Posted on October 22, 2020
The reviews for the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are out this week. The most interesting new models (the Mini and 12 Pro Max) aren’t out yet, so we’ll wait until next month to hear about those.
Austin Mann’s reviews are always beautiful and this year’s is no different, from Glacier National Park in Montana.
The iPhone 12 Pro is a solid camera, and thanks to a bunch of new digital tech I found it to be slightly stronger than the already great iPhone 11 Pro — but if you are serious about photography with your iPhone, wait for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It looks to be the most significant jump in iPhone camera hardware we’ve experienced in years, and it’s only three weeks away.
Anyone who has followed this blog knows I prefer to carry a smaller iPhone because it fits better in my pocket, it’s easier to hold, and it’s overall more discreet. That said, I definitely want the new camera capabilities of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, so I’m planning to adapt to the slightly larger device to get significantly more hardware horsepower.
On the forthcoming ProRAW:
Traditionally, RAW files themselves can’t be edited. When adjustments are made, they’re stored in a reference file instead of destructively changing the original image file.
With this in mind, many publications require the submission of RAW files for the images sent in by photographers. This allows them to examine the original, untouched data and helps protect their legitimacy as a news source.
If the ProRAW format really does work this way, it marks an important step forward in the validation of the iPhone camera as a tool photographers can rely on to deliver client work, particularly in the editorial space.
Interesting, I didn’t know this.
John Gruber focused quite a bit of his review on the size and the feel of the new models:
If I had my druthers, I would prefer the matte aluminum band and glossy back of the regular iPhone 12 and the three-lens-plus-lidar camera system of the 12 Pro. Of this, I am dead certain about preferring the glossy glass back over matte. I’m less certain about preferring the look and feel of the matte aluminum band and buttons. Saving a bit of weight, though, is a sure-fire advantage for aluminum over steel. So if I had the opportunity right now, as I type this sentence, to configure my ideal iPhone 12, that’s what I’d specify: the glossy back and aluminum sides of the regular 12 and the camera system from the 12 Pro.
Matthew Panzarino on the size and weight too:
One thing worth mentioning here too is that the iPhone 12 Pro is 189 grams where the iPhone 12 is 164 grams. While it may seem silly to note a 25 gram difference, I can say that in practice it does feel quite a bit lighter
Overall, the iPhone 12 feels like the Timex to the iPhone 12 Pro’s Rolex. It’s a great daily driver that feels light and fun. The iPhone 12 Pro leverages refinement as a category differentiator projecting a solidity that plays into the “Pro” posturing.
I have seen a few fine scratches crop up on my iPhone 12’s screen. I am not particularly careful with my review units, as I think it is my duty to treat these things as utility items that will get intense daily usage. Which is what they are. Nothing insanely noticeable, mind you, but whatever the improvements to overall hardness the new Corning Ceramic Shield process brings to the table it is not and will not be invincible to wear and tear.
Joanna Stern’s review has a great video from MetLife Stadium too which focuses on the 5G radios:
Despite being marketed as our technological savior, 5G—the next generation of cellular connectivity—is not a killer feature for the new iPhone 12 models. At least not in the U.S., not yet.