iPhone 12 Pro first impressions

Apple’s brand new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro recently went on sale in India. The other two models (iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max) will follow shortly. As the festive season approaches in India, many avid shoppers may want to upgrade to the new iPhones. I have the iPhone 12 Pro with me, and while it’s a little early to give you a verdict, there are a few features I’d like to test out in the full review.

Before we dive in, let’s get the prices out of the way. In India, the iPhone 12 Pro starts at Rs. 1,19,900 for the 128GB variant and goes up to Rs. 1,49,900 for 512GB. We found that the iPhone 12 Pro in India is significantly more expensive than the iPhone 12 when compared to the US prices of both models. If you look at the basic versions of both models on Apple’s India and US websites, the iPhone 12 costs roughly Rs. 14,000 more than a simple dollar conversion expected. However, the iPhone 12 Pro has an almost Rs. 40,000 price difference. iPhones have always had inflated prices in India, but these price differences between models are a bit of a mystery.

Back to the iPhone 12 Pro. This year, all models come in leaner boxes, and that’s because Apple removed almost all of the accessories. Call this an environmentally friendly move or an attempt to increase bottom line. The bottom line, however, is that the iPhone 12 series only comes with a Type C to Lightning USB cable. Apple hopes users will reuse their existing chargers, which is fine, but I don’t see most people have replacement C type chargers lying around.

The first notable change to the iPhone 12 Pro itself is the design. It is not drastically different from the iPhone 11 Pro in that it has the same overall layout, a wide notch at the top of the screen, and the exact same rear camera design. However, the stainless steel sides are now flattened instead of curved. I wasn’t a huge fan at first, but once I actually got the iPhone 12 Pro in my hand, it’s not bad. The edges aren’t sharp, and while it has a different hand feel to all of the rounded phones out there, I could get used to it. The iPhone 12 Pro is available in a new Pacific blue color which is very beautiful but also comes in gold, graphite and silver.

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The iPhone 12 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED screen

In terms of features, the iPhone 12 Pro is similar to the iPhone 11 Pro in that it also has stereo speakers, has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, and supports wireless charging. At 6.1 inches, the display is slightly larger than the 11 Pro, but has similar brightness and contrast levels. It’s an OLED-HDR-certified display with a new glass material that Apple calls Ceramic Shield. Apple claims it should offer up to four times the breaking strength when compared to previous models.

The iPhone 12 Pro also has Apple’s latest A14 Bionic SoC, which is said to be faster and more energy-efficient thanks to the smaller 5 nm manufacturing process. More power is always good, but for everyday use, I doubt you would notice a huge speed difference between this and the older A13 Bionic. But more interesting for me is the new ISP (Image Signal Processor), which enables the recording of Dolby Vision HDR videos on the camera of the iPhone 12 Pro.

Speaking of which, let’s quickly go over the cameras. The three main sensors (wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle and telephoto) continue to use 12-megapixel sensors. Apple has optimized it a bit, for example the wide angle has a larger aperture of f / 1.6 and there is a new version of Smart HDR for better exposures in photos with backlighting. What is really exciting, however, is that all of the cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro (including the selfie camera) now support Deep Fusion and Night Mode, rather than just the primary one like on the iPhone 11 Pro. There is also an additional LiDAR scanner, which is supposed to provide a better Augmented Reality (AR) experience and also promises better autofocus performance for the cameras in low light conditions.

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The iPhone 12 Pro introduces a new LiDAR scanner and is waterproof to IP68

Before I close, I want to briefly mention MagSafe – Apple’s new solution for wireless charging. The iPhone 12 Pro and other models in the series are compatible with MagSafe Wireless Charging, which allows MagSafe chargers to be magnetically mounted on the back of the iPhone. Apple’s MagSafe charger supports up to 15W of fast wireless charging when the charger is connected to Apple’s 20W adapter (sold separately). It’s still Qi-based charging so you can still use it as the standard charger, but that works slower.

The iPhone 12 Pro definitely has some interesting upgrades over the iPhone 11 Pro. But should you be spending that much money if you already own the 11 Pro? I should be in a better position to answer this question when I’m done testing. So stay tuned for the full review that comes shortly.