Apple doesn’t make bad phones. Think about it. They have never made a fundamentally bad phone. They always nail the essentials – good display, good battery, good camera, good specs. But over the last few years, their phones have always been a little boring. This year Apple has taken another shot. The iPhone 12 starts at S$1149 and comes in many cool colors (yay!). So do we think you should get it? Well, let’s find out.

Source: Apple

Preliminary Verdict

If you’re going to buy an iPhone, this is the one to get. Forget the Pro, this covers all your essentials and will save you some money while doing so. In fact, I think this is the best phone in its class (more of that in another article), provided you’re ok with iOS. Here’s why.

This is the iPhone for most people. Forget the Pro.

It’s Fast. Really Fast. Like, Really Really Fast.

The A14 Bionic is the beating heart of the 12 this year. It is an improvement from the A13 last year, and it is the fastest chip in the market as of writing. This trounces every Android phone out there, and it’s not even close. In day to day, this means smooth performance, no lag or stutter. Games run well too, and everything from opening multiple apps to streaming media will be fine. Even if you do push it hard, it won’t break a sweat. Which is nice.

Source: Apple

You’ll never feel like you’re waiting for it to catch up.

Good Endurance

Battery life this year won’t see much of a change. Although it has a slightly bigger battery, there isn’t a big improvement. That said, this is an all-day phone, and shouldn’t be an issue for most people. Do keep in mind that it is possible to kill it in a day if you push it hard. The better display this year draws more power, and Apple has compensated accordingly. The iPhone 11 had good battery life, and this will do too.

Good battery performance like the iPhone 11, but it can be killed in a day

No More 720p

Yes. Apple finally gave us a 1080p OLED on the iPhone 12. Thank you. Gone is the 720p LCD display and in comes a well-tuned, bright and punchy FHD display. Colors are beautiful, blacks are deep and inky, and images are sharp. This is a really good display, and while it still doesn’t compare to the S20 and Note 20 Ultra, it still is really good. 2 complaints though, the notch is back, and no 120hz refresh rate. These are bummers, but the main complaint has been addressed. Thank you, Apple.

Source: Apple

Big improvement from iPhone 11, but still has the notch and no 120hz refresh rate

Dynamic Duo Cameras

Let’s cut to the chase. This is the best camera on any iPhone to date. One standard and one ultra-wide lens. Little hardware tweaks have been done this time, and all changes are in software. Shots look similar to iPhone 11 Pro, meaning they are sharp and detailed with good colors. Night mode and HDR shots are where you’ll see the biggest improvements.

Furthermore, the 12’s video performance is in a league of its own. They look so good compared to the average Android phone. Stabilization is great, colors will look good and everything is easy to use. I think this is the best overall smartphone camera out now, and it only loses to the Pixel 5 for stills.

Source: Apple

I think this is the overall best set of cameras on any smartphone right now

All the Other Things

Quickly covering some other highlights – IP68 water dust resistance, ceramic shield, MagSafe, iOS 14, and a “new” flat design. I think the 12 looks good, comes in decent colors (except Product Red, that is not red Apple). Ceramic shield supposedly helps increase front glass strength and MagSafe is an interesting implementation of wireless charging. iOS 14 looks good too, and everything should be well-optimized and smooth despite having a few minor bugs now.

Source: Apple

The phone won’t come with a charging brick in the box which leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but it’s Apple, so I’m not really surprised. All things considered, this is a really good phone. Starting at S$1149, I think this is a very compelling package, and it should be the best phone in this class. It’s fast, shoots good photos and videos, has decent battery life, and has a great display. It may be a “boring” phone, but I really like it. What a banger of a phone Apple, good stuff.

The iPhone 12 is available starting at S$1149 in Singapore.

For similar articles, check out our thoughts on the Google Pixel 4a and iPhone SE.

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