Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review
October 28, 2020

Still one of the best smartphones available.

The Lowdown:

Boasting a design that’s reminiscent of previous iPhone generations, the iPhone 12 Pro brings power and performance that instantly makes it one of the best high-end smartphones that you can buy.

The Review:

We’ve been playing with the iPhone 12 Pro in the past week, and it’s easily Apple’s best iPhone to date. We do say that every year, but the hardware on the iPhone continues to improve at levels you can’t imagine, and with the right apps, you have a powerful device that can literally do anything.

The iPhone 12 Pro is just one of four new iPhones releasing this year. The iPhone 12 Pro is joined by the iPhone 12 that was officially released last October 23rd, with the bigger iPhone 12 Pro Max and smaller iPhone 12 Mini launching on November 13th. Both the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini are targeted towards casual users, while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max offer more power for pro users.

The iPhone 4 was one of my favorite iPhones, it introduced a flat-screen with sharp, flat edges. Apple changed that design with the iPhone 6 that introduced rounded edges with a curved screen but with the iPhone 12 line, it is bringing back the same design aspect of the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 12 Pro’s flat edges make it easier to handle – for me at least. The stainless steel edges are a fingerprint magnet, but you can’t help but admire the exquisite design that blends the glass seamlessly to the frame. The iPhone 12 Pro we got for review comes in a silver and white combination and while I initially wasn’t a fan of the color, the matte glass back and the shiny edges made me like it more than the new blue color that it comes in.

Armed with an IP68 rating, the iPhone 12 Pro offers the same physical controls: volume rockers on the left side next to the mute switch and the side button on the right. You have the speaker grills down below with another one placed inside the earpiece for stereo listening, and you still have the Lightning port at the bottom. Yes it still uses the Lightning port, and we wonder when will Apple officially move to USB-C, considering their iPad Pro line and the recently released iPad Air already use it.

You’re getting a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with the iPhone 12 Pro that boasts color accuracy and brightness levels that match some high-end TVs. The notch is still present, which houses the camera array used for Face ID. The display is unarguably one of the best in the industry, despite the lack of a higher refresh rate. It excels especially when viewing Dolby Vision/HDR content, where the peak brightness was enough to make me squint while looking at it. The screen also uses new protection called Ceramic Shield, which replaces the glass used on the display. Apple has worked with Corning to produce a structure that’s tougher than glass, making it more resistant to breakage. Note that it doesn’t mean that the screen is unbreakable, it just means that is less fragile than previous iPhone screens. 

Powered by the A14 Bionic processor and running iOS 14, the iPhone 12 Pro breezed through apps and games without a hitch. The raw power of this processor is evident with tasks like video and photo editing, easily making it one of the best performing smartphones available. As for storage, you have a choice of either 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.

The iPhone 12 line finally comes with 5G support, and on my 5G test on the iPhone 12 Pro, I’ve managed to get an average of 700+ Mbps. It did eat out a chunk of my data allowance, so that could be a problem if you have a limited data allowance. The smartphone includes a ‘5G Auto’ mode that automatically switches between 4G and 5G signals when needed, so it doesn’t drain the battery life.

Speaking of battery life, the iPhone 12 Pro lasts just about a day with regular usage. The moment I started browsing on 5G, the battery life was significantly reduced. While it is acceptable, I wish it could be better. Don’t worry though, you can take advantage of fast charging on the iPhone 12 Pro – if you have the charger.

As Apple eliminated charging bricks on the packaging (check out the unboxing video above), you’d be forced to purchase one in case you don’t have one already. The problem is the cable that came with the packaging uses USB-C, which most users don’t have. It would have been great to include a USB-A cable instead, so it is easy for users to plug it into their existing power bricks.

But that isn’t the highlight of the iPhone 12 Pro’s charging capabilities. It also comes with support for MagSafe, a wireless charging solution that uses magnets to align the charging coils. It opens a new ecosystem of accessories for the iPhone, but note that the MagSafe charger is a separate purchase, and it also doesn’t come with a charging brick.

Wide-angle shots still look amazing


HDR is on point with the iPhone’s camera system


Night mode is now supported in ultra-wide-angle mode

The iPhone 12 Pro includes a similar three-lens camera system first introduced on the iPhone 11 Pro. You’re getting an ultra-wide camera, a wide camera, and a telephoto camera that’s enhanced by the addition of a LiDAR scanner first introduced on the iPad Pro and also improves AR use on the iPhone 12 Pro.

Images again shot in daylight look sharp as ever. The detail is present on nearly every shot we take – even in low light. LiDAR made it easier to focus on the subjects, and the addition of night mode on the ultra-wide lens made it better to shoot more scenes at night. Apple is also introducing a new ProRAW format in an upcoming update, which lets you take more advantage of the images you’ve shot on the iPhone 12 Pro.

Portrait selfies look good, even in night mode


HDR again works its magic

The iPhone 12 Pro also lets you shoot videos in Dolby Vision. A first for any smartphone, the videos we’ve shot in 4K showed amazing detail and color when played back on the screen or even on a 4K HDR TV. It’s a testament to how great smartphone cameras have become, and proves that the iPhone still excels in shooting video. The enhancements on the rear camera are also available on the front-facing camera, including Dolby Vision video recording.

The 4,199 AED starting price isn’t cheap, but the Pro features of the iPhone 12 Pro definitely make it worth it. Apple continues to excel in making iPhones faster and better every year, and the iPhone 12 Pro is no different.

We Like: 

+ A14 Bionic processor is powerful

+ Great display

+ Top-notch cameras that can shoot in Dolby Vision

+ MagSafe is a fun accessory

We Hate: 

– No charging brick

– Battery could be better

– A USB-C port is preferred

Final Rating: 4.5/5

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. When he’s not busy playing with the latest games, Victor usually spends his time collecting Blu-rays and building his own movie library. As the Online Editor for T3 Middle East, he develops and writes content for which includes reviews, features, and videos in addition to managing its social media and web content.
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