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| November 26, 2020

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Apple iPhone 12 Pro - First Impressions - Worth an upgrade?

Apple iPhone 12 Pro – First Impressions
Joe Carlyle

We recently purchased the new Apple iPhone 12 Pro and below will share our first impressions of Apple’s new flagship.

Unboxing

The first thing you notice about this generation of iPhone is the slimmed down profile of the box. This is due to the removal of a power adapter and headphones. After only introducing a USB-C cable and adapter last year, this seems a bit hasty. All that is included with the phone now is a usb-c cable, an Apple sticker, sim tool, and a quick start guide. Apple are citing environmental reasons for this, but as you can imagine, it does seem a bit much. Considering if you would like an adapter, you have to pay for one.

iPhone Boxes

From left to right: 12Pro, 11ProMax, XS

The packaging is classic Apple and feels as premium as you have come to expect.
Once you unwrap the phone itself, I have the silver model, the first thing that jumped out was just how shiny the new flat siding is. In combination with the white, soft sheen back, I think the phone looks excellent. Especially if you are like me and keep your phone case free.

iPhone12Pro Silver

Setup

If you’ve setup a new iPhone recently, there are no surprises here. Options are simple and relatively quick to get going with your new device as soon as possible.
Once you have the 12 Pro in your hand, it feels light but not flimsy. In comparison to the 11 Pro, it is easier to grip, the flat sides and new finish on the back help with this. The screen is as bright and crisp as you would expect. The four physical buttons also now have a flat finish which means they feel slightly bigger at your fingertips. Nice for the lock button. If there is a negative here, it’s that the phone feels familiar. I don’t mean last generation familiar, I’m talking iPhone 5. Personally that was my favourite generation, but the familiarity does steal a bit from the “new phone” feel.
One of the new physical features is of course the introduction of MagSafe to the back plate of the iPhone. You cannot notice it is there at all, there is nothing to indicate it visually. However the new MagSafe charger attaches with a quite satisfying clunk and a MagSafe specific charging graphic is displayed on screen. If you are using the correct watt charger, it charges the phone very quickly.

Use

I upgraded from an 11 Pro Max so to me, there should be minimum difference in performance at best but, the OS does seem snappier. Apps launch smoothly and switching between multiple open items is effortless. In terms of new features, I don’t have access to 5G on my current plan so cannot test that.
The battery life has been as expected so far. I knew there would be a slight drop from the 11 Pro Max, but I haven’t noticed it as yet. However, being at home so much means it gets limited use in comparison to being out and about.
The camera, while only a minor upgrade from my previous phone, does bring a host of new software processing improvements. This should lead to better colour representation, better low light photos and faster image capture. I have definitely noticed a difference in capture speed and colours, however low light can still be tricky and entirely situation dependent. Some unedited images below, taken on quite a grey day that I think show the strength of the iPhone 12 Pro camera.

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Overall

So far, I’m very happy with the phone. I had found the 11 Pro Max just slightly too large for comfortable use. The minor increase in screen size and same hand size means the 12 Pro was the right choice for me this year.

However, if you have an 11 of any variation, I’m not sure whether the corresponding 12 does enough to justify an automatic upgrade i.e. an 11 Pro upgrade to a 12 Pro. If you want to change size or move up to the Pro versions, definitely consider it. If you are someone who enjoys or struggles with how a phone feels in your hand, try get a hold of an iPhone 12 before buying, I definitely think it will split opinion.

As this is only a first impression, perhaps my opinion will change, but for now, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro feels light, sharp and familiar. What a new iPhone should be,

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