iPhone 12 set to become most popular of the line-up

Mala Bhargava | Updated on: Nov 24, 2020

Not too big, not too small, and better priced than the Pro models

There probably have never been quite so many iPhones to choose from as there are today, to the point where it can be dizzyingly confusing as to which one should buy. Not only did Apple launch four iPhone 12 models at a go a couple of months ago, many of the previous generation models are also very much around. While I wouldn’t recommend going back too many generations because software support only lasts a few years, the series 11 phones are still very much worth it, specially the iPhone 11, which has been Apple’s most popular phone all of the first half of 2020. Today, we’re looking at the direct successor to that phone, that is, the iPhone 12, regular which could be the obvious choice for many Apple fans.

The iPhone 12 is about the same size as the iPhone 12 Pro, but both these models are flanked on either side by uniquely sized ones. At one end is the iPhone 12 Mini, a very cute and holdable phone that many will love and many will find a little too small. At the other there’s the outsized iPhone 12 Pro Max, which is like half a tablet and great for both creating and consuming content, but too big for many to handle. The iPhone 12 starts out at ₹79,999 against its nearest sibling the 12 Pro, which is ₹119,900, which is quite a difference.

Gloss and glass

The size of the iPhone 12 is about what users are accustomed to seeing with the phones around them. The phone comes in black, white, blue, green, and (PRODUCT) RED as it’s been branded. Apple has gone back to the flat clean-lined design that was so loved. Except for the corners, there’s no roundedness. While this can make the edges a little hard against your palms, there’s very little likelihood that you’ll use this phone without a case. It’s actually narrower and smaller than previously while fitting in more screen.

The glossy back seems to take on fingerprints almost before you even touch it. With the black unit to play with, I found myself spending a fair bit of time wiping the phone off. But even with finger smudges, the iPhone manages to look premium and classy, because I guess it’s the iPhone that actually set the standard for premium to begin with. And with all that gloss and glass and ‘surgical grade’ aluminium it can’t but look what it costs. It’s supposed to be protected by what Apple calls Ceramic Shield — points for coming up with fancy branding for every component — and that’s supposed to make it shatter proof. Some reviewers do, however, report scratches. The iPhone 12 is IP68 water resistant.

The iPhone 12’s screen is an OLED this time, just like the others in this series. That’s one big upgrade over the iPhone 11 collection. It looks good, though my contention is that it always did. The big prominent notch is conspicuous by its presence underlining the fact that the iPhone is just about the only new phone that has a notch of that kind now. It means you get the LiDAR scanner and the true depth camera though.

The other big upgrade is the step up in the processor, which is now an A14 chip – this makes it more of the fastest in the world. In tests, the newest OnePlus may be faster at some tasks, with twice the RAM, but the iPhone’s polished smoothness is difficult to match. The phone handles heavy duty tasks easily. It’s also a 5G ready phone should the connectivity become miraculously available. The storage variants available for the iPhone 12 are 64GB (truly too low for a base model today), 128GB and 256GB. Each sees quite a jump in price.

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Although it’s the Pro phones that have additional camera features, the iPhone 12 (and Mini) don’t have low-end cameras by any means. It’s just that there are no telephoto lenses but the regular 12MP is a wide angle lens with an f/1.6 aperture, and it’s accompanied by a 12MP ultra wide with an f/2.4 aperture. Tap the on-screen zoom-out to get a 120 degree viewing angle with relatively little distortion. You also get all of Apple’s fancy camera tech: Portrait mode, Night mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 30 fps and 4K video up to 60 fps with extended dynamic range. Photographs are excellent with great dynamic range. There’s optical image stabilisation and the superlative video that iPhones have become the best at. The front camera is a 12MP as well, with an f/2.2 aperture.

If the iPhone 11 is anything to go by, the iPhone 12 should be a sell-out as well. With the camera being the one big differentiator and of course the finish on the back, the mid-sized iPhone 12 is going to be the best choice for those who don’t want a big step-change in price to the next level model.

Price : ₹79,900, ₹84,900, ₹94,900

Pros : Premium as can be, now in a flat popular design, as powerful as the others in series, excellent cameras, colours and storage variants for choice, brilliant OLED screen, great sound, good battery life and fast charging

Cons : More expensive than last year with no revolutionary change, retains the ungainly notch, charger and earphones omitted from package now, stingy base storage, glossy back shows smudges and scratches

Published on November 24, 2020
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