Getting a chance to review the Apple iPhone 12 was both an exciting and slightly unsettling experience.
First off, I’ve only ever owned a Nokia from the time I started having a phone till date, having stuck by the brand since the days of polyphonic ringtones, to its downfall for sticking with Symbian instead of moving onto Android, then its resurgence – thanks in part to Microsoft, and now finally its allegiance to Android.
Hence, it wasn’t a welcoming thought, for myself, to now try and get used to the iOS system; but the only constant in this life is change, and such I gave it a shot.
The first thing I realised is that the sim card slots used aren’t the same! ‘Meh, that iPhone exclusivity again,’ I thought. From always setting itself apart with its lightning cables to charge Apple devices and not having universal ports on its MacBooks – thus needing adaptors, this was one of the reasons I didn’t get involved in the entire Apple environment.
However, as per most devices these days, you’re able to start using the iPhone 12 without a sim card, which is what I did.
The set-up was simple and fast, you just need to be connected to the internet, and it sorts itself out.
Now let’s go into the pros and cons (or at least what I think are cons) of owning one of the latest iPhones, starting with the positives.
To begin with, I’m glad Apple has reverted to the more squarish edges, of which iPhones once started off with. I personally think this design cue makes the phone seem more sturdy and solid. And while the 6.1 inch iPhone 12 fits me well, those who are looking for a smaller device can opt for the iPhone 12 Mini, which has exactly the same specs as the regular 12, but comes in a more pocket-friendly 5.4 inches – which also currently makes it one of the smallest 5G compatible devices out there.
Both models also make use of aerospace-grade aluminium on the edges, while the 12 Pro and Pro Max then distinguishes itself in terms of design, not only from its three cameras, but also with the use of surgical-grade metal.
On top of that, the use of Apple’s Ceramic Shield across all models have also increased the latest iPhone’s durability. Thanks to the Ceramic Shield front cover, users have less to worry about when it comes to drops – the operative keyword being ‘less,’ not ‘no’ worries.
In terms of its display, the colours are vibrant and images are crystal clear. The XDR display, which make the phone look like it’s all screen, delivers vivid colour accuracy that allows users to truly immerse themselves into what’s going on in the screen. I was also informed that in comparison with its predecessor, the iPhone 11, this current model offers twice the level brightness. It’s always good to outdo one’s self after all.
Coming in five colour options: blue, green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED, the iPhone 12 has an IP68 rating. This means that the phone is water resistant for up to 6 meters and for up to 30 minutes – which means minor spills and getting wet in the rain are easily tolerated.
Speaking about outdoing, the phone is fitted with the latest chip produced by Apple, the A14 Bionic, which promises to deliver the best in terms of performance and power efficiency. That I can attest to and agree with so far, seeing as to how the battery health is still at optimum levels.
It does very well for gaming as well, and while my games haven’t gotten interrupted by calls, the crisp clear graphics and smooth game flow are definitely a testament to the A14 Bionic chip’s prowess. Fun fact: The A14 Bionic is a first in the smartphone industry, being a mere 5-nanometer process chip.
This small-and-powerful processor within the phone allows for console-quality gaming experiences, powerful computational photography, and more. Plus, it boasts a 16-core Neural Engine, making it capable of completing 11 trillion operations per second and enabling improved performance; therefore also pushing the limits of its machine learning capabilities. Thus the iPhone 12 will adapt to suit each individual user better.
Not forgetting either that with the introduction of iOS 14, there’s some semblance of the levels of screen personalisation Android users are used to, as iPhone now lets you customise the home screen with widgets and there’s an App Library. However, speaking about apps, there are a few more extra apps which were/are made first for iOS – like Clubhouse. This is definitely an advantage for Apple users.
the camera and more
Now let’s get to the other aspects which make the iPhone 12 more than just a phone, starting with its advanced dual-camera system. While you can obviously expect more stunning and better quality images from the Pro and Pro Max models, which come with extra in-built camera functionalities, not to mention three lenses, the 12 and 12 Mini still hold water and takes pretty amazing shots – as proven above.
With its Ultra Wide and Wide camera is also better adept in the dark, for more impressive visuals in low-light, thanks to more light absorption in Night mode. Plus its Smart HDR 3 uses machine learning to intelligently adjust the white balance, contrast, texture, and saturation of a photo for remarkably natural-looking images.
Then when it comes to videos, it allows users to shoot HDR video with Dolby Vision and is the first and only device in the world to enable an end-to-end Dolby Vision experience! Now that’s a true treat.
There’s also the new MagSafe technology, which not only allows for fast wireless charging, but also for easy-to-attach accessories that beautifully complement iPhone 12 models.
Switching over from an Android device wasn’t an easy transition, although I picked up most things relatively quickly. Apparently it’s easier to switch from Android to iOS than the other way around.
That being said, there are a few things I miss on the Android. For one, the simple back button, which can be worked around on the Apple.
That plus the minute levels of customisation made available on Android – it’s no wonder why most iPhone users have the same ringtone.
Meanwhile, I also learnt that the Apple exclusivity I complained about earlier stems from Apple wanting to own the entire ecosystem. From the software to the hardware, and thus creates products that work amazingly well with other Apple products, but not so much with other brands. It’s all a part of discovering the brand.
Just like how I also previously discovered the reason behind Apple not including a charger for the iPhone 12 onwards. At first, I was bewildered, then it made sense, it terms of the environment. After all, with less space taken up by the chargers, more boxes can be fitted into the shipments, and thus reducing the carbon footprint slightly by reducing the number of product shipments going out. And, even though I didn’t have a charger, it was relatively easy to come by.
At the end of the day, it’s all up to you, and you can choose to learn and adapt, or be stuck. Though, I still have yet to drop the iPhone to truly test its Ceramic Shield capability. It’s only a matter of time I guess, though hopefully not.
Prices for the iPhone 12 start from RM3,399; for more info, visit the website here.