Since the iPhone 12 is available in the Netherlands, we have used the device every day. How do you like the smartphone three months after release? You can read it in this second impression of the iPhone 12.
Second impression of the iPhone 12
“The new standard sets the bar incredibly high,” we wrote in our first review of the iPhone 12 last October. We still stand behind those words. In our opinion, the iPhone 12 is the best entry-level Apple model in recent years, but the device is not perfect. In this second impression of the iPhone 12, we discuss our experiences after using the device for months.
Screen: OLED convinces
As far as the screen is concerned, the iPhone 12 is a gigantic step forward compared to the iPhone 11. This has everything to do with the OLED screen of the former, which gives the LCD panel of the iPhone 11 in all areas. This difference is clearly noticeable in practice.
The iPhone 12 screen, for example, is great for watching Netflix, has a high resolution (so everything looks sharp) and can handle contrasts well. In addition, OLED has made the screen edges (bezels) smaller, so that the screen has become proportionally larger, without the housing growing with it.
The iPhone 12 thus has a 6.1-inch screen, just like the iPhone 11, but in smaller dimensions. In addition, the balance of the iPhone 12 screen is just right: the colors are not too saturated, as you sometimes see with other smartphones. Instead, everything looks beautiful and natural.
New design takes some getting used to
What initially feels less natural is the angular design of the iPhone 12. In the beginning, we had to get used to the hard, upright edges of the screen. Especially when you operate the device with one hand, the location is not optimal.
If you use the iPhone 12 with two hands, which is recommended for most people anyway, given the size, then the hand-fit is much better. Moreover, it is also just a matter of getting used to. After all, the iPhone 11 had a more ’round’ design in which the screen edges flowed smoothly into the housing.
Refresh rate lags behind
A more objective flaw of the iPhone 12 is the refresh rate of the screen. This indicates how often the display refreshes the image per second. A higher refresh rate therefore guarantees a smoother image.
Unfortunately, the iPhone 12 remains stuck at 60Hz, while competing (Android) smartphones have already made the switch to 90 or 120Hz. For example, put the iPhone 12 next to the OnePlus 8T (with 120Hz refresh rate), you can clearly see that animations on the Apple phone look less smooth.
IPhone 12 camera is versatile …
The iPhone 12 has exactly the same camera as its predecessor. This means that the device has a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens on the back. The selfie camera also has a resolution of 12 megapixels. .
In terms of camera, little has changed with the iPhone 12. This is not necessarily a downside: the quality of the photos is and will remain good. Colors look realistic, focusing is quick and easy and the portrait mode is ideal for capturing others on the sensitive plate.
Above all, the iPhone 12 camera is versatile. Do you ‘just’ want to take good photos, but don’t feel like diving into all kinds of settings menus? Then we can wholeheartedly recommend Apple’s entry-level model for 2020. Additions such as Dolby Vision, a high-quality video standard, are also nice.
… But not perfect
A small criticism of the iPhone 12 camera is the Night mode. This ‘night mode’ sometimes comes on a little too quickly. It often happens that the Night mode switches on at times when it is actually not necessary, for example at light twilight. However, this is not a big downside: you can easily switch off Night mode.
Also worth mentioning: the placement of the dual camera. Both lenses protrude slightly from the housing. They are therefore vulnerable to scratches when you put the device on the table and do not use a cover.
iPhone 12 is lightning fast
We can be brief about the performance of the iPhone 12: the device is a powerhouse. This of course has everything to do with the super-fast A14 Bionic chip, which the device of power provides. We find the same processor in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, devices that are hundreds of euros more expensive.
The hardware of the iPhone 12 has not disappointed us in recent months. Apps open very quickly, switching between applications is a snap and graphically demanding games are no problem either. A game like Asphalt 9: Legends the iPhone 12 runs effortlessly. Moreover, while gaming, you can ‘just’ go to YouTube to watch a movie without the entry-level iPhone of 2020 giving back.
Battery life is fine, but not a star
2020 was not only a gap year for the iPhone camera, the battery life has also remained unchanged compared to its predecessor with a promised user time of 17 hours. That is actually a great achievement. After all, the iPhone 12 has a smaller battery than the iPhone 11: 2815 mAh compared to 3110 mAh.
In practice, you can easily use the iPhone 12 for a whole day on a full battery. If you are an intensive user – and, for example, you play games all day, watch videos and navigate a lot – you have to recharge the device at the end of the afternoon or early evening.
The battery life of the iPhone 12 is therefore fine, but not excellent. It is nice that the maximum charging speed has been boosted somewhat. The entry-level model of 2020 can fast charge with 20 watts, which is 2 watts more than the iPhone 11 from 2019. All in all, the iPhone 12 battery is about 50 percent full within 30 minutes.
MagSafe knife cuts both ways
You have to buy that (fast) charger yourself. After all, with the iPhone 12, Apple made the most controversial decision of last year. Anyone who buys a new iPhone nowadays has to find an adapter for it. Earplugs are no longer standard in the packaging either.
Against this, the iPhone 12 also brings something back: MagSafe. Thanks to this magnetic connection, you can, for example, clip accessories and ‘wireless’ chargers to the back of your Apple phone.
On the one hand, MagSafe is ideal. You can use your phone while charging. This is not possible with most wireless chargers because the phone must remain on the charging platform. On the other hand, MagSafe is not completely wireless: after all, you click the charger on the back. In addition, your iPhone 12 is less full than when you charge with a cable.
For the future: 5G
Finally, 5G should of course not go unmentioned. The iPhone 12 is the first Apple smartphone that can handle the successor to 4G. This fact is especially helpful for the future. At the moment, the Dutch 5G network is not yet mature. The coverage is not yet national and the great speed gain, which allows you to use the internet much faster and films are downloaded almost immediately, for example, will only come next year.
We will go into this in more detail in the video below, but the bottom line is that the technology required for this can only be used next year. In any case, it is nice that the iPhone 12 can handle 5G.
Conclusion: second impression of the iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 is a fantastic phone. Thanks to the OLED screen, support for 5G and the new design, you get a device that can last for years to come. In addition, the Apple base model of 2020 takes neat snapshots and is very fast to use thanks to the powerful processor. You can also count on software updates in the coming years. This makes the iPhone 12 a very sustainable purchase.
However, it is not perfect. For example, it is a pity that the refresh rate of the screen lags behind (Android) competitors and the battery life is also not great, but ‘just fine’. The company could also have taken steps in the field of camera, but that did not happen.
That said, the iPhone 12 is the best entry-level model Apple has released in recent years. The device builds a ‘bridge’ between the entry-level and Pro iPhones by using the same screen type (OLED), 5G and processor, for example. It is particularly recommended for people switching from an iPhone 8 or older model.
Do you want to buy the iPhone 12? A separate iPhone 12 has a suggested retail price of 912.10 euros, but several online stores offer the device cheaper. With an iPhone 12 with a subscription, you pay this amount in monthly installments. The device is available in the colors dark blue, mint green, red, white and black.