Apple iPhone 12 test: a nice evolution of the iPhone 11

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
Author and references

So here is the iPhone 12. With its Oled screen, its 5G compatibility and its protruding edges, it is not content to be an update of the iPhone 11. So much so that it rivals the iPhone 12 Pro. Just that.

Presentation

With its latest batch of iPhone, Apple multiplies the models, but homogenizes its range. The proof being that Oled and 5G are present throughout the 12th generation. In doing so, he pulls up his iPhone 12 – the standard model – compared to its predecessor (the iPhone 11), and brings it closer to the 12 Pro model. So much so that the two mobiles also share the same dimensions. At checkout, this unification of the range is paid for, since the iPhone 12 is launched at 909 €, or a hundred euros more than the 2019 model.




L'iPhone 12.



As a reminder, the differences between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are as follows.

iPhone 12 iPhone 12 Pro
Weight 164 g 189 g
Frame Aluminium Frosted steel
RAM 4 Go 6 Go
ROM 64, 128 or 256 Go 128, 256 or 512 Go
Telephoto module No Yes
LiDAR sensor No Yes
Dolby Vision 30 i/s 60 i/s
Starting price 909 € 1159 €

Ergonomics and design

The 12th generation of iPhones reconnects with the past. Apple thus offers finishes reminiscent of those of old iPhones (from 4 to 5 SE) and more recently crossed on the iPad Pro and the new iPad Air. Frank are therefore the edges of this iPhone 12. With this new generation, the standard iPhone 12 also enjoys a new silhouette. If the iPhone 11 was wider and higher (150,9 x 75,7 x 8,3 mm) than its 11 Pro (144 x 71,4 x 8,1 mm), this iPhone 12 joins the tour of size of the iPhone 12 Pro and strictly shares the same dimensions (146,7 x 71,5 x 7,4 mm). The only aesthetic difference between the two is the presence of a third photo module and a LiDAR sensor on the 12 Pro version. More discreet, the finish also stands out between the two mobiles. The 12 has a Gorilla Glass back while the 12 Pro has a frosted glass back. Still on the back, it is worth noting that the company now only displays its logo. The CE acronyms and that of the crossed-out dustbin have been moved to the right edge. A clever way to present an almost immaculate rear.




iPhone 11 on the right, iPhone 12 on the left.

On the back, the addition of MagSafe technology is invisible. No mark or description. Compatible accessories are easily magnetized. The MagSafe charger offers wireless charging at 15 W, while some cases also offer compatibility to charge your mobile despite your armor. Note that the classic wireless charge also passes through these shells.


The back of the iPhone 12.

In hand, the mobile offers a convincing experience. Apple's formula remains as relevant as ever. Very light, with only 164 g on the scale, the mobile is handled without problem. The buttons are ideally positioned and allow fluid use. Slight modification for the most attentive, the right edge no longer accommodates the Power button. The slot for placing a SIM card has been moved to the opposite side and is located just below the volume controls and the silent mode switch.



The left edge of the iPhone 12.


Like previous models, the iPhone only offers a nano-SIM port. To enjoy a second telephone number, you have to go through the eSIM available from certain operators. No more microSD port; it will have to do with the 64, 128 or 256 GB of internal memory. Finally, the iPhone 12 is IP68 certified; it will therefore survive an immersion of 30 minutes maximum in a swimming pool.


The iPhone 12 in hand.

Audio

Apple no longer offers a 3,5 mm mini-jack since the iPhone 7. The manufacturer then waited for the iPhone 11 to abandon the Lighting to mini-jack adapter. It remains straight in its boots with this new model and does not offer either of the two on the iPhone 12. True to our principles, we are depriving the mobile of a fifth star in "Ergonomics and design".

The stereo sound of the iPhone 12 remains very good. The spatialization is excellent, the sound rather clear, allowing you to be comfortable watching videos, films or series, but also while listening to music.

Screen

On paper, the slab of the iPhone 12 is extremely close to that of the Pro version. We therefore find a diagonal of 6,1 inches, a definition of 1170 x 2532 px for a resolution of 460 dpi and a 19,5: 9 ratio. Only one difference to separate them: the announced maximum brightness of the panel, much higher on the side of the iPhone 12 Pro. And for good reason, the screens of the iPhone 12 and those of the iPhone 12 Pro do not come from the same factories. According to South Korean media The Elec, the panels of the iPhone 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max and 12 Mini are supplied by Samsung Display, while those of the standard iPhone 12 come from LG Display.

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So let's first talk about this famous maximum brightness. It peaks here at 635 cd / m², when the iPhone 12 Pro goes up to 831 cd / m². A sufficient value to ensure good readability even in direct sunlight. Unfortunately, it shares similar reflectance to the 12 Pro, which ranks mid-range. A slight disappointment as Apple has proven to us that it was able to make reflections disappear on its tablets and computers. On the other hand, the minimum brightness is simply excellent, since our probe only detects 0,1 cd / m². Very comfortable in the dark!

Delta E colorimetry = 1,4

In terms of colorimetry, the panel is also excellent. Our measurements revealed a color temperature of 6648 K, flirting with the 6500 K of the video standard. The average delta E is positioned at 1,4, testifying to chromatic drifts invisible to the naked eye. Oled obliges, the contrast ratio approaches infinity. It is therefore a perfect screen for viewing video content. Finally, the tactile delay is positioned at 50 ms, a good result.

performances

The iPhone 12 is powered by the famous A14 Bionic chip engraved in 5 nm, accompanied by 4 GB of RAM. That's 2GB less than the iPhone 12 Pro, but as much as previous-generation iPhones. Optimized to the smallest onions by Apple, the equipment of this iPhone 12 offers excellent performance, among the best available on the market. Whether faced with a resource-intensive game or intensive multitasking, the mobile does not flinch and maintains a pleasant fluidity.

Unfortunately, as you may know, it is not possible for us to carry out our battery of tests on iOS. So we can't quantify the performance of this iPhone 12 as precisely as we do for Android models.

Photo

On its back, the iPhone 12 offers a photo island made up of two modules. We find a wide-angle accompanied by an ultra wide-angle. No telephoto module or LiDAR sensor, reserved for the Pro and Pro Max versions. The lack of a telephoto lens cuts into the versatility of this model and prevents it from grabbing the 4th star that the iPhone 12 Pro managed to conquer. To assess the significance of this absence, we compared the 2x digital zoom of the main module of the iPhone 12 to the 2x optical zoom of the iPhone 12 Pro.


The rear photo modules of the iPhone 12.

Big angle Ultra wide angle
12 Megapixel 12 Megapixel
f / 1,6 f / 2,4
eq. 26 mm eq. 13 mm
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Module grand-angle : 12 Mpx, f/1,6, eq. 26 mm

With its 12 Mpx sensor and its lens opening at f/1,6, the iPhone 12 offers a main module very close to that of the iPhone 11. Only the aperture is modified, going from f/1,8 to f/1,6, for very close results. By day, the shots are very good. Our photo scene turns out to be correctly exposed, rather detailed and not too smooth. The result is thus realistic.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ (12 Mpx, eq. 26 mm, f/1,8, ISO 80, 1/100 s)

Apple iPhone 12 (12 Mpx, eq. 26 mm, f/1,6, ISO 40, 1/121 s)
enlarge

At night, the module manages to provide a readable scene despite a very short exposure time (1/15 s). However, the operation is not without consequences, since the sharpness and the colors take a hit.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ (12 Mpx, eq. 26 mm, f/1,8, ISO 400, 1/5 s)

Apple iPhone 12 (12 Mpx, eq. 26 mm, f/1,6, ISO 1000, 1/15 s)
enlarge

Night mode

To obtain much more usable results, it will be necessary to use the night mode, activated by default on the mobile. With a much longer pause time (1/5 s) and the superposition of shots exposed differently, the result gains in readability, brightness and color.

Apple iPhone 12 mode nuit (12 Mpx, eq. 26 mm, f/1,6, ISO 400, 1/5 s)

Apple iPhone 12 par défaut (12 Mpx, eq. 26 mm, f/1,6, ISO 1000, 1/15 s)
enlarge

Module ultra grand-angle : 12 Mpx, f/2,4, eq. 13mm

By day, the ultra-wide-angle module of the iPhone 12 also offers good results. Distortion and image processing turn out to be largely under control, sharpness and rather good, despite visible grain. Only the periphery takes a hit, with the appearance of blur in the outermost areas of the photo.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ (12 Mpx, eq. 13 mm, f/2,2, ISO 64, 1/50 s)

Apple iPhone 12 (12 Mpx, eq. 13 mm, f/2,4, ISO 125, 1/122 s)
enlarge

At night, this module also offers an extremely short pause time (1/17 s) for high sensitivity (2500 ISO). Unsurprisingly, we find a similar result, with a little exposed scene and a loss of detail at the periphery. An aggressive image processing invites itself and largely smoothes the image.

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (20 Mpx, eq. 13 mm, f/2,2, ISO 9600, 1/14 s)

Apple iPhone 12 (12 Mpx, eq. 13 mm, f/2,4, ISO 2500, 1/17 s)
enlarge

Night mode

As on the main module, the night mode, activated by default here too, corrects exposure problems as well as those related to image processing. We thus observe a cliché much more readable, colorful, but still suffering from an unpleasant blur on the periphery.

Apple iPhone 12 (12 Mpx, eq. 13 mm, f/2,4, ISO 800, 1/6 s)

Apple iPhone 12 (12 Mpx, eq. 13 mm, f/2,4, ISO 2500, 1/17 s)
enlarge

Front module, portrait and video mode

At the front, the notch, Apple's signature, still houses its TrueDepth camera and its sensors necessary for FaceID. The front module (12 Mpx, f / 2,2) offers good shots, realistic and detailed. The portrait mode remains relevant, with a more than correct cutting of the subjects, whether at the front or at the back.

For video, the iPhone 12 allows you to shoot up to 4K at 24, 30 or 60 fps and also offers a Dolby Vision mode offering HDR videos at 30 fps. Optical stabilization is present on the wide-angle module. Video recording with the front module is possible up to 4K at 24, 30 or 60 fps. The Dolby Vision HDR mode is also present, but only in 30 fps.

Autonomy

Like its big brother, the iPhone 12 has a 2815 mAh battery. On our Netflix autonomy protocol, the mobile lasted 13 h 15 min. This is a little more than the iPhone 11 (13 h 07 min), but much less than the iPhone 12 Pro (15 h 04 min). A difference that we find difficult to explain ourselves, perhaps due to the difference in RAM. Anyway, the iPhone 12 remains very good and allows at least two days of autonomy. The most addicted to their smartphone will have to go through the charging box every evening. And that's where things get stuck...

For this 12th generation, for ecological reasons, Apple has decided not to provide a charging block with its iPhone 12 this year. The American manufacturer is content with a USB-C to Lightning cable. A controversial choice that poses a problem. It is necessary to have either a charging block with a USB-C output, or a USB-A to Lightning cable to charge your iPhone 12. All the more frustrating as this new generation is compatible with 20 W fast charging. load provided, it is impossible for us to measure the actual load. All we can tell you is that in the best possible conditions, with a 60 W charging block, clamped to 20 W on the iPhone, the mobile takes 1 hour 15 minutes to regain all its strength. Using the famous 5 W charging block, 3 h 15 min are needed to recharge the mobile. Whatever the time indicated, it's not brilliant, and far from the best performance on Android mobile (around half an hour).

Sustainability

Our sustainability score helps determine the sustainable aspect of the smartphone for both the consumer and the environment. It is based on the repairability index, durability criteria (protection index, standard connectors, warranty period and updates, etc.) and an assessment of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policies. . You will find all the details of the analysis in our article presenting the sustainability score.

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Highlights

  • Perfectly calibrated Oled screen.

  • Excellent daytime photos.

  • Autonomy correct.

  • Excellent performance.

  • Exemplary finishes.

  • Compatible 5G.

  • IP68 certified.

Weak points

  • No charger in the box.

  • Longer charging time than the competition, even at 20 W.

  • Outskirts blurry photos at night.

  • No mini-jack or adapter.

Conclusion

Note globale

With 5G, its exemplary finishes, its great autonomy and its beautiful Oled screen, the iPhone 12 is certainly an excellent mobile. It is even a significant upgrade compared to the iPhone 11, capable of overshadowing the iPhone 12 Pro. But now, when the competition rivals progress in photography, offers 120 Hz panels and ever shorter charging times, Apple ignores these technologies. It is therefore not the most innovative high-end mobile. Apple has chosen its priorities. It remains to be seen whether they correspond to yours...

Sub Notes
  • Ergonomics and design
  • Screen
  • performances
  • Photo
  • Autonomy
  • Sustainability
Read more
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