After months of waiting, too many rumours to count and a lot of anticipation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off both the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max and they’re available now. But which one should you choose? Here are the key differences.
Long gone are the days when Apple simply released a single phone. Now we’ve got four very distinct models, including the tiny iPhone 12 Mini, a more traditional iPhone 12 and a duo of iPhone 12 Pro models. Here we’re focussing on the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, comparing the phones to see what the differences are and which is right for you.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro: Should you go Pro or save cash?
The iPhone 12 Pro has more base storage
First off, let’s start with storage. If you plump for the iPhone 12 you’ll have a base storage of 64GB, with higher options up to 256GB available at a premium. 64GB feels a little stingy these days, with the majority of Android devices shipping with the at least 128GB and often offering expandable storage.
Pick up the iPhone 12 Pro and this starts at 128GB, up from both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 Pro. You can also get the Pro models in sizes up to 512GB – ideal if you like storing lots of content on your device.
Like the 11 Pro, the new Pro models have superior displays
Apple has improved the display on the none Pro models this year, ditching LCD in favour of OLED across the board. That means whichever iPhone 12 you plump for it’ll have the superior colours, perfect blacks and more vivid colours.
Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro should offer superior colour reproduction and they the XDR branding. While the iPhone 12 has a far sharper resolution than the iPhone 11, it’s still the Pro that has the most pixels. There’s HDR support across the board too. We’ll have to get all these devices in hand to really see what’s new and how they compare to each other.
Another thing to note is that the Pro model comes in a larger 6.7-inch Max size. The iPhone 12 Mini is 5.4-inches and both the Pro and iPhone are 6.1-inches. If you really like the bigger phones, then it’ll probably be the Pro Max that piques your interest the most.
Rumours had previously suggested that the iPhone 12 Pro would sport a 120Hz display similar to the iPad Pro, however this isn’t the case.
Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro boast the new design language
Apple has finally drastically updated the design of its iPhone, ditching the iPhone X look we’ve had for a number of years now. These new models sport a look not too dissimilar to the iPad Pro, and they’re certainly inspired by the iconic iPhone 5.
You’ve got flat sides (rather than rounded ones) and a smooth back. The notch remains on the display, housing all the elements of the Face ID sensor. The Pro is made of slightly higher quality materials, with stainless steel sides as opposed to aluminium.
Both phones have water resistance skills, a Lightning port for charging (still no USB-C here) and lack previously included accessories like a charger plug and EarPods. You do still get the Lightning cable, though. They also both support the new MagSafe wireless charging tech.
These are the first iPhones to support 5G
One of the big new features for this whole selection of iPhones is support for 5G. The 5G networks have been on market trial in Singapore so it’s good to see Apple finally add 5G to its phones.
You don’t need to plump for the Pro models to get 5G, as all new models do support the tech. It’ll be interesting to see if 5G effects battery much much, or if the more efficient chipset (and likely larger batteries) offsets that.
All the iPhone 12 models also run on the A14 Bionic 5nm chipset. Amounts of RAM haven’t been disclosed yet but we wouldn’t be surprised if the Pro models sport more.
iPhone 12 Pro has more cameras and more evolved zooming skills
The most obvious difference between the camera arrays on these two phones is the number of sensors. The iPhone 12 had two (wide and ultra wide) while the Pro has three: wide, ultra wide and tele. The Pro also has a LiDAR sensor, which is used for capturing your environment in 3D.
There’s a new 12-megapixel main f/1.6 sensor across the board, with that faster aperture allowing light in brighter shots and video. Night mode is also available in the ultra wide mode now.
It’s the Pro Max where the biggest updates are though. This has a new 65mm tele lens, a 5x optical zoom range, 87% better (according to Apple) low-light snaps and new sensor-shift optical image stabilisation. It can also shoot Dolby Vision HDR 10-bit video – a first for a phone. There’s a lot of camera goodness going on here and we can’t wait to try it out.
Both come in a variety of colours
Each of these phones come in a different selection of hues. Here’s the rundown: The iPhone 12 Pro comes in blue (replacing the green from last year) gold, silver and graphite. These have a matte back and really quite shiny, highly polished sides. The iPhone 12 has a glossier back, and comes in red, white, blue and a few other shades.
iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro Max: Which Pro should you buy?
The biggest iPhone display you can get
Starting things off with the most obvious differences, iPhone 12 Pro Max is bigger (the biggest iPhone display you can buy, in fact). If you want the most immersive iPhone experience then you’ll want the 6.7-inch OLED of the Pro Max.
The iPhone 12 Pro isn’t to be sniffed at when it comes to size though, offering a decent 6.1-inch screen – which is an acceptable option for most people. Both screens feature the same OLED tech so there won’t be any difference in quality.
A subtle camera boost
There’s some differences between the two cameras of the Pro and Pro Max, and while it may seem small for many users, fans of photography may see it as a justification for opting for the larger device.
Both camera modules feature a triple camera setup and a LiDAR sensor. The combo provides improved Smart HDR, Night Mode, Portrait Mode and zooming capabilities from last year’s iPhone.
Here’s where the key difference for photography aficionados come into play. iPhone 12 Pro offers a telephoto lens with a 52mm focal length and the whole system is able to achieve a 4x optical zoom. The iPhone 12 Pro Max on the other hands features a telephoto lens with a 65mm and can manage a 5x optical zoom. The difference isn’t huge but if you want the best of the best iPhone camera then you’ll want to shell out for the Pro Max.
Bigger and better battery life
iPhone 12 Pro Max may have a larger display to power but the size outweighs that extra power draw – with the larger model offering a larger battery.
With the iPhone 11 models already seeing an hour to two-hour difference in battery life in favour of the Pro Max, we’re only expecting to see this gap grow with the iPhone 12 devices come our thorough testing. Like the camera, if you want the very best that iPhone has to offer than you should get the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Performance, colours and design on par
We’ve touched on some of the key differences but let’s delve into what remains the same between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Both devices feature the new A14 processor and if you’re wondering which colour to get, you’ll have the same options across Pro and Pro Max – with Gold, Silver, Black and Blue on offer.
The two Pro devices will look exactly the same when it comes to design, offering the same new industrial design and slightly reduced notch – meaning the size of the devices is the only differentiating factor in the looks department.
There’s a middling price gap
You’ve heard what’s the same and what’s different in iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, but the final decision might very well come down to price. Do you want to spend the extra cash on those subtle differences that the Pro Max offers or is the Pro plenty enough?
The price may seem like a small one to pay if you are a photography fanatic or big screen buff but if those aren’t your priorities then the regular Pro will likely do it for you.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max pricing and availability
iPhone 12 will start at S$1,149 for the Mini and S$1,299 for the 6.1-inch version. You can pre-order the iPhone 12 now, with the Mini available to order from November.
The iPhone 12 Pro starts at S$1,649 and again is open to pre-orders now, with the S$1,799 Pro Max coming in November.