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iPhone 12 Pro review: good, but not the best


Apple continues to use the Super Retina XDR display panel, but this time the screen size of the iPhone 12 Pro has increased from 5.8 inches to 6.1 inches, which is in line with the iPhone 12. Some friends will immediately wonder, will this 0.3-inch screen area be like last year’s iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11, and the size of the phone will increase significantly? The answer is no! The body width of the iPhone 12 Pro is only 0.1mm longer than that of the iPhone 11 Pro, and the length is 2.7mm longer, but at the same time the thickness is reduced by 0.7mm and the weight is slightly reduced by 1g! This effect can be achieved, especially in the width part, the design of the straight-edge middle frame has contributed a lot.

It’s just that there is an extra 0.3 inch, so the screen does not show a lot of content, at most, the screen content has a negligible enlargement. The editor estimates that Apple’s intention is more to allow the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 accessories to be shared, so as to reduce user confusion.

screen

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

As mentioned earlier, the screen of the iPhone 12 Pro is the Super Retina XDR display panel that we have watched for a while. Because of the characteristics of the OLED material, the colors are also very bright and rich. Just in direct comparison, the color temperature of the iPhone 12 Pro is warmer, not as close to pure white as the 11 Pro. It feels like there is no big problem, so it can only be used as an eye protection feature.

This time, Apple used a ceramic crystal protective surface that is known to have 4 times higher drop resistance on the screen of the iPhone 12 Pro.The violent crash test can look at the earlierReport, The result seems to have indeed been strengthened. And what I share here is the feel.

Mobile phone screen glass can be said to be the closest thing to modern people. Every day, I slide my fingers and touch my cheeks. The front panel of the iPhone 12 Pro has a better touch than the iPhone 11 Pro, and it feels smoother to the touch. If you have confidence in its durability, I would recommend bare metal use.

camera

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

In recent years, Apple has emphasized that the recording performance of the iPhone is comparable to professional equipment, especially the three-cam Pro camera system. The three sets of cameras of the iPhone 12 Pro are maintained at 12MP pixels, but because the signal processor (ISP) has been upgraded, all cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro can now use deep fusion, that is, use AI to optimize photos. The actual hardware upgrade is to use a larger f/1.6 aperture and a new 7P lens design in the wide-angle camera. The additional LiDAR sensor will increase the focusing speed, especially in the dark environment.

The specific upgrade that users can enjoy is the “violent” HDR photos that forcibly dig out the details in the dark, and better night shooting imaging, so that users can take the desired picture anytime, anywhere, basically no more What’s the problem with the backlight.

In the real shots, the performance of the iPhone 12 Pro is very good, the imaging of the general outdoor environment is very outstanding, the colors are accurate and natural, and the details are well preserved. It can also take pictures with clear foreground and high sharpness under big backlight. Indoors and in dim environments, the exposure of the photo is also sufficient, and a little light will not become blurred, and a complete light bulb can be restored in the photo, so this ISP is very good in dealing with the light source.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

The problem is that the lens flare problem of the iPhone 12 Pro is obvious under backlighting and strong light sources for night shooting. In the past, the iPhone also had the same problem, but the iPhone 12 Pro was especially obvious, because users would deliberately challenge the enhanced night shooting and HDR cameras, but unexpectedly revealed their shortcomings. Apple has argued that this glare will occur even on SLR cameras, so mobile phones are unavoidable. Then everyone has to pay attention when shooting and avoid shooting strong light sources directly.

Then comes the LiDAR part, which is the most intriguing new element of the iPhone 12 Pro. The small black circle placed in the lower right corner of the camera module is used for the same purpose as the new version of the 2020 iPad Pro, which can enhance the iPhone’s ability to detect distances. Its accuracy and speed are guaranteed, after all, this is the same technology as self-driving cars.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro LiDAR

Richard Lai / Engadget

LiDAR currently has two main applications on the iPhone 12 Pro: one is to improve the speed and accuracy of the camera’s focusing, especially when it is not possible to focus solely on CMOS at night, the use of laser LiDAR does not have this limitation; two It is the application of AR, and the effect is good immediately. We are playing AR games, such as “Angry Birds AR: Island of Pigs”. We need to scan the play area to get terrain data from the mobile phone, so that the AR content can better match the real environment. In the past, it took some time for iPhone models that only had a camera to scan, and the failure rate was quite high. But when using LiDAR, it basically completes the terrain scan at the speed of light, and you can play games in real time. At the same time, the iPhone’s LiDAR covers a distance of 5 meters, which is very sufficient.

Video

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

The key feature of the iPhone 12 Pro this time is the ability to record videos. This may be one of the lightest Dolby Vision HDR video cameras in the world that can be edited and shared. Let me first explain why Apple emphasizes that it is Dolby’s format. How is it different from ordinary HDR video?

The mainstream HDR formats on the market are divided into two camps, Dolby Vision and HDR10+, both of which can achieve high-contrast and high-chroma videos. However, Dolby Vision has more accurate metadata processing frame by frame, and the brightness can reach up to 1,000 nits. , The specification can also support up to 12-bit color depth. The video shot on the iPhone 12 Pro has a maximum 10-bit color depth and sufficient brightness. In addition, the screen itself has an ultra-high contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 and a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits, so you can see it during playback Many details hidden in the dark. At the same time, users can edit these videos directly in the iPhone without waiting for any feature updates.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

As long as you use the native video editor of the iPhone 12 Pro, you can adjust the color, light and darkness of the HDR video recorded in the machine, or import it into iMovie for editing. The process is exactly the same as that of ordinary videos. When playing back, the screen of the iPhone 12 Pro will also be brighter to match the HDR video.

It should be noted that some services and apps are not directly compatible with Dolby Vision videos. The simplest example is Instagram. If you upload the HDR video directly, the effect will be an overexposed picture, and you can only wait for the update of related services or apps so that they can correspond to the metadata of the Dolby Vision HDR video. So Apple’s statement that you can share Dolby Vision HDR content actually means sharing the video with other iPhone 12s, new iPads, and HDR TVs that support AirPlay 2.

But if it can be played smoothly, the Dolby Vision HDR video is absolutely eye-catching in terms of color performance, because the time level will be very clear, the colors are very bright, and even more attractive than the real scene.

5G

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

iPhone 12 is the first iPhone series that supports 5G, and it is also the most anticipated one in the first year of 5G in 2020. Because Apple used to support full frequency bands in the 4G era in the past, everyone will look at how they will play the card. In the end, Apple uses Qualcomm’s X55 plug-in solution to provide Sub-6 5G, and only the US version will push the millimeter wave version with the support of operators. The editor in Hong Kong naturally got the Sub-6 5G version, but in fact, the supported frequency bands are also very complete. Basically, the main 5G frequency bands used by operators in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan: N1, N77, N78, and N79 are all covered. So no matter whether operators use spectrum sharing or new frequency bands to provide 5G, iPhone 12 Pro can support it.

As for the speed of 5G, it depends on where you are and the operator. The Gigabit-level transmission performance that Apple showed at the press conference was based on the extremely high-frequency mmWave 5G technology available only to designated US operators. This iPhone model is also a dedicated version, which is almost impossible to reproduce in Hong Kong for the time being.

Of course, this does not mean that 5G in Hong Kong is not good, because local network operators are quite aggressive. The editor once measured a downlink speed of up to 576Mbps outdoors. What is this concept? It is almost equal to the speed that Gigabit Wi-Fi at home can give to the device.Looking back on April 1 of this yearWhen opening the network, Looking for 5G coverage is like looking for a Wi-Fi hotspot orienteering, and the speed may not be high. However, as operators have begun to re-cultivation of spectrum and make good use of DSS technology, 5G signals can actually be received in large shopping malls, landmarks, and people flow hotspots, which makes the upgrade to 5G more interesting. At least take a 5G mobile phone to the street now, there is a good chance that you can enjoy high-speed internet connection, so this time the iPhone 12 Pro can be said to be born at the right time.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

In the iOS system settings, 5G can be selected as an automatic mode and a long-time on mode. The default 5G automatic mode is based on the system’s battery life as the prerequisite, and automatically selects 5G and 4G to connect to the Internet, which is about switching to 4G to save power when the phone is turned off; 5G is turned on, if possible, continue to use 5G. Simple and straightforward.

The editor will use the 5G automatic mode this week to see how the iPhone 12 Pro lasts. Let me talk about the previous experience. When the iPhone 11 Pro is in 4G, it can barely be charged once a day. On the way, I use IM, browse Facebook and IG, and also play some casual games. Coming to the iPhone 12 Pro, in its official battery life figure, the video playback part is reduced by one hour compared with the previous generation, to 17 hours.

In fact, it is not surprising that the iPhone 12 Pro is thinner than the previous generation, and the design of the external 5G modem will reduce the battery life. According to my own experience, the battery life has a discount of nearly 40%, which means that the battery can be used from about 9 am to about 5 pm. Now with the iPhone 12 Pro, it will be around 2 or 3 pm It must be recharged. Simply put, the iPhone 12 Pro is back to at least two recharges a day.

Finally, I also recorded a small problem in the initial launch of the iPhone 12 Pro, that is, it did not support the use of dual 5G SIM cards. That is, if you install two SIM cards on the iPhone 12 Pro, you can only use 4G at the highest. The official has confirmed that there will be a system update to deal with the problem, it depends on how long you have to wait.

MagSafe

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

Now that the number of charging of the iPhone 12 Pro has increased, it seems to be looking for ways to improve the ease of charging. Apple also took advantage of the new design of the iPhone 12 Pro and introduced a new accessory specification MagSafe. Looking at the name alone, friends with a bit of seniority will probably remember that this was originally the magnetic charging specification used by MacBook, but now it has become the “magnetic suction” wireless charging specification for iPhone.

MagSafe is a new accessory specification compatible with standard Qi wireless charging, but it adds an NFC tag and a magnetometer, so that the iPhone 12 Pro can recognize that this is a compliant accessory, and then it can charge up to 15W wireless charging. When using it, just align and paste the seemingly huge Apple Watch charger-like magnetic sheet with the iPhone 12 Pro, and the characteristics of magnetism will also help to position it properly. It is safer than the general Qi charger Directly, in particular, there will be no stupid things that cannot be recharged due to crookedness.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

For Apple, the new specifications naturally represent new financial resources! They “lead by example” launched a series of MagSafe accessories. In addition to the charging cable, there are protective shells and leather cases. The official naturally recommends that users buy compliant accessories to ensure MagSafe performance. But don’t think that this is just a lie to cheat money, because the power of magnetism will be affected by various factors, especially the distance. MagSafe’s magnetism is weakened after a few memo papers. Mobile phones, let alone charging power.

If you are moving towards MagSafe charging function, it is necessary to buy a compliant protective case obediently. The reason is simple. The MagSafe phone case has a magnetometer, which serves as a bridge rather than a hindrance between the iPhone 12 Pro and the MagSafe charger, so there will be no magnetic weakening.When usingRemember to pay attentionDo not put credit cards or tape cards between the iPhone 12 Pro and the MagSafe charger, otherwise there will be degaussing problems.

performance

The iPhone 12 Pro is equipped with iPad Air The new generation of 5nm process A14 Bionic SoC, but the RAM part has been increased to 6GB, after all, it still needs to be used to process Dolby Vision HDR. It stands to reason that the performance of the evaluation tool will be relatively high, but it is inferior to the iPad Air after running a few times-the single-core score is comparable, and the difference is in the multi-core part. How to explain this part? This may be due to the difference in battery capacity and heat dissipation design, which makes Apple slightly restrict the processing performance on the iPhone 12 Pro.

However, ordinary people’s lives are not running scores with their mobile phones every day, so let’s find an example. For example, we made some adjustments to a one-minute 4K HDR video on the iPhone 12 Pro. It takes about two and a half minutes for the system to complete the export. The speed is similar to the time on a Core i7 computer. Of course, the post-production complexity of the mobile phone is not that high, but it also proves that the performance of the iPhone 12 Pro is sufficient for these tasks.

The power part is mentioned in the 5G paragraph above, and it takes at least two charges a day. However, it does not consume much power in normal standby mode. After fully charged at night, it will only lose 3% when you wake up tomorrow morning, so the high power consumption of 5G is not covered.

to sum up

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Eric Chan / Engadget

This time, the review of the iPhone 12 Pro is a bit long, because Apple has given enough freshness, and it is more interesting than previous iterations, especially 5G, MagSafe and cameras. After some use, it is certain that the high power consumption of 5G will be a new challenge for iPhone users, and everyone may have to return to the days of carrying external batteries with them. MagSafe is Apple once again “redefining” Qi wireless charging specifications, and it is also a step towards increasing the charging power, but the current accessories are only official, and there are not too many choices. The camera module with LiDAR is the most attractive upgrade, but whether the application level can be expanded further depends on the creativity of AR developers. The images taken are all upgraded, but the shortcomings are also visible. Dolby Vision HDR is no longer out of reach because of the iPhone 12 Pro, but whether it is necessary for ordinary users, this is another story.

Finally, the myth about whether to upgrade the iPhone 12 Pro, the editor also received a lot of inquiries. In the previous live broadcast, it was also mentioned slightly: the editor who is used to the iPhone 11 Pro is satisfied with the upgrade of the iPhone 12 Pro, because the functions that can be used are really more, and they are all sentimental and practical. At the same time, the replacement of 5G is also a good time for new phones. Remember to make good use of the various discounts offered by operators.

The iPhone 12 Pro is a very high-end 5G mobile phone that can meet the needs of today’s users and brings unexpected new elements. However, does this mean that the iPhone 12 Pro can knock down a lot of other opponents on the market? In terms of specifications and cost-effectiveness, there are actually other options for going up and down, and Apple still has a card left, which is the iPhone 12 Pro Max with a stronger camera, a larger battery, and a larger screen. So even if the iPhone 12 Pro itself is a good mobile phone, when it comes to becoming the emperor of the year in 2020, it is still left for others to challenge.