iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro: Should You Upgrade?

iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone 12 Pro

Apple launched the iPhone 12 series last Tuesday at its ‘Hi, Speed’ event. The new lineup of smartphones has four devices, the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 mini is an all-new device, whereas, the three other smartphones come as a successor the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max respectively.

If you are thinking about upgrading from last year’s iPhone 11 Pro to the newly-launched iPhone 12 Pro, you might be wondering if the upgrade is worth it or should you stick with your existing smartphone. And that is exactly what we want to answer today in our comparison post. Let us find out if it is worth upgrading from the iPhone 11 Pro to the iPhone 12 Pro.

Read: iPhone 12 Vs iPhone 12 Pro: 9 Key Differences

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro: Should You Upgrade?

Design

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro: Size – 144mm x 71.4mm x 8.1 mm, IP68 water and dust resistant up to 4 meters
  • iPhone 12 Pro: Size – 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.4 mm, IP68 water and dust resistant up to 6 meters

The iPhone 12 Pro features flat sides and sharp edges as opposed to rounded sides and edges of the iPhone 11 Pro. And that’s pretty much the only difference in their looks. However, that one change is what makes the iPhone 12 Pro look much more modern compared to its predecessor. The iPhone 12 Pro is also slimmer but carries a tad more weight than the iPhone 11 Pro.

Although the iPhone 12 Pro looks better than its predecessor, it isn’t a huge leap, and therefore, the design shouldn’t be a deciding factor for you to upgrade from the iPhone 11 Pro to the iPhone 12 Pro.

Display

  • iPhone 11 Pro: 5.8-inch, OLED, 2436 x 1125 pixels resolution, 800 nits brightness, HDR10, Dolby Vision
  • iPhone 12 Pro: 6.1-inch, OLED, 2532 x 1170 pixels resolution, 800 nits brightness, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Ceramic Shield protection

The display of the iPhone 12 Pro is slightly larger than that of the iPhone 11 Pro. The larger display should offer a better experience while browsing through apps and watching videos. But since the size difference is very small, it doesn’t matter much.

The iPhone 12 Pro features Ceramic Shield protection for the display, which, according to Apple, offers four times better drop protection. But then again, you can protect the display of your smartphone with a tempered glass screen protector.

Camera

  • iPhone 11 Pro: Rear – 12MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture, dual-pixel PDAF, OIS; 12MP telephoto camera with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, OIS; 12MP ultrawide camera with f/2.4 aperture, 120-degree FoV; 4K60FPS video recording; Front – 12MP camera with f/2.2 aperture, 4K60FPS video recording.
  • iPhone 12 Pro: Rear – 12MP primary camera with f/1.6 aperture, dual-pixel PDAF, OIS; 12MP telephoto camera with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, OIS; 12MP ultrawide camera with f/2.4 aperture, 120-degree FoV; 4K60FPS video recording; Front – 12MP camera with f/2.2 aperture, 4K60FPS video recording.

The iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro come with a triple-camera setup. Both of these smartphones feature the same telephoto and ultrawide camera. But their primary camera differs. The 12MP camera of the iPhone 11 Pro has an f/1.8 aperture, whereas, that of the iPhone 12 Pro is f/1.6 aperture. The wider aperture should offer brighter images with an increased background blur.

The rear camera setup of the iPhone 12 Pro also comes with a LiDAR scanner which the iPhone 11 Pro misses out on. The LiDAR scanner will help in AR applications and offer better portrait images. Lastly, the iPhone 12 Pro has Night mode support for all cameras, Night Mode Hyper Lapse, and Dolby Vision video recording — a first for a smartphone.

While the camera performance of the iPhone 11 Pro is still one of the best in the industry, the iPhone 12 Pro takes it to the next level. However, we recommend you to go for the iPhone 12 Pro only if you capture a lot of images and record plenty of videos. But if you are someone who casually takes photos, the iPhone 11 Pro suits you perfectly.

Performance

Apple A14 Bionic SoC
  • iPhone 11 Pro: Apple A13 Bionic (6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, 7nm transistors), 4GB RAM
  • iPhone 12 Pro: Apple A14 Bionic (6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, 5nm transistors), 40% faster CPU performance and 30% faster GPU performance compared to A13 Bionic, 6GB RAM

The iPhone 12 Pro has a significantly more powerful processor compared to its predecessor. However, the problem is, users of the iPhone 11 Pro won’t be able to notice the extra performance of the iPhone 12 Pro because the former already offers exceptionally fast and smooth performance. So, it doesn’t make sense for people to spend extra money in the hope of getting higher performance.

Storage

iPhone 12 mini storage
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB storage options
  • iPhone 12 Pro: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB storage options

The iPhone 11 Pro as well as the iPhone 12 Pro come with NVMe storage modules which are much faster than UFS storage that you find in Android devices. If you have an iPhone 11 Pro, its storage speed should suffice you. The good thing is that the iPhone 12 Pro ships with 6GB RAM — 2GB more than the iPhone 11 Pro and has twice the base storage as well.

Battery Backup and Charging Speed

iPhone 12 mini charging
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 3046mAh battery, 18 hours video playback, 65 hours audio playback, 18W charging, 50% charge in 30 minutes
  • iPhone 12 Pro: Battery capacity unknown, 17 hours video playback, 65 hours audio playback, 20W charging, 50% charge in 30 minutes

The battery life is the one place where the iPhone 11 Pro performs better than the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 11 Pro offers one hour of extra video playback compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. That’s not a lot but worth mentioning. If you want a good battery backup, you should probably stick to the iPhone 11 Pro.

The iPhone 12 Pro does come with MagSafe support which is extremely cool and will open the gates to a world of new accessories. However, that alone is not worth upgrading to the iPhone 12 Pro from the iPhone 11 Pro.

Connectivity

iPhone 12 mini 5G
  • iPhone 11 Pro: Dual-SIM with 4G, VoLTE, and VoWiFi; dual-band Wi-Fi ax with MIMO, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS with GNSS, UWB, Lightning port
  • iPhone 12 Pro: Dual-SIM with 5G, VoLTE, and VoWiFi; dual-band Wi-Fi ax with MIMO, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS with GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou, UWB, Lightning port

The biggest difference between the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro, apart from the camera, is connectivity. The iPhone 11 Pro comes with 4G connectivity, whereas, the iPhone 12 Pro features 5G connectivity. On paper, 5G might have a lot of benefits but the real-world benefits are limited as of now so upgrading to the iPhone 12 Pro just for 5G makes little sense right now.

Security and Privacy

  • iPhone 11 Pro: Face ID
  • iPhone 12 Pro: Face ID

Both smartphones feature 3D face recognition. There is no difference between them whatsoever.

Price

  • iPhone 11 Pro: Started at $999 for 64GB storage variant
  • iPhone 12 Pro: Starts at $999 for 128GB storage variant

The iPhone 12 Pro comes with the same price tag as the iPhone 11 Pro did when it was on sale. But the iPhone 12 Pro features double the storage, which makes it more value for money compared to its predecessor.


The iPhone 12 Pro is only slightly better compared to the iPhone 11 Pro. We think that you should upgrade to the iPhone 12 Pro only if you are disappointed with the camera performance of your iPhone 11 Pro. But if you are satisfied with the camera performance of the iPhone 11 Pro, you should hold on to your phone for now and save some money.