The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional are merely extraordinary. Our full assessment

Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional are right here and mark the start of a brand new era of iPhone. Support for 5G, a brand new {hardware} design and digicam enhancements are a big step away from the iPhone X era of units. That is nothing new. Apple did one thing related in 2010 with the iPhone 4 and in 2014 when it launched the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

There’s one big difference with the iPhone 12 generation, although. It is the primary time there are four new iPhones at once: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Professional and iPhone 12 Professional Max. If you wish to go small and reap the advantages of a lower cost there’s the Mini. If you need the largest iPhone with the most recent in iPhone cameras, get the Professional Max. However that leaves the 12 and 12 Professional that are related (like basically-the-same-phone related). That is not essentially a nasty factor.


  • Premium match and end
  • Incredible autofocus for photographs and movies
  • Strong construct high quality
  • Quickest cellphone we have ever examined

Do not Like

  • iPhone 12 provides many of the similar options, design and construct for much less cash

The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional are the identical measurement. They each have the identical design, the identical show, the identical insanely quick A14 Bionic chip, the identical 5G support, the identical selfie, broad and ultrawide cameras. Heck, they each are available in blue. (Technically, the 12 Professional is Pacific blue.) It is a departure from the bottom and professional fashions from final 12 months. The $699 iPhone 11 and $999 iPhone 11 Professional have been related however had sufficient variations to tell apart themselves from one another.

The $829 iPhone 12 (or $799 when you activate it on a service if you purchase it) is $130 greater than the iPhone 11 when it was launched. An iPhone 12 with 128GB of storage (the identical because the baseline 12 Professional) prices $879 (sans service low cost) which is barely $120 lower than the $999 iPhone 12 Professional. It is best to consider the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional as “higher” and “finest” variations of the identical cellphone.

Costs begin within the UK at £799 for the iPhone 12 and £999 for the 12 Professional. In Australia they begin at AU$1,349 for the 12 and AU$1,699 for the 12 Professional. See the chart on the backside for a full pricing breakdown.

iPhone 12 vs. 12 Professional vs. iPhone 11

iPhone 12 iPhone 12 Professional iPhone 11
Price off-contract (USD) $829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB) $999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB) $599 (64GB), $649 (128GB), $749 (256GB)
Digicam 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Now there are numerous individuals who will simply get the iPhone 12 as a result of it would not price a thousand {dollars} and it is an awesome cellphone. Which it’s. And there are numerous individuals who will get the iPhone 12 Professional as a result of it’s extra premium. Which it’s. Both means, you are getting a tremendous cellphone with the most effective general digicam system you could find.

Throughout my time with each telephones, I discovered myself choosing the 12 Professional extra. Not as a result of it had a telephoto digicam or lidar, which the 12 lacks: I most popular the matte textured again, the shiny stainless-steel band across the sides and the truth that the 12 Professional, regardless of weighing practically an oz (25 grams) extra, felt strong and premium in my hand.

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Our in-depth assessment of the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional


The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional have the identical 5G assist

It is good that both the 12 and 12 Pro can connect to sub-6 and mmWave 5G here in the US. One cellphone would not have higher 5G assist than the opposite. They’re each the identical.

I examined these telephones in Greenville, South Carolina on each T-Cell’s 5G community and Verizon’s Nationwide 5G (the non-mmWave model with out the bonkers speeds). I used to be impressed with the protection each carriers provided, however not all the time with the consistency of 5G speeds. Utilizing the app SpeedTest, the iPhone 12 on T-Cell recorded obtain speeds between 10.Four and 14.9 megabits per second, whereas the iPhone 12 Professional on Verizon clocked in between 97.9 and 104Mbps for downloads.

iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Professional and iPhone 12 each supply the identical assist for 5G.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Pace checks apart, there isn’t a killer app that can show off how 5G is pushing things forward. Proper now, you will see loads of evaluations exhibiting you SpeedTest scores and how briskly you may obtain season Three of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. That mentioned, most iPhone house owners are likely to hold their telephones for years. Even when you do not expertise quick 5G speeds now, not less than your cellphone will be capable of deal with them once they arrive down the road.

Connecting to 5G can tax your cellphone’s battery life. Apple carried out a intelligent software program characteristic known as Sensible Knowledge mode, which balances knowledge wants, pace and energy. Sensible Knowledge seems at plenty of components to find out whether or not you must use 5G. In case you do not, your iPhone will change to a 4G connection. Sensible Knowledge may even change between completely different bands of 5G. You’ll be able to override Sensible Knowledge and choose to have 5G connectivity on a regular basis. 

One cool factor about 5G on the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional was that it let me make HD FaceTime calls over mobile. Extra 5G issues like that, please. 

The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional have an iPhone 5 design

One of many first issues I observed concerning the iPhone 12 is its “slabular” magnificence. Apple’s concept of premium differs from the flash and spectacle we see in flagship Android telephones. Physique colours do not seem to morph from one to a different relying on the sunshine. The display would not wrap across the edges. In actual fact, the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional do not have curved edges in any respect.

As an alternative, a straight-edged polished stainless-steel band defines the iPhone 12 Professional (it is matte aluminum on the 12), a lot in the best way it did on the iPhone 5, 5S and SE, simply with out the chamfered edges. The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional have a daring, putting look with none frills. The construct and end on the 12 Professional are extraordinary.


The squared-off edges of the iPhone 5 are again.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone 12 can be outlined by a shocking OLED panel, which Apples calls a Tremendous XDR show. Gone is the LCD discovered on the iPhone XR and 11. In addition to the distinction and determination, the squared-off sides appear to push the show up and ahead. When the cellphone is on its again, it is as if the remainder of the cellphone is holding up the show whereas attempting to not be seen.

Each cellphone screens are lined with a ceramic protect, a brand new materials that begins off as glass and is infused with nano-ceramic crystals. (After the infusion, it is now not thought-about glass.) Apple claims it provides 4 instances the safety when dropped. I am unsure precisely how that quantity was calculated by Apple, however I sit up for my colleagues placing the 12 and 12 Professional by way of a sequence of drop checks. The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional are each rated IP68 for water- and dust-resistance and may stand up to being submerged in water to a depth of 6 meters for 30 minutes. Within the time I had the telephones, each dealt with spills, mild rain and minimal submerging in water simply fantastic.

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We unbox the iPhone 12, 12 Professional and a bunch of MagSafe…


iPhone 12 and 12 Professional seize wonderful photographs and movies

The cameras acquired {hardware}, software program and processing upgrades. Whereas different telephones may need a standout digicam characteristic (just like the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 100x Space Zoom) that these iPhones lack, the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional can seize wonderful photographs and video and ship persistently improbable pictures. Here is a pattern taken in a variety of various environments and lighting.


The iPhone 12 Professional nails the feel of the clouds and the highlights on the left facet of the steeple.

Patrick Holland/CNET


This scene is a computational pictures impediment course. There’s shifting water, a cloudy sky, brick patterns within the background and pink and pink flowers. And the iPhone 12 handles all of it like a champ.

Patrick Holland/CNET


The quantity of element that the iPhone 12 Professional was in a position to seize on this picture is spectacular.

Patrick Holland/CNET


The iPhone 12 was in a position to seize the feel of the sunshine coloured bricks and the shine of the black signal.

Patrick Holland/CNET


This scene actually exhibits off the dynamic vary of the iPhone 12.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone 12 has the very same cameras because the iPhone 12 Professional, apart from the telephoto digicam and lidar. However these telephones aren’t simply depending on {hardware} to take good photographs and movies. Apple’s new A14 Bionic chip, together with software program and machine studying, provides enhancements to the whole lot.

For instance, the 12 and 12 Professional have the identical {hardware} for his or her ultrawide-angle digicam as final 12 months’s 11 and 11 Professional. However the 12 and 12 Professional have software program to right the lens distortion. Have a look under at these ultrawide-angle photographs of a brick wall. within the iPhone 11 picture, discover how the corners of the brick wall seem like they’re bending.


Timed selfie taken with the rear ultrawide-angle digicam on the iPhone 12. Getting my Beastie Boys pose on.

Patrick Holland/CNET


Apple added software program to scale back the distortion on the ultrawide-angle digicam. Fortunate the dramatic perspective stays unchanged on this picture taken with the iPhone 12.

Patrick Holland/CNET

iPhone 12

The ultrawide-angle digicam on the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional now has Evening Mode assist.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The principle wide-angle digicam on each telephones has a sooner lens that permits extra mild. The brand new lens, mixed with Sensible HDR 3, yields actually wonderful photographs with correct colours and strong dynamic vary. Evening Mode is now on the ultrawide and selfie cameras. I am shocked at how good some Evening Mode photographs got here out, even the selfie portraits I took! The telephoto digicam on the 12 Professional is a large step up in zoom in comparison with the iPhone 12. However there are a variety of telephones that supply for much longer zooms with higher outcomes.


With out loads of mild, the iPhone 12 Professional was in a position to render this scene fantastically.

Patrick Holland/CNET


Regardless of being downtown with numerous mild, the iPhone 12 Professional was even capable of finding some stars within the sky.

Patrick Holland/CNET

When it comes to video, particularly on the iPhone 12 Professional, the main target is improbable and was in a position to observe me even after I was capturing at night time. And that is due to the lidar sensor. In actual fact, among the clips in my assessment video have been shot on the iPhone 12 Professional.

iPhone 12 and 12 Professional are the quickest telephones

The cameras aren’t the one factor that the A14 Bionic chip improves. It is quick, but it surely’s laborious to see the elevated pace over the A13 chip, which remains to be peppy. The A14 chip is as a lot about energy now as it’s about future-proofing your cellphone so it may possibly deal with iOS 17 in just a few years.

In efficiency benchmark checks, the iPhone 12 and 12 Professional recorded the best scores of any telephones we have ever examined. See the outcomes under.

3DMark Slingshot Limitless


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench single-core


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench multicore


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

When it comes to battery life, I sometimes received by way of a day and the following morning OK. I used to be in a position to run a single battery check with looped video enjoying at half brightness in airplane mode. The iPhone 12 Professional lasted 15 hours, 56 minutes and the iPhone 12 lasted 17 hours, 14 minutes. I need extra time to guage the battery life on the 12 and 12 Professional as soon as I am finished reviewing the telephones and now we have extra battery checks to run, so test again to this text for updates.

The cellphone comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable, which might supply tremendous quick speeds. Apple no longer includes a pair of wired earbuds within the field or a power adapter, the thought being to reduce hazardous digital waste. It is seemingly this may not be an issue for you as most individuals will have already got a pair of earbuds and a wall charger to make use of.

However this is the place that does not essentially add up: Since 2012, all iPhones have include a 5-watt charger USB-An influence adapter, which is not suitable with the included USB-C cable. Sure, if you have already got an previous Lightning cable you could possibly use that, or you could possibly purchase a USB-C energy adapter. Or you could possibly check out Apple’s new MagSafe wi-fi charging system, however the MagSafe charger (with no wall charger) is $39.

MagSafe makes use of magnets contained in the cellphone and charger to nestle them right into a place that’s the best for charging. I actually loved utilizing MagSafe. The sound the cellphone and charger make once they join is past satisfying. There’s even an animation that pops up on display exhibiting that the whole lot is correctly linked. I attempted out some MagSafe circumstances, which work effectively and permit for wi-fi charging by way of the case with out shedding energy.

iPhone 12

From left to proper: MagSafe charger, MagSafe clear case on an iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Professional and MagSafe removable pockets.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The magnets also can connect with noncharging equipment like a removable pockets, which you need to use with or with no MagSafe cellphone case. This little enterprise card-sized pockets gained me over. I am excited to see what Apple and third-party corporations use MagSafe for.

The iPhone 12 and 12 Professional are wonderful telephones, however we solely have half the image proper now. There’s additionally the iPhone 12 Mini (which I am significantly enthusiastic about, given its measurement and value) and the iPhone 12 Professional Max, which maxes out the scale of the cellphone’s show and provides digicam enhancements that not one of the different iPhones 12 have. However that is simply what we all know based mostly on the specs. We’ll have to attend till November to see how they work out in actuality.

iPhone 12 vs. 12 Professional vs. Mini vs. 12 Professional Max

Apple iPhone 12 Apple iPhone 12 Mini Apple iPhone 12 Professional Apple iPhone 12 Professional Max
Show measurement, decision 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 5.4-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6.7-inch OLED; 2,778×1,284 pixels
Pixel density 460ppi 476ppi 460ppi 458ppi
Dimensions (inches) 5.78×2.82×0.29 inches 5.18×2.53×0.29 inches 5.78×2.82×0.29 inches 6.33×3.07×0.29 inches
Dimensions (millimeters) 146.7×71.5×7.4mm 131.5×64.2×7.4mm 146.7×71.5×7.4mm 160.8×78.1×7.4mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 5.78 oz.; 164g 4.76 oz.; 135g 6.66 oz.; 189g 8.03 oz.; 228g
Cell software program iOS 14 iOS 14 iOS 14 iOS 14
Digicam 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Entrance-facing digicam 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
RAM Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Expandable storage No No No No
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor No (Face ID) No (Face ID) No (Face ID) No (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Particular options 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) Lidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) Lidar scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Price off-contract (USD) $829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB) $729 (64GB), $779 (128GB), $879 (256GB) $999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB) $1,099 (128GB), $1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB)
Price (GBP) £799 (64GB), £849 (128GB), £949 (256GB) £699 (64GB), £749 (128GB), £849 (256GB) £999 (128GB), £1,099 (256GB), £1,299 (512GB) £1,099 (128GB), £1,199 (256GB), £1,399 (512GB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,349 (64GB), AU$1,429 (128GB), AU$1,599 (256GB) AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,279 (128GB), AU$1,449 (256GB) AU$1,699 (128GB), AU$1,869 (256GB), AU$2,219 (512GB) AU$1,849 (128GB), AU$2,019 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB)

First printed Oct. 20.

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Anil Kumar

Anil Kumar Gadgets writes for Review Tech smartphones, wearables, headphones and speakers based in Delhi for 360 Tech News. Anil Gadgets is a reviewer for 360 Tech News and has written in detail about smartphones, software updates and upcoming devices.

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