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The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone



Apple lifted the embargo on iPhone 12 reviews, and key Western publications that got access to Apple’s new products a few days ago immediately shared their opinions on them. Shoveled them up and down to form my own opinion about the hot new product. I share it with you.


  • chipset: Apple A14 Bionic with 5nm process technology and next generation Neural Engine;
  • screen: 6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR screen, 2532 x 1170 pixels, 460 PPI density, 625 cd / m² brightness, 2,000,000: 1 contrast ratio;
  • main cameras: both 12 megapixels – ultra-wide-angle with ƒ / 2.4 aperture with a viewing angle of 120 degrees, wide-angle with ƒ / 1.6 aperture;
  • front-camera: 12 megapixel with ƒ / 2.2 aperture
  • memory: 4 GB of RAM, 64, 128 or 256 GB of built-in
  • battery: capacity in mAh was not disclosed, up to 17 hours of continuous video viewing;
  • moisture protection: IP68 standard, immersion in water to a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes is allowed;
  • additionally: magnetic interface for connecting additional MagSafe accessories, support for 5G;
  • dimensions and weight: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm, 162 grams.





Of course, one of the key innovations of the iPhone 12 was its appearance. Unlike its predecessor, the new gadget received a more boxy body, which sends us back to the days of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. The Verge reacted extremely positively to this state of affairs. On the one hand, the journalists were delighted that they had just such a device, which they had been waiting for so long. On the other hand, it also turned out to be noticeably smaller in size and much lighter than the iPhone 11. There is nothing to argue about – it’s really great.

At the very beginning of their debriefing, The Verge journalists decided to immediately note that the edges of the gadget were “chopped off” as correctly as possible. iPhone 12 doesn’t shake or cut your hand – it really feels good to hold in the palm of your hand. What’s more, the brushed aluminum that the case is made of looks just fine.



Engadget points out that the available iPhone this year is practically indistinguishable from the more expensive one in shape and overall appearance. Yes, their design uses different materials and their processing, but still the difference is much less noticeable than in the days of the iPhone XR and iPhone 11. But what can I say, journalists were extremely encouraged that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro turned out to be so similar externally that they can use the same covers – yes, they are interchangeable. A digression should be made here to note that the gadgets have different degrees of protrusion of the module with rear cameras, but the difference is minimal.


The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone


Mashable has separately noted a front panel protection called Ceramic Shield. On the one hand, it reduces the chance of breaking the screen when dropped by four times. On the other hand, the journalists of this publication still recommend sticking a protective glass or film on it. CNN fully agrees with this.

The Verge also noted that on the side faces of the iPhone 12, a whole scattering of antennas is clearly visible, which is designed for the correct operation of 5G. It somewhat violates Apple’s traditional reference symmetry. Nevertheless, journalists say that all this is not so critical.


The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone


CNN regrets that Apple did not want to add a fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 12 power button, as in the new iPad Air. In a pandemic, such an innovation would be the most justified. However, disregarding the mask, Face ID still works extremely well.



The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone


The Independent asks to pay attention to the screen used in the iPhone 12. Despite the noticeably smaller dimensions in comparison with the iPhone 11, the novelty received a display of the same size – 6.1 inches. Nevertheless, the similarities between the solutions in their dimensions, in fact, end. Last year, Apple used IPS technology and an extremely low resolution that produced 326 PPI. At the same time, she transferred an even more affordable gadget to OLED with a density of 460 PPI. Yes, its cost, including in connection with this, has grown significantly, but the fact is.


The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone


The Verge also notes that the OLED screen looks much more contrasting, and the black color on it is the most real. Moreover, the publication also emphasizes that competitors and just ill-wishers will stop scolding the iPhone for the fact that its display has not reached 1080p in resolution. Colleagues also note that it was the transition to the new screen technology that made it possible to reduce the dimensions of the entire gadget as a whole, as well as the frames around the screen in particular. The Verge journalists do not regret the lack of 120 Hz in the iPhone 12 – they say that iOS works very smoothly without it.

By the way, The Verge focuses on the differences between the screens of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. The first is characterized by lower brightness – 625 cd / m² versus 800 cd / m². However, the peak when using HDR can be increased in the same way – up to 1200 cd / m².



The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone


Mashable noted that they did not notice any increase in the speed of the iPhone 12, compared to the iPhone 11. Yes, the new product uses a fresh Apple A14 Bionic chip, which is made according to a 5-nanometer technical process and is highly praised by Apple, but it does not make a gadget smoother. The system on the Apple A13 Bionic works so smoothly that there is nowhere to improve it in this regard. Nevertheless, in the Geekbench tests, which were conducted by colleagues at Engadget, the difference in performance is still noticeable. iPhone 12 beats iPhone 11 Pro by over 200 points on a single core. Compare yourself:

ModelSingle-poison testMulti-core test
iPhone 1215894008
iPhone 12 Pro15954099
iPhone 11 Pro13323417
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra9553176
Pixel 55961563


To understand the difference in real-world performance of the latest iPhones, Engadget suggests using the BrightRidge game. The novelty in it produces about 25 frames per second, the iPhone 11 – about 20, and the iPhone 8 Plus – about 13. The difference is obvious, but not everyone will do this test.

By the way, the journalists of the publication also focus on the fact that the iPhone 12 uses 4 GB of RAM, which is 2 GB less than in the current Pro line. However, they also noted that if the difference is visible, it will be in really demanding applications that will be released in the future.

In the end, Engadget also noted that the iPhone 12 has noticeably less battery life than the iPhone 11. But they also added that it will still be more than enough for most users – only the most active will really notice the difference.



The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone


The main innovation of the main camera in The Verge is considered to increase the aperture from f / 1.8 to f / 1.6. This makes it possible to let in more light, which should make the pictures brighter – especially at night. The rest of the differences are related to the use of the Apple A14 Bionic. The new chip unlocks night mode for portrait mode, as well as ultra wide-angle and front cameras. Moreover, Apple has made changes to the system of merging images and called it Smart HDR 3. It can automatically detect the scene to make shots as realistic as possible. The iPhone 12 really shoots better than the iPhone 11.



Portraits have also become more beautiful. Blurring works more correctly – this is especially true for shots of people with glasses, which previously had a large number of errors in the background blur. But selfie portraits at night are so-so – by the way, when creating them, you cannot turn off the flash.

The ultra wide-angle camera, according to The Verge, still leaves a lot to be desired. Any shots taken with her are still too grainy to be taken seriously. Journalists call this camera the worst combination of lens and sensor.



The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone


MagSafe is the technology that Engadget calls the most unexpected innovation in the iPhone 12. It is a system made of a circular magnet and a small “tail” that simplifies positioning accessories on the body of the new Apple smartphone. Journalists note that the main feature of MagSafe is the elimination of the problem of the correct positioning of the gadget on wireless charging – the search for the notorious “golden spot”, which assumes the most optimal energy transfer. The proprietary station solves this problem and increases the power to 15 W from 7.5 W.

It is also important to note that charging with MagSafe solves one important problem – the process of using the gadget that is on it. Previously, this was not possible. However, all these magnets still cannot replace an ordinary cable – it is faster and more convenient.



The first reviews of the iPhone 12: how Western journalists evaluated the smartphone


CNN notes that it makes no sense to switch to the iPhone 12 only to owners of the iPhone 11. It is time for everyone else to think about updating their main mobile device. Mashable also emphasizes that it makes no sense to carry out an update with an eye on 5G even in the United States – I will add on my own that for us it will not become relevant very soon. Engadget also makes a comparison with the iPhone 12 Pro and emphasizes that choosing it instead of the regular iPhone 12 is only necessary for those who bother with the quality of the pictures. For the rest, an ordinary gadget without the Pro prefix will be enough.


  • great camera;
  • elegant design;
  • the promising MagSafe ecosystem;
  • upgraded display.


    • “Tax” on useless today 5G;
    • regression of battery life;
    • high price.

Final grade: 9 out of 10.

Sources: The Verge, Engadget, Mashable, CNET, Independent, CNN.

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