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iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Everything we know so far

iphone 12 vs. iphone 12 pro
(Image credit: Concept Creator/Jonas Daehnert)

It might seem premature to be talking about an iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro comparison, but there are already a lot of leaks that spell out the expected differences between these two upcoming phones. Actually, make that four phones, as multiple reports point to two iPhone 12 models and two iPhone 12 Pro models arriving this fall.

All four iPhone 12 handsets should have OLED displays, 5G capability and Apple's powerful new A14 Bionic chip. But how will the iPhone 12 be different than the iPhone 12 Pro? Based on what we’ve heard so far, it comes down to the displays, the designs and especially the cameras. And there should be some pretty big price differences, too.

Here’s a closer look at Apple’s expanded lineup and how the iPhone 12 is stacking up against the iPhone 12 Pro in terms of features, specs and cost.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Rumored specs

iPhone 12 iPhone 12 MaxiPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Pro Max
Price$649, $749$749, $849$999, $1,099, $1,299$1,099, $1,199, $1,399
Display5.4-inch Super Retina OLED (BOE)6.1-inch Super Retina OLED (BOE)6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (Samsung)6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (Samsung)
ProcessorA14 BionicA14 BionicA14 BionicA14 Bionic
RAM4GB4GB6GB6GB
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
CamerasDual rear camerasDual rear camerasTriple cameras + LiDARTriple cameras + LiDAR
5GSub 6-GHzSub 6-GHzSub 6-GHz, mmWaveSub 6-GHz, mmWave
BodyAluminumAluminumSteel Steel

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Sizes and design

iPhone 12 dummy models

(Image credit: Macotakara)

The iPhone 12 will reportedly come in two sizes: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max. The iPhone 12 Pro should also feature a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max would be a fairly huge 6.7 inches.

iPhone 12 concept design

iPhone 12 concept design (Image credit: LetsGoDigital/Concept Creator)

In terms of design, all four iPhone 12 models are expected to sport smaller notches up front, as well as flatter sides that are reminiscent of the iPhone 5. There are also rumors that every iPhone 12 will be thinner across the board, too.

As far as differences go, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max should have aluminum and glass designs, while Apple will likely continue to reserve the stainless steel body for the iPhone 12 Pro phones. There are also rumors that we could see a new navy blue color for the iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Prices

  • iPhone 12: $649
  • iPhone 12 Max: $749
  • iPhone 12 Pro: $999
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: $1,099

According to Jon Prosser, one of the more reliable Apple leakers out there, the iPhone 12 will start at a very affordable $649. The larger iPhone 12 Pro Max will reportedly cost $749. By comparison, the iPhone 11 started at $699, so when you think about it the similarly sized iPhone 12 Max would command a $50 premium for adding 5G and Apple's other planned upgrades.

The iPhone 12 Pro is rumored to cost the same as the iPhone 11 Pro at $999, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max would have a price of $1,099. That pricing is also in line with last year's model.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Displays

The iPhone 12 Pro models might have higher display refresh rates.

The iPhone 12 Pro models might have higher display refresh rates. (Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

The big takeaway is that while all four iPhone 12 models should sport OLED screens, only the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are rumored to feature a 120Hz ProMotion display. This would deliver smoother frames rates for scrolling, watching video and games. But there are other alleged differences.

According to display expert Ross Young, the CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 has a rumored resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, while the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max will step that up to 2532 x 1170 pixels.

The iPhone 12 Pro would have the same resolution as the iPhone 12 Max, but the Pro would uniquely offer 10-bit color support. And Apple may decide to call this panel Retina XDR display for that reason. The iPhone 12 Pro Max would also be XDR capable and up the resolution to 2778 x 1824 pixels.

Although it shouldn't affect the overall performance, Samsung is rumored to be supplying displays for the 5.4-inch iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, while LG and BOE are said to be supplying the panels for the iPhone 12 Max.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: CPU, RAM and Storage

iPhone 12 render by PhoneArena

iPhone 12 render (Image credit: PhoneArena)

All four iPhone 12 models are expected to feature Apple's new 5nm A14 Bionic chip, which may very well be the fastest chip in a phone once more. However, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max will reportedly have 4GB of RAM, while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will deliver 6GB of RAM.

On the storage front, rumors point to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max offering 128GB or 256GB. The iPhone 12 Pro phones would have up to 512GB of storage as a third option.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Cameras

iPhone 12 Pro concept design

iPhone 12 Pro concept design (Image credit: Jonas Daehnert)

We've heard from multiple reports that the iPhone 12 will continue to feature dual cameras, which includes a wide angle lens and a ultra-wide angle lens. And we don't expect that to change. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max should offer an additional telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom, which would be an improvement over the 2x zoom on the iPhone 11 Pro series.

In addition, the iPhone 12 Pro phones should have a LiDAR sensor, which is an advanced time-of-flight 3D sensor, This can be used for capturing better portraits, delivering more convincing video effects and especially for enhanced performance in iPhone AR apps.

There have also been rumors that the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro may boast a new kind of sensor-shift image stablization technology for its camera. It's possible the main sensor on the iPhone 12 (regardless of the model) could see a resolution upgrade from 12MP to 64MP, but we have not seen a lot to back up that rumor.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: 5G

The good news is that all of the iPhone 12 Pro models should offer 5G connectivity. The bad news is that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max may be limited to sub-6Hz frequencies. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro will reportedly support both sub-6GHz networks and mmWave technology.

So why does this matter? mmWave right now delivers much faster speeds than sub-6GHz. We're talking about the difference between over 1 GBps for the former and in the 100 to 300 Mbps range for the latter. However, sub-6GHz 5G has a lot longer range, while mmWave networks require line of sight. 

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Battery

iPhone 12 5.4-inch with AirPods

An iPhone 12 concept design (Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

We haven't heard much about the iPhone 12 battery sizes yet, but one report points to the iPhone 12 Pro Max packing a 4,400 mAh battery. That would be a big upgrade form the 3,959 mAh battery inside the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Another upgrade that should help battery life across the entire range is the A14 Bionic chip. Because it's based on a 5-nanometer process, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro phones should be more efficient than the iPhone 11 lineup.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Outlook

iPhone 12 concept designs

iPhone 12 concept designs (Image credit: LetsGoDigital/Concept Creator)

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max are both poised to deliver excellent bang for your buck when it comes to flagship phones. You should expect a fast A14 Bionic processor, 5G connectivity, improved cameras and a sleeker design. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max should be able to justify their premium pricing, though, thanks to their smoother 120Hz displays, more advanced camera system with LiDAR and more robust 5G support. 

We will update this guide as we learn more about the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro heading up to their launch this fall. And in the meantime be sure to bookmark our iPhone 12 hub to keep up to speed on all of the latest rumors and leaks.