IPhone 12 Review New Standard It is new iPhone time. And here is the new iPhone 12. And there is a lot that is new this year. New design, MagSafe, OLED screen, processor, camera capabilities, and, of course, 5G. It has been a long time since Apple has made this aggressive of a pitch to try to get you to upgrade. But think of this as a new iPhone, not just a few small updates over last year’s phone. But we need to see if all this new stuff really works.
And you know, this might bea more important question, how much this new stuff really matters? See the regular iPhone 12 costsa little bit more this year. So this new stuff, it better be good. It’s $829 for the base 64 gig model. But I think most people areprobably gonna wanna spend the extra 50 bucks for the 128 gig model. On the other hand, thereare discounts galore from U.S. carriers fromspecial installment plans to $30 discounts right off the bat. Like I said, everybody really seems to wanna make this a big upgrade year. So let’s see if it should be.
(gentle electronic music) The most obvious newthing is this new design. It is smaller than an iPhone 11 and it has flat sides anda perfectly flat screen. I think of it as kindof a modern throwback. It looks much betterthan the rounded sides that we’ve been livingwith since the iPhone six. But despite those harder corners it still feels really comfortable to use. There’s also new colors. This is blue, obviously, butthere’s also white, black, red, and a really nice light green. The rails on the side arealuminum with a matte finish and the back is still regularglass with a glossy finish. The front is somethingApple calls, Ceramic Shield.
Where they put a ceramiccrystalline structure in the material to makeit more drop resistant. Apple says that it’s fourtimes more drop-resistant than the iPhone 11, but I can’t test that onthe review unit, sorry. As for scratch resistance, there shouldn’t be any change from before. If you want to gripe about the design, there’s really only twothings to complain about. There are a bunch of antennalines and cutouts on the rail that make things a little bit asymmetrical and there is still a
big oldnotch for the Face ID camera. Neither one of those thingsare a big deal to me. Face ID still works great, as long as you’re not wearing a mask. Which makes me wish that theyhad found some kind of way to put a fingerprintsensor somewhere on here. I am really happy that Apple found a way to reduce the size of thisphone compared to the iPhone 11. I always felt like the 11 and even the XR were just a little bit onthe big side, so this helps. Now, if you want an even smaller
phone you’re gonna have to waitfor the iPhone 12 Mini. And if you want an even bigger phone you’re gonna have to springfor the iPhone 12 Pro Max. But the regular iPhone has always been the default phone for most people. And from a design and size perspective, this is a better defaultthan we’ve had in years. I really love the lookand feel of this phone. (gentle upbeat music) Other new thing on theiPhone 12
is the screen. Apple has switched it over to OLED, and I’m really glad Ithink, OLED looks better. Blacks are blacker. And Apple’s dedication tokeeping colors accurate remains. OLED is also what allowed Apple to reduce the size of the bezels here and make the phone smaller overall. Other nice thing about the screen is that there are more pixels. It’s a proper 1080P panel now. Now I wasn’t really that unhappy with the panel on the iPhone11 and the XR before it, but more pixels are better,
can’t argue with that. It also gets bright enough for me, but I have to admit that the iPhone 12 Pro can get slightly brighter in regular use. However, in HDR the regular 12 can still hit 1,200nits of peak brightness. And I think that the combination of HDR and OLEDs contrast ratiois the real upgrade here, not the pixel count. Okay. I do have one small complaint. The screen has a refresh rate of 60 hertz, and I know that that’slike
a spec nerd thing, but listen, I’ve revieweddozens of Android phones and I’ve used the iPad Pro which has a 120-hertz refresh rate, and I can just tell youthat scrolling looks better when you have a high refresh rate. I think the iPhone 12 canget away without having it since it’s the less expensive option, and because iOS hasreally smooth animations and great touch response, but it is a little weirdthat it’s not here. Here is the new $39 MagSafewireless charging puck. And here’s how it works.
(charger clicks) Magnets. It works with magnets. The design means that you can use the phonewhile it’s wirelessly charging and the magnets are strongenough to hold the phone up, but I’m sure a ton ofbouncing would be enough to knock it off. Now, when you use a MagSafe Charger instead of capping out at 7.5 watts of wireless charging speed, the iPhone 12 can chargeat up to 15 watts, but you’re gonna need to have a strong USB-C adaptor to do that, and the MagSafe doesn’tcome
with one in the box. It’s also not the fastest wireless charging speed that we’ve seen, and it is definitely slower than a cable, but it’s good enough to go from having wireless chargingtimes be kind of annoying to being pretty okay. I got a little less than 40% of charge inan hour in my testing. Apple’s also taking these magnets and using them to create an ecosystem of attachable accessories. It’s got its own MagSafe cases that are supposed to click on, but they don’t really click on. In theory,
though, it’spossible somebody else could make something like that. There’s also a shielded walletthat is designed to keep your credit cards from demagnetizing, but it only fits three cards and they’re hard to get out of there. There’s gonna be car mounts and a bunch of other accessories coming. Now, all of this works via an NFC chip that’s in the MagSafe ring and that’s used foridentifying accessories,
but not much more. So when you attach the bluecase, you get a blue ring. When you attach the MagSafe Charger the NFC is what identifies it and allows it to do fast charging. But no, the NFC chip isnot gonna be available for other apps to use,it’s just for MagSafe. But there is good news, nobodyneeds Apple’s permission to make something thatconnects to the magnets.
The slightly less good news is that anything that does more than just attached to the magnets needs to work with applesMade for iPhone Program. One last thing, as long aswe’re talking about charging, the iPhone uses a Lightning port and it comes with a USB-C toLightning cable in the box, but no AC adapter. And I know there are a lot of feelings about both of those things,so here are mine real quick.
No AC adapter is good. It might not be a hugebenefit for the environment, but every little bit helps. Sticking with Lightningthough, I think is bad. I wish Apple would havejust had the courage to switch to USB-C,like every other gadget, including many of Apple’s own gadgets. The fact that Apple didn’t is a sign to me that this little puck righthere is probably the future of how Apple wants usto charge the iPhone.
Now, look, I don’t like Lightning, but it’s literally better than nothing and that might be the plan someday. (upbeat music) 5G is the new feature thatApple is hyping the most and Verizon is hyping it and everybody in the 5Ghype industrial complex is hyping it. Hype. But the truth is thatin a lot of countries 5G is substantially better interms of speed and latency. In the U.S. though, well, it’s going okay. In my testing, in bothOakland and San Francisco, on multiple carriers,
I got results that were all over the map. I mean, literally all over the map. I would have to travel tocertain parts of each city to get a good 5G signal. On Verizon and T-Mobilestandard sub-6 5G networks I got 40 megabits down in good areas. That’s about twice what I couldget on LTE in the same area. But just as often I would be stuck on LTE.
Now Verizon has thismillimeter-wave network which is also referred toas ultra-wideband or UWB, but you have to literally be on the right street corner to get it. When we were shooting this video I suddenly saw that I hadit and I got all excited and I called Vjeran over to get the shot. We pulled down 1,400 megabits. That’s 35 times faster than regular 5G. So I did the thing that’s in all the demos where you download a whole Netflix season right there in the short timeit took to
get this shot. It’s fast. But that excitement only existedbecause it’s also so rare. Millimeter-wave isn’t areal cellphone network. It’s the cell phone networkequivalent of a concept car. It’s only on certain streets. Anyway, the iPhone 12itself handles 5G just fine, as well, or better than anyAndroid phone that I’ve tested. 5G also doesn’t seem to havea big impact on battery life. I’m getting through a dayor more with normal use. Now, I did manage to killthis phone by the evening after a long
day of riding my bike with a screen brightness setto max and the GPS running. But I think that would have happened to pretty much any phone. Now to keep battery life good, Apple is doing some weirdtricks with 5G on the iPhone. It has a default mode called data saver, which drops you down to LTE speeds unless the phone decidesyou really need 5G for something that you’re doing. How does the phone decide?
Well, lots of factors, like what kind of data you’re downloading, is what Apple tells me. It’s a little bit unclear, butlook, you can turn that off and just lock it to 5G if it’savailable when you want to. Speaking of unclear, the status bar will show you5G if you have 5G available, even if the phone happens to be using an
LTE network instead. You just won’t know. Now, when there is ultra-wideband you will see a special icon for that. And also, if you’re on AT&Tyou’re gonna see a 5GE icon, which means LTE because AT&T is awful. The iPhone is also going tobe aware of your carrier plan. So if you have unlimited it’ll be more willingto switch things over to pulling down more data. Like going into
FaceTime HD or even downloading full-oniOS updates automatically. That’s a lot of weirddetails, and there’s more. If you have both aphysical and an eSIM active in the phone at the sametime, you can’t use 5G because of the limitations of dual-SIM, dual-standby in that spec, but you can turn one ofthem off and get 5G back. Also, international iPhones don’t have the ultra-wideband stuff, so you should pay attention towhat bands are on your phone if you travel a lot. Basically,
5G is complicated, and Apple can’t abstract away all of the details entirelylike it likes to do. Mostly, you can just ignore this stuff and use whatever network pops up on your phone when you see it. And honestly, that isthe bottom line with 5G. If you see it and it’s better, you can do a little dance and be happy. If you don’t, don’t sweat it. Just don’t buy a phoneonly because it has 5G. Not right now.
(upbeat electronic music) What’s new in the camera thisyear is that Apple has updated and improved its softwarefor processing photos, and the main camera now hasa slightly faster aperture. It’s 1.6 instead of 1.8. That lets more light in whichhelps with low light photos. It’s still the same wide-angle camera, the same Ultra Wide camera,and the single selfie camera. You don’t get the telephoto lens or the LIDAR that youget on the iPhone 12 Pro, but they still take excellentphotos in normal conditions.
The new A14 Bionic processorand the new software, lets Apple extend Night Modeto every single camera lens. Let’s it do Portrait mode in low light. And it also appliesbetter semantic processing to things that the phone can recognize, like faces or the sky and so on. In my testing, compared to the iPhone 11, I’m seeing less noise and sometimes better colors in photos. In challenging spots,
the iPhone 12 beats out the11 in every single shot. Now, in extremely dark places the Google Pixel 5 still has an edge, but in good light, I think the iPhone 12 often does a better job with fine detail than either the Pixel or the iPhone 11. Apple’s also putting more effort into the quality ofit’s Ultra Wide camera, but you can only do somuch with the software. It is a clear step downfrom the main camera.
Apple is trying to fix distortion on the edges of the Ultra Wide for faces and buildings andthings it can recognize. And there is a slight improvement but it’s also pretty easy to break. Just look at the Golden Gate Bridge here. Selfies on the iPhone 12 are about the same as they’ve always been. Although you can try to take them in lower light than before, but it’s not like anight and day difference. It’s night. You could see that it’s night and the camera’s havinga hard time with that.
But, look, overall, the camerason the iPhone 12 are great. I’m talking about edgecases among flagship phones and in some places theiPhone 12 might not win, but in a lot of cases, it will. And in almost every case the iPhone is maintainingits lead in video quality. Apple’s also making some bigclaims about video this year with HDR and saying that thisis a Dolby Vision camera, and I care way more about HDR than I do 8K video or whatever. But the truth is if we’retalking about video
standards, we really should be talking to Nilay Patel who reviewed the iPhone 12 Pro. So let’s give him a call. Nilay Patel. FaceTime. (phone beeping) – Dieter.- How are you doing? – I’m doing all right, man. Do I look crystal clear in 5G, HD? – Sure. (laughs) You look fine. (Nilay laughs) So we’ve come to the part of the video where I need to talk about Dolby Vision. And obviously, I have to ask you about it ’cause you know about all the lights. – I know something about all the lights. So here’s the deal. Dolby Vision works. It looks great on the iPhone screen and other Apple device screens, but it’s a new version of Dolby Vision, IPhone 12 Review New Standard
which is the most Apple thing ever, and other Adobe vision devices like my TV and I checked, your TV, mightnot work with the files. And the Apple TV is really weird and you have to have it in a weird mode. Look, it’s just very complicated. – So it looks amazing,but it’s a Apple take on a otherwise normal standard,which sounds very Apple. Okay. What about justgeneral video quality? Have you tested that very much? –
So, I’ve tested a littlebit, but Becca, right there. – [Becca] Hey, Dieter! – Has been testing it way morethan me. It looks very good. Becca keeps saying something about dots, which sounds like you gottasee it to understand it. So check out our video. We’llgo into all this detail. – All right. We willdefinitely watch your video. But don’t click out of my video yet, go watch Nilay after that. Bye. – Bye. Sure. Did I work? – IPhone 12 Review New Standard
Was that too long or was that okay? (gentle upbeat music) There is a new processor inthe iPhone 12, and guess what? Just like every iPhone processor for the past however many years, the new A14 Bionicprocessor is a very fast and it beats the pants off anything Qualcomm canmake for an Android phone. But it’s also true thatthe iPhone 11 is very fast. So mainly what you getout of this new processor are those photo improvements. The real reason to care isn’t that the iPhone 12 is fast now, it’s that it will still be fastin three or even five years. That’s the kind of IPhone 12 Review New Standard
longevity that no Android phone can really match. As to the rest of iOS 14? What can I say? It’s an iPhone. I like using it. I love having widgetson the main home screen but I do wish were more ofthem from my favorite apps. Really, my biggest gripe withiOS continues to be Siri. Which does nail the basics pretty well but still lags behindthe Google Assistant. I mean, let’s be real, you still can’t setmultiple timers with Siri. How hard is that? But at the end of the day, if you compare overall app IPhone 12 Review New Standard
quality on an iPhone to theequivalent app on Android, the iPhone apps justtend to be nicer to use. The iPhone 12 is the firstiPhone in several years that really does feel like something new, but I can’t point to anyspecific single feature that makes it feel that way. The 5G is fine. MagSafe is convenient, butwe’ll have to wait to see if there’s a real ecosystem there. The OLED screen is lovely but it’s also kind oftable stakes at this point. The new design is modern and elegant but it’s hard to tellyou to buy a new phone just because it’s pretty. IPhone 12 Review New Standard
Which makes this iPhone the new default. I think most people should get this instead of the iPhone 12 Pro. But I also think thatif you have an iPhone that’s working for you just fine, there’s not a must-have,gotta get it feature here to compel you to upgrade. That’s how default phones work,when you need one, get one, and it will be way better thanthe one that you were using when you don’t need one, IPhone 12 Review New Standard
don’t. But, when the time comes for you to get a new phone, and if you end up with this iPhone 12, I think you’re gonna love it. Here is how the new $39, MagSafe wireless charging puck works. (charger clicks) (Dieter laughs) Hey everybody, thanks so much for watching my review of the iPhone 12. If you wanna see a review of the iPhone 12 Pro Nilay Patel has made one for you and you should click it, or tap it, whatever your device does. IPhone 12 Review New Standard