• Bruce Burke

Talking Heads: iPhone 12 Embargo Lifted

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

Today Apple lifted their media embargo on the new iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 Pro models. The channels were flooded with a tsunami of content, all focused on and around the new iPhone 12.

Talking heads from around the world are sharing their take on Apple's stunning new hardware. I've written two different posts about these new phones, so today I'm going to share what I'm watching.


The Verge / Nilay Patel & Becca Farsace

I chose Nilay Patel to go first because he rarely does a video review, usually choosing only to do the newest iPhones, and occasionally the MacBook. But his outlook as a no-nonsense New Yorker, and his straightforward approach is refreshing compared to others that just babble, parroting the Apple press release into their video cameras.

Nilay is joined by Becca Farsace who shares about recording video in Dolby Vision. Her trials with this new format sets the stage for the forthcoming Pro Max. Becca's bubbling enthusiasm for great images is infectious. I'm interested in her take on the Pro Max when that's released and reviewed.

The Verge's Dieter Bohn also reviewed the standard Phone 12, although I like his review style I didn't include it here for the sake of brevity. But if you're really interested in the iPhone 12, I highly recommend that you watch his video. There is a link in Nilay and Becca's video to view Dieter's common sense review on what will probably be the biggest selling model of the 2020 lineup.

Marques Brownlee / MKBHD

Rather than posting Marques' YouTube unboxing and review, I instead am again focusing in on the video being produced by these new iPhones. Although he does not actually identify it, this casual video, posted to Twitter was shot with the iPhone 12 Pro model.

Now as Becca said, the Pro does not have the larger sensor, wider aperture, and better image stabilizer, like the Pro Max, but look at this footage. No special lighting, no sophisticated set up, just a bunch of phones and accessories laying on a table looks fantastic!

Look at the color, and light refraction from the Product [RED] phone. Despite a color dappled tabletop the camera doesn't falter and get muddy. I would attribute any noise you might experience playing this back can probably attributed to the video support that Twitter uses. The image is clean, crisp and has great contrast with details of the table even showing up in shadows.

Zollotech / Aaron Zollo

In addition to the media embargo being lifted, iOS 14.1 was released in anticipation of the new iPhones and iPads starting to ship. In this video Aaron goes over all the bug fixes in the updated software. Aaron keeps up with all the updates via the Apple Beta Testers program.

I mention this because, although Apple doesn't note that they fixed the battery issue that many were experiencing, Aaron says he's been using 14.1 for a while, and it seems as if the issue is fixed.

I've always found Aaron's reports informative, he's not as widely known as some of the other reviewers but I've always found him pleasant to watch, He doesn't have the arrogance that some reviewers have. I call him the Mr. Rogers of tech reviews, and he shares cool wallpapers too.

Peter McKinnon

So before slide off too deep in the tech end, I want to share more about the photo aspects on the new camera system on the iPhone Pro. And who better to do it than pro photographer, Peter McKinnon.

Peter is widely known for his product photography tips and tricks, as well as highlighting other photographers and videographers who he thinks do some great work.


Although not essentially a tech reviewer its good to see the product from a pro's perspective. Could this phone camera replace all he gear in his cage, no he uses some sophisticated equipment.

But as a daily driver that also happens to take great photos it's more than adequate. In the video Peter says he'll be sharing a video where he tests Dolby Vision on the new iPhone Vs. some other cameras that have similar capabilities. I'm interested in that, MKBHD's casual shoot was a teaser.

Jonathan Morrison

Yes, the new iPhones have started shipping, but before they arrive some buyers are starting to receive their accessories first. The rebirth of Apple's popular MagSafe technology is a great feature for iPhones that allows you to magnetically attach any number of accessories to your iPhone 12.

While we are talking about charging, yes you can still use your old power brick and lightning cable to charge. Apple only includes a USB-C cable in the box with the new iPhone 12. Yes if you don't have a power brick that has that type of port, you'll have to buy one.


But, one thing I noticed that I didn't see was anyone talking about how you only have to buy one wall wort and it will work with both the included cable, and also support the new MagSafe disc, as it doesn't come with a power adapter either.

This round shaped charger would be even more convenient with a two meter cable. I'm sure there is going to be an avalanche of accessories for this new magnetic solution. What would you want attached to your new iPhone?

UrAvgConsumer / Judner Aura

I add this unboxing and overview because Judner and his crew share some beautiful glamor shots of this hot new phone. If you're someone who likes to oooh and ahhh over beautifully designed hardware, you'll love this video.

Most of the other videos I have shared thus far have mostly focused on the tech or camera features so I wanted to share this video that provides more of a consumer's viewpoint of the new iPhone. Shoppers are now making decisions as to what iPhone is right for them.

The two options right now is the standard and Pro model. Do consumers want to spend the extra money to upgrade to the Pro, or is the beautiful blue iPhone enough?

Most consumers will choose between these two offerings. But the more discriminating are holding out for the release of the forthcoming mini and Pro Max variants. These will be both the least and most expensive price points among all the new phones in the iPhone 12 lineup.

iJustine / Justine Ezarik

While we are talking about the consumers point of view, iJustine is widely known lifecaster who is one of the original gangsters of the video review game. She's been doing it as long as anyone in the business, and her perspective from the female point of view is extremely important.

Accessories and colors are a huge factor in consumer's buying decisions, and Justine highlights this aspect of all Apple products and services. She shares what accessories she pairs together to make tech more fashionable and integrated with wardrobe, makeup and other accessories.

Justine and now her sister, Jenna Ezarick are highly influential with their viewers, her popularity is testament to the content she produces. Justine currently has 6.63 million subscribers worldwide and 1.21 billion views of her videos as of October 1st, I'm sure this new video will add to her views.

Mrwhostheboss / Arun Mani

I'm attempting to provide as much diversity in perspective as possible with the reviews I am sharing. Arun is the UK's largest tech reviewers, a former 24 year old economics student who started shooting videos in his bedroom.

His passion for technology fueled his video productions and he now calls some of the biggest names in tech his friends. He demos the new 1080 FaceTime with MKBHD in this video.


This kind of acceleration is common among reviewers that provide good content, and let their individual personalities shine through. Arun is one of many such people that started by being resourceful, using the technology he had readily available to create a brand and pull himself up by his virtual bootstraps.

I started Applefanboi partly due to watching people like Arun starting something from scratch and manifesting their interests and passions into content they share with the world. I have watched many such reviewers build their lives, sharing it with their viewers as they grow - to me, it's inspiring.

Rene Ritchie

So I've shared a variety of viewpoints, from a good cross-section of reviewers. I saved this deep-dive for last. Rene demonstrates his deep industry knowledge, and Apple back history in this mega review. His understanding of the complexity of the individual components that make up the iPhone. His commentary is detailed, with some snark thrown in for good measure.

Rene recently left his position as Lead Analyst & Executive Editor at iMore to start his own channel. He is widely known for is podcasts including Debug, Iterate, Vector, ZEN & TECH, Review, The TV Show, and as co-host of MacBreak Weekly on the TWiT Network. Ritchie was also the executive producer of Mobile Nations Broadcasting. He has also been named by Business Insider one of the Top 100 most influential tech people in Twitter, one of the 15 most important Apple analysts and writers, and one of the Top 25 Gadget Gurus.


Rene's willingness to break out on his own is a theme that is repeated over and over amongst creators who have turned to video to build their brand. Eventually these pioneers expand their popularity into other products and services. Some create phone cases, t-shirts and other merch, but some branch into high level video, and music production. Learning their craft, developing their knowledge, and audience, while gaining experience to further their careers.

These new devices are beautifully designed and have amazing colors and some really cool new tech. But I am focused on what this new hardware can help me create. Having the ability to shoot, playback, edit and share Dolby Vision video footage at 4k with 60 frames per second is inspiring me to start digging in on shooting, editing and sharing my own video creations as I learn.

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