There are some big things missing from the awesome iPhone 12, but are they deal breakers?
The iPhone 12 has hugely impressed in our review and comes with some awesome features like 5G support, a fresh design and support for Apple’s new MagSafe chargers. But there are some things missing that in an ideal world we’d like to see. No, they’re not deal breakers, and aren’t even features we’d find on any iPhone, but they may be worth keeping in mind, particularly if you’re thinking of making the switch from Android.
1. Expandable storage
Apple has never allowed you to expand the storage with a microSD card on any of its phones and the new generation, including the iPhone 12 is no exception. While it may not be a problem for many of you, you will need to think hard in advance about how much space you’re likely to need, and how much built-in storage you can afford. Apple charges a premium for more storage space with the base 64GB iPhone 12 clocking in at $829, with the 256GB model costing $979.
If you’re switching from Android it may not have been something you’ll have considered much, as many Android phones let you pop in a microSD card to expand the base storage. If you plan on shooting a lot of 4K video or downloading a lot of large, graphically demanding games then you should look at the higher capacities.
2. Fingerprint scanner
Apple retired the classic home button with its built-in fingerprint scanner several generations ago (not counting the iPhone SE, of course) replacing it instead with FaceID, which uses facial recognition to secure your phone. For the most part it works well, and we haven’t really missed it. That is until the coronavirus pandemic hit, and wearing face masks became the norm when we’re out and about in public places. FaceID doesn’t work with face masks so we’re back to typing in PIN codes to access our phones.
While we wouldn’t want to see a return of a big button on the front of the phone, squashing the screen in, many Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and even affordable phones like the OnePlus Nord have built the fingerprint scanners into the display itself. They’re invisible and take up no additional space on the phone, making them an elegant solution to biometric security when face scanning is impossible.
3. 120Hz screen refresh rate
All iPhone 12 models have screen refresh rates of 60Hz, which was a disappointment to many who hoped Apple would up this to 120Hz. A faster refresh rate gives a smoother look and feel to the phone when you’re using it, with no motion blur as you’re moving between screens and everything feeling that bit snappier. It’s a feature that’s increasingly common on Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus Nord.
It’s likely that Apple opted to stay with 60Hz to help improve battery life, particularly as the addition of 5G makes the phones even more power-hungry. Does it matter? Personally, no. If you hold the iPhone 12 next to the OnePlus Nord with its 120Hz display (as I have done), you can maybe tell a bit of difference but I honestly don’t think it’s anything you’d ever notice in day to day use.
The powerful processors inside the iPhone 12 models means performance always feels snappy which makes for a smooth experience, despite the lower refresh rate and I’d take a better battery over a faster screen any day.