The iPhone 12 Series has yet to hit the Philippines officially (you can actually pre-order from the grey market), unlike in the U.S. where it's shipping next week. Tech journalists who got their hands of the device ahead of consumers had a common verdict: it's powerful alright, but is it useful?
Take note that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro were the first to market, with the Max and Mini following in November. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the same six-inch screen and differ mainly on the cameras, the Pro has three (main, ultra-wide and telephoto) versus two on the regular variant (main, ultra-wide).
How's the iPhone 12 design?
The Verge's Dieter Bohn said the iPhone 12 is unlike any other device on the market thanks to its throwback to the iPhone 4 and 5, a fully-flat front compared to the rounded sides that was a staple since the iPhone 6 and the curved glass on Samsung and Huawei flagships.
While the edges look sharp, they don't dig into the palm, Bohn said. Nilay Patel, who reviewed the iPhone 12 Pro for the Verge said this was the first iPhone in years that he didn't want to stick into a case. It's that industrially beautiful.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are a bit smaller than the iPhone 11 and XR, which also has a six-inch screen, thanks to the flat sides. Like last year, the regular model has a shiny back while the Pro has a matte finish. This year's signature color: blue.
How are the cameras?
Good news for Apple fans, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro stick to what you loved about the iPhone camera, clear with true-to-life colors, with improved image processing from the iPhone 11 series.
All camera modes now shoot in Night Mode, even the front-facing cameras. There's also no need to retouch photos with filters after taking them, Patel said. The iPhone also retains its status as one of the best smartphone video cameras out there.
Is it a big step up versus the iPhone 11 series? Depends on how much you're willing to spend for the upgrade, definitely not by a mile.
How about 5G?
The New York Times' Brian Chen journeyed to San Francisco to test 5G on the iPhone 12, after all, Apple is touting it as one of the biggest upgrades for the year. It's good, if you can find a signal.
Chen also noted that in the U.S., there are two types of 5G signals, an ultra-fast one that finds it difficult to circumvent walls, and a slower but more readily available one. Here's the problem with uneven connection, one which carriers will take some time to solve. Coverage is spotty and there are areas where it's there but you don't need it, like a pet store in his experience.
In the Philippines, 5G is mostly available in the vicinity of Metro Manila's business districts.
Should you upgrade?
Better wait for the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max before deciding, according to the reviewers. Apple released the same size model in two flavors for the masses and saved the Mini (for those who want it small and less expensive, because iPhones aren't cheap) and the Max (for those who have to have the best).
The most solid upgrade of the bunch is the iPhone 12, if you're coming from the previous generation. The screen is finally OLED, meaning it's sharper, and the bezels are smaller.
Tom Honeyands of the YouTube channel The Tech Chap posted a side-by-side photo of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro and they're indistinguishable. For the six-inch iPhone at least, it will come down to how bad you want three lenses.