Apple has been using the “Pro” moniker for a while and only recently added the nomenclature to their iPhones with the 2019 models (i.e iPhone 11 series). But between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12, there aren’t many differences that would make it a “Pro” device.
Design & Hardware
Just like the other iPhone 12 models, the iPhone 12 Pro has a squared-off design like iPhone 4 from years past. I’m a big fan of the new design (stainless steel for the 12 Pro) and it goes well with the new colour options including Pacific Blue for the iPhone 12 Pro, but I’m more partial to the iPhone 12’s Blue.
The iPhone 12 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display that offers a resolution of 2352 x 1170. The OLED screen looks great and fairly bright and supports HDR, True Tone and a Wide P3 colour gamut.
Powering the device is the A14 Bionic chip, which is plenty fast for everyday tasks or more creative tasks like photo and video capture (especially in 4K).
The iPhone 12 Pro has 5G support (sub-6 GHz) & Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and an Ultra-Wideband chip. Within iOS 14, there’s a new Smart Data mode that switches from 5G to LTE when 5G isn’t needed and to save on battery life.
I wasn’t able to test out the 5G capabilities since my network (Freedom Mobile) has yet to roll out its 5G network in Canada. As of right now, Rogers, Bell and Telus have deployed their 5G networks.
In terms of storage, the iPhone 12 Pro offers 128GB, 256GB, 512GB. For battery life, the iPhone 12 Pro had similar stats from Apple at around 17 hours of video playback and 65 hours of audio playback.
The iPhone 12 Pro was able to last all day long and the standby time was great for when the phone wasn’t in use.
One big change that Apple made with the iPhone 12 series is the removal of the USB power adapter in the box. When you buy any of the new iPhones, you’ll get the phone, paperwork and a Lightning to USB-C cable.
Thankfully, there are some viable third-party chargers that can be found in our USB-C accessories guide.
If you need to top up your iPhone 12 Pro quickly, thankfully the phone supports fast charging, getting you 50% battery in 30 minutes with a 20W or higher charger (not included). There’s also Qi wireless charging (up to 7.5W) and new for the entire lineup is MagSafe charging.
Using the Apple official MagSafe charger, you get up to 15W charging speeds. Just like on the old Mac MagSafe charger, the one for the iPhone 12 series will magnetically attach to your device. One thing to note is that the MagSafe charger and the iPhone get warm when using the charger.
For review, Apple sent their MagSafe charger which is a small puck-sized charge on one end and USB-C on the other. The MagSafe has a slightly rubberized texture on the side that attaches to your iPhone but that can dirty quickly.
MagSafe on the iPhone does seem like a cool concept but I found it much easier to place the phone on a wireless charger or just plug it in.
The technology is still in its infancy and even MagSafe official chargers from third-party companies like Anker and Belkin are still fairly expensive, almost double or triple of a standard wired or wireless charger.
The iPhone 12 Pro comes in a few colours including, Silver, Graphite, Gold and Pacific Blue.
Pricing for the iPhone 12 Pro can be found below:
- 128GB – $1,399 CAD
- 256GB – $1,539 CAD
- 512GB – $1,809 CAD
The iPhone 12 Pro is available from Apple’s website.
The iPhone 12 Pro is running iOS 14, which brings some new features. The biggest being the addition of widgets on the homescreen. Previously, any sort of widgets in iOS was relegated to the far left screen but not anymore.
Now you can stick widget wherever on your homescreen between your apps and folders. This is a welcome change for iOS and makes it easier to glance at and info easier. Another feature of iOS 14 is the addition of the App Library.
If you’re someone who wants a minimal homescreen, the App Library could be a way to do it. Basically, it’s an app drawer for iOS that shows all your apps and automatically categorizes them into folders.
Other features of iOS 14 include a more compact incoming call notification, picture-in-picture support on iPhone, App Clips and more. You can read more about iOS 14 here.
The camera tends to be a strong point of any iPhone and the iPhone 12 Pro is no different. The phone has a triple-lens setup with a 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto. For video, you can shoot up to 4K video at 24, 30 or 60 fps.
With the iPhone 12 series, they’re the first phone to be able to shoot natively in Dolby Vision HDR video. While the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini were limited to 30 fps, the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max can shoot Dolby Vision in 4K 60 fps.
Photos taken with the iPhone 12 Pro looks great, with lots of depth and detailed colours brought to life. The same goes for videos, shooting in 4K is great and looks good. You can even now become your own mini Hollywood production thanks to the ability to shooting in Dolby Vision.
Just like the iPhone 12, the 12 Pro’s low-light photography has improved but it could still use some work. A few of the photos taken with the Night Mode can seem like there are taken with an external flash/light source and make them seem slightly overexposed or blown out. But other times, it seems more natural-looking.
The iPhone 12 Pro is a great device but there’s nothing really that makes it exclaim that it’s a “Pro” device. Sure it has a telephoto lens, stainless steel frame, more storage options but you’re getting the same battery life as the cheaper iPhone 12.
It really comes down to what a potential customer is looking for in their next phone.
- The new design is a nice and welcome change
- Great camera and can shoot Dolby Vision video (up to 60 fps)
- Good battery life with long standby time
- A14 Bionic offers quick performance
- Wireless charging and fast charge support
- The OLED screen looks great
- iOS 14 could still use a bit more work
- Heavier in the hand than the iPhone 12
- More expensive and not much extra value over the iPhone 12
- The MagSafe ecosystem is cool and has potential but not great now