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iPhone 12 review: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro's specs and features to note

iPhone 12 review: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro's specs and features to note

The whole family

Text: Janice Sim


If you're a tad bit stumped by the extent of this year's iPhone 12 line-up, you're not alone. There's plenty to take in — from a Mini to the Pro Max. Which makes the decision now split four ways.

And if budget isn't exactly a main concern of yours, there's no need to deliberate. You can forget the rest and look straight for the Pro Max. A supersize, slightly heavier splurge that could potentially save this year's chain of unfortunate events. A brief recap on the 12 soirée: 5G, in its full glory. They are priced on a slightly higher scale, as compared to the 11, and have incorporated MagSafe into its charging. The switch back to the magnets might be a groundbreaking step for the brand, but we've found it to be running on a slower charging capacity than the typical cable plug.

iPhone 12 mag safe

But if you're torn between numbers and specs, accessibility and features. Read on for our breakdown, each tagged with a bite-sized review.

iPhone 12 Pro family

iPhone 12 Mini

What it is: The smallest, thinnest, lightest 5G smartphone in the world. It's a sentimental nod to the iPhone that we used to know — tiny, snug in the palm, yet still powerful.

Hardware: Flat-edged, as with the rest of the 12 series. An aerospace-grade aluminium enclosure and sealed with a Ceramic Shield front cover. We hope that means code for safeguarding our smartphones after every nasty fall.

Review: The A14 Bionic Chip is a given to all the 12 models, revealing a speedy, smoother user experience. Within the edge-to-edge Super Retina display, the chip gives life to the camera features. With Ultra Wide and a new Wide camera, there's 27% more light for low-light places and scenarios that warrant a snap. Night mode is impressive, and we found also found less of a grain, or sometimes, none at all in our captures. The Dolby Vision is another stellar feature to show for throughout the 12 series. Videos are crisp and sharp, with a fitting colour correction along with the distribution of lighting. All in all, your photos remain true to life, even with the smartphone processing and editing on its own. Nothing turned out outwardly lit or saturated.

Battery life was a bit of a concern, and with only 64GB of storage, that did pose as an obstacle with the photo abyss culminated from our daily grind.

Price: $1,149

iPhone 12 Mini

iPhone 12

What it is: Basically everything the iPhone 12 Mini has, just in a bigger screen. 6.1 inches to be specific.

Hardware: Flat-edged, as with the rest of the 12 series. An aerospace-grade aluminium enclosure and sealed with a Ceramic Shield front cover.

Price: $1,299

iPhone 12 Pro

What is it: Coming off the flat-edge high, the Pro, as its name suggests, is another leg up the photography front.

Hardware: An edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display and protected by the all-new Ceramic Shield front cover. The finish? Entirely stainless steel.

Review: Perhaps it's the placebo effect, but you know you're holding a more powerful machine in your hands once you've held the Pro. You get the A14 Bionic Chip, the Wide Camera lens (the fastest on an iPhone yet), a Telephoto camera booted with a longer focal length, and new Wide cameras. But you'll also get an all-new LiDAR Scanner — that tiny circle on the camera deck. What this does is measure light distance and take note of pixel depth while shooting. It's also meant to give life to AR experiences while enhancing the Night mode portraits like never before. We found framing and rendering instantaneous — it didn't matter if our hands were slightly shaky, but the photos came out perfectly lit and ready to be uploaded as they were. As for as the Dolby vision? Pretty outstanding video output. Which as Apple dubs: " the highest quality video in a smartphone" and "the first cameras and only devices in the world to enable an end-to-end experience for HDR video with Dolby Vision, up to 60 fps".

The Pro definitely processed everything faster, as they hold more 5G bands compared to any smartphone. Video and photo uploading, texts, Instagram messages, etc. But it does depend on your mobile carrier at the end of the day.

Night Mode

Price: $1,649

iPhone 12 Pro Max

What is it: 12 Pro but with a better camera, as with most Apple upgrades. Also, the biggest iPhone to date at 6.7 inches. For reference, the 12 Pro stands at 6.1 inches.

Hardware: An edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display and protected by the all-new Ceramic Shield front cover. The finish? Entirely stainless steel.

Review: The size wasn't really an issue, even with someone with small hands. Perhaps if you are a phone-in-the-pocket person, that might pose as a problem, alongside its weight at around 187g. To counter all of that, comes the bigger, better features. You will only see this when you're shooting in low-light, but with a Wide Camera that holds a 47% larger sensor with 1.7μm pixels, the photos on the Pro Max come through brilliantly, while retaining a balance of the subject being shot in low-light and true to its setting. The Pro Max succeeds as the outstanding product from the series — even performing faster than the 12 Pro. What Pro users can also expect with their pick from the lot, would be Apple ProRAW (coming later in the year), which levels up on the photography field with the freedom of being able to customise your own photos. There will be full creative control over colour, detail, and dynamic range on the iPhone itself as well as other professional photo editing apps in the market. Quite possibly music to the ears with creatives, as they can operate the iPhone as they would with their other personal devices.

Price: $1,799

iPhone 12 Pro

For more information, check out Apple's full list of products.

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