provides impressive night videos when using a tripod.
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are equipped with a LiDAR Scanner that measures the light distance and pixel depth of a scene to map the area around iPhone. It provides more realistic AR experiences and increases autofocus by 6x in low-light scenes for improved accuracy. LiDAR Scanner enables Night mode portraits.
Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max continue to use the same Face ID facial recognition system, powered by a 12-megapixel camera for selfies and a front-facing TrueDepth camera system that includes Smart HDR, Deep Fusion, and Night mode.
When it comes to battery life, the iPhone 12 Pro offers up to 18 hours of video playback, 11 hours of video playback or 65 hours of audio playback. iPhone 12 Pro Max offers up to 20 hours of video playback, 12 hours of video playback or 80 hours of audio playback for the longest battery life in an iPhone.
Both new iPhones offer fast charging using a 20W power adapter, providing 50 percent charge in 30 minutes.
Compatible with the new iPhone 12 models, Apple has introduced new MagSafe accessories designed to work with a built-in magnet ring on new devices. There’s the MagSafe charger, MagSafe cases, and wallet accessories. MagSafe supports 15W wireless charging, an upgrade over the 7.5W charging provided with standard Qi-based wireless chargers.
Apple sells the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, as well as the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max; More affordable 5.4- and 6.1-inch devices that lack some of the Pro camera features and design elements found on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. You can find more information about the iPhone 12 series in our iPhone 12 roundup.
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Pricing and Availability
The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro was launched on Friday, October 23. Starting at $999 for 128GB storage, 256 and 512GB storage are available for $1,099 or $1,299 respectively.
The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max launched on Friday, November 13. The iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099 for 128GB storage, while 256 and 512GB storage is available for $1,199 or $1,399, respectively.
Apple Card Monthly Installments are also available; iPhone 12 is available starting at $41.62 per month and iPhone 12 Pro Max starting at $45.79 per month. iPhone Upgrade Program payments for new devices start at $49.91 per month.
iPhone 12 Pro
Reviews of the iPhone 12 Pro are largely positive, with reviewers praising the camera changes. Low-light performance, noise reduction, and contrast have been improved, as shown in the review videos below.
The camera also supports HDR video recording in Dolby Vision and Night mode selfies, which is a nice addition to the front-facing camera. The Ultra Wide camera deforms less at the edges, and photos from the Ultra Wide and Telephoto lenses are much sharper and clearer.
Most people won’t need HDR shots or workflows because videos shot in HDR and shared on a social network won’t see much improvement, but those who use the iPhone as a moviemaking tool or make high-quality video as a hobby should appreciate it. new HDR video support.
On the downside, reviewers weren’t impressed with 5G, as the rollout of 5G networks is still ongoing and not widely available yet, plus it can drain the fastest mmWave 5G battery. LiDAR was also described as being a bit rogue because of its AR functionality, but it was also useful for autofocus in low-light conditions.
When it comes to design, The Verge’s Nilay Patel said the iPhone 12 Pro’s stainless steel bezel is a fingerprint magnet, while TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino said he hopes the brighter colors of the iPhone 12 will eventually come to the much quieter 12 Pro lineup.
The screen has been described as “perfect”, but of course it looks like the iPhone 11 Pro screen and there’s no change in notch size. There were rumors about a 120Hz refresh rate that would make scrolling smoother and the screen more responsive, but that didn’t happen and many reviewers complained of the 60Hz limitation given that 120Hz is standard on high-end Android devices.
iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has all of the same features as the iPhone 12 Pro, with some extra camera improvements and a bigger battery thanks to the larger size. Reviews of the 12 Pro Max were also positive, with reviewers praising the larger 6.7-inch display and long battery life.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is big enough for people to see in person before ordering, and critics were disappointed that Apple didn’t do more to take advantage of the larger screen with multitasking and other features.
With its larger size and larger battery, the 12 Pro Max can last all day and sometimes even longer, depending on 5G usage.
Reviewers agreed that the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max produce similar photos, despite the larger sensor and improved telephoto lens on the larger model, but there’s a noticeable difference when it comes to lower lighting conditions. In these cases, the Pro Max produces clearer, less noisy images and also has a better 2.5x zoom range.
Comparison picture by Austin Mann
Reviews are helpful for checking if you’re undecided about buying a new iPhone, and more information can be found in our dedicated review summaries for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Be sure to check out our first impressions coverage, along with MacRumors readers’ thoughts on the new devices.
Apple has used the same rounded edge design since the iPhone 6, but that changed with the launch of the iPhone 12 series in 2020. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max adopt a straight-edge design with square edges that match the design language of the iPad Pro and hark back to older devices like the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5.
The straight-edge design is a significant departure from the previous design, which makes the new models feel modern but also feel familiar, given that it reintroduces a look from older models.
The all-glass front and textured glass back are sandwiched between a glossy, surgical-grade stainless steel frame in colors that match the rear window. The front of the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max has thinner bezels, but still has a notch on the front that houses the TrueDepth Camera, speaker and microphone.
Along with the standard power button on the right and the volume buttons on the left, there are antenna bands on the top and sides of the phone. There’s a new 5G mmWave antenna under the power button, but that’s a feature limited to US models with mmWave support. iPhones in other countries do not have this antenna. iPhones purchased in European countries have regulatory information engraved on the side.
The bottom of the iPhone 12 Pro models features a Lightning port that supports charging via Lightning, as well as speaker holes and built-in microphones, and the SIM slot has been moved to the left.
The back of the iPhone has a square camera bump at the top that houses a triple-lens camera setup along with a flash and a new LiDAR sensor. Below that is an Apple logo that matches the stainless steel bezel.
This year’s iPhone 12 Pro models come in 6.1 and 6.7-inch sizes, while the 6.7-inch model is positioned as Apple’s largest iPhone to date. Compared to the iPhone 11 Pro models, Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro models are downsized and slightly smaller.
iPhone 12 Pro is 5.78 inches high (146.6 mm), 2.82 inches wide (71.5 mm) and 0.29 inches thick (7.4 mm), while iPhone 12 Pro Max is 6.33 inches (160, 8 mm), measures 3.07 inches. inches wide (78.1 mm) and 0.29 inches thick (7.4 mm).
The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max come in silver, gold, graphite, and pacific blue, a dark blue color that’s new to the Pro iPhone lineup. Pacific blue replaces the midnight green color introduced with the iPhone 11 Pro series.
Like the iPhone 11 Pro models, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max have an IP68 waterproof rating. The new smartphones can withstand depths of up to six meters (19.7 feet) for up to 30 minutes.
Previous iPhone models were rated to withstand water up to four meters deep for 30 minutes, so despite the similar waterproof rating, the newer iPhones can better withstand submersion deeper.
In the IP68 number, 6 stands for dust resistance (and means the iPhone 12 Pro can withstand dirt, dust, and other particles), while 8 is for water resistance. IP6x is the highest dustproof rating available.
With an IP68 waterproof rating, the iPhone 12 Pro can withstand splashes, rain, and accidental exposure to water, but deliberate exposure to water should be avoided if possible.
According to Apple, water and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and can degrade over time as a result of normal wear. Apple’s warranty does not cover liquid damage, so it’s best to be careful when it comes to liquid exposure.
All iPhone 12 models feature the same OLED Super Retina XDR display, which is flexible and extends to the chassis of each device.
It has an enhanced 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio for blacker blacks and brighter whites, and a maximum brightness of up to 1200 nits for HDR photos, videos, TV shows and movies. Typical maximum brightness is enhanced 800 nits.
The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro has a resolution of 2532 x 1170 with 460 pixels per inch, while the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max has a resolution of 2778 x 1284 with 458 pixels per inch, equaling over 3.4 million pixels.
Wide color support ensures vibrant, lifelike colors, and True Tone matches the display’s white balance to ambient lighting for a paper-like viewing experience that’s easy on the eyes.
There’s also a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating and support for Haptic Touch, which provides haptic feedback when interacting with the screen. Haptic Touch is enabled on 2020 iPhones via a smaller Taptic Engine.
Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max wins DisplayMate’s “Best Smartphone Display Award” for iPhone’s “state-of-the-art” display with high peak brightness, high contrast ratio, low reflectivity and highest display performance . color accuracy. It also saves more power than the OLED display on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
This year’s displays are protected by a “Ceramic Shield” material that Apple says provides four times better drop protection. The Ceramic Shield display cover is made by grafting nano-ceramic crystals into the glass; Apple says it takes quite a bit of work, as the ceramic isn’t transparent.
Ceramic crystals have been manipulated to optimize clarity while maintaining toughness with the screen created in partnership with Corning. The iPhone 12 Pro’s display is also designed to be flush with the edge of the phone, a feature that Apple says contributes to better drop protection.
According to Apple, Ceramic Shield is more durable than any smartphone glass, with a dual ion exchange process that protects against scratches and daily wear and tear. Initial tests confirmed that Apple’s predictions appeared correct, and that the iPhone 12’s Ceramic Shield is more durable than the glass protecting the iPhone 11, withstanding strength tests and drops better.
In drop testing, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro outperformed the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro in drop tests, showing greater durability than previous iPhone models, but still vulnerable to breakage.
While it’s more resistant to breaking when dropped, the Ceramic Shield doesn’t seem to hold up to scratching any better, and in the Mohs hardness test the iPhone 12’s screen was scratched at level 6 with deeper grooves at level 7. It cannot be said that the new iPhones offer better protection against scratches.
A14 Bionic Chip
The A14 Bionic chip used in the iPhone 12 series is the first A-series chip built on a smaller 5 nanometer process that delivers speed and efficiency improvements. The A14 has 40 percent more transistors (11.8 billion) than the A13 for better battery life and faster performance.
According to Apple, the 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU in the A14 Bionic chip are 50 percent faster than any other smartphone chips on the market in 2020.
Early Geekbench benchmark results show the iPhone 12 Pro to be more than 20 percent faster than the iPhone 11 Pro with the A13 chip, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is about 20 to 25 percent faster.
There is a new 16-core Neural Engine, which is 80 percent faster than the previous generation Neural Engine, and machine learning accelerators are up to 70 percent faster. The Neural Engine can complete 11 trillion operations per second, so tasks like applying Deep Fusion enhancements to photos are faster than ever before.
Other improvements include a new image signal processor for Dolby Vision recording support, Smart HDR 3 for more realistic color shifts in photos, and advanced temporal noise reduction that reduces noise in videos.
iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max have 6GB of RAM.
TrueDepth Camera and Face ID
For biometric authentication purposes, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max use Face ID, a facial recognition system first introduced in 2017. Face ID components reside in the TrueDepth camera system in the display notch.
Face ID is used in iOS tasks to unlock iPhone, gain access to third-party password-protected apps, confirm app purchases, and verify Apple Pay payments.
Face ID works through an array of sensors and cameras. A Spot Projector projects more than 30,000 invisible infrared dots onto the skin surface to create a 3D facial scan that maps the curves and planes of each face with the scan read by the infrared camera.
The facial depth map is transferred to the A14 chip, where it is converted into a mathematical model that the iPhone uses to verify identity. Face ID works in low light and in the dark, and with hats, beards, glasses, sunglasses, scarves, and other accessories that partially cover the face.
Face ID data is stored in the Secure Enclave and cannot be accessed by Apple, third-party apps, or anyone who owns your phone. Authentication takes place on the device and no Face ID data is uploaded to Apple.
How to Unlock Face ID iPhones with Apple Watch
The iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 updates introduced an “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature designed to allow an iPhone with Face ID to use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch as a secondary authentication measure when wearing a mask.
Face ID cannot work while a person is wearing a mask, so the Apple Watch authentication method prevents iPhone users from constantly entering a passcode while wearing a mask. It is similar to the Apple Watch unlock feature on the Mac and can be enabled under Face ID & Passcode in the Settings app.
An unlocked Apple Watch paired with Face ID can unlock the iPhone when wearing a mask, but this is for mask use only. The Apple Watch cannot be used to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases, or to unlock apps that require Face ID scanning. In these cases, the mask must be removed or a passcode/password must be used instead.
When Apple Watch unlocks iPhone, you’ll feel a tactile tap on your wrist before you receive a notification on the watch, just like when using the watch to unlock a Mac. Apple Watch unlocking is limited to those running iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 or later.
The 12-megapixel f/2.2 camera in the TrueDepth camera system is a front-facing selfie/FaceTime camera with most of the features available for the rear-facing camera, in addition to enhancing facial recognition.
The A14 chip in iPhone 12 Pro models brings new photographic capabilities to the front-facing TrueDepth camera. Night mode works with the front camera for the first time, making night selfies possible.
Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3 and Dolby Vision HDR video recording are also supported. Deep Fusion offers color and texture enhancements in medium to low light scenes by capturing the best pixels from multiple exposures to create one great batch image.
Smart HDR 3 improves highlights, shadows, white balance and contouring in every image for more natural lighting, and Dolby Vision HDR support allows Dolby Vision video to be recorded and edited.
4K video recording at up to 60 frames per second and 1080p slow motion video at 120 frames per second for shooting “slofie” videos are supported. Other front-facing camera features include Memoji and Animoji support, time-lapse video, Night mode time-lapse video, QuickTake video, and lens correction to remove any photo distortion.
Triple Lens Rear Camera
Last year’s iPhone 11 Pro models had the same camera hardware and were identical except for size, but that’s not the case this year. While iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max support different camera technologies, Pro Max offers a more feature-rich experience. However, there are still many similarities between the two and they both have a new LiDAR sensor.
Both the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max have triple-lens camera systems, but there are different telephoto lenses and different sensors for the Wide camera.
iPhone 12 Pro Camera
- 12-megapixel 5-element Ultra Wide lens with f/2.4 aperture, 120-degree field of view, 13mm focal length and Lens Correction to account for distortion
- 12-megapixel 7-element Wide lens with f/1.6 aperture, optical image stabilization and 26mm focal length
- 12-megapixel 6-element telephoto lens with f/2.0 aperture, 52mm focal length, 2x optical zoom (4x optical zoom range), up to 10x digital zoom and optical image stabilization
The f/1.6 aperture on the 7-element Wide lens lets in 27 percent more light, resulting in improvements in low-light photography. The 7-element design adds edge-to-edge sharpness and the advanced Optical Image Stabilization system provides 5000 adjustments per second.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Camera
- 12-megapixel 5-element Ultra Wide lens with f/2.4 aperture, 120-degree field of view, 13mm focal length and Lens Correction to account for distortion
- 12-megapixel 7-element Wide lens with f/1.6 aperture, 47% larger sensor, larger pixels, sensor-shift optical image stabilization and 26mm focal length
- 12-megapixel 6-element telephoto lens with f/2.2 aperture, 65mm focal length, 2.5x optical zoom (5x optical zoom range), up to 12x digital zoom and optical image stabilization
The Wide lens on the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the same f/1.6 aperture, but uses a 47 percent larger sensor with larger pixels that let in much more light. Apple says low-light photos taken with the
iPhone 12 Pro Max are 87 percent better, and the images also have more detail and better colors.
The Telephoto camera has a longer focal length that allows for 5x zoom instead of 4x zoom, and the Ultra Wide camera is the same between both models.
Notably, the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s Wide camera supports optical stabilization with sensor shift, a feature that was previously limited to DSLRs. Sensor-shift optical stabilization, as the name suggests, simply stabilizes the sensor, allowing it to be held more stable than before.
With this feature, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has much better optical image stabilization that reduces camera shake and motion blur.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the first iPhones to be equipped with a LiDAR Scanner, first introduced in the 2020 iPad Pro models.
The LiDAR Scanner allows you to create a depth map of the room or area you are in by measuring how long it takes for light to reflect back from objects around you. Light measurements take place in nanoseconds, so it takes no time at all. For iPhone to map the area surrounding you.
Augmented reality experiences are more immersive and accurate thanks to the depth map created by the LiDAR Scanner, virtual objects that can be accurately placed in a space, and apps that can take advantage of detailed representations of every surface in the room. The LiDAR Scanner also enables accurate measurements for humans, including height measurements.
LiDAR also brings significant photography improvements. Autofocus is six times faster in low light, and the Wide camera and LiDAR enable Night mode portraits for the first time.
New Camera Features
Updated camera setups on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models are paired with the image signal processor and LiDAR Scanner on the A14 chip, providing several new features.
- Night Mode Portraits – With the wide camera, you can now take Night mode Portrait shots with bright colors and artistic bokeh for streetlights and other lighting in the shot.
- Night Mode for Ultra Wide – Night mode on the new models works with both Wide and Ultra Wide lenses, so you can take wide-angle shots at night.
- Deep Fusion – Deep Fusion now works with Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto lenses to deliver color and texture improvements in medium to low light scenes. With Deep Fusion, multiple exposures are analyzed at the pixel level to reveal details in all objects in the image.
- Better Portrait shots – Improved machine learning makes iPhone 12 Pro models better at separating the subject from the background.
- Smart HDR 3 – Enhances highlights, shadows, white balance and contours for the most natural color and lighting in any scene. Smart HDR kicks in when there are differences in lighting, such as when photographing a scene with a lot of sky.
HDR 3 Scene Recognition – Scene Recognition allows the camera to recognize everyday scenes and adjust different parts of the photo accordingly for more realistic images. iPhone can distinguish buildings and sky, snowy mountains and clouds, food on a plate and more, and optimizes the scene to look as real-life as possible.
Faster processing – iPhone 12 Pro models have faster image processing thanks to the A14 chip.
Along with all these new features, iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max support all existing features found in iPhone 11 series such as Portrait Mode with bokeh and Depth Control, Portrait Lighting, True Tone Flash, Panoramas and more.
For those who like to shoot in RAW, Apple has added a new ProRAW format that lets you do just that while taking advantage of Apple image pipeline data such as noise reduction and multiple frame exposure settings. ProRAW support was introduced in iOS 14.3.
ProRAW is a RAW format for iPhone that also takes advantage of all the computational photography features Apple built on the iPhone. It combines user control over preference parameters such as white balance, noise reduction, sharpening, and more, with the necessary calculations for accurate imaging.
Camera app maker Halide has details on how ProRAW works, and photographer Austin Mann has a guide on when to use it.
We compared the iPhone 12 Pro Max to Google and Samsung’s flagship iPhones, the Pixel 5 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, to see how other companies are reaching their smartphones.
Many of the camera improvements also bring new features to the video mode, starting with HDR video recording with Dolby Vision powered by the A14 chip.
Both Pro iPhone models support Dolby Vision HDR recording with 60 times more colors. To enable this feature, iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max take two exposures and pass them through the image signal processor to create a histogram used to generate Dolby Vision metadata.
Dolby Vision grading is done frame by frame as you film, and the captured video can be edited directly on iPhone using Photos or iMovie. Dolby Vision video can be shot in 4K at up to 60 frames per second.
Standard 4K video recording at up to 60 frames per second is supported, as is 1080p and 720p recording. There’s Slow motion video support for 1080p at 120fps or 240fps, and a new Night mode time-lapse video for shooting nighttime video when a tripod is available.
Other video features include standard time-lapse, extended dynamic range, continuous autofocus, QuickTake video support for capturing video even when you’re not in video mode, and optical image stabilization.
Tears and legal information confirm that the iPhone 12 Pro has a 2,815 mAh battery, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 3,687 mAh battery, which is both smaller than the batteries in the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has an L-shaped battery enabled by the larger case size.
The battery in iPhone 12 Pro lasts up to 17 hours for video playback, 11 hours for video playback, and 65 hours for audio playback. The battery in iPhone 12 Pro Max lasts up to 20 hours for video playback, 12 hours for video playback, and 80 hours for audio playback.
Both iPhone 12 Pro models support fast charging and can be charged up to 50 percent in 30 minutes using a Lightning to USB-C cable and a 20W power adapter.
All of Apple’s iPhone 12 models support 5G networks and are the first iPhones to do so. 5G modems in devices work with both mmWave and Sub-6GHz 5G, two types of 5G.
mmWave 5G networks are the fastest 5G networks, but mmWave is short-range and can be obscured by buildings, trees, and other obstacles, so its use is limited to venues such as concerts, airports, and other venues, as well as large cities and urban areas. where many people gather.
Sub-6GHz 5G is much more common and available in urban, suburban and rural areas in the United States and other countries. For the most part, when you use a 5G network, you will use Sub-6GHz 5G. It’s usually faster than LTE, and the speed will increase as technology improves, but it’s not the super-fast 5G you’d expect.
The new iPhones support both mmWave and Sub-6GHz networks in the United States, but mmWave connectivity is not available in other countries. iPhones purchased outside the United States do not have a mmWave antenna on the side and cannot connect to mmWave networks. Apple made this decision because it does not have mmWave 5G networks available in most countries.
The iPhone 12 models use Qualcomm’s X55 modem, but Apple has created custom antennas and radio components to improve connectivity, and through software optimization, Apple says apps can take advantage of 5G without using additional power or affecting battery life.
5G connectivity allows for higher download and upload speeds, which speeds up everything from loading websites to downloading TV shows and movies.
It also increases bandwidth for streaming services and provides improved FaceTime call quality so you can watch in higher resolution. FaceTime calls over 5G or WiFi work at 1080p.
In areas where LTE speeds are slow due to large numbers of people, 5G frees up bandwidth and reduces congestion for faster usage speeds.
5G Battery Drain
Battery tests show that the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro see much faster battery drain when connected to 5G networks than when connected to LTE networks.
In a test using the same parameters, the iPhone 12 lasted eight hours and 25 minutes, and the iPhone 12 Pro lasted nine hours and six minutes when connected to 5G.
When connected to LTE, the iPhone 12 lasted for 1 hour and 23 minutes, while the iPhone 12 Pro lasted for 11 hours and 24 minutes.
iPhones in the United States support up to 20 5G bands.
Sub-6GHz: 5G NR (n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n38, n40, n41, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79)
mmWave: 5G NR mmWave (n260, n261) Bands
Besides 5G, iPhone 12 models also support Gigabit LTE, so you can continue to connect to LTE networks when 5G networks are not available. The following bands are supported:
FDD-LTE (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 66, 71)
TD-LTE (Bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48)
Data Saver Mode
Data Saver Mode is a feature that switches the iPhone’s connection to LTE when 5G speeds are not needed to conserve battery life.
As an example, the iPhone uses LTE when updating in the background because super fast speeds aren’t necessary, but where speed is important, like downloading a show, iPhone 12 models will switch to 5G. There is also a setting to use 5G when available instead of Automatic Data Saver Mode.
Dual SIM Support
Dual SIM support allows simultaneous use of two phone numbers, enabled by the addition of a physical nano-SIM slot and an eSIM. eSIM functionality is available in many countries around the world, and Apple’s website has a list of carriers that support eSIM.
Dual SIMs work with select operators in Austria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.
While using Dual SIM mode on iPhone 12 models, 5G connectivity was not available at launch with limited speeds with LTE, but that changed with an iOS update. Apple has enabled Dual SIM 5G support via the iOS 14.5 software update released in the spring.
5GHz Personal Hotspot
When using Personal Hotspot on iPhone 12 models, devices can tether over faster 5GHz WiFi compared to the 2.4GHz limit on previous iPhones. The 5GHz option is enabled by default and has the potential to bring speed improvements to devices that can connect to 5GHz networks.
There is an option to disable the 5GHz connection to allow 2.4GHz devices to connect.
Bluetooth, WiFi and U1 Chip
The iPhone 12 models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip first introduced in the iPhone 11 series. The U1 chip enables Ultra Wideband technology for enhanced spatial awareness, allowing iPhone 12 models to precisely locate other U1-equipped Apple devices.
Apple likened Ultra Wideband to “living room-scale GPS” because the technology was designed for advanced indoor positioning and location tracking.
The U1 chip enables iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max to precisely monitor nearby AirTags. Also used to interact with directional AirDrop and HomePod mini with U1 chip.
As for Bluetooth and WiFi, iPhone 12 Pro models support Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 6, the latest and fastest WiFi protocol.
iPhone 12 Pro models have a spatial audio feature designed to simulate surround sound for a more immersive audio experience. Dolby Atmos audio is also supported.
iPhone 12 Pro models are equipped with a barometer, three-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor.
GPS and NFC
Support for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS and BeiDou (new this year) location services is included with iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.
NFC is included with reader mode, and iPhone models have a background tag feature that allows them to scan for NFC tags without having to open an app first.
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max start with 128GB of storage, with 256GB and 512GB as upgrade options.
iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models have a built-in magnetic ring designed to work with the MagSafe charger and other magnetic accessories.
The MagSafe charger sits right behind the iPhone 12 and charges up to 15W, up from the 7.5W maximum wireless charging found in Qi-based chargers. The charger is compatible with older iPhones, but is primarily designed to work with newer iPhone models.
Other magnetic accessories are compatible with the magnetic ring, including cases, cases, snap-on wallets, and more, and third-party companies may also manufacture accessories for the iPhone 12 series. For more information on MagSafe, be sure to check out our MagSafe guide.
Tests show the MagSafe charger charges twice as slowly as a wired 20W USB-C charger. With a 20W charger, a dead iPhone was able to charge 50 percent in 28 minutes, and the same 50 percent charge took an hour over MagSafe.
The battery test comparing the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models to the iPhone 12 Pro, Pro Max and iPhone 11 saw the Pro Max and Pro outperform iPhones this year. The rankings were as follows:
iPhone 11 Pro Max: 8 hours 29 minutes
iPhone 11 Pro: 7 hours 36 minutes
iPhone 12: 6 hours 41 minutes
iPhone 12 Pro: 6 hours 35 minutes
iPhone 11: 5 hours 8 minutes
iPhone XR: 4 hours 31 minutes
iPhone SE (2020): 3 hours 59 minutes
Apple warns that MagSafe Chargers can leave a circular mark on their leather case, and a similar effect is seen with silicone cases. Apple also says that credit cards, security cards, passports and key fobs should not be placed between the iPhone and the MagSafe charger.
Like all iPhones, iPhone 12 models with MagSafe technology may interfere with medical devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators. Apple recommends keeping iPhone 12 models and all MagSafe accessories a safe distance from implanted medical devices.
If charging wirelessly, a safe distance is considered more than 6 inches / 15 cm or more than 12 inches / 30 cm. Although the iPhone 12 models have more magnets, Apple says they are “not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference in medical devices than previous iPhone models,” and the US FDA said there is a risk of MagSafe interacting with pacemakers. low.
MagSafe Battery Pack
In July 2021, Apple released the MagSafe Battery Pack for $99, designed to work with the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The MagSafe Battery Pack is available in white only, and magnets attach magnetically to the back of one of the iPhone models, keeping it aligned with your iPhone.
The accessory has an 11.13 Wh battery that offers partial charging for the iPhone. For comparison, the iPhone has a 10.78 Wh battery, but Qi charging is inefficient, resulting in a waste of power. The MagSafe Battery Pack can charge an iPhone on the go at 5W, but can be charged up to 15W while plugged in.
The MagSafe Battery Pack and iPhone can be charged simultaneously. Apple says a Lightning cable can be attached to the MagSafe Battery Pack for up to 15W wireless charging, and with a 20W charger, the MagSafe Battery Pack and iPhone will charge even faster. Apple recommends a 20W or higher USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C to Lightning Cable to charge the MagSafe Battery Pack.
The MagSafe Battery Pack can also be charged from the iPhone if the iPhone is plugged into a power source. Apple suggests that users may want to charge that way if the iPhone needs to be connected to another device while charging, such as wired CarPlay or transferring photos to a Mac.
For more information on Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack, check out our dedicated guide.
No Power Adapter
The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max do not come with a power adapter or EarPods in the box, as Apple has eliminated them to reduce their environmental impact. The new iPhones ship in a smaller, thinner box and only come with a standard USB-C to Lightning cable.
The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are sold alongside two affordable iPhone options, the iPhone 12 and 12 mini. The iPhone 12 models have many of the same features as the iPhone 12 Pro models, such as 5G connectivity, edge-to-edge OLED displays, and the A14 chip, but with cheaper building materials (an aluminum frame instead of stainless steel). frame), dual-lens camera setups with less noise and whistling, and a wide range of colors to choose from.