iPhone 12 Pro Reviews: New Design and Camera Improvements More Compelling During Early Days of 5G
Three days ahead of its launch, reviews of the iPhone 12 Pro are in. We've rounded up impressions of the device below.
With the iPhone 12 now featuring an OLED display like Pro models, The Verge's Nilay Patel said the differences between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are "fundamentally much smaller than last year," when the iPhone 11 still had an LCD. In addition to OLED, both devices also feature a faster A14 Bionic chip, 5G support, and a new flat-edge design.
While the iPhone 12 has an aluminum frame, the iPhone 12 Pro features a more polished stainless steel frame, but Patel notes that it is a fingerprint magnet. His team also managed a tiny nick in the frame of the iPhone while reviewing it. In addition to the more durable Ceramic Shield front cover, Apple told The Verge that the new flat-edge design of iPhone 12 models should also improve drop performance.
Despite rumors suggesting that the iPhone 12 Pro could feature a higher 120Hz refresh rate, the device continues to have a 60Hz display, which Patel said is not very "pro" and is behind virtually every Android phone priced at $700 and up. Overall, though, Patel said the iPhone 12 Pro continues to have an excellent display.
iPhone 12 Pro models sold in the U.S. support ultra-fast mmWave 5G, and to accomodate this, there is a small window on the side of the device that allows mmWave antenna signals to pass through. Apple told The Verge that holding your hand over this window shouldn't affect wireless performance, and Patel said he didn't have any issues during his brief mmWave testing on Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband network.
Last year, Patel said the iPhone 11 Pro had the best camera system on a smartphone, and he found that the iPhone 12 Pro takes another step forward with improvements to low-light performance, noise reduction, and contrast.
Watch these iPhone 12 Pro camera tests from photographers Peter McKinnon and Andy To:
Patel also shared a detailed overview of the iPhone 12 lineup's ability to record HDR video in Dolby Vision, a feature he described as a "big deal."
TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino shared several photos shot on the iPhone 12 Pro in his review, providing a closer look at Portrait mode improvements and more.
All in all, The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said the iPhone 12 lineup represents "one of the biggest iPhone upgrades in years, no thanks to the 5G connectivity, but because of its fabulous-to-hold design and substantial camera improvements."
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders began last week, and the devices will be available starting this Friday. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max pre-orders begin Friday, November 6, and reviews of those devices are not out yet.