• Downgrading to the iPhone 12? Not Really

    My iPhone journey started with the 3GS in 2009. I upgraded every few generations at first, then every year after the iPhone X was released:

    • 5S
    • 7 Plus
    • X
    • XS Max
    • 11 Pro Max

    Since the 7 Plus, I had been mostly a faithful member of the “Plus/Max” club (X is debatable). As a tech enthusiast, I always wanted the very best iPhone possible. In almost all cases, the larger iPhone had things the smaller versions didn’t; nicer screen, bigger battery, better cameras, more cameras …

    The upgrade to the 7 Plus also started my required use of cases. The rounded edge design and materials made this (and my 3 suceeding iPhones) extremely slippery. Cases helped with the sheer the size of the phone, but most importantly just kept it from slipping out of my hand.

    Changing My Perception

    After I got my 11 Pro Max, I found that this phone in particular negatively changed my perception of what I would have previously called the best iPhone:

    • It just got too big
    • It still felt slippery like a bar of soap without the case.
    • I felt like it was tipping out of my hand because of the weight.
    • I needed my case’s built-in kickstand extended just to keep it stable when using it one handed.
    • Navigating to apps at the top of the screen and getting to Control Center was basically impossible one handed.

    The Big Reveal and Decision

    Then the new iPhone rumors started. They sounded too good to be true. Then Apple’s October 2020 event happened and we got introduced to the new retro design of the iPhone 12!

    Notice I said iPhone 12 and not iPhone 12 Pro.

    I’d chosen to live with boring color palets in the Pro models forever. I wanted COLOR!

    I wanted a phone that didn’t need a case because it wasn’t silppery, or heavy, or too big for my hand, or all of those reasons.

    I wanted a less expensive phone with reasonable storage that cost under $1000.

    So I scoured the Internet and read any article or watched any video about the iPhone 12 after the event. Then I saw Becky Worley’s segment on GMA and I was sold; I was downgrading to the regular iPhone 12, 256GB in blue.

    But was I really downgrading? No, not really…

    First Impressions

    COLOR 8/10
    The back color blue is rich and quite shiny, with a mirrored Apple logo. However, the color does change somewhat depending on how light hits it. The frame on the other hand is a dark matte blue and is gorgeous. A lot of people talk about the lack of fingerprints on the matte frame. While true, I just think it looks better. After a week of use, I realized I really don’t notice the back as much as I do the frame.

    SIZE & GRIP 9/10
    Coming from the iPhone 11 Pro Max, any phone will feel smaller in the hand. While not as small as I expected, it does feel very comfortable to hold. I can reach the top row of apps much easier than the bigger phone, but it’s still too tall to easily pull down Control Center one handed. As other reviews have noted, the matte frame and the shiny back combination does seem to provide ample resistance to prevent it from slipping out of the hand. The smaller size also:

    • Puts the Sleep/wake button in a lower position, so activating Apple Pay and Siri seems less awkward.
    • The Up Volume button is also lower, so using it for camera burst mode is less cumbersome.

    I also noticed that I’m not taking accidental screen shots like I did with the 11 Pro Max.

    WEIGHT 10/10
    My biggest surprise was the weight. It is incredibly light, but not so much that it feels like a toy. While I expected it to be much lighter than my 11 Pro Max, I was surprised that it was significantly lighter than my wife’s iPhone 11 Pro. The balance and weight seem perfect, and it doesn’t feel like it wants to tip out of my hand after prolonged use.

    CAMERA 7/10
    The reduced camera package was a known factor when I decided on this phone. While I don’t really miss (too much) my occasional need of the telephoto lens, I did notice that Portrait Mode shots need a bit more light than my previous phone to get the bokeh effect to work. I’ve never considered myself even an amateur photographer, so this camera package is more than sufficient for my needs, and still takes great pictures.

    Final Thoughts

    While my favorite iPhone was the 5S, the iPhone 12 is a really close second.

    Up until the iPhone 6, we only had one phone with all the goodies inside. Then Apple decided to diversify the product line and (in some ways) introduced the FOMO factor if you didn’t get the Pro models. The release of the iPhone 12 seems to have reduced that delineation, and positions it in the upper end of the product line as a “go to” phone for people that want premium features at a lower cost.

    I am still case-less after a week of normal use, and plan to continue. I think the value per dollar is good and enabled me to reduce my monthly cost. I don’t feel like I got a cheaper phone, just a high quality less expensive one.

    Your key phone characteristics may be completely different than mine. I hope however, that this provides a bit of useful information if you haven’t decided on your next upgrade or new purchase.

  • Lewis Hamilton sets all time F1 wins at 92

    GOAT 🏎 #44

  • Eddie Van Halen RIP 1955-2020

    Definitely GOAT. Amazing musician. 🎵

  • Ted Lasso - The Perfect Season

    When I got Apple TV+ free for 1 year with my new iPhone 11, I really didn’t see anything I had to watch. There were definitely shows that looked interesting or got good reviews, but nothing that jumped out at me. Then I heard about Ted Lasso.

    I’m a EPL fan, so a show that was based on a English football team sounded awesome. But then I heard about how the show was conceived; a promo for NBCSN’s EPL coverage in the US. While the promo was really funny, it didn’t seem like it could keep me interested for a whole season. Boy was I wrong…

    I won’t spoil anything here, but just say:

    • Jason Sudeikis (as Ted Lasso) is incredibly funny, but more importantly…heartwarming. He really shows how someone at their core can be a good and decent person.

    • They use the F word A LOT! But somehow (with British accents) it doesn’t sound quite so bad.

    • The rest of the cast and their chemistry on the small screen is just a joy.

    • The music is fantastic and Apple even has a Ted Lasso playlist in Apple Music

    Even if the Apple One subscription bundle wasn’t coming out, I would still pay for Apple TV+ just for Ted Lasso. Yes, it’s that good.

    It’s hard to believe I have to wait for season 2. 📺⚽️

  • iPad Air 4 - First Look: The A14 Chip

    From 9to5 Mac:

    First observed by the Twitter user Ice universe, the Geekbench test was performed on an iPad Air 4 running iOS 14.0.1. The Geekbench score reports 1583 for single-core and 4198 for multi-core, compared to 1112 for single-core and 2832 for multi-core of the A12 Bionic chip that powers the previous iPad Air 3.

    That means the A14 chip has 42% better perfomance than the A12 chip in single-core and 48% better in multi-core — which can be considered a great improvement for those upgrading from an iPad Air 3. Compared to the iPhone 11’s A13 Bionic chip, the A14 chip is about 20% faster in single-core (1327) and 28% faster in multi-core (3286).

    The 20% single-core and 28% multi-core improvement is nothing to complain about -vs- the iPhone 11’s A13.

  • Love the new iOS 14 home screen widgets!

  • Widgets, Widgets, Widgets…

  • Loss of a Legend

    Yesterday, the United States (and frankly the world) lost a incredible woman and human being.

    Her words, deeds, tenacity, and love for all people will be missed. #riprbg

  • iPad Magic Accessory

    So excited my new Magic Keyboard for iPad arrived today. A complete game changer in my opinion.

  • Starting my creative juices for building my sons’s high school band yearly slideshow. It’s bitter sweet since they only had about half their performances, and no final year end dinner. Was hoping for more being it’s his Senior year.

  • Hamilton and Moss raced vintage Mercedes

    Just brilliant. RIP Stirling Moss 🏎

  • My daughter’s Senior project is a 5k race. Profits go to a non profit providing resources to school students in need.

    Because of the current situation, she’s changed it to a virtual 5k. If you’re interested…



  • Picard…Awesome… 🖖

  • My wife found this in a comic book store in NYC. Too funny 🖖

  • Very excited for the premier of Picard. It’s been too long. 🖖

  • Drafts is one of the most amazing iOS & macOS apps today. Just incredible.

  • Nice few days with my Mom, Brother and his family. Any longer and things go sideways. Knowing when to leave can be the greatest gift for you -and- your family.

  • Always hard when a non tech friend has a compatibility issue. He has an original iPad Air and got a Apple Pencil 1 for Xmas. Hate giving bad news to nice people. I pointed him to the Adonit website, where he hopefully can find something he likes.

  • Can’t be Christmas without Bing, Rosemary, Danny & Vera… 🎥

  • Just about ready…

  • Jumanji: The Next Level was a fun movie and extremely enjoyable. 🎥

  • Very cool 🚀


    Apollo Flight Controller 101: Every console explained

  • www.cultofmac.com

    Satechi charger easily powers up Apple Watch from MacBook or iPad Pro

  • Fun article to read

    9to5Mac, Michael Potuck

    iFixit totally disassembles the new Mac Pro in ‘Fixmas miracle’

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