5 features iPhone 12 lacks that would have been pretty great

5 features iPhone 12 lacks that would have been pretty great


Angela Lang / CNET

The iPhone 12 made a big impression in our test and has some great features like 5G support, a fresh design and support for Apple’s new one MagSafe chargers. But there are some things missing that we would like to see in an ideal world. No, they’re not deal breakers and not even features that we’d find on an iPhone, but they should be kept in mind, especially if you’re thinking of switching from Android.

1. Expandable storage

Apple never allowed you to add a microSD card to any of their phones, and the new generation, including the iPhone 12, is no exception. While this may not be a problem for many of you, you need to think carefully beforehand how much space you are likely to need and how much built-in storage you can afford. Apple charges a premium for more storage space, with the 64GB iPhone 12 priced at $ 829 and the 256GB model priced at $ 979.


The possibility of inserting a tiny microSD card offers unlimited space for storing additional photos and videos.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

If you are Switch from Android You may not have thought much about it as many Android phones allow you to insert a microSD card to add more base storage. If you plan to record a lot of 4K video or download a lot of large, graphically demanding games, you should check out the higher capacities.

2. Fingerprint scanner

Apple has withdrawn the classic home button with its built-in fingerprint scanner a few generations ago (without the iPhone SEOf course) replace it with FaceID instead, which uses facial recognition to secure your phone. For the most part, it works well and we didn’t really miss it. Until the coronavirus pandemic broke out and wearing face masks became the norm when we are out and about in public places. FaceID doesn’t work with face masks So we’re re-entering PIN codes to access our phones.


An on-screen fingerprint scanner, while providing biometric security, doesn’t take up any extra space on the phone.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

While we don’t want a big button on the front of the phone to come back and squish the screen, many Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and even affordable phones like the OnePlus Nord, have fingerprint scanners built into the display itself. They’re invisible and don’t take up any extra space on the phone. This makes it an elegant solution for biometric security when face scanning is not an option.

3. Screen refresh rate of 120 Hz

All iPhone 12 models have screen refresh rates of 60 Hz, which has been a disappointment for many hoped Apple would increase this to 120Hz. A faster refresh rate gives the phone a smoother look and feel when you’re using it, with no motion blur as you move between screens, and everything feels a little faster. It’s a feature available on Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus North.


The OnePlus 8T has a 120Hz screen that makes things look buttery smooth as you scroll.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

It’s likely that Apple went with 60Hz to improve battery life, especially since adding 5G makes the phones even more power hungry. Is that important? Personally no. If you hold the iPhone 12 next to the OnePlus Nord with its 120Hz display (like I did) you might notice a small difference, but I honestly don’t think you would ever notice it in everyday use.

The powerful processors in the iPhone 12 models ensure that the performance always feels snappy, which results in a smooth experience despite the lower refresh rate and I would pull a better battery over a faster screen every day.

4. Telephoto lens

The The iPhone 12’s camera can take excellent pictures with its standard wide angle view and with the super wide angle lens. What it can’t do is zoom in with the iPhone 12 Pro’s telephoto lens. 12 per max or with previous generations like that iPhone 11 Pro.

Continue reading: iPhone 12 vs. Pro and Pro Max: The Features That Might Convince You To Go Pro

Whether this is important to you depends on how seriously you take your photography and how often you need to get closer in a scene, or whether you prefer to capture as much as possible in front of you.


The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have a telephoto lens that allows you to further enlarge the action.

James Martin / CNET

For me, photography skills are my number one priority when it comes to phones, so I want this telephoto lens to give me extra shooting opportunities on the go. If you’re a more casual shooter you may not miss it and will be perfectly pleased with the excellent shots you can get from the other two lenses.

5. ProRaw

Apple’s upcoming ProRaw is an image format that takes advantage of some of the cameras’ computerized photo capabilities (including HDR merge) but allows for deeper editing options, much like a raw image file captured on a professional DSLR. It may be a great compromise between Full Raw and the standard JPEG the camera spits out, but it’s a feature reserved for the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.


Apple’s ProRaw can be of great help for professional post-capture editing. It’s not available yet, so this image was taken in standard JPEG mode which still has plenty of editing options.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

It’s arguably a neat niche feature that will only appeal to the most dedicated photographers (of which I count myself as a proud member), as with the telephoto lens, the more casual Sagittarius among you will probably never give a second thought to your absence. There’s a chance Apple will roll out the feature to phones beyond the Pro line. However, it’s more likely that Apple will reserve them as an elite feature to justify the upgrade cost.

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