5.4-inch iPhone 12 just leaked — and it’s the perfect size

iPhone 12 render
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital/Concept Creator)
  • A dummy unit of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 has been leaked shown next to the original iPhone SE and iPhone 7.
  • Despite having a larger display than the iPhone 7, the iPhone 12 is more compact, which means it should be easy to use with one hand.
  • The iPhone 12 dummy unit also shows off flat sides and more squared-off edges, which will make the phone easier to grip than the iPhone 11.

If you think phone display sizes are getting out of hand — literally — we have some good news. The iPhone 12 is expected to come in a very compact 5.4-inch size, and now someone has purchased an iPhone 12 dummy unit to show how it stacks up to other iPhones.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone SE vs iPhone 7

(Image credit: iZac via MacRumors)

According to MacRumors, forum user iZac bought a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 dummy and provided a size comparison between it and the original iPhone SE. The iPhone 12 delivers a much larger screen than both handsets without the bulk.

For those who don’t remember, the original iPhone SE had a 4-inch display, while the iPhone 7 had a 4.7-inch panel (similar to the iPhone SE 2020). As you can see in the photo, the iPhone 12 is smaller than the iPhone 7 despite having a larger 5.4-inch screen.

The reason for the iPhone 12’s just-right size is that it loses the Touch ID/home button on the iPhone SE and iPhone 7 and that it features very narrow bezels compared to those phones. The iPhone 12 will use Face ID, which takes up a lot less room than Touch ID. There's also a rumor that the notch on the iPhone 12 will be smaller than the iPhone 11, but that's not confirmed.

Will iPhone 12 be the best small phone yet?

iZac admits that going from a 4-inch screen on the original iPhone SE to the 5.4-inch panel on the iPhone 12 is a stretch, but that “it feels a lot more manageable because the square profile and flat side let you actually grip the device.”

iPhone 12 profile

The iPhone 12 (middle) is bigger than the iPhone SE (top) but smaller than the iPhone 7 (bottom). (Image credit: iZac via MacRumors)

Based on multiple iPhone 12 reports and leaks, Apple will offer flat sides, similar to the iPhone 5 and iPad Pro 2020. This should make the phone easier to hold and use with one hand. 

If the iPhone 12 dummy unit is accurate, iZac claims that it is about 6mm wider than the iPhone SE and about 3mm thinner than the iPhone 7. 

The iPhone 12 will come in two other sizes. The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max should share the same specs as the iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 Pro should also be 6.1 inches, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is rumored to be 6.7 inches. The Pro models will reportedly add a third rear camera, a possible LiDAR sensor and a 120Hz display.

iPhone 12 front vs iPhone SE vs iPhone 7

Original iPhone SE (top); iPhone 12 dummy unit (middle); iPhone 7 (bottom) (Image credit: iZac via MacRumors)

On the Android side of things, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 starts at 6.2 inches and goes up to 6.9 inches for the Galaxy S20 Ultra. And the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are decidedly large handsets at 6.55 inches and 6.78 inches. Google’s Pixel 4a should be compact with a rumored 5.8 inch display, but that’s still significantly larger than the entry-level iPhone 12.

On the surface, producing a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 would seem like a gamble, but given that it’s also rumored to start at just $649 — and possibly as cheap as $549 for a 4G version — it could be the perfect iPhone in terms of size and value for a lot of people. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.