iPhone 12 review: One of our highest-rated phones of all time


Patrick Holland/ CNET.

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are here and mark the start of a brand-new generationof iPhone Support for 5G, a brand-new hardware style and cam enhancements are a considerable action far from the iPhone X generation of gadgets. This is absolutely nothing brand-new. Apple did something comparable in 2010 with the iPhone 4 and in 2014 when it launched the iPhone 6 and6 Plus

There is one big difference with the iPhone 12 generation, however. It’s the very first time there are four new iPhones at once: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro andiPhone 12 Pro Max If you wish to go little and profit of a lower cost there’s theMini If you desire the most significant iPhone with the most recent in iPhone cams, get thePro Max But that leaves the 12 and 12 Pro which are comparable (like basically-the-same-phone comparable). That’s not always a bad thing.

Read more: iPhone 12 drop test results are in: Ceramic shield is as tough as it sounds


  • New square-sided style
  • 5G assistance for both sub-6 and mmWave
  • Low- light pictures and videos
  • MagSafe whatever

Don’t Like

  • $ 829 off-carrier cost is high for the 12
  • Baseline 12 just has 64GB of storage


  • Premium fit and surface
  • Fantastic autofocus for pictures and videos
  • Solid construct quality
  • Fastest phone we have actually ever evaluated

Don’t Like

  • iPhone 12 uses most of the very same functions, style and construct for less cash

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are the very same size. They both have the very same style, the very same display screen, the very same remarkably quick A14 Bionic chip, the very same 5G support, the very same selfie, broad and ultrawide cams. Heck, they both can be found in blue. (Technically, the 12 Pro is Pacific blue.) This is a departure from the base and professional designs from in 2015. The $699 iPhone 11 and $999 iPhone 11 Pro were comparable however had adequate distinctions to differentiate themselves from each other.

Read more: The best phone to buy for 2021

The $829 iPhone 12 (or $799 if you trigger it on a provider when you purchase it) is $130 more than the iPhone 11 when it was launched. An iPhone 12 with 128GB of storage (the like the standard 12 Pro) costs $879 (sans provider discount rate) which is just $120 less than the $999iPhone 12 Pro It’s finest to believe of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro as “better” and “best” variations of the very same phone. Here’s how to buy each iPhone 12 model.

Prices start in the UK at ₤ 799 for the iPhone 12 and ₤ 999 for the12 Pro In Australia they begin at AU$ 1,349 for the 12 and AU$ 1,699 for the12 Pro See the chart at the bottom for a complete prices breakdown.

iPhone 12 vs. 12 Pro vs. iPhone 11

iPhone 12 iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 11.
Price off-contract (USD). $ 829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB). $ 999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB). $ 599 (64GB), $649 (128GB), $749 (256GB).
Camera 12- megapixel (broad), 12- megapixel (ultrawide). 12- megapixel (broad), 12- megapixel (ultrawide), 12- megapixel (telephoto). 12- megapixel (broad), 12- megapixel (ultrawide).
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB. 128GB, 256GB, 512GB. 64GB, 128GB, 256GB.

Now there are lots of people who will simply get the iPhone 12 since it does not cost a thousand dollars and it’s a terrific phone. Which it is. And there are lots of people who will get the iPhone 12 Pro since it is more superior. Which it is. Either method, you’re getting an incredible phone with the very best total cam system you can discover.

During my time with both phones, I discovered myself selecting the 12 Pro more. Not since it had a telephoto cam or lidar, which the 12 does not have: I chose the matte textured back, the glossy stainless-steel band around the sides and the truth that the 12 Pro, in spite of weighing almost an ounce (25 grams) more, felt strong and premium in my hand.

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Our extensive evaluation of the iPhone 12 and12 Pro


The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the very same 5G assistance

It’s dazzling thatboth the 12 and 12 Pro can connect to sub-6 and mmWave 5G here in the US One phone does not have much better 5G assistance than the other. They are both the very same.

I evaluated these phones in Greenville, South Carolina on both T-Mobile’s 5G network and Verizon’s Nationwide 5G (the non-mmWave variation without the bonkers speeds). I was impressed with the protection both providers provided, however not constantly with the consistency of 5G speeds. Using the app Speed Test, the iPhone 12 on T-Mobile taped download speeds in between 10.4 and 14.9 megabits per 2nd, while the iPhone 12 Pro on Verizon clocked in between 97.9 and 104Mbps for downloads.

iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 both provide the very same assistance for 5G.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.

Speed tests aside,there isn’t a killer app that can show off how 5G is pushing things forward Right now, you’ll see a lot of evaluates revealing you Speed Test ratings and how quick you can download season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel onAmazon That stated, the majority of iPhone owners tend to keep their phones for several years. Even if you do not experience quick 5G speeds now, a minimum of your phone will have the ability to manage them when they show up down the line.

Connecting to 5G can tax your phone’s battery life. Apple carried out a smart software application function called Smart Data mode, which stabilizes information requirements, speed and power. Smart Data takes a look at a number of aspects to figure out whether you require to utilize 5G. If you do not, your iPhone will change to a 4G connection. Smart Data can even change in between various bands of 5G. You can bypass Smart Data and choose to have 5G connection all thetime

One cool feature of 5G on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro was that it let me make HD Face Time calls over cellular. More 5G things like that, please.

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have an iPhone 5 style

One of the very first things I observed about the iPhone 12 is its “slabular” charm. Apple’s concept of premium varies from the flash and phenomenon we see in flagshipAndroid phones Body colors do not appear to change from one to another depending upon the light. The screen does not twist around the edges. In truth, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro do not have actually curved edges atall

Instead, a straight-edged refined stainless-steel band specifies the iPhone 12 Pro (it’s matte aluminum on the 12), much in the method it did on the iPhone 5, FIVE and SE, simply without the chamfered edges. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have a vibrant, striking appearance with no frills. The construct and end up on the 12 Pro are amazing.


The squared-off edges of the iPhone 5 are back.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.

The iPhone 12 is likewise specified by a spectacular OLED panel, which Apples calls a Super XDR display screen. Gone is the LCD discovered on the iPhone XR and 11. Besides the contrast and resolution, the squared-off sides appear to press the display screen up and forward. When the phone is on its back, it’s as if the rest of the phone is holding up the display screen while attempting not to be seen.

Both phone screens are covered with a ceramic guard, a brand-new product that begins as glass and is instilled with nano-ceramic crystals. (After the infusion, it’s no longer thought about glass.) Apple declares it uses 4 times the defense when dropped. I’m uncertain precisely how that number was determined by Apple, however I anticipate my associates putting the 12 and 12 Pro through a series of drop tests. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are both ranked IP68 for water- and dust-resistance and can hold up against being immersed in water to a depth of 6 meters for thirty minutes. In the time I had the phones, both managed spills, light rain and very little immersing in water simply great.

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iPhone 12 and 12 Pro capture outstanding pictures and videos

The cams got hardware, software application and processing upgrades. While other phones may have a standout cam function (like the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 100x Space Zoom) that these iPhones do not have, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro can catch outstanding pictures and video and provide regularly wonderful images. Here’s a sample taken in a variety of various environments and lighting.


The iPhone 12 Pro nails the texture of the clouds and the highlights on the left side of the steeple.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.


This scene is a computational photography challenge course. There’s moving water, a cloudy sky, brick patterns in the background and red and pink flowers. And the iPhone 12 manages it all like a champ.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.


The quantity of information that the iPhone 12 Pro had the ability to catch in this image is outstanding.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.


The iPhone 12 had the ability to catch the texture of the light colored bricks and the shine of the black indication.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.


This scene actually flaunts the vibrant variety of the iPhone 12.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.

The iPhone 12 has the specific very same cams as the iPhone 12 Pro, other than for the telephoto cam and lidar. But these phones aren’t simply depending on hardware to take excellent pictures and videos. Apple’s brand-new A14 Bionic chip, in addition to software application and artificial intelligence, includes enhancements to whatever.

For example, the 12 and 12 Pro have the very same hardware for their ultrawide-angle cam as in 2015’s 11 and 11Pro But the 12 and 12 Pro have software application to fix the lens distortion. Take an appearance listed below at these ultrawide-angle pictures of a brick wall. in the iPhone 11 image, observe how the corners of the brick wall appear like they’re flexing.

(*12 *)

Timed selfie taken with the rear ultrawide-angle cam on theiPhone 12 Getting my Beastie Boys position on.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.


Apple included software application to minimize the distortion on the ultrawide-angle cam. Lucky the remarkable viewpoint stays the same in this image taken with the iPhone 12.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.

iPhone 12

The ultrawide-angle cam on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro now has Night Mode assistance.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.

The primary wide-angle cam on both phones has a quicker lens that allows more light. The brand-new lens, integrated with Smart HDR 3, yields really fantastic pictures with precise colors and strong vibrant variety. Night Mode is now on the ultrawide and selfie cams. I’m surprised at how excellent some Night Mode pictures came out, even the selfie pictures I took! The telephoto cam on the 12 Pro is a big action up in zoom compared to theiPhone 12 But there are a number of phones that provide a lot longer zooms with much better outcomes.


Without a lot of light, the iPhone 12 Pro had the ability to render this scene perfectly.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.


Despite being downtown with lots of light, the iPhone 12 Pro was even able to discover some stars in the sky.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.

In terms of video, particularly on the iPhone 12 Pro, the focus is wonderful and had the ability to track me even when I was contending night. And that’s because of the lidar sensing unit. In truth, some of the clips in my evaluation video were shot on theiPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are the fastest phones

The cams aren’t the only thing that the A14 Bionic chip enhances. It’s quickly, however it’s tough to see the increased speed over the A13 chip, which is still vivacious. The A14 chip is as much about power now as it has to do with future-proofing your phone so it can deal with iOS 17 in a couple of years.

In efficiency standard tests, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro taped the greatest ratings of any phones we have actually ever evaluated. See the outcomes listed below.

3DMark Slingshot Unlimited


Longer bars suggest much better efficiency.

Geekbench v. 5.0 single-core


Longer bars suggest much better efficiency.

Geekbench v. 5.0 multicore


Longer bars suggest much better efficiency.

In terms of battery life, I generally made it through a day and the next early morning OK. I had the ability to run a single battery test with looped video playing at half brightness in aircraft mode. The iPhone 12 Pro lasted 15 hours, 56 minutes and the iPhone 12 lasted 17 hours, 14 minutes. I desire more time to assess the battery life on the 12 and 12 Pro as soon as I’m done evaluating the phones and we have more battery tests to run, so inspect back to this short article for updates.

The phone features a USB-C to Lightning cable television, which can provide extremely quick speeds. Apple no longer includes a pair of wired earbuds in package or a power adapter, the concept being to lessen harmful electronic waste. It’s likely this will not be an issue for you as many people will currently have a set of earbuds and a wall battery charger to utilize.

Read more: iPhone 12 takes us a step closer to Apple’s portless future

But here’s where that does not always build up: Since 2012, all iPhones have actually featured a 5-watt battery charger USB-A power adapter, which isn’t suitable with the consisted of USB-C cable television. Yes, if you currently have an old Lightning cable television you might utilize that, or you might purchase a USB-C power adapter. Or you might check out Apple’s brand-new MagSafe wireless charging system, however the MagSafe battery charger (without a wall battery charger) is $39.

MagSafe utilizes magnets inside the phone and battery charger to nestle them into a position that is the most effective for charging. I actually took pleasure in utilizing MagSafe. The sound the phone and battery charger make when they link is beyond pleasing. There’s even an animation that turns up on screen revealing that whatever is effectively linked. I tried some MagSafe cases, which work well and enable cordless charging through the case without losing power.

iPhone 12

From delegated right: MagSafe battery charger, MagSafe clear case on an iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and MagSafe removable wallet.

Patrick Holland/ CNET.

The magnets can likewise link to noncharging devices like a removable wallet, which you can utilize with or without a MagSafe phone case. This little service card-sized wallet won me over. I’m delighted to see what Apple and third-party business utilize MagSafe for.

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are fantastic phones, however we just have half the photo today. There’s likewise the iPhone 12 Mini (which I’m especially delighted about, provided its size and cost) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which maxes out the size of the phone’s display screen and uses cam enhancements that none of the other iPhones 12 have. But that’s simply what we understand based upon the specifications. We’ll need to wait up until November to see how they exercise in truth.

iPhone 12 vs. 12 Pro vs. Mini vs. 12 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 12 Apple iPhone 12 Mini Apple iPhone 12 Pro Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Display size, resolution. 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532 x1,170 pixels. 5.4-inch OLED; 2,340 x1,080 pixels. 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532 x1,170 pixels. 6.7-inch OLED; 2,778 x1,284 pixels.
Pixel density. 460ppi. 476ppi. 460ppi. 458ppi.
Dimensions (inches). 5.78 x2.82 x0.29 inches. 5.18 x2.53 x0.29 inches. 5.78 x2.82 x0.29 inches. 6.33 x3.07 x0.29 inches.
Dimensions (millimeters). 146.7 x71.5 x7.4 mm. 131.5 x64.2 x7.4 mm. 146.7 x71.5 x7.4 mm. 160.8 x78.1 x7.4 mm.
Weight (ounces, grams). 5.78 oz.; 164g. 4.76 oz.; 135g. 6.66 oz.; 189g. 8.03 oz.; 228g.
Mobile software application. iOS 14. iOS 14. iOS 14. iOS 14.
Camera 12- megapixel (broad), 12- megapixel (ultra-wide). 12- megapixel (broad), 12- megapixel (ultra-wide). 12- megapixel (broad), 12- megapixel (ultra-wide), 12- megapixel (telephoto). 12- megapixel (broad), 12- megapixel (ultra-wide), 12- megapixel (telephoto).
Front- dealing with cam. 12- megapixel. 12- megapixel. 12- megapixel. 12- megapixel.
Video capture. 4K. 4K. 4K. 4K.
Processor Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14Bionic
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB. 64GB, 128GB, 256GB. 128GB, 256GB, 512GB. 128GB, 256GB, 512GB.
RAM. Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Expandable storage. No No No No
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback. Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback. Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback. Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback.
Fingerprint sensing unit. No (Face ID). No (Face ID). No (Face ID). No (Face ID).
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack. No No No No
Special functions. 5G made it possible for; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); cordless charging; dual-SIM abilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM). 5G made it possible for; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); cordless charging; dual-SIM abilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM). Lidar scanner; 5G made it possible for; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); cordless charging; dual-SIM abilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM). Lidar scanner; 5G made it possible for; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); cordless charging; dual-SIM abilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM).
Price off-contract (USD). $ 829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB). $ 729 (64GB), $779 (128GB), $879 (256GB). $ 999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB). $ 1,099 (128GB), $1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB).
Price (GBP). ₤ 799 (64GB), ₤ 849 (128GB), ₤ 949 (256GB). ₤ 699 (64GB), ₤ 749 (128GB), ₤ 849 (256GB). ₤ 999 (128GB), ₤ 1,099 (256GB), ₤ 1,299 (512GB). ₤ 1,099 (128GB), ₤ 1,199 (256GB), ₤ 1,399 (512GB).
Price (AUD). AU$ 1,349 (64GB), AU$ 1,429 (128GB), AU$ 1,599 (256GB). AU$ 1,199 (64GB), AU$ 1,279 (128GB), AU$ 1,449 (256GB). AU$ 1,699 (128GB), AU$ 1,869 (256GB), AU$ 2,219 (512GB). AU$ 1,849 (128GB), AU$ 2,019 (256GB), AU$ 2,369 (512GB).

First releasedOct 20.


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