• alokin@post.com
  • Sofia, Bulgaria
iPhone 12 – a year’s use and its aftermath.

iPhone 12 – a year’s use and its aftermath.

This is a one-year review of my past main phone, the standard iPhone 12. I’ve had it for about a year and a half (roughly 16 months). We need to take a look at the specifications first.

The phone has an A14 Bionic chip, which’s efficiency according to Apple was one of the best. Even if it comes to battery life, machine learning (artificial intelligence), iOS support, etc. iPhone 12 has an OLED screen, with a resolution of 2K. It supports Dolby Vision and HDR. The camera consists of two sensors – a Wide and an Ultrawide module. Both of the sensors are 12MP, and shoot at 4K max. The A14 Bionic makes the photos from those cameras a lot better, with more natural and brightening effects. It uses a USB-C to Apple Lightning cable for charging and data transfer.

These are the main specifications. Before I review them, I want to mention that the phone’s chassis has a very nice feel, but tends to get scratched easily when not put in a soft case with some sort of padding, which is most non-Apple cases. The glass is amazingly strong. I have tested it.

Let’s start with the review.

  1. Camera Quality

The cameras although not the best… still manage to take great photos of almost anything you imagine. I love taking pictures of flowers and before I got this phone, I used to take them with my DSLR camera. Of course, the DSLR pictures looked better, the iPhone’s ones looked identical and original at the same time. A lot of colour would be in the picture, with crisp details. I would also like to mention, that is has great image stabilisation… for photos only. The size of the photos will not be higher than 1.5MB/photo in a HEIC format. Here are a couple of photos that I have shot with iPhone 12 and slightly trembling hands:

The image quality may be decreased because of the conversion of HEIC to JPG. It’s a focus and colour example.
Original photo: HEIC, 4000×3000.
Night Vision (everything except the bridge was not shot with HDR, all pictures have Dolby Vision)

As of videos, this phone did way more than I expected. It is advertised that it can make videos with a resolution that is up to 4K at 60 frames per second. Here are all the video modes that it can shoot:

  • 4K@60fps
  • 4K@30fps
  • 4K@24fps
  • HD@60fps
  • HD@30fps
    and as a secret…
  • 4K@120fps
  • HD@240fps

Why’d I add the last two? They are in slow motion capture mode, which I find amazing. The image stabilisation was a bit odd. I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t turn it off from the Camera app. All videos on HD and 4K@24fps were fine and crisp. All of the others felt a bit fake when I saw them. They were at 4K, but they didn’t seem like it. At one point, I was confused. Suddenly, a camera update came by Apple and every video looked good.

In general, this phone takes amazing videos, and implies all the goodness that Photo mode is able to provide.

To summarise this category, the iPhone camera is a wonderful camera, when combined with software, as 12MP isn’t enough for a stunning photo. Luckily, that software is included. In fact, all of the pictures weren’t modified afterwards. If you are buying this phone only for the camera, go for it! Although, if you do have the extra money, I’d recommend a Pro version, because of its additional sensor and additional camera functions.

2. Phoning Quality, bandwidth support, etc.

The iPhone 12 has a stereo system, which includes the small speaker at the top for talking and one on the bottom for more immersive sound. That means, that the phone has high potential when talking on the phone.

Many people complain about the bad quality of calls today. If you have an iPhone 7 or newer, please go to your Phone app settings and turn on VoLTE. All of these phones will make your calls better. The iPhone 12 supports 5G, either with Verizon Ultraband in the USA, or with no additions in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. Both of the connections are really fast.

Since I live in Europe, I can only test the allowed EU phones. On my carrier, I got a max speed of 113MB/sec download and 14MB/sec upload. I was surprised when I saw those speeds.

3. Screen quality

The screen of iPhone 12 is amazing to look at. When you hold it like you would hold any phone, you will barely see any pixels. The Retina display makes colours and shapes look real. The display is an OLED Dolby Vision certified Apple Retina Display.

Since it is an OLED display, black colours are perfect, bright colours are magnificently shown. It is a 60Hz display, but I have a feeling that is is somewhere around 70Hz, not 60Hz. It is that smooth. Videos on YouTube that are uploaded in HDR can be viewed in the standard, because of the display.

In general, the display has a high density, bright colours, and a high brightness, as well as Dolby Vision and HDR. That makes it a great 3K display, yes, it is not HD like others, it is an almost 3K display.

4. Software – iOS

iOS is an amazing piece of software. It had no bugs on my iPhone. The only thing that confused me was the Face ID sometimes refusing to work. For 2 years, this has happened 3 times. Sometimes, I can’t open apps. But that happened only 4 times and a restart fixed the issues.

5. Summary

As of May 2022, getting the iPhone 12 will not be something too different as to getting the iPhone 13, except the better battery life that comes with the newer model. Both phones include identical features, and after upgrading to the iPhone 13, I didn’t see a significant difference in speed, screen, etc. Overall, it is a very good phone to buy, if you find it on a discount.

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