iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro e iPhone 12 Pro Max are the four new Apple smartphones that will accompany us for the next few months. What are the commonalities and differences between these models?
The first big difference concerns not only the size of the screen, but also those of the devices in their entirety. Although there are four iPhone 12s, the differences concern three models, since iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro have the same display size (6.1 inches) in common.
iPhone 12 mini with 5.4-inch screen measuring 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm and a weight of 133 grams. iPhone 12 6.1-inch measuring 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm and a weight of 162 grams. iPhone 12 Pro it has the same dimensions as the 12, but weighs 187 grams for the use of a different material and for the presence of extra components for the camera. Finally, iPhone 12 Pro Max 6.7-inch measures 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm and a weight of 226 grams.
The four models have in common the thickness of 7.4 millimeters. Which one to choose? The advice is to try it in an Apple Store, but we understand that in this period it is not exactly easy. An alternative could be to cut out a piece of paper the size of the various iPhones to simulate, as far as possible, the smartphone in your hands at least in terms of height and width.
On the whole iPhone 12 line, the display is edge-to-edge type with thin bezels: iPhone 12 mini has a 5.4-inch OLED display, iPhone 12 and 12 Pro a 6.1-inch OLED display, and iPhone 12 Pro Max a 6-inch OLED display, 7 inch. The screens are described as Super Retina XDR, so Apple used the same technology on the four models.
These are the resolutions:
- iPhone 12 mini: 2340 × 1080 at 476 ppi
- iPhone 12: 2532 × 1170 at 460 ppi
- iPhone 12 Pro: 2532 × 1170 at 460 ppi
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: 2778 × 1284 and 458 ppi
All iPhone 12s offer HDR, True Tone, P3 color gamut, 2,000,000: 1 contrast, 800 nits maximum brightness (1200 nits HDR), touch with haptic feedback, and oleophobic coating.
In this case the choice is subjective, since there are not many differences in quality.
The two iPhone 12 Pro have an extra camera and LiDAR sensor, but the four models they have in common the wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras. Each of these two cameras uses 12-megapixel sensors, along with a new 7-element (wide-angle) and 5-element (ultra-wide) plastic lens array that dramatically improve overall optics.
As in 2019, the difference is that the Pro models also integrate the telephoto lens, which enables optical zoom, further enhancing digital zoom.
iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 offer a zoom 2x optical out and digital zoom up to 5x. iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max allow you to use a 2.5x optical zoom, 2x optical zoom out and, for the Max model only, a full 5x optical zoom extension. As in 2019, this means that the Pro models will benefit from being able to zoom in much closer than the standard models. In addition, the extra sensor improves computational photography as the system has more data to work with.
In addition, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max integrate the LiDAR sensor on the back. This sensor works in a similar way to Face ID, as it is able to send infrared dots into the real environment to perform depth mapping, so as to focus more accurately on a subject even in low light conditions. The potential of this sensor will be seen above all in the future, thanks also to the applications in AR.
Apple has also introduced some features in the Pro range for photographers and videomakers, such as the ability to record video in Dolby Vision HDR with 4K resolution up to 60fps (and not 30fps) and take photos in Apple ProRAW.
During the “Hi, Speed” event, director of photography and Academy Award winner Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki said: “The iPhone Pro will enable filmmakers around the world to make films that would otherwise be impossible. The next great cinematographer or the next great director is already shooting movies with one of these devices“.
As for the front camera, the Face ID remains virtually unchanged with no differentiation between the models (12 megapixels and same TrueDepth sensors).
Those who want to use iPhone 12 for photos and videos in an advanced way, the advice is to choose the Pro range especially for the future potential of the LiDAR sensor.
IPhones 12 use A14 Bionic, which is the same chip found on the fourth generation iPad Air. This processor is able to ensure 4 times higher performance than previous models. Among the main features of this 6-core processor we find a 50% faster GPU, significantly improved 16-core Neural Engine and 80% faster (capable of completing 11 trillion operations per second), 11.8 billion transistors , a significantly higher memory compression, a new secure enclave that improves security, 70% faster ML technology, a new processor for the image signal and a specific controller for machine learning.
No difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. As for the RAMHowever, Apple has not shared any information, but we know that the Pro models integrate 6 GB of RAM, while the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 only 4 GB.
For the average user, this aspect will make little difference.
Again, no difference. All iPhone 12 are compatible with 5G networks and it will be up to operators in each country to offer appropriate tariffs and networks. MmWave technology will only be available on models sold in the United States.
The iPhones 12 also integrate a smart connection management function, automatically switching from 4G to 5G.
The iPhones 12 are all compatible with MagSafe accessories presented by Apple, including fast wireless charging at 15W.
Waiting for field tests, here are the estimates declared by Apple:
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: Up to 20 hours of video playback, 12 hours of streaming, 80 hours of audio
- iPhone 12 Pro: Up to 17 hours of video playback, 11 hours of streaming, 65 hours of audio
- iPhone 12: Up to 17 hours of video playback, 11 hours of streaming, 65 hours of audio
- iPhone 12 mini: Up to 15 hours of video playback, 10 hours of streaming, 50 hours of audio playback
If you want the best in terms of autonomy, the choice falls on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
It starts at € 839 for the 64 GB iPhone 12 mini:
- 64 GB – 839€
- 128 GB – 889€
- 256 GB – 1009€
- 64 GB – 939€
- 128 GB – 989€
- 256 GB – 1109€
- 128 GB – 1189€
- 256 GB – 1309€
- 512 GB – 1539€
- 128 GB – 1289€
- 256 GB – 1409€
- 512 GB – 1639€
The difference between a mini and a Pro Max is over € 400, so the strengths and weaknesses of both must be evaluated. Apple offers installment purchase options for all models.
Which one to choose
With four models available, this year’s choice is more difficult than usual. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 have a very high quality OLED screen, the same processor and most of the other features of the Pro models. The biggest differences concern the camera compartment and, for the Max, the screen size.
Let’s face it: if you are looking for a smartphone from giant screen, the choice will inevitably fall on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Think that the difference from the iPad mini is very little in terms of display size.
As mentioned earlier, the screen quality it is not a factor of choice, as it is identical on all four models. Same goes for the processor, considering also that the possible difference of RAM it will not be perceived by most users. Similar memory cuts, although only the Pros offer the 512GB option. If you need a lot of storage, then evaluate between iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. All iPhone 12 also support 5G, so don’t worry about that.
However, if you are a budding videomaker or photography lover and you want to use your iPhone as a main tool in some circumstances, the choice will have to fall on the Pro versions. but telephoto lens and LiDAR sensor can make a difference, along with the ability to record video in Dolby Vision HDR with 4K resolution and take photos in Apple ProRAW. Beware of the LiDAR sensor which now may seem like a useless addition: the next few months could hold several surprises.
Net of everything, the price will certainly be the most important element for most users. iPhone 12 mini is able to offer almost everything for € 839, among other things with a screen that will appeal to those who do not like frying pans. iPhone 12 can be the middle ground between excellent technical features and a generous display, while jumping to the Pro models for those looking for a fantastic photographic sector or need a giant screen.