iPhone 12 Pro next to iPhone 12 2
David Imel / Android Authority

Apple went all out with its big iPhone 12 series in 2020. The company released four different iPhone 12 models, ranging from a small version to the largest iPhone ever. To help you choose which one is right for you, we put together this Apple iPhone 12 series comparison.

With four different versions, you’re sure to find a model that’s good for you. If you want to learn even more about Apple’s latest phones, click the link below.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the iPhone 12 series

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini specs

iPhone 12 MiniiPhone 12
Display
iPhone 12 Mini:
5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
HDR, True Tone
Wide color (P3)
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
625 nits max brightness (typical); 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield front
iPhone 12:
6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
2,532 x 1,170 resolution
HDR, True Tone
Wide color (P3)
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
625 nits max brightness (typical); 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield front
Processor
iPhone 12 Mini:
Apple A14 Bionic
iPhone 12:
Apple A14 Bionic
Storage
iPhone 12 Mini:
64 / 128 / 256GB
iPhone 12:
64 / 128 / 256GB
Battery
iPhone 12 Mini:
Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher (sold separately)
MagSafe:
Wireless charging up to 15W
Magnet array
Alignment magnet
Accessory Identification NFC
Magnetometer
iPhone 12:
Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher (sold separately)
MagSafe:
Wireless charging up to 15W
Magnet array
Alignment magnet
Accessory Identification NFC
Magnetometer
Cameras
iPhone 12 Mini:
Rear:
-Wide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.6, OIS, 7-element lens
-Ultra-wide 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 120° field of view, 5-element lens, lens correction
2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 5x, Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
Video:
HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 30fps
4K video at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps
720p HD video at 30fps
OIS for video (Wide)
2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 3x
Front:
-TrueDepth 12MP, ƒ/2.2
Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
iPhone 12:
Rear:
-Wide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.6, OIS, 7-element lens
-Ultra-wide 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 120° field of view, 5-element lens, lens correction
2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 5x, Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
Video:
HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 30fps
4K video at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps
720p HD video at 30fps
OIS for video (Wide)
2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 3x
Front:
-TrueDepth 12MP, ƒ/2.2
Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
Connectivity
iPhone 12 Mini:
5G (sub‑6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5
Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
NFC
Express Cards with power reserve
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou
Digital compass
Wi‑Fi
Cellular
iBeacon microlocation
iPhone 12:
5G (sub‑6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5
Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
NFC
Express Cards with power reserve
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou
Digital compass
Wi‑Fi
Cellular
iBeacon microlocation
Sensors
iPhone 12 Mini:
Face ID
Barometer
Three‑axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
iPhone 12:
Face ID
Barometer
Three‑axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
Software
iPhone 12 Mini:
iOS 14
iPhone 12:
iOS 14
Durability
iPhone 12 Mini:
IP68
iPhone 12:
IP68
Dimensions and weight
iPhone 12 Mini:
131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm
135g
iPhone 12:
146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm
164g
Colors
iPhone 12 Mini:
Black, White, Product Red, Green, Blue
iPhone 12:
Black, White, Product Red, Green, Blue
In the box
iPhone 12 Mini:
iPhone
USB‑C to Lightning cable
Documentation
iPhone 12:
iPhone
USB‑C to Lightning cable
Documentation

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max specs

iPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Pro Max
Display
iPhone 12 Pro:
6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
2,532 x 1,170 resolution
HDR, True Tone
Wide color (P3)
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
800 nits max brightness (typical); 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield front
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
2,778 x 1,284 resolution
HDR, True Tone
Wide color (P3)
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
800 nits max brightness (typical); 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield front
Processor
iPhone 12 Pro:
Apple A14 Bionic
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
Apple A14 Bionic
Storage
iPhone 12 Pro:
128 / 256 / 512GB
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
128 / 256 / 512GB
Battery
iPhone 12 Pro:
Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher (sold separately)
MagSafe:
Wireless charging up to 15W
Magnet array
Alignment magnet
Accessory Identification NFC
Magnetometer
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher (sold separately)
MagSafe:
Wireless charging up to 15W
Magnet array
Alignment magnet
Accessory Identification NFC
Magnetometer
Cameras
iPhone 12 Pro:
Rear:
-Wide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.6, dual OIS, 7-element lens, 100% Focus Pixels, Night Mode
-Ultra-wide 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 120° field of view, 5-element lens, lens correction, Night Mode
-Telephoto 12MP, ƒ/2.0, dual OIS, 6-element lens
2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, 4x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 10x, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, Apple ProRAW
Video:
HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 60fps
4K video at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps
720p HD video at 30fps
OIS for video (Wide)
2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 4x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 6x
Front:
-TrueDepth 12MP, ƒ/2.2
Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
Rear:
-Wide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.6, dual OIS, sensor-shift OIS, 7-element lens, 100% Focus Pixels, Night Mode
-Ultra-wide 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 120° field of view, 5-element lens, lens correction, Night Mode
-Telephoto 12MP, ƒ/2.2, dual OIS, 6-element lens
2.5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, 5x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 12x, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, Apple ProRAW
Video:
HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 30fps
4K video at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps
720p HD video at 30fps
OIS for video (Wide)
2.5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, 5x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 7x
Front:
-TrueDepth 12MP, ƒ/2.2
Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
Connectivity
iPhone 12 Pro:
5G (sub‑6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5
Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
NFC
Express Cards with power reserve
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou
Digital compass
Wi‑Fi
Cellular
iBeacon microlocation
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
5G (sub‑6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5
Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
NFC
Express Cards with power reserve
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou
Digital compass
Wi‑Fi
Cellular
iBeacon microlocation
Sensors
iPhone 12 Pro:
Face ID
LiDAR Scanner
Barometer
Three‑axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
Face ID
LiDAR Scanner
Barometer
Three‑axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
Software
iPhone 12 Pro:
iOS 14
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
iOS 14
Durability
iPhone 12 Pro:
IP68
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
IP68
Dimensions and weight
iPhone 12 Pro:
146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm
189g
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm
228g
Colors
iPhone 12 Pro:
Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue
In the box
iPhone 12 Pro:
iPhone
USB‑C to Lightning cable
Documentation
iPhone 12 Pro Max:
iPhone
USB‑C to Lightning cable
Documentation

Design

Apple iPhone 12 Pro display in hand 2
David Imel / Android Authority

All iPhone 12 models have a new type of glass cover for their displays made in conjunction with Corning. It’s called Ceramic Shield which uses a process that adds nano-ceramic crystals inside the glass. This is supposed to offer better protection against drops compared to previous iPhone models. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini both have an aluminum chassis, while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Max both have a stainless steel chassis.

Read moreApple iPhone 12 review: Awkwardly standard

The iPhone 12 Mini is a new size for the iPhone series. It’s actually smaller than the iPhone 8, which had a tiny 4.7-inch display. However, since the Mini has smaller bezels on the front, the overall footprint is smaller. The iPhone 12 Mini has a bigger display than the older iPhone, though, at 5.4 inches.

The standard iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro have the same 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest iPhone ever made with a 6.7-inch display. All four still have a rather large notch at the top of the display for their front-facing cameras and face unlock sensors.

All four phones also sport OLED screens, making for quite a change from previous releases. Prior to this, the cheapest iPhone in a series always offered LCD screens instead, such as the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR. This means you can expect deeper blacks and reduced power consumption when using dark backgrounds.

Compare: Samsung Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12: Battle of the giants

The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 both come in Black, White, Product Red, Green, and Blue colors. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max come in Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue colors. All are rated IP68 for water and dust resistance, and Apple says they can keep working even if they are submerged in water up to six meters for up to 30 minutes.

Hardware

The iPhone 12 series are the first phones to support the growing number of 5G networks. In this case, the phones support the millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G networks in addition to the more common sub-6Ghz networks.

Apple is also quietly admitting that 5G connectivity consumes more juice than LTE with the implementation of a Smart Data Mode. This will dynamically switch between LTE and 5G when needed in order to save power. For example, the firm says background updates will take place over LTE while video downloads will be routed over 5G.

The iPhone 12 series all use Apple’s in-house A14 Bionic processor. It’s been made with 5nm manufacturing and has a six-core CPU and a four-core GPU. It also has a neural engine chip with 16 cores for better machine learning performance. This makes it the most powerful iPhone ever released, and probably the most powerful smartphone there is.

Read more: Apple A14 Bionic test: Is iPhone silicon still more powerful than Android SoCs?

The new models also use a throwback feature called MagSafe. It’s used for a new class of accessories that uses magnets that attach to the rear of the iPhone 12 models. That means accessories like cases, wireless chargers, and more all connect magnetically to the back of the iPhone 12 series.

The new Apple wireless chargers can boost wireless charging by up to 15W. The phones still support the more widely used Qi wireless charging standard. However, they only charge Phone 12 models up to 7.5W.

The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 will have 64, 128, and 256GB storage options, while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Max will be sold with 128, 256, and 512GB storage versions.

Cameras

iPhone 12 Pro Max camera macro 1
David Imel / Android Authority

The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone include two rear cameras. One is a 12MP wide sensor, while the other is a 12MP ultra-wide camera. The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max add a third 12MP telephoto rear camera. The Pro models also throw in a LiDAR scanner in the back, which is used to record pixel depth information. This is supposed to reduce capture time for images and video clips, along with improving AR experiences. All four iPhone 12 models include a 12MP front-facing camera.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is clearly the most capable photography platform of the lot though. It offers 2.5x zoom on the telephoto camera compared to 2x zoom on the Pro variant. Furthermore, the Max model also gains “sensor-shift OIS” for better stabilization than traditional optical image stabilization seen on the iPhone 12 Pro. Finally, the Max model’s main camera gains much bigger pixels for better low-light capabilities (1.7 micron pixels versus 1.4 micron pixels on the Pro).

Read also: iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 12 Pro camera shootout: Is bigger always better?

In addition, all the new iPhone 12 models support HDR and Dolby Vision HDR video recording. The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 record at up to 30fps, while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max boost that up to 60fps. The phones will even allow users to edit their Dolby Vision HDR video clips on the phone.

Apple has also brought a few low-light tweaks to the iPhone 12 series, such as Night Mode timelapse functionality and night mode on the ultra-wide camera and selfie shooter. The firm is also delivering Night Mode portraits on the Pro series, enabled by the LiDAR sensor.

Software

 ios14
Apple

All the new iPhone models ship with iOS 14, which Apple has already released for older iPhone models. It includes new features like supporting widgets on the phone’s home screen, along with the App Library that helps to better organize a user’s phone apps. It also adds picture-in-picture support for watching videos, or conducting FaceTime calls, while continuing to use another app on the phone.

Price and release date

All the new iPhone 12 models are now available in marketplaces around the world. Pricing for the iPhone 12 Mini begins at $699 in the US, with the iPhone 12 starting at $799. The iPhone 12 Pro has a starting cost of $999, and the iPhone 12 Max Pro begins at $1,099.

iPhone 12 Pro holding bakc of phone against sunset
Apple iPhone 12 series
Four to choose from
There are a total of four new iPhones in Apple's iPhone 12 lineup: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Brighter displays, faster processors, and more durable build quality are what you can expect with all four of these new phones.

iPhone 12 series: Which one should you get?

The iPhone 12 Mini seems to be something of a niche product, made for people who simply want to get a new iPhone but don’t want to deal with the larger screen sizes that are more common today for new flagship phones. The iPhone 12 is perfect for people who just want a powerful smartphone but don’t want to pay a lot for it and can live without a few premium features.

Read moreApple iPhone 12 second opinion review: It really does just work

If you can afford it, it’s worth swinging for at least the standard iPhone 12. It gives you all of the benefits of Apple’s latest phones except for the cameras, and even then the two rear cameras perform admirably.

The iPhone 12 Pro is for the serious mobile photographer, with its triple camera and its LiDAR scanner. Finally, the iPhone Pro Max is for the person that does not consider money to be a limitation, and also wants to have a really big screen and top-notch camera capabilities.