It is worth buying an iPhone

iPhone 12 in the comparison test: For whom is it worth buying?

So much has been written about the iPhone 12, it's finally here. Almost: Since October 23rd, two of the four new iPhone 12 models have been available for purchase - the regular iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro. When you look at the front of the latest Apple smartphones, they are indistinguishable, as both come on the market with the same display size. However, if you turn them around, you will notice significant design differences. And a look inside reveals features that make one model differ from the other.

Buyers are now faced with the questions: Is the iPhone 12 worth the money? Is it worth the upgrade for me? And if so: which variant of the iPhone 12 should I use? These questions also came up in the GQ editorial team immediately after the keynote in mid-October. So now we want to give answers - and compare the two latest iPhones with the previous generation and the iPhone XS. (Also read: This almost bulletproof case for the iPhone 12 promises ultimate protection - for under 40 euros)

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in comparison with other Apple smartphones

We closely followed the first reviews and tests by American tech journalists. The unanimous opinion: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are remarkably similar. After the first few days with the new devices, however, we cannot fully agree to this. Sure: All models have new video functions, have the "MagSafe" feature and inside Apple's fastest chip, the A14 Bionic, works everywhere. A 5G modem is also built into all new iPhones. BUT: There are a few differences in appearance alone. Although the form factor is the same, the haptic feedback is very different.

The iPhone 12 Pro has housing edges made of stainless steel, which make it look extremely high quality. Together with the matte finish, the Pro model is really an eye catcher. It's good that Apple offers see-through cases, because hiding this smartphone would be a shame! But see for yourself: Here is our unboxing video.

The iPhone 12 has to do without a matte finish, which ensures that you really see every fingerprint. If that doesn't bother you: okay - but if you don't want to have a microfiber cloth with you all the time, it is worth investing in a cover. In addition, the frame of the iPhone 12, which is anodized in the same color as the case, makes the CE marking a little easier to see. Some may mind that. However, we find that it is not noticeable at all in everyday life. What catches the eye, on the other hand, are the camera modules. The iPhone 12 has two lenses, the Pro model three lenses. Plus LiDAR sensor. Because for most smartphone users the Camera is the most important purchase criterion let's start with it.

How is the camera of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro doing?

So we set off, in daylight and at night - with us in our luggage: the latest iPhone generation, but also the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone XS, which came onto the market in 2018. Has night mode really gotten any better? What do portraits look like? And what is the use of Dolby Vision recording for videos? We show you a few of the results here. (Also interesting: AirPods 2 at Aldi - with this price the discounter even beats Amazon)

Night mode in comparison

The iPhone 11 Pro's night mode was good, very good in fact - no question about it. But Apple was actually able to go one step further in 2020. Pictures are brightened better without a flash, have a slightly better contrast and show even more details. On our first nightly walk, however, we were even more impressed with the results of the iPhone 12 than the results of the Pro model. The colors of snapshots taken with the iPhone 12 Pro often had a slight green cast. However, the whining is at a high level. There are clear differences when we compare the night shots with the iPhone XS. There was not yet a night mode - which shows that you absolutely need this feature if you want to take good photos without flash even in poor lighting conditions.

Portrait mode remains excellent

The differences in portrait mode are less clear. The results are almost the same with all four devices - Apple didn't have much room for improvement here. If differences can be seen, it is at night. Portraits in night mode also have more details.

Video recording with 60 times more colors

At the October keynote, Apple was also proud of the new video feature Dolby Vision. The tech giant from Cupertino promises 60 times more colors. However, we couldn't manage videos like those shown by Apple on the website with the two new iPhones. Yes, the quality is better at night - but the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro cannot do without light reflection. Small points of light in the video don't really look good, but let's be honest: filming in 4K at 60 fps at night? When does that happen in everyday life?

What else can the iPhone 12 do better?

Aside from the camera and the design, you are also interested in them IPhone 12 battery life? Well, us too. Apple is very vague in its own statements: both devices should last for one day. As usual. In doing so, Apple at least takes away the fear of those who believed that an 11 percent thinner, 15 percent smaller and 16 percent lighter iPhone would hardly make it through the day. If you add one and one together, it should at least be clear: the battery will not have become larger than its predecessor. After all, 5G is on board and there are magnets for the new "MagSafe" function - which, by the way, is really great! Attaching accessories to your iPhone has never been easier, and wireless charging works great too. Even with a cover. Nice fact on the side: Apple uses 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets on the iPhone 12 Pro models, which should help to become climate-neutral across all areas of the company's activities by 2030. (Read about this: In France, according to the law, the iPhone 12 is still available with headphones)

Another difference to the iPhone 11 and the iPhone XS has to be made at this point Ceramic Shield Mention should be made of the new screen protector from Apple, which is "interspersed with nanoceramic crystals". It should be a lot tougher - and we just believe that now. Because we really couldn't and didn't want to test it now. If there's one thing you don't want to do with the new iPhones, it's to destroy them.

iPhone 12 and Co .: Which model should you buy now?

Of course, it always depends on which model you intend to switch from to the iPhone 12. That is why we differentiate between four possible scenarios here.

You have an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro: Congratulations, you have great equipment. But if you want an iPhone that is closer to the Pro version than ever before, you should buy the iPhone 12. If you are one of the lucky people who can already use 5G today - under ideal conditions with download rates of up to 4 gigabits per second and uploads of up to 200 megabits - and love iOS, the iPhone 12 is a must. Or do you want to reduce your speed yourself? And we can also understand the design lovers among you, who are attracted to the iPhone 12 from a purely visual point of view. You decide whether the surcharge for the Pro version makes sense to you at the end of the day. Visually, we find the matt Pacific blue and the shiny edges very nice. In addition, the iPhone 12 Pro has an additional telephoto lens, a LiDAR sensor and a little more RAM.

BUT: On November 13th this will come iPhone 12 Pro Max - and its data sheet is very promising. (Also interesting:

You have an iPhone X or XS: With an XS, you've already proven that you can handle a bezel-less display. What is missing? Faster processor, three camera lenses, night mode. Just as an example. If you notice that the battery is slowly draining, we recommend upgrading. But even if you just want to hold a fancier device in your hands, the switch makes sense. You decide whether iPhone 12 or 12 Pro - the same rules apply here as described above. Do you need a telephoto lens and rarely use a case? Then you should grab the iPhone 12 Pro. Oh, and do you rarely store anything on your cloud? First: We strongly advise you to make a backup! And second: the Pro model is also available with 512 gigabytes of memory.

You have an iPhone 8 or older: No question about it, the upgrade is worth it! Sure: you have to get used to a new operation, without any display bezels - but benefit from countless advantages. Also: who knows how long Apple will keep you updated with updates? Are you thinking of the iPhone SE as an alternative? Here, too, we recommend switching to the iPhone 12. Not only because two lenses clearly beat one, but also because the performance justifies the price difference of 400 euros. If 5G comes to you at some point, you are also equipped for the future.

You are considering switching from Android to iOS: It's almost a question of faith. You definitely have to get used to it. And yes: it will take time. But once you step into the Apple cosmos, you will quickly find out whether this is something for you. How the iPhone 12 compares to other Android devices remains to be seen. Of course, we will keep you up to date on this at GQ.de.

Because of Corona, Apple will offer new shopping opportunities in 2020

In order to avoid long queues in front of the stores in times of Corona, Apple has come up with something: Customers can book shopping sessions in order to get personal advice from a specialist in the Apple Store. The same buying guide is also available online, where customers can chat with a specialist at any time. Contactless delivery is also possible. (Also interesting: These 4 smartphones have the best battery life - and Apple is not included)