12 things to know before buying the iPhone 12 Pro

12 things to know before buying the iPhone 12 Pro

It is perhaps the most controversial of the four new models launched by Apple, but it still has many arrows in its bow. Our review

Let's face it, it's not easy to review the iPhone 12 Pro. It's a smartphone that is too similar to the iPhone 12, of which we already published our test a few days ago. Oh yes, while between the iPhone 11 and its Pro counterpart there were substantial differences in display (lcd versus oled), thickness of the frames, dimensions, water resistance etc., this year Apple has put two phones on the market a lot, very similar to each other. Among which, however, there are 250 euros in price difference, actually 200 to be precise, considering the same memory cut, 128 GB.

The first 5 points of this article, therefore, will only examine the differences between the two models, trying to explain if and how important they are in everyday use. The next 6 points instead concern the main innovations compared to the previous model, that iPhone 11 Pro which is the reference point for those who look at the top model of the Apple range but do not want the bulky dimensions of the Max version.

And since, as we have already said, it is not easy at all, there is one last factor to consider: the arrival on the market, on November 13, of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which this year is simply larger copy of iPhone 12 Pro, but has some substantial improvements in the photographic sector. But let's go in order and let's see together the 12 points to be carefully examined before clicking the "buy" button.

1. The luxurious look

As we said, iPhone 12 Pro is aesthetically very similar to iPhone 12: same size, same screen, same look (apart from an extra camera). But the materials change: while the standard model has aluminum sides and a glossy back, our Pro has stainless steel edges and a frosted glass back. Even the colors are different and the pastel shades of the iPhone 12 leave room for a quartet of “premium” colors: graphite gray, white / silver, gold and satin blue. If Apple's idea is to immediately give the impression of a superior category product, it must be admitted that it succeeds: the steel of the edges, which Apple defines as surgical, and the rear frosted glass that avoids fingerprints combine perfectly. in a balanced smartphone with well-finished details that finally returns to give emotions.

2. The extra camera

Like last year, the sensor in the Pro version is absent in the standard one it is the 52mm telephoto lens. In practice, this means being able to do a 2x optical zoom, always useful both in indoor and outdoor photos and in portraits, and a 10x digital zoom, whose interpolation this year is significantly improved compared to previous iPhones, probably thanks to the algorithms and processor power.

3. The Lidar scanner

Great news of 2020 (it had already been seen on the iPad Pro), it is a sensor that sends and then receives a laser pulse to determine with great precision and in a few nanoseconds the distance of an object from the smartphone. It basically serves two things: to make 3D scans of an object or an environment; and to improve the autofocus in portraits at night. Few things? Actually this tool, in the hands of developers, can lead to many new and interesting applications, especially in the field of augmented reality.

4. The brightest screen

Although technically iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the exact same 6.1-inch oled display, Apple has limited the brightness of the former to 625 nits via software, while the latter reaches up to 800 nits. Under normal conditions, you don't even notice. Under the sun of Riccione, perhaps, it is a detail that can make the difference. Both record, however, up to 1200 nits in hdr video playback.

5. Other technical details

There are other small improvements that can only make a difference in the professional field. The videos in Dolby Vision of the iPhone 12 Pro reach up to 60 fps, while those of the iPhone 12 stop at 30. The new Apple ProRaw photographic format will also be available (in a few months) only on the Pro models, which will allow you to work in a deep images in post production directly from the smartphone.

6. The square design

And now we come to the differences between the iPhone 11 Pro and 12 Pro. We can only start from the design, with the 'much appreciated return to the angular and squared edges that are so reminiscent of the old iPhone 4 and 5. As mentioned, the build quality is excellent, the weight well balanced, the details are taken care of. Even if there are some flaws. The stainless steel sides are filled with fingerprints (unlike the back) and the smartphone grip, due to the edges, can be uncomfortable, even if firmer.

7. 5G

Announced by Apple as the big news of 2020, and now present in all the main competing smartphones, 5G connectivity is more of something to have on board for the future than a plus to be exploited today. 5G coverage in Italy is too patchy, and the European version of the iPhone does not use mmWave high-frequency waves, which promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making the connection more suitable for urban areas. On the other hand, what stands out is that iPhone 12 Pro has better reception than iPhone 11 Pro even in 4G and this probably depends on the quality of the network modules installed (Qualcomm and no longer Intel).

8. Battery life

The battery of the iPhone 12 is slightly smaller than that of the iPhone 11 Pro, but the battery life is quite similar. That is, you arrive without problems at the end of the day with an average use of the smartphone. Furthermore, with the Smart data function, the iPhone automatically switches from 5G to 4G when maximum speed is not needed, in order to optimize the duration.

9. MagSafe technology

Another novelty of the "generation 12" is the magnetic back of the iPhone, to which the wireless charger (which can be bought separately and costs 45 euros) or bizarre accessories such as the radiation-shielded leather credit card holder (65 euros) can be attached. ). Our impression is that the best is yet to come. The MagSafe charger is very scenographic (it hooks perfectly and firmly to the phone with a nice magnetic click and an animation announces the charging in progress), but in practice it does not present great advantages compared to the use of the cable, rather it goes a little 'slower in charging (15 W vs 20). The situation will be different when third-party accessories such as support bases, car mounts, creative cases, etc. arrive on the market

10. The best photos and videos

At the hardware level, there is no are big differences: the wide-angle camera lens is more open and faster (f / 1.6 at 7 elements vs f / 1.8 at 6 elements), therefore brighter. But it is on the software level that there are big improvements. Thanks to the combined work of the A14 Bionic processor, Smart hdr 3, Deep Fusion and the various algorithms, the photos are really very good in all day and night conditions. The night mode also on the wide angle and the Lidar that helps in focusing and portraits, give an extra gear to photos taken in low light conditions. Impressive then the quality of the videos, which the 12 Pro model shoots in 4K at 60 fps in hdr, with Dolby Vision and excellent optical stabilization. Put simply, the iPhone 11 Pro was already one of the best smartphones for photography and video, but the 12 Pro just got better.

11. Resistance

Apple claims that the new iPhone 12 are 4 times more resistant to falls, thanks to the introduction of a new type of protective glass, the Ceramic Shield, which introduces nanoceramic crystals inside the crystal. The first independent endurance tests, such as those made by the YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh, confirmed that more pressure is needed to crack the display. In our own small way, we've unintentionally experienced the iPhone 12 Pro's stamina in at least a couple of ruinous drops. In reality, as everyone knows, a fall has a thousand variables: from the inclination to the surface on which the phone crashes. So we recommend everyone a nice protective case anyway.

12. The arrival of the Max

One last factor to consider before buying iPhone 12 Pro is the arrival on the market, in a week, of iPhone 12 Pro Max. This year the "big brother", however, is not identical in hardware, but the photographic sector has the main sensor larger (by 47% and with larger pixels ) stabilized in the body as in a mirrorless camera, and a 65mm telephoto lens with 2.5x optical zoom. These are two differences that, combined with the larger 6.7-inch screen, will tip the balance of photography professionals on the side of the Max.

Final Thoughts

In short, iPhone 12 Pro is a great smartphone: beautiful, reliable, powerful and complete. But it risks not having enough more weapons than its twin iPhone 12 (which costs 200 euros less) and something less than its older brother iPhone 12 Pro Max (which costs 100 euros more). If at least one of the points from 1 to 5 is an indispensable factor for you (we vote for Lidar, which could soon become the must have for smartphones when fun and useful applications in augmented reality come out), ok, otherwise choose iPhone 12 If the 6 to 11 feature set is critical to you, go for it over the good old 11 Pro model (which is much cheaper today). Finally, if point number 12 is not so important and you are not a "frying pan" type, don't wait for the arrival of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Easy, right?

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