The iPhone 12 Pro was announced at an Apple Event on October 13th, with preorders that Friday the 16th. My order was placed shortly after 8am and it arrived on October 23rd. Now that I've had it for a few weeks I have a few thoughts, especially in light of the device it replaced, my iPhone 122 Pro.

  • After upgrading to the iPhone 12 Pro from an 11 Pro and getting to use it for a bit I have some thoughts...
  • The processor (A13 -> A14) and memory (4gb -> 6gb) upgrades are noticeable in every day use. Everything runs faster and everything seems more responsive. These improvements make the upgrade worth it in my opinion.
  • The form factor is a pleasant change. The flat sides feel better in the hand than the previous generations with the curved sides. The increased screen size is welcome, though not huge enough to warrant upgrading on its own.
  • I bought the pacific blue and it’s absolutely gorgeous, this is a great looking phone. Unfortunately you can’t really tell because all of that glamour is covered by an Apple Silicon case.
  • The Apple Silicon case isn’t noticeably different. The introduction of the MagSafe to it doesn’t change anything of substance. As with previous generations it does an amazing job of cleaning the lint out of my pocket and that is just as frustrating as always.
  • Anecdotally I’m getting better battery performance. It’s hard to say why this is because it should have been a wash. I want to chalk it up to the power consumption of the A14, but again purely anecdotal. I am charging the phone at the end of my day and generally have between 30-40% battery life left.
  • The iPhone 11 Pro’s front glass was the worst of any iPhone I’ve had. The 11 Pro scratched noticeably the first week I had it. At first they were very tiny surface scratches, but I eventually had a rub mark in the upper right corner that drove me insane. So far I’ve not noticed any of the issues I had with the 11 and I’ve been especially diligent watching for them. It is early, but this seems better in a purely unscientific way. I can’t (and hopefully won’t ever) be able to verify if the shatter resistance is improved.
  • I can’t say that I’ve noticed any improvements with 5G. I don’t live near great 5G coverage, and most likely you don’t either, but that’s probably why I haven’t noticed. I’m sure some day this will matter.
  • The LiDAR sensor is hard to evaluate. My photos look great, but they did on the 11 Pro too. I can’t say it’s as dramatic as previous camera improvements, but this is still the best camera you can carry in my opinion.
  • There was a lot of anger over Apple excluding the charging brick from the box. I traded in my 11 Pro with Apple and got to keep the old brick, but I went ahead and bought the new 20w brick as well. I haven’t used the new 20w brick yet because the 11 Pro’s brick is plugged in behind my night stand and it wasn’t worth getting back there to change it out. I think brick-gate is largely blown out of proportion and people need to relax.
  • Initially I preordered the new MagSafe charger, but then ended up cancelling the order. It’s a pretty expensive charger. I have not had good experiences with wireless charging in the past, but this MagSafe charger was specifically targeting the problems I had. Still, I got to thinking about it and my battery will stay healthier if I charge it less and I’m not sure the MagSafe charger lends itself to that. Ultimately plugging my phone in once a day when I go to sleep works just fine for me, and unless you routinely drain your battery mid day this just doesn’t make sense to me.

To buy, or not to buy? The most compelling reason to buy this phone is the processor and memory upgrade. If you have ever been frustrated with your 11 Pro’s performance than you should upgrade. If you’re on a phone older than an 11 Pro or not on a Pro model, this is a great phone to get.