Buying a new phone is usually a hands-on task, but you probably won’t be hitting up the nearest Apple store to see the new iPhone 12 lineup in person any time soon (for obvious reasons). To solve that, Apple recently launched its iPhone 12 Studio, a web-based mobile “experience” that lets you virtually examine all four iPhone 12 models and see how they look with first-party cases and accessories.
The iPhone 12 Studio works with any smartphone or tablet — Android devices included. It does not work on desktop. Seeing as I don’t own an iPhone, I gave it a shot on my iPad Pro and my Pixel 3a XL, and the experience was identical on both.
Here’s how it works: Open experience.apple/iphone on a smartphone or tablet, tap “Get Started,” and wait for everything to load.
You then select which iPhone 12 model you want to examine. Each phone can be rotated to show its design, and you can swap to different colours or attach cases and MagSafe wallets.
Every accessory you pick loads in with a brief animation — for example, the cases “slide” on and off the phone. It’s almost like decking out a video game character with items and skins, except instead of loading into a game world, it ends with the website asking if you’d like to purchase your personalised iPhone 12.
The iPhone 12 Studio is well-made and offers a neat way to look at every possible permutation of the iPhone 12, but it’s no replacement for in-person shopping.
Obviously, the process won’t deliver you any tactile impressions, which are very important when you’re buying a big-ticket item like a phone and its assorted accessories. How heavy is it? Do the materials seem durable? Will it be comfortable in your hand and in your pockets? How much can you really fit in that wallet sleeve?
You won’t get a “feel” for any of that with the iPhone 12 Studio tool, but it at least gives you a sense of what the iPhone 12 lineup and its cases look like.