As soon as Apple showed off the iPhone 12 new design I was already dubious about how it would feel in the hand. Flat edges are great to look at, but there is a reason that no one uses them for modern smartphones. Put simply your hands are curved.
Sure the design of the iPhone 4/5 is lauded above all others, and the flat sides are part of that excellent design package, but this was at a time when screens and screen-time counts were much smaller. It still is a truly iconic design, but when your screen is 6.1inches and the phone weighs in at 183g it just doesn’t work.
Undoubtedly, some people love the new design. Looking at it from afar it’s easy to see the huge change in design, and how great it looks. However, design has as much to do with function as it does form, and this just doesn’t work in your hand. The edges are uncomfortable, the weight is needlessly excessive, and it hurts my hands to use it.
Perhaps I am spoilt. After using the Pixel 5 and Note 20 ultra, they both feature a great feel it the hand. With the Pixel 5 sporting a similar 6inch screen in a much smaller, more ergonomic package that truly is a wonder to use. Sure it doesn’t feature the same types of materials, but high quality doesn’t mean great design. New users must take this into account when thinking about buying an iPhone 12 Pro especially.
I can understand why the change has been made. The iPad Pro, and new iPad Air, share a similar aesthetic and it’s important to reflect this in your line up. Without changing the design of the iPhone 12, what actually would have been updated from the iPhone 11? Growth at all costs leads to changes for changes sake, and you can claim that the flat design is ”timeless iPhone design” all you like. The fact remains that the iPhones design was curved for much longer than to was ever flat. For good reason.
The once notorious equal chin and forehead bezels with a round home button could be picked out in a crowed market. This iconic design has been replaced with the notched all screen display. Apple did not need to flatten the edges to make the iPhone stand out, it needed to work harder to build value to the design they have.
Perhaps the iPhone 12 mini will feel much better, perhaps it’s a non issue that people will get used to, and no doubt we will see loads of copycat designs now. However, right here, right now there is a reason other phones are not flat because they are designed to use not to look at. When all is said and done, a £1000 should feel better than this.