Which New iPhone Is Right for You? All 4 of Apple's iPhone 12 Models Compared
Torn between Apple's iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, or the iPhone 12 Pro Max? We compare specs and features for each one to help you decide which will best fit your needs.
If you're in the market for a smartphone, Apple has four new options. The iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max all feature a new design, updated color offerings, and 5G connectivity. But starting at $699 for the iPhone 12 mini, up to $1,099 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, each new model requires a substantial investment. Wondering which one is right for you? We've collected the most important specs in the table below and have some additional info to help you decide.
Apple iPhone 12 mini
The iPhone 12 lineup offers a size for everyone. It’s probably no surprise that the iPhone 12 Mini is the smallest of the bunch at 5.2 by 2.5 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and just 4.8 ounces.
Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro measure 5.8 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches (HWD). The iPhone 12 is a little lighter at 5.8 ounces, while the iPhone 12 Pro comes in at 6.7 ounces.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the largest of the bunch. It measures 6.3 by 3.1 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and tips the scales at 8 ounces.
If you prefer a phone that easily fits in a pocket without weighing it down, the iPhone 12 Mini is the way to go. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro look like nice middle ground options, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is ideal for hard-core gamers and media streamers.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Last year, one of the main differences between the entry-level iPhone 11 and the high-end iPhone 11 Pro was display technology. Apple reserved its Super Retina XDR OLED display for its Pro lineup and used a less expensive LCD for the iPhone 11. This year, however, things have changed.
The entire iPhone 12 lineup now features Apple’s Super Retina XDR OLED display and the main difference is size. The iPhone 12 Mini features a 5.4-inch display, while the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro have 6.1-inch screens. The 6.7-inch panel on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the largest ever for an iPhone.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
And while all the new iPhone 12 models have a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits in HDR, typical maximum brightness varies a bit on the Pro series. The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini have a maximum typical brightness of 625 nits, while the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max offer a typical maximum brightness of 800 nits.
All four iPhones should be more than bright enough to use in direct sunlight without issue. The main difference here is panel size, so you'll need to consider the size of your hands and your individual preferences.
Apple iPhone 12
Cameras are the most important differentiator between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models. On the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini, you'll find dual 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide cameras on the back, and a 12MP selfie sensor on the front. Both phones support 2x optical zoom. While that may sound the same as last year’s iPhone 11, there’s one major difference: The primary (wide) sensor on the iPhone 12 uses a wider f/1.6 aperture that should perform better in low light.
On the iPhone 12 Pro, you get a triple camera stack with 12MP sensors, along with a LiDAR Scanner. There's a primary wide-angle lens, an ultrawide lens with a 120-degree field of view, and a telephoto lens with a 4x optical zoom range as well as 10x digital zoom. Again, the main difference between the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro is a wider f/1.6 aperture for improved low-light performance. The selfie cam is 12MP.iPhone 12 Pro Max
While the iPhone 12 Pro Max appears to have similar specs to the 12 Pro's three lenses and LiDAR Scanner, its telephoto sensor is a little different. It's also 12MP, but it has a narrower f/2.4 aperture than the iPhone 12 Pro, and it supports 5x optical zoom and 12x digital zoom.
In addition to hardware differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models, there are also some notable software differences. The Pro series are the only iPhones to support the new Apple ProRAW mode. The Pro models also support Dolby Vision HDR at 60fps, while the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini max out at 30fps.
If you’re a mobile photographer or videographer, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will likely be your top choice, though the iPhone 12 Pro is also a strong option that can save you some money. For everyone else, the iPhone 12 or 12 Mini have the same primary lens with a wider aperture than their more expensive siblings, and should take solid photos in most lighting scenarios.
Price and AvailabilityiPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 Mini is the least expensive of bunch, starting at $699 for the 64GB model. If you want to double your storage space, add an extra $50. For 256GB of storage, you'll have to shell out $849.
The iPhone 12 at $799 for 64GB of storage, and goes up to $849 for 128GB and $949 for 256GB.iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro comes with 128GB of storage for $999, while the 256GB model sells for $1,099 and the 512GB version will set you back $1,299.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099 for 128GB, goes to $1,199 for 256GB, and maxes out at $1,399 for 512GB.
The new iPhones will become available at different times. Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro start October 16, for delivery October 23. The iPhone 12 pre-order starts on November 6, for delivery November 13, and the iPhone 12 Max goes on pre-order November 13, delivering on November 20.
Check back in the coming weeks for full tested reviews of all four iPhone 12 models.