The iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro debate gives shoppers very strong options to choose from, whether you’re upgrading from an older iPhone or switching from Android. Our iPhone 12 review and iPhone 12 Pro review are both quite positive, and both versions of Apple’s flagship phone benefit from 5G support, blazing A14 Bionic processors and gorgeous OLED displays.
But there some key differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro — especially when it comes to price and the cameras.
Choosing between iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro is actually a choice between four phones. Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini make up the lower end, with more affordable prices and vibrant color options. Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max have more advanced cameras, bigger display options and unique color schemes.
Wondering which iPhone 12 is for you? Here’s how the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro series compare.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro: Cheat sheet
- The regular iPhone 12 ($799) is the best iPhone for most people with an excellent 6.1-inch OLED display and very capable cameras.
- While very powerful for a compact phone, the $699 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini will likely be too small for many.
- The iPhone 12 Pro delivers a telephoto lens for zooming in and more RAM than the regular iPhone 12, along with a more premium stainless steel design.
- Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max is the ultimate iPhone, offering a huge 6.7-inch display, a LiDAR sensor for faster autofocus and the longest battery life.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Specs
|iPhone 12 mini||iPhone 12||iPhone 12 Pro||iPhone 12 Pro Max|
|Display||5.4 inches OLED (2340 x1080)||6.1 inches OLED (2532 x 1170)||6.1 inches OLED (2532 x 1170)||6.7 inches (2778 x 1284)|
|Colors||Black, White, Red, Green and Blue||Black, White, Red, Green and Blue||Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue||Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Rear camera||12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultra-wide f/2.4)(||12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultra-wide f/2.4)(||12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4), 12MP telephoto (f/2.0)||12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4), 12MP telephoto (f/2.2)|
|Front camera||12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2)||12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2)||12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2)||12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2)|
|5G||sub-6Ghz, mmWave||sub-6Ghz, mmWave||sub-6Ghz, mmWave||sub-6Ghz, mmWave|
|Battery life||7:28 (5G)||8:25 (5G)||9:06 (5G)||10:53 (5G)|
|Size||5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches||5.78 x 2.82 x 0.29 inches||5.78 x 2.82 x 0.29 inches||6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches|
|Weight||4.76 ounces||5.78 ounces||6.66 ounches||8.03 ounces|
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Prices
- iPhone 12 mini: $699
- iPhone 12: $799
- iPhone 12 Pro: $999
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: $1,099
The iPhone 12 mini starts at $699. The iPhone 12 is $100 more at $799. Note that those are the prices for models tied to AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Buy an unlocked iPhone 12 at Apple, for example, and you’ll pay $829; unlocked iPhone 12 minis are also subject to that $30 price hike.
The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max retain their prices from last year’s iterations, starting at $999 and $1,099, respectively. Fortunately, the starting storage on these models has been doubled to 128GB.
Be sure to check our iPhone 12 deals page for the latest sales and discounts.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Sizes and design
The iPhone 12 comes in two sizes: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and 6.1-inch iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 Pro features a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a fairly huge 6.7 inches.
In terms of design, all four iPhone 12 models sport smaller notches up front, as well as flatter sides that are reminiscent of the iPhone 5. Every iPhone 12 is thinner across the board, too.
As far as differences go, the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 have aluminum and glass designs, while Apple continues to reserve the stainless steel body for the iPhone 12 Pro phones.
Another key difference is in the colors. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini come in a variety of vibrant hues including blue, green, red, white and black. Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro series comes in silver, graphite, gold and a new pacific blue.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Displays
One of the biggest differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models comes down to display size. Naturally, the iPhone 12 mini is the smallest of the bunch, with a 5.4-inch, 2340 x 1080 screen.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro both feature 6.1-inch, 2532 x 1170 displays, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the biggest iPhone display yet at a massive 6.7 inches and 2778 x 1284 resolution. Every new iPhone display is OLED, featuring Apple’s Super Retina XDR technology.
Unfortunately, the iPhone 12 Pro models don’t feature 120Hz displays for extra smooth motion as was previously rumored. You’ll still be getting a 60Hz screen on every version of the iPhone 12.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Cameras
The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 continue to feature dual cameras in the back, including a wide angle lens and an ultra wide-angle lens. New features include Night Mode for both the front and rear cameras, as well as Night Mode Time Lapse for putting together slick nighttime videos.
If you’re serious about smartphone photography, though, you’ll want to go for the iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max. These phones have a triple-camera array with improved lenses, as well as an advanced LiDAR sensor for better augmented reality and greater depth sensing for photos and videos.
You’ll also enjoy advanced features such as Apple ProRAW, which blends Apple’s own computational photography with the typical benefits of editing in the RAW photo format. You’ll be able to fine tune things such as white balance and color, while taking advantage of existing iPhone features such as Smart HDR. The iPhone 12 Pro is also the first phone to let you shoot and edit video using Dolby Vision HDR.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: 5G
Fortunately, every new iPhone 12 model supports 5G speeds. Better yet, they all support both sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies, meaning you’ll be equipped for the fastest 5G experiences no matter where you are. Every iPhone 12 also benefits from Smart Data Mode, which can automatically adapt between 4G and 5G based on your location to save you data and power.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Performance
Despite the different prices and other features you’ll find across the iPhone 12 lineup, performance is pretty consistent. That’s because all four iPhones run on Apple’s new A14 Bionic processor, which just happens to produce the best results we’ve ever seen in benchmark tests.
You can read our full report on iPhone 12 benchmarks, but the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro turned in nearly identical numbers on tests like Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, and 3DMark’s Wild Life test for graphics performance. In our real-world test — where we transcode a 4K video into 1080p — only a second separated the iPhone 12’s time from the iPhone 12 Pro’s.
|Phone||Processor||Adobe Premiere Rush encoding time (Mins:Secs)|
|iPhone 12||A14 Bionic||0:26|
|iPhone 12 Pro||A14 Bionic||0:27|
|iPhone 11 Pro Max||A13 Bionic||0:45|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra||Snapdragon 865 Plus||1:16|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus||Snapdragon 865||1:13|
|OnePlus 8T||Snapdragon 865||1:38|
|ROG Phone 3||Snapdragon 865 Plus||1:35|
|Google Pixel 5||Snapdragon 765G||2:52|
More significantly, both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro outperformed their predecessors. On that video encoding test, the new models were nearly 20 seconds faster than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which previously set the pace. And the respective 26- and 27-second times turned in by the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro dusted top Android phones of recent vintage, with none of the models able to complete the task in less than a minute.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Battery life
The iPhone 12 models have some slight differences in terms of rated battery life, but all of them should get you through most of the day. The iPhone 12 mini is rated for up to 10 hours of video streaming, while the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro is expected to last 11 hours. The iPhone 12 Pro Max should get you the best endurance of the bunch, rated for up to 12 hours of streaming.
On our web surfing battery test, the iPhone 12 mini lasted a relatively short 7 hours and 28 minutes over 5G, and the iPhone 12 had a longer runtime of 8 hours and 25 minutes. The iPhone 12 Pro lasted 9:06, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max endured the longest at 10:53.
iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Bottom line
It’s hard to go wrong with Apple’s latest iPhone lineup, as every version of the iPhone 12 gets you fast 5G performance, a zippy A14 chip and an immersive OLED screen. So it really comes down to your needs and preferences when it comes to size, price and cameras.
The $699 iPhone 12 mini is the most affordable, but it looks like its small size is turning some shoppers off. The $799 iPhone 12 and its 6.1-inch display is a better bet for most shoppers.. If you’re serious about shooting photos and videos on your phone, the $999 iPhone 12 Pro is a great choice. But if you want all that with the biggest iPhone screen ever, along with the longest battery life, we recommend the $1,099 iPhone 12 Pro Max.