iPhone 12/12 mini: all its features, prices and our opinion
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iPhone 12/12 mini: all its features, prices and our opinion

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The iPhone 12 was released at the end of 2020. It arrived as the direct successor to the iPhone 11 unveiled about a year earlier . It therefore starts on a solid foundation and improves the winning recipe of the previous model. Among the most remarkable differences, we find in particular changes on the side of the design, the sensors, but also with regard to the overall performance of the device.

You should know that the iPhone 12 was not the only one to be presented by Apple during its traditional end-of-year 2020 keynote. Indeed, the brand also unveiled the following models: the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The iPhone 12 is one of the least expensive options in this quartet. We can then wonder if its components really weigh up compared to other smartphones that are also high-end and from the same manufacturer. This is also valid for the 12 mini model, which is entitled to the same functionalities as the iPhone 12, with simply a reduced size.

Let’s see together what these iPhone 12 and 12 mini have in their stomachs.

The main features of the iPhone 12

Design: the long-awaited return to basics

You surely did not miss it: the appearance of the iPhone 12 is a little different from that of the iPhone 11. Indeed, while since the arrival of the iPhone 6 on the market Apple has adopted more curved lines for the shell of its mobiles, the iPhone 12 recalls the appearance of the old iPhone 4, or even the last iPad Pro launched in the second quarter of 2020 .

We are entitled to edges whose angles are this time perpendicular and not rounded, even if the corners are always. The iPhone 12 has a metal frame, while at the front and back we find faces equipped with a new Ceramic Shield glass protected by Corning with its Gorilla Glass Victus. We still recommend that you buy a shell separately: we are talking about materials that remain quite fragile in the event of a violent impact (even with AppleCare + insurance or at an independent repairer; repair costs are high). On the back, the apple-shaped logo that characterizes Apple so well is always in the center, as it has been for several months now.

© Apple

The iPhone 12 is resistant to water and dust: certified thanks to the IP68 protection index, it can be submerged for about thirty minutes at a maximum depth of two meters, although this is obviously to be avoided. Note also that, although some were counting on a small “notch” and that the majority of competitors now offer punches or even popup cameras, the iPhone 12 is decked out with an imposing notch, which measures more than half of the width of the device, at the top of its screen. Inside are indeed hidden multiple sensors, including the TrueDepth which is used for Face ID face recognition.

Gone is the LCD screen

We already suspected that the second iPhone SE would be the last iPhone to integrate an IPS screen (subcontractors had stopped producing them for Apple) and the rule was confirmed with the launch of the iPhone 12. Indeed , the smartphone’s technical sheet now relies on OLED only, a solution that consumes a little less energy.

The iPhone 12 mini’s touchscreen measures 5.4 inches, which makes it particularly compact (it’s even the smallest iPhone to date, because the SE has much wider borders) with its ratio format/slab by 79%. For the iPhone 12, count 6.1 inches of screen diagonal.

For the definition, it will be Full HD only, which in the age of phablets is probably sufficient for the majority of users.

The iPhone 12’s Retina display can display sixteen million different colors, and it’s covered in an oleophobic coating while being protected against scratches by Victus Gorilla Glass. Its maximum brightness reaches 625 nits according to the manufacturer, with True Tone included. This solution adapts to your environment to update the colors and brightness of the iPhone 12 according to rest your eyes. It is also found on Macs. Only downside, but which should only disappoint a few demanding gamers: the 120 Hz refresh rate which had caused a lot of ink to flow is not in the game for this model, nor even for the other iPhones released in 2020 (12 Pro and 12 Pro Max precisely).

© Apple

Connectivity, sensors, network and sound

Phew! Although without a charger, the iPhone 12 is still equipped with a wired charging port. So certainly it’s not USB-C, but still Lightning, it can even be an advantage when you know that the iPhone 13 would probably no longer be entitled to it (induction only, it seems). On the other hand, no Jack plug therefore: it will be necessary to choose AirPods or go through an adapter.

The iPhone 12 is compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 (Low Energy) and Wi-Fi, with the added bonus of its own AirDrop and AirPlay file transfer services for music. 5G is also in the game, as for audio, it can count on stereo speakers. Let’s be clear: this is a back-up solution; you will of course have to connect a real speaker to the iPhone 12 for a good listening session.

The iPhone 12 also has a GPS – useful for geolocating a lost iPhone 12 with the dedicated app – and an NFC chip. This will quickly become essential: it allows you to settle transactions with Apple Pay, by scanning your bank cards in the Wallet application. Moreover, you can also virtualize car keys, in addition to plane tickets and other Resident Advisor tickets. In the bus or metro in large cities, the functionality is called Transport Express: no more paperwork.

To finish with the sensors, note also that the iPhone 12 comes with a gyroscope, a compass, a barometer and finally a proximity sensor which automatically turns off the screen when it is in your pocket or near your ear in progress call.

What performance for the iPhone 12?

Processor and RAM

Now let’s take a look at the innards of the iPhone 12, starting with the processor. Here, we are entitled to a proprietary SoC as usual: I named the Apple A14 Bionic, equipped with an artificial intelligence Neural Engine. While its predecessor was engraved with a precision of seven nanometers, this part still produced by the Taiwanese supplier TSMC now benefits from an engraving fineness of only 5 nm. It is on paper about 40% more powerful than the Apple A13 Bionic of the iPhone 11, and would consume 30% less energy according to the tests carried out so far. The associated quad-core GPU, meanwhile, would even be 50% more efficient than the graphics chip of the year before.

In terms of numbers, the frequency reaches 3090 MHz and is the CPU is made up of six cores. It is therefore the first chip under Apple’s ARM architecture that exceeds 3 GHz. Understandable when you know that future Macs from the Silicon program will probably be entitled to it too. Benchmark results published downstream gave the following scores: 1,658 in single core versus 4,612 at full power. Very heavy with this iPhone 12, therefore, especially since its A14 Bionic is here coupled with 4 GB of RAM.

In short, the iPhone 12 is therefore a particularly fast mobile phone, which should delight even the most daring with Apple Arcade (4.99 euros per month). It does not row, especially since we can count here on a know-how which jointly optimizes the software (iOS 14, we will see it later) AND the processor at the same time: both are signed Apple which benefits from it to synchronize them with each other. Conversely, Qualcomm provides more “universal” chips to Android manufacturers.

A less supplied battery, yes but…

This is THE bad surprise of this iPhone 12: its non-removable lithium-ion battery would only offer 2,227 mAh. In comparison, the iPhone 11 displays 3,110 mAh. However, Apple does not communicate on the real capacity of its batteries, the data also coming from other sources who took the time to disassemble the device. Nevertheless, the firm reassures with details that are easier to understand: the iPhone 12 would thus be able to hold seventeen hours in a row, which suggests an all-day use without the risk of being cut.

© Apple

However, these figures should be considered with caution: indeed, officially, the real power is therefore not confirmed, and we know that over time it is one of the components that deteriorates the most. Hence the Battery Status indicator found in the Settings app, which informs about its handling in real time. On the other hand, some with intensive use may underestimate the iPhone 12 and its autonomy, while on the contrary users with little connection will praise its long-term endurance. You will therefore have to have it in hand to make up your own mind.

Another argument to qualify this difference between the battery of the iPhone 11 and that of the iPhone 12: the A14 processor, which as we saw above consumes less than before, while working wonderfully with iOS, also energy efficient. Let’s finish by specifying that the iPhone 12 is entitled to wireless charging, but can also be connected with a 20-watt charger (two more than in 2019). Only downside: neither of these two accessories is supplied with the box. It makes you cringe, but we expected it after the jack plug, especially since in the US, it’s the headphones that have been completely left out.

Does the iPhone 12 take great photos?

If many choose an iPhone to take quality shots, opting for the iPhone 12 is probably not a good idea to get there. Indeed, this smartphone is only entitled to two rear lenses, EXMOR from the Japanese service provider Sony. They offer a definition of 12 Mpx each, with wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle, but without optical zoom. These are also capable of filming in 4K, with slow motion up to sixty frames per second, enough to film a ski vacation, but not enough to end up in a Shot on iPhone spot . The images are entitled to panorama mode and HDR quality.

On the front, the iPhone 12 offers a twelve-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture featuring the famous ‘ Portrait mode ‘. But in the notch, we find above all the TrueDepth technology, which scans the features of your face in three dimensions so that only you can unlock the device thanks to the Face ID functionality. And it must be said that the result is there: just look at the iPhone 12 and iOS 14 is yours!

As for the flash, it is provided by four powerful LEDs on the back. For the front end, it’s actually the Retina screen that will light up, hence the trade name Retina flash .

iOS 14, getting better and better

As we said, the iPhone 12 is coming under Apple’s made in Cupertino operating system: here is iOS 14. Serious new features are to be found in the software. But here is an overview of the most interesting changes, for those in a hurry.

© Apple

On the UI side, already, the widgets that were previously confined to the left pane of the home screen can now be moved to any page of it, in the middle of the other apps. The latter, on the iPhone 12, are also arranged in App Library, or App Library , a new drawer reminiscent of the one that exists on Android. Much easier this way to store your icons.

iOS 14 also brings to the iPhone 12 the picture-in-picture or ( Picture in the picture ), to continue watching a video while using another app. Very practical for tutorials in particular. We’ll stop there, but of course you can always rely on the App Store to download millions of third-party services created by developers around the world.

Prices of the different iPhone 12 models

The iPhone 12 is available in several colors: black, white, blue, red, green PRODUCT (RED). Good to know: part of the profits from this edition, whose red color is particularly bright, is donated to associations that fight against diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria or, more recently, COVID-19. A nice gesture to make to minimize our cognitive dissonance.

The prices of the iPhone 12, however, do not change depending on the design, but rather on the capacity of the internal storage. Here are the prices of each version and the memory associated with it:

  • 909 euros for the iPhone 12 with 64 GB of internal storage
  • 959 euros for the iPhone 12 with 128 GB of internal storage
  • 1,079 euros for the iPhone 12 with 256 GB of internal storage

We note that Apple has also unveiled an iPhone 12 mini. The features are similar, but this model is smaller with a size of 5.4 inches compared to 6.1 inches for the iPhone 12. Here are the prices:

  • 809 euros for the iPhone 12 mini with 64 GB of internal storage
  • 859 euros for the iPhone 12 mini with 128 GB of internal storage
  • 979 euros for the iPhone 12 mini with 256 GB of internal storage

Remember: if you have an old iPhone at home, returning it to Apple could save you money on the purchase. Indeed, with its Daisy robots, the firm takes care of dismantling them to upgrade them. They are then found in refurbished condition.

Our opinion on the new iPhone 12

We are coming to the end of our iPhone 12 technical sheet. It is therefore time to report our conclusions on this smartphone. It can be considered as the gateway to the best of iPhones, but it is clear that the iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are still more efficient devices on certain points such as the camera (hello LiDAR radar) or the screen (larger).

© Apple

The iPhone 12 mini remains the cheapest among all the other iPhone 12s combined. Its positioning is perhaps too close to that of the iPhone SE, which costs less than 500 euros with an Apple A13 processor, 3 GB of RAM but the same format and iOS 14 too. Otherwise, we cannot regret much with this iPhone 12: it is fast, much more elegant than the previous version, and its compact size is particularly welcome for all small hands or those who regret the time when manufacturers worked more to the miniaturization of mobiles than to the edge-to-edge screens of phablets.

In addition, we have all the know-how of Apple inside, with even Face ID. We therefore cannot recommend the iPhone 12 highly enough to all those on a budget who cannot afford the higher models, or who simply do not need them. A very positive assessment, but without great surprise: to tell the truth, this iPhone 12 is a simple improvement of the iPhone 11, without major innovation inside, and the rumors had allowed us to predict everything upstream.

Finally, we advise you to take a look at the video test of the iPhone 12 Pro, signed by our colleagues from Presse-citron. The 12 Pro indeed shares many characteristics with the iPhone 12, which can be interesting even if it is the 12 that catches your eye.

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