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Apple iPhone 12 Pro review: Doubling down on the cameras

(Pocket-lint) – The Apple iPhone 12 Pro is here complete with a new design, a tougher screen, a new processor and even 5G. So, is this a huge leap forward, or seemingly like everything else at the moment, an update for update’s sake.

The iPhone 12 Pro was the smaller headliner of the four new iPhones announced in 2020, but how does it hold up a couple of years later and in light of the iPhone 13 Pro.

The iPhone 12 Pro was and remains an impressive evolution for the iPhone. It doubled down on photography further, bringing tech we’d already been playing with to all the cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro rather than just a select few.

The iPhone 12 Pro does all it can to warrant that Pro label, with 5G and a great new design. That said, the 13 Pro has a lot more going for it still, with ProMotion for its display and better battery life. If you’re looking for the definitive flagship Apple experience, that newer model is the answer.

However, if you’ve found a great deal on the 12 Pro or have an option to pick it up, you’ll still be getting a stunning phone that’s gorgeously designed and of high quality in every area that matters.

A new design

  • New squarer design
  • 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, 189g
  • Four colours: Graphite, Silver, Gold, Pacific Blue
  • IP68 protection

Wait long enough and things normally come full circle. Remember that favourite item of clothing that was in fashion, then went out of fashion, then came back into fashion? Well, the same could be said for the iPhone 12 Pro design. Out are the rounded edges we became accustomed to since the launch of the iPhone X and in is a blunter, squarer, design, with an iPhone 4 feel to it.

That translates into an iPhone 12 Pro that looks heavier than it is, even though it’s actually lighter and more robust than the iPhone 11 Pro that it replaces. There’s a hint of retro solidity to it, thanks to those square edges, while the new form factor allows for a reduction in bezel thickness around the edge of the display.

Don’t get too excited, they are still there, and we certainly aren’t talking about reaching a level where you can’t see them like Samsung and others. And yes, the notch is still present.

The end result is a larger display in a device that hasn’t grown as much as you might expect, so it’s only a fraction larger than the iPhone 11 Pro that came before it. It was something we were concerned about, but now in our hand, all you notice is that the screen is that bit bigger – it’s gone from 5.8-inches to 6.1-inches – which is going to be a lot more useable day-to-day.

But unlike the iPhone 4 and 5 models from 2013 and 2014, those edges are now highly polished. The Pacific Blue we’ve been using catches the sunlight nicely and isn’t too gaudy – we’re not sure we could say the same about the Gold model.

The display itself remains close to the performance we saw on the iPhone 11 Pro – it’s still OLED and the overall pixel density is basically the same, but there are a few more pixels packed in. What’s important is that you have the same clarity, the same great colour reproduction and the same brightness that will punch through reflections so you can still see as well as bright sunshine as you can in low light.

Now that the iPhone 13 Pro is out, though, we have a new high bar to compare the 12 Pro to. The lack of ProMotion, Apple’s high refresh rate system, means that the gap between the 12 Pro and the 13 Pro is a bigger one than usual, so if you want the best display on an iPhone, you might have to look at the newer model.

 

 

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Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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