Massive iPhone 12 Pro leak reveals ton of new features — and world’s first video

iPhone 12 render from PhoneArena
(Image credit: PhoneArena)

A new leak has revealed a ton of information about the iPhone 12 Pro Max, including its camera capabilities, LiDAR sensor and a 120Hz refresh-rate display. But there's a lot more here, including improved Face ID and confirmation of the iPhone 12 Pro's design.

Given the amount of info in the leak, it’s no surprise it comes courtesy of Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech, who has a video of a 'hands-on' of a Product Validation Testing (PVT version) of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. In effect, this is very likely close to the finished version of the top-end iPhone 12 model. 

Prosser himself didn’t get his hands on the iPhone 12 Pro Max PVT unit, but a source allegedly shot a video of the phone. And between the screenshots of the software and the video clip itself, there's a lot to unpack.

iPhone 12 Pro Max LiDAR and camera settings 

FPT’s video showed off screenshots of the camera settings for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which confirms the presence of a LiDAR sensor on that iPhone 12 model. The sensor will assist with autofocus and subject detection in video recording and when using the phone’s cameras in night mode.  

iPhone 12 Pro Max camera settings

(Image credit: Jon Prosser and FPT)

That sounds similar to the laser sensor that can improve performance in the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. But the leak also revealed that the iPhone 12 Pro Max will be able to capture 4K footage at 120 frames per second and a massive 240 fps 4K slo-mo. All this means video capture on the iPhone 12 Pro Max should have a solid upgrade over the capabilities of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which can capture 4K at 60fps and 120fps in slo-mo mode.  

Other camera settings shown off in Prosser’s video, include an enhanced night mode with extended exposure times, improved noise detection, and the ability to enable bit depth video. The latter setting suggests an option to capture video in different color bit options, thought FPT didn’t go into detail about it.  

iPhone 12 Pro Max camera settings

(Image credit: Jon Prosser and FPT)

Given that this leak covers the iPhone 12 Pro Max only, we don’t know if the iPhone 12 Pro will have the same settings or the LiDAR sensor. From other leaks, it could be that the LiDAR sensor is reserved for the Pro Max only. But we’d be pretty confident that the iPhone 12 Pro will have pretty much the same video recording modes and enhanced camera features, just without LiDAR assistance. 

In comparison, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max are expected to only come with a pair of cameras and no extra sensors, according to the leaks so far. But we’d expect Apple to have worked on the image signal processing and computational photography to boost those phones’ camera performance over the iPhone 11.

 iPhone 12 Pro Max 120Hz display 

It’s been a bit of a confusing mess of contradicting rumors as to whether the iPhone 12 series will come with a 120Hz refresh-rate display; Prosser has been saying we can expect a 120Hz refresh rate in the iPhone 12 Pro handsets for some time, while display analyst and leaker Ross Young has claimed that the iPhone 12 won’t have the hardware to support a high refresh-rate display. 

FPT’s video claims the iPhone 12 Pro Max will indeed have a 120Hz display going by a screenshot of the settings showing “enable high refresh rate” as well as a setting for “adaptive refresh rate” with an explanation noting that the setting will scale the display from 120Hz to 60hz in “accordance to the content displayed on-screen.” 

iPhone 12 Pro Max display settings

(Image credit: Jon Prosser and FTP)

Again, this was a setting for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, so we’re not sure if other iPhone 12 models will get a 120Hz display, Going by other leaks, it looks likely only the iPhone 12 Pro phones will get the high refresh rate, while the standard models will make do with a 60Hz display. 

Young weighed in on the discussion and said it’s interesting that some prototypes of the iPhone 12 support 120Hz while others don’t. And he also said that his analyst house has heard the hardware in the iPhone 12 Pro models will only support variation in refresh rate between 60Hz to 96Hz. Young did add that Apple may tweak the refresh rate by 25 percent to get the display up to 120Hz. 

Essentially, it’s looking like a 120Hz display is likely in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, but not in the standard iPhone 12 models. That could be a disappointment to some Apple fans given the base model of the Samsung Galaxy S20 series comes with a 120Hz display, as does the OnePlus 8 Pro.

iPhone 12 Pro Max design 

The PVT iPhone 12 Pro Max came in a case to hide its final design. But from the video we can see that it has slightly slimmer bezels over its predecessor. 

There were predictions that the display notch would be smaller, but this doesn't appear to be the case, Prosser noted that in the video the notch looks a little smaller but only because it was sitting in a larger 6.7-inch display. 

For people potentially disappointed by the notch size, Face ID is apparently faster and will detect a user’s face from a wider angle. So keeping the notch size does seem to have its benefits. 

Underneath the case, FPT’s source claimed there will indeed be flat edges as predicted in other leaks, but the screen will curve into them. So there will be no hard cut-off like there was with the flat edges of the iPhone 4. 

Finally, the rear camera module will take up around 10% more space on the rear of the iPhone 12 Pro Max than it does on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. That’s hardly surprising given the addition of an extra sensor. 

From all this, we can predict that the iPhone 12 Pro will look pretty much identical to the Max model, only a bit smaller and potentially with a smaller rear camera module. We’d also expect the standard iPhone 12 models to have the same design, only with one less rear camera and thus a smaller module on the back. 

iPhone 12 Pro Max design

(Image credit: Jon Prosser and FPT)

iPhone 12 outlook

And that’s it for the information from this major leak. It’s looking like the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will be the phones you’ll want to get if you’re after the best from Apple’s iPhone range. The standard iPhone 12 handsets are shaping up to be more of an iterative upgrade over the iPhone 11. But with the A14 Bionic at their core, which is expected to deliver a hike in performance and battery efficiency, we predict Apple will equip the standard iPhone 12 with plenty of features to make it compelling. 

We’re expecting the iPhone 12 range to be revealed in September. But given the chaos the coronavirus pandemic has caused, there are rumors suggesting that the standard iPhone 12 handsets will launch first, potentially in October, with the Pro models coming after, even as late as November. This delay is probably one of the reasons that Apple may be able to get a 120Hz display into the Pro handsets. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.