We used to buy an iPhone every year… until many Android smartphones actually stepped up their game and beat it in one area that’s on top of our priority list when choosing a handset — mobile photography.
(Update, January 21, 2021: Our long-term review of the iPhone 12 Pro is up!)
(Update, December 11: It’s Apple Day in the Philippines! Heh. Read You may now buy the iPhone 12 and Mac with M1 chip in PH.)
(Update, November 30: We have the preorder and availability dates for the Philippine market!)
Imagine: The last time we purchased one, we went to Singapore on the first-sale day. And then “Android camera beasts” happened. For almost three years, we didn’t feel the need to upgrade to the latest iPhone; we relied on Android flagships every time we wanted to take pictures. We used our brother’s iPhone 11 Pro for several days, for example, to see if it was worth getting. It wasn’t, at least for us.
But with the Apple iPhone 12 series‘ ability to connect to 5G and with Philippine telecommunication companies Globe Telecom and Smart Communications rolling out their respective 5G networks, we didn’t hesitate to bite and buy the Apple iPhone 12 Pro base model for a little over P75,000 (more than $1,549 converted). Below is our unboxing video of the device.
Unboxing the Apple iPhone 12 Pro in gold, with sample pictures and videos shot in 4K at 24 fps and 60 fps
We picked gold over the new Pacific Blue color option, because our iPhone X was already dark-colored. Besides, we’ve always liked the elegance of gold. We wish the shade on the iPhone 12 Pro’s matte rear panel were a tad more vibrant, though. As it is, it looks off-white from afar. But the sides are a different matter; the kind of gold you’ll see there is not for those who prefer subtlety. It’s shiny, it’s shimmering, and it’s — dare we say — splendid?
The box the smartphone comes with is thin, and that fact is more pronounced when the box is placed next to those of other handsets, which is what we did in the video we embedded above. Chances are, you already know it’s because the 2020 iPhones don’t ship with a charger.
Apple has been mocked by manufacturers like Samsung and Xiaomi for it, but we are only waiting for the time when these companies will follow suit. Remember when Samsung made fun of Apple when the latter introduced the notch? Or when Apple took out the headphone jack? Guess what happened after? Yeaaahh. Not to defend the big A (we think its environmental-related reason is BS), but we really believe we’re on our way to a portless, wireless future.
As for the unit itself, we’re happy to see our favorite iPhone design again. Yes, the iPhone 12 Pro looks like the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. And it’s great that we got this particular variant; the regular Pro is just right for our small hands. Its 6.1-inch screen is bigger than our iPhone X’s 5.8-inch display, but the latter is wider and thicker. It’s also shorter, by the way. There’s no way we’d shell out money for a Max, seeing that we regretted buying the almost-similarly-sized iPhone 7 Plus.
The Super Retina OLED screen looks vibrant, as always. The refresh rate is just 60Hz, but surprisingly, scrolling and navigating the menu feel buttery smooth. It’s probably because of a high response rate, the A14 Bionic chip inside, and how optimized iOS is. The iOS platform is actually the top reason we can’t pry ourselves away from Apple; the user experience it offers, especially when playing games, is top-notch. Using an iDevice feels fast.
However, the sound the Apple iPhone 12 Pro produces is not as loud as what our Huawei P40 Pro makes. Plus, juicing up its battery (using the Huawei MateBook 14 2020‘s charger for now) from 0% to 100% takes about two hours and 15 minutes, something we’re not used to anymore; it’s already slow for us.
How about the camera? How is it for mobile photography? Is it perfect for vlogging? We already gave you a snippet in our unboxing video, but those are just initial tests. We’ll have more in the coming days, so do check back here again for our full review to see if the iPhone 12 Pro is worth its premium price. After all, the lineup — composed also of the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 Pro Max — is expected to launch in the Philippines in November. Till then.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro specs
- 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED screen, 2,532 x 1,170 resolution, HDR and True Tone support
- Ceramic Shield glass front
- Apple A14 Bionic with 5G (5nm)
- Triple 12-megapixel, f/1.6 (main), 12-megapixel, f/2.4 (ultra-wide), and 12-megapixel, f/2.0 (telephoto) rear cameras, optical zoom up to 4x, digital zoom up to 10x, 4K at 60 fps/HDR at 60 fps
- LiDAR scanner
- 12-megapixel, f/2.2 front camera
- Face ID (front camera system)
- Up to 17 hours video playback
- MagSafe wireless charging up to 15 watts
- Qi wireless charging up to 7.5 watts
- Wired fast charging up to 20 watts
- IP68 rating for maximum depth of 6 meters up to 30 minutes
- iOS 14
- Colors: Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue
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