iPhone 12 Vs iPhone 12 Pro: 9 Key Differences

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro differences

Apple today announced its iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro lineup. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro go on sale from later this month, while the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max will hit the markets next month. If you are wondering how the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro lineup differ from each other read below.

Up until last year, there were only a few differences between Apple’s Pro and non-Pro models. However, this time around, Apple has completely revamped its iPhone lineup bringing many of the ‘Pro’ features to the cheaper iPhone 12 lineup but adding some exclusive new features to the iPhone 12 Pro lineup as well.

iPhone 12 Vs iPhone 12 Pro: The Key Differences

1. Build and Colors

This is a difference that has always existed between Apple’s Pro and non-Pro iPhone lineup. The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 is available in more colors but comes with slightly inferior build quality. The iPhone 12 is available in five colors — Product(RED), White, Blue, Green, and Black colors but comes with an aluminum chassis.

As for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, it is only available in four colors — Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue, and Silver — but ships with a stainless steel chassis that gives it a more premium in-hand feel and adds heft to it.

iPhone 12

2. Bigger Display Size

Up until last year, Apple’s cheapest flagship iPhone packed a 6.1-inch display. This year though, Apple has rejigged its iPhone lineup in a big way. The iPhone 12 lineup now comprises of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and the 6.1-inch iPhone 12. Then, there’s the Pro lineup comprising of the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro lineup now features bigger displays when compared to the pro iPhones from the last few years.

Interestingly, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature the same display resolution, though the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max have different resolutions due to their different sizes. The displays also support Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG. The iPhone 12 Pro also has a slightly higher typical max brightness of 800 nits, while the iPhone 12’s Super Retina XDR display tops out at 625 nits.

3. More Storage

Apple is finally going ‘pro’ for iPhone 12 Pro lineup by bumping the base storage to 128GB. The other two storage variants are 256GB and 512GB. As for the iPhone 12, it still starts with 64GB storage and Apple is offering them in 128GB and 256GB storage options as well.

4. Bigger Camera Sensor on Max

This is only applicable for the iPhone 12 Pro Max which comes with a bigger 12MP camera sensor featuring sensor-shift stabilization and large 1.7um pixels. This allows the sensor to absorb more light and makes it even better than the f/1.6 12MP shooter found on the iPhone 12 series or the iPhone 12 Pro. The stabilization is so effective that users can now take handheld shots with up to 2s of exposure. Apple says this allows the sensor to basically gain an extra stop of light.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

5. Telephoto Camera on Pro

One of the key differences between Apple’s Pro and non-Pro iPhone lineup has always been with the camera setup. The iPhone 12 lineup features a dual-camera setup while the iPhone 12 Pro series features a triple-camera setup. While the primary and ultra-wide angle cameras remain the same, the iPhone 12 Pro series features a telephoto sensor as well.

This time around, Apple has even improved the telephoto camera sensor. The iPhone 12 Pro Max uses a new telephoto sensor that’s capable of offering 2.5x optical zoom. This allows the device to offer up to 12x digital zoom as well and take better telephoto shots in low-light.

6. LiDAR Scanner for Low-Light Magic

The iPhone 12 Pro lineup comes exclusively with a LiDAR scanner. This is the same scanner that Apple has used on the 2020 iPad Pro lineup which debuted earlier this year. The LiDAR scanner allows the iPhone 12 Pro to offer a better and more immersive AR experience. More than that though, Apple is using the LiDAR scanner to offer up to 6x better autofocus performance for the cameras in low-light scenarios. The LiDAR scanner also allows the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max to capture Night mode portraits which is not possible on the iPhone 12.

7. ProRAW

Apple is debuting a new ProRAW image format later this year that will use its image processing while still offering full creative controls to creators. This means users will be able to take advantage of Apple’s Smart HDR3 and Deep Fusion processing while still having control over exposure, color, white balance, and other data to process the photo as per their liking.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

8. Better Battery Life on the Max

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro offer the same battery life with up to 17 hours of video playback and 65 hours of audio playback. The iPhone 12 Pro Max thanks to its larger size is able to fit in a bigger battery that allows it to offer better battery life as well. It is rated for up to 20 hours of video playback and up to 80 hours of audio playback.

Similarly, the iPhone 12 mini with its compact form factor comes with a small batter and so it does not last as long as the other three iPhones. All four iPhones do not ship with a power adapter, though they do support fast charging and come with a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box.

9. Price

This one goes without saying and it’s an obvious one. The iPhone 12 lineup starts from $699, though that price is for the iPhone 12 mini. For the iPhone 12, you need to pay $799. The iPhone 12 Pro series starts from $999, with the iPhone 12 Pro Max coming in at $1,099. This is a big price difference and depending on the difference, it might not be worth it for all customers.


In all other aspects, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro lineup are similar to each other. Some of the new features are available on both devices and they are powered by the same A14 Bionic chipset so there’s no difference in performance as well. Below are some of the common features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro lineup.

  • Super Retina XDR display
  • 5G, with mmWave connectivity in the U.S.
  • Ceramic Shield
  • IP68 Water Resistance
  • A14 Bionic chip
  • Night mode for all cameras
  • Dolby Vision HDR video recording
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
  • MagSafe Charging and Accessories support
  • Face ID
  • Fast wired charging

Based on all the differences above, what do you think about the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro lineup? Which iPhone will you buy? Are the differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro big enough for you? Or are the changes too small to matter? Drop a comment and let us know!