At an event on 13 October, Apple announced the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, replacing the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max from 2019, while alongside the new versions, iPhone 11 is still available.
What’s the same on the iPhone 12 models?
- Similar squarer design
- OLED displays
- Front camera
- A14 chip
- iOS 14 software
The iPhone 12 models have many similarities. They all have a similar flat edge design – but in terms of finishes and camera lenses on the back, there is some difference between the models. The Pro models are more premium in style, but a great finish is still available for the regular models. They all run with the next-generation Neural Engine on the same A14 chip, but they all run on iOS 14 apps and they are all compliant with 5G.
They all all have incredible punchy True Tone and Haptic Touch OLED display panels – although their resolutions vary – and they all come with the same front-facing camera, although they are all IP68 resistant to water and dust.
All four versions have Face ID, separating them from the Touch ID iPhone SE model. In our review, you can read more about the iPhone SE.
What’s different on the iPhone 12 models?
Whilst the four new iPhones have some similarities, there are of course a number of differences.
- 12 mini: 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm, 135g
- 12: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, 164g
- 12 Pro: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, 189g
- 12 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm, 228g
The physical dimensions of the four new iPhones all differ. The iPhone 12 mini is the smallest and lightest (it’s lovely), while the largest and heaviest is the iPhone 12 Pro Max (if you want a strong guy, it’s pretty heavy but great).
There are similar dimensions for the standard iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, but the Pro is a little heavier. In terms of scale, they are in the middle of the spectrum. All four devices are similar in thickness.
- 12 mini: 5.4-inches
- 12: 6.1-inches
- 12 Pro: 6.1-inches
- 12 Pro Max: 6.7-inches
The iPhone 12 mini has the smallest 5.4-inch display, but it’s not at all too thin. It features a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, 476ppi, making it the four models’ sharpest display.
With a resolution of 2532 x 1170 pixels, 460ppi, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are both 6.1-inches, and the iPhone 12 Max is the highest at 6.7-inches with a resolution of 2778 x 1284 pixels, 458ppi. Although the resolutions are different, the same display technology is used and the pixel densities are all very similar, so the distinction here is just about scale.
- iPhone 12 mini/iPhone 12: Dual rear camera
- iPhone 12 Pro: Triple rear camera
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: Triple rear camera, a larger main sensor with sensor-shift stabilisation.
As you might imagine, one of the main distinctive features between the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models and the Pro models is the rear camera configuration.
Composed of a 12-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 have a dual rear camera and provide the same performance. We skipped the telephoto lens, but in good conditions and low light conditions, they both yield great results.
A triple rear camera is featured on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. All have a main camera with 12 megapixels, an ultra-wide-angle camera with 12 megapixels and a telephoto camera with 12 megapixels.
However, to make it even more difficult, the main camera sensor and telephoto lens of the iPhone 12 Pro Max are different from the iPhone 12 Pro.
The 12 Pro has a 4x optical zoom telephoto lens with an aperture of f/2.0, while the 12 Pro Max has a new telephoto lens with an optical zoom of 5x and an aperture of f/2.2. With 1.7μm pixels, Max’s main sensor is also bigger, although it has the same aperture and resolution of f/1.6 as the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also uses this new lens with sensor-shift stabilisation, making it a much better camera for low-light photography.
For virtual reality and better perception of the scene in front of the eye, the Pro models also have a LIDAR sensor. In a nutshell, all the Pro models deliver fantastic results, and while the Pro Max is slightly better than the regular Pro, you won’t regret buying the 12 Pro instead if you don’t want the big screen.
- 12 mini/12: 64GB to 256GB
- 12 Pro/12 Pro Max: 128GB to 512GB
The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 come in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options.
- 12 mini/12: Five colours
- 12 Pro/12 Pro Max: Four colours
The iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 come in Black, Blue, White, Green and Product(Red) colour options.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max come in Pacific Blue, Gold, Graphite and Silver options.
The four iPhone 12 models all range in price, as you would imagine, with the Pro models sitting at the higher end and the iPhone 12 mini at the cheaper end.
The iPhone 12 mini starts at $699/£699. You can pre-order it now, and it will be available 13 November.
The standard iPhone 12 starts at $799/£799. It is available now.
The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999/£999. It is available now.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1099/£1099. You can pre-order it now, and it will be available 13 November.
Physical size, display size and cost are the only differences between the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12. Otherwise, the colours, storage options, camera and hardware between the two versions and the configuration are the same. If you prefer smaller handsets, the 12 mini is a truly fantastic little gadget.
The iPhone 12 is the same size as the iPhone 12 Pro model, but the Pro model has a more advanced rear camera configuration, as well as a more luxurious finish and different colour choices (although the 12 is still great). It also has numerous storage options, and the extra LiDAR sensor is more costly.
The physical size, display size, cost, but also the newer telephoto lens and main sensor with larger pixels are the differentiation between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The best iPhone 12 model for you will depend on the device size you want and how much those features mean to you. If you’re all about the camera, then the best option is the Pro models. If you want a monitor and a big screen, the 12 Pro Max is the one for you, but if you only want a camera, the 12 Pro is the one for you.
That said, despite not offering all the Pro models do in terms of camera configuration, we have experienced great results from the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12, so they are a great choice for those who do not have the higher budget and the 12 mini is an absolute powerhouse and a steal for those who fancy a change from a big smartphone.