[Test] iPhone 12 Pro: Great continuity and a dream to die for

The iPhone 12 Pro is one of those trouble-free iPhone lines. First iPhone-compatible 5G (currently no interest in France) with a design that reconnects with the elegant shapes of the iPhone 4/5 and protected with technological and software innovations (LiDAR, Ceramic Shield, MagSafe, Dolby Vision) of the iPhone ist 12 Pro goes a step further and promises notable improvements on those rare points where the iPhone lags a little behind the competition, such as night photos. However, a list of specifications is not branded, however extensive it may be. What is the iPhone 12 Pro worth, and most importantly, deserves a closer look when the iPhone 12 seems so close, with the same dimensions and the same A14 Bionic processor?

Barrel design and flawless finish

Those who checked our little preview already know: in France, the iPhone 12 Pro comes in a box that contains the box of the device itself. This first container, clad all in white (and not really in any crazy elegance), actually hides EarPods. If Apple can ignore headphones and chargers almost anywhere in the world, a small Gallic village is still resisting, forcing manufacturers to equip their phones with a bugging system. After opening the compact box of the iPhone 12 Pro, I contact the precious item. As so often, the newest iPhone looks prettier “in real life” than it does in the photos on Apple’s website. This time it is a little more the case, the iPhone has a vintage and unchanging look, that of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5. The stainless steel frame in surgical quality is kept in a deep blue. The visual effect is really excellent, and Apple again achieves an almost flawless design and finish. The grip is excellent and the “flat” edges prevent the device from slipping. The iPhone 12 Pro seems to be quite heavy in the hand (almost 190 grams anyway), but this density is not really an issue in use. In the list of disappointments we again note the presence of a notch with unchanged dimensions, while some rumors rely on a slightly more compact TrueDepth. Pity. Another minor complaint: the metal back is a real trap for fingerprints.

One screen up … and HDR as a bonus

The OLED screen of the iPhone 12 Pro easily collects superlatives. The 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR panel (OLED) with 60 Hz displays a resolution of 2532 x 1170 pixels (460 ppi). It is an extremely bright screen (850 cmd / 3), very high-contrast (2,000,000: 1) and, above all, HDR-compatible (clearer and darker areas). The colors are extremely true to the original (Delta E around 1), a constant at Apple even before the switch to OLED. With compatible videos, the HDR effects are clearly visible and increase the realism of certain scenes. Note, however, that with this generation, the display quality is not the only strength of the panel. The latter is actually covered with a Ceramic Shield glass, which is made up of nanometric ceramic crystals. The first strength tests seem to confirm the greater resistance to drops of this plate, but I did not dare run my own test to verify this (“brave perhaps, but not recklessly”). If you say picture, say sound, and in this respect the HP of the iPhone 12 Pro deliver their little “WOW” effect. The sound delivered by the iPhone 12 Pro is clear, precise and, in terms of the stereo effects, very well spatial (sometimes even with nice sound spatial effects). You can even feel the bass vibrations when the device is hand held! Very cool.

A14: The tiger in the iPhone

It goes without saying that the A14 Bionic is (very) powerful. This is felt when you use apps whose resources are a bit greedy, such as: B. current 3D games. Genshin Impact runs like clockwork on the iPhone 12 Pro, with no pop-up effect (it’s a pretty big open world) and with a fluidity that is never compromised. The user interface of iOS 14 also takes full advantage of this increase in performance: adding widgets, PiP mode, chip jumps between multiple apps, start speed of the app, everything is overtrained improved by the responsiveness and speed of a ninja. However, it is undoubtedly where it is least noticeable that the A14’s power is being used the most, such as for photo (ISP) or video recording in 4K 60fps in HDR 10 bit Dolby Vision. Lovers of numbers will be pleased to learn that the A14 scores 1600 in the GeekBench single-core test and almost 4200 in the multi-core test. Yes, it’s absolutely huge. A quick reminder here: The iPhone 12 Pro has 6 GB of RAM, compared to 4 GB for the iPhone 12, a difference that should occur especially when you access many apps that are already open.

Photo: iPhone 12 Pro opens at night

Apple positions the iPhone 12 Pro as a photo and video monster. The photo block is indeed impressive. The latter consists of a 12 megapixel wide angle ƒ / 1.6, 1 / 2.55 “, 1.4 µm, OIS, focal length 26 mm + an ultra-wide angle 12 megapixel ƒ / 2.4, 1 / 3.6 “, Focal length 13 mm (120 °) + a telephoto lens: 12 megapixels ƒ / 2.0, 1 / 3.4 inches, 1.0 µm, OIS, 52 mm focal length (2x optical zoom) + a LiDAR. A big advantage over this generation is that night mode is available on all sensors, including the ultra-wide angle and the front sensor (selfie). The same applies to Dolby Vision (again present at the front). During the day, the dynamics of the recordings are excellent and the color reproduction is really breathtaking.

Color rendering is still improving in colorimetric fidelity. Flawless

Big angle

The sharpness improves further, as does the bokeh effect, which is less likely to “clip” errors. When it comes to shooting at night or in low light, I hit the head badly. It must be said that I come from the iPhone X, whose night shots were not a strength (euphemism). There everything becomes clear (no pun intended): with very little available light, the iPhone 12 Pro still manages to make a relatively clean copy. There’s still a little noise, a few chromatic aberrations (lens flare), but I can finally get usable shots where the iPhone X was left in complete darkness.

Main sensor, portrait orientation. The skin tones are perfectly restored

Telephoto lens with activated zoom x2

Main sensor, portrait orientation

I also notice the excellent rendering of the skin in all modes (but especially portrait). Another strength is LiDAR, which enables ultra-fast autofocus (and without additional brightness). In fact, it’s simple, the autofocus is so fast that we forget there is an autofocus, that is … This test ignores the Dolby Vision rendering of the video recording at 60 fps. and 10-bit Smart HDR. The lack of time and the special conditions just made this impossible (it was necessary to find a recording location that was far ahead of the Dolby Vision rendering, and therefore … no).

Main sensor, night mode (extremely weak ambient light)

Front sensor: portrait in night mode (in almost complete darkness)

The main sensor, night mode

Battery life: iPhone 12… hours

The iPhone 12 Pro spends around a dozen hours on average (a little surfing, YouTube, a few games, checking emails, etc.) and half as much if you’re playing Genshin Impact during the afternoon. So it’s pretty much true, but if we refer to the iPhone 11 Pro’s battery life tests, Apple is making no progress in this area. The device charges in about 2 hours. In the absence of a compatible accessory, I have not tested induction charging via the MagSafe (magnetized area on the back of the device) but there is no reason why it is not working as advertised Apple.

Conclusion: really not far from the perfect

The iPhone 12 Pro doesn’t disappoint. The 12 Pro is “more noble” than its predecessor, in the photo section it is still as powerful and even more efficient. It is an excellent vintage … in continuity. Well endowed with technological innovations, the iPhone 12 Pro is not yet a broken iPhone this time around (notch is still there), but it must be recognized that it is a version that deserves at least a numbering change. Despite its many characteristics that are not far from perfect, we can rightly ask the question of its real interest in the face of an iPhone 12 with the main strengths of this model, an impeccable OLED panel, as well as the A14 Bionic processor. It is not certain whether 2 GB less RAM or the lack of a LiDAR can justify the large price difference between the two models. It’s up to you to see how far your technology needs go … or what you will actually do with your cell phone.

Where can I buy the iPhone 12/12 Pro?

Here’s how to protect your new iPhone 12/12 Pro

The new iPhone 12 Pro certainly has screens that are protected by a glass pane reinforced with ceramic particles (Ceramic Shield). However, as the first strength tests show, this welcome innovation is by no means infallible. It is always useful to protect your sweetheart with an accessory if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises. With the iPhone 12/12 Pro, protection seems to be all the more necessary as several reports show that the painted edge (aluminum or stainless steel depending on the model) tends to flake off after an impact.

If you don’t want to take any chances, your best bet is likely to go with RhinoShield accessories. The SolidSuit case completely covers the back and edges of the iPhone 12 Pro. This bowl is guaranteed BPA and phthalate-free and meets the military standards MIL-STD 810G in terms of strength. More precisely, your iPhone 12 Pro equipped with the solidsuit should withstand a fall from a height of 3.5 meters without any problems!

SolidSuit covers

The same applies to the very practical modular Mod NX bumper shell (drop resistance from a height of 3 meters). The latter can be accompanied by a back plate (back) to provide additional protection for the back of the iPhone glass. Essential !

Modular housing Mod NX with BackPlate

In addition, RhinoShield hulls and buffers are available in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns in addition to being tough. Hundreds of shell designs / patterns make it possible to suit everyone’s preferences, not to mention working with official licenses (NASA, Assassin’s Creed, etc.). Best of all, some cases can be personalized with text or personal photos.

All of these cases are of course compatible with the brand new iPhone 12 (Mini) and iPhone 12 Pro (Max). And at the price set by Apple for these two models, choosing good protection is certainly not going to be a luxury.

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