Apple released five handsets in 2020, making it more difficult to buy one. The iPhone SE 2020 arrived in SA in May, and four new iPhone 12 models in late December.

The most striking thing about the latest iPhone 12 range is the square, flat design with rounded edges, reminiscent of the iPhone 4S.

All models feature Apple’s fastest A14 Bionic chip, Dolby Vision HDR video recording, increased water resistance up to 6m for 30 minutes, and MagSafe compatibility in the form of wireless chargers and accessories. It has 5G support that currently works on the MTN network only, with Vodacom support to follow this year.

We’ve been using the iPhone 12 Pro since launch day in its new “Pacific blue” shade — the most telling sign you have the latest model, though it doesn’t matter if it’s hidden by a cover.

The 12 Pro has grown from the 11 Pro’s 5.8 inches to 6.1 inches. The steadily increasing size can get annoying, especially when it won’t fit into pockets.

The 12 Pro sports three lenses, like its predecessor, but has an added LiDAR sensor for night-time portrait shots, faster focus in low light and more augmented reality experiences from apps. Its photos are similar to those of the 11 Pro, but people who are upgrading are likely not coming from its predecessor. It is best suited for those who have an Xs or a much older device.

The addition of the iPhone 12 and 12 mini makes it difficult to justify buying the more expensive 12 Pro when they have so much in common, including an OLED display. The difference is that the 12 Pro has a telephoto lens and 5x optical zoom, and a larger phone means a bigger battery.

If a good camera is of utmost importance, go for the iPhone 12 Pro or Max, otherwise the 12 mini is more pocket-friendly, literally and figuratively.

The iPhone 12 Pro starts at R23,499 for 128GB, and the 12 mini starts at R15,999 for 64GB. And yes, it comes with a charging cable only; a USB-C plug is not included.

Cool factor 4½/5
Usability 5/5
Value for money 3½/5

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