An iPhone for the Covid Year(s) – but not to the Max

So, I’ve just placed my order with EE for the iPhone 12 Pro. Not the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but the regular 6.1″ iPhone 12 Pro.

Over the past few years when I’ve been on EE’s Annual Upgrade plan, I’ve always gone for the bigger phone which usually (but not always) had the better camera system, along with the bigger screen and battery. It’s fine, but the unit is always a bit bulky and there have been times when I’ve nearly dropped the darn thing. But with the iPhone X, that was a good size.

So I’m opting for the smaller size this year. But this also means I’m going to be missing out on better camera features such as a 47% bigger image sensor, bigger camera pixels and sensor-shift stabilisation. These are only available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

In this time of Covid, with all these lockdowns, I don’t need them. I’m not going on holiday, I generally stay indoors. If I go out it’s to run errands. What am I going to need a 47% bigger image sensor and a wider aperture for? When we all enter tier 2, tier 3 and maybe even a national lockdown – none of that extra stuff is going to matter.

The iPhone 12 Pro already has an incredible camera system bolstered by the A14 system-on-a-chip. The machine learning/neural processing unit has seen a substantial upgrade which gives computational photography a major boost. There’s the ability to record video in Dolby Vision HDR, but as I don’t have a Dolby Vision TV or monitor – that’s completely useless to me, and besides which, even if I had a compatible TV, it’s unlikely to be compatible because Apple is using the very latest specification of Dolby Vision which many TVs won’t be using – and may not be upgradeable to – they’ve overshot themselves here – if you display DV content on a non-compatible device, it’ll look washed out unless you were to do some major manual colour grading.

Just take a look at what can be achieved using the video capabilities of the iPhone 12 Pro (not Max). This is playlist with some incredible footage taken by the phone:

Then there is the photography aspect. So many reviews – and almost all of them extremely positive. Austin Mann’s review is of particular interest.

So I’m happy with everything this is for now. Maybe next year when the iPhone 13 Pro Max is released with even more features I’d be tempted to move back to the bigger size – hopefully by then we’ll have made some progress with regards to a vaccine and being able to move about a bit more freely.

Full review as and when I get the unit. I’ve opted for the Pacific Blue colour, and the Dark Navy MagSafe case. The EE Plan I’ve gone for this year is the Full Works which includes Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade bundled (saving me a bit of money each month), unlimited data (was previously 100Gb) and, of course, 5G coverage (which isn’t available here in Woking as yet).