Please select a Make and Model
What’s the difference between iPhone 12 mini, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max?
11th May, 2021 |
Back in autumn 2020 the eagerly awaited product launch of the iPhone 12 series from Apple was greeted with much fanfare by the tech world. But just as with every previous launch this presented iPhone buyers with a particular dilemma – which iPhone 12 to take home? Are you looking for something with the biggest screen, best camera or cheapest price? Or something in between?
To make matters a little easier the team at Gadget Cover has put together this guide to the four new models and how they differ. But if rumours about a potential iPhone 13 are anything to go by then you might want to decide soon, before your decision gets even harder!
While some choices are more difficult than others, when it comes to mobile phone insurance we make it easy. If you want to protect your treasured tech from breakdown, damage, theft and even loss then contact Gadget Cover to get the best deal.
What’s the same on the iPhone 12 models?
Let’s get this out of the way first. As you would expect there are plenty of similarities between the four iPhone 12 siblings. Apple’s designers have a rich history of cutting-edge innovation but they can’t go reinventing the wheel four times at the same launch!
First off is the flat edge design that has seen many commentators applauding a return to the industrial styling of the iPhone 4 generation. While the Pro models do have an understandably more premium finish the standard models are certainly not to be sniffed at.
For lovers of tech specs each member of the iPhone 12 family has the same super-fast A14 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine under the bonnet. Capable of outperforming any processor in an Android rival. Indeed, the BBC has reported that the A14 Bionic is the first smartphone chip built on revolutionary 5nm process technology. And all run the same iOS 14 software with 5G compatibility giving superfast downloads and high-quality streaming. So hopefully they’re all as future-proof as each other!
Despite having different screen sizes, they all pack a stunningly punchy Super Retina XDR display with OLED technology, High Dynamic Range (HDR), True Tone and Haptic Touch as standard. Their screen resolutions do differ with 2340x1080 pixels for the iPhone 12 mini, 2532x1170 pixels for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and 2778x1284 pixels for the iPhone Pro Max.
In a big move towards wireless charging, all models are compatible with MagSafe accessories and wireless chargers. This means you’ll no longer need to plug in like traditional charging ports – one step closer towards the design perfection.
Splash, water and dust resistance
They should all be capable of a trip to the beach, being rated IP68 (making them water resistant up to a depth of 6 metres for up to 30 minutes) under IEC standard 60529.
They also all have a Ceramic Shield front which gives them 4x better drop performance compared with previous generations. There is a difference in the material used for their bodies with the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 made from aerospace-grade aluminium. While the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are made from surgical-grade stainless steel. While the aluminium bodies are strong in their own right and lighter than steel, they’re not quite as tough.
However strong and durable these devices are, that’s no reason forget mobile phone insurance. They aren’t indestructible! And they are still susceptible to being lost or even stolen.
All four models have Face ID enabled by TrueDepth camera for facial recognition. This differentiates them all from the previous iPhone SE model, which used Touch ID.
What’s different on the iPhone 12 models?
But while the four iPhone 12 models do have much in common, there are also many fundamental differences worth considering.
As well as the difference in materials the body of the four iPhones all vary in size. The dimensions and weights are:
- iPhone 12 mini: 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm, 133g
- iPhone 12: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, 162g
- iPhone 12 Pro: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, 187g
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm, 226g
The uber-cute iPhone 12 mini is the smallest and lightest in the family and perfect for smaller hands or those looking for something pocket-sized. Next up are the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro that have identical measurements, although the Pro is 25g heavier. This is thanks to its extra hardware and the fact that, like the Pro Max, it's made of stainless steel.
Which brings us to the big brother, iPhone 12 Pro Max that’s both much heavier and larger than the others. Anyone looking for a super-thin version of the 12 series will be disappointed as all fours models have the exact same thickness.
Alongside the differences in body size there’s also a matching difference in display sizes across the group. Measured diagonally from corner to corner these are:
- iPhone 12 mini: 5.4-inches
- iPhone 12: 6.1-inches
- iPhone 12 Pro: 6.1-inches
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6.7-inches
While on paper the iPhone 12 mini has the smallest screen size, on closer inspection this leads to a surprising result. The mini’s screen resolution of 2340x1080 pixels leads to a pixel density of 476ppi. Making this certainly the sharpest display in the series!
The other three models are pretty similar when it comes to pixel densities. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max both have the same resolution of 2532x1170 pixels and a pixel density of 460ppi. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a resolution of 2778x1284 pixels and a pixel density of 458ppi. So, the difference between these three really only comes down to screen size.
While the screen resolution of the iPhone 12 mini is impressive, if you’re a hardcore mobile gamer or media streamer then the iPhone 12 Pro Max might be the best option.
Every model’s display has a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits, so you’ll have no trouble seeing them outdoors. But the typical brightness of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 is 625 nits, compared to the 800 nits of the Pro models.
When it comes to iPhones there’s always going to be a lot of interest in camera specifications. The 12-megapixel front-facing selfie camera is standard across the four models. But, as you may expect, it’s the rear camera setup that’s one of the main differentiators.
On the rear of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 are found dual 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide cameras. They both offer 2x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom and great performance in normal and low light conditions.
Meanwhile the iPhone 12 Pro provides you with a triple rear camera stack with 12-megapixel sensors and a LiDAR Scanner. LiDAR is great for Night mode portraits, faster autofocus in low light and next-level augmented reality experiences. It has a wide, ultrawide and a telephoto lens alongside a 4x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.
At the top of the camera tree, and to make things yet more complicated we have the iPhone 12 Pro Max. While it has similar specs to the iPhone 12 Pro’s three rear lenses and LiDAR Scanner there are some differences. The iPhone 12 Pro Max offers 5x optical zoom and 12x digital zoom. While the telephoto lens has a larger aperture of f/2.2 compared to the iPhone 12 Pro’s f/2.4.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max also uses sensor-shift optical image stabilisation. This makes it a better camera for producing blur-free images without a tripod at low light levels.
In terms of software there are also some differences. Both the Pro models now support Apple ProRAW. This combines Apple’s multiframe image processing and computational photography. Giving photographers greater creative control and letting them shoot in RAW format.
The video recording capabilities are excellent across the entire iPhone 12 range, and they’re all capable of HDR video recording with Dolby Vision. But, while the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 shoot up to 30fps in this mode, the iPhone 12 Pro models up this to 60fps.
In terms of image stabilisation, again the iPhone 12 Pro Max out does the competition with sensor-shift optical image stabilisation.
In addition, when shooting video, the Pro models also benefit from better optical zoom in than the other models. And when it comes to digital zoom the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 are limited to 3x, while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max reach 6x and 7x respectively.
For keen videographers on the move, the iPhone Pro Max has to be the top choice.
As always with iPhones, each model comes in a variety of storage options suited to different needs. The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 come in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options. While the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options.
The Apple comparison site for the four models doesn’t list the phones’ battery capacities but tech websites like Tom’s Guide have discovered them through teardowns. The iPhone 12 mini has the smallest battery at 2,227 mAh and the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro both pack 2,815 mAh batteries. The iPhone 12 Pro Max steps that up to 3,687 mAh.
The different sizes of battery obviously leads to differences in performance. The iPhone 12 mini offers up to 15 hours video playback, up to 10 hours streamed video playback and up to 50 hours audio playback. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro both offer up to 17 hours video playback, up to 11 hours streamed video playback and up to 65 hours audio playback.
Finally, the star of the show has to be the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It offers up to 20 hours video playback, up to 12 hours streamed video playback and up to 80 hours audio playback
One of the most obvious differences within the two sides of the range are the colours available. For the aluminium-clad iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 you can choose from black, white, (Product) red, green and blue colour options. Whereas the steel-clad iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max come in silver, graphite, gold and Pacific blue colour options. From cool and classy to fun and snappy there’s a choice to match every personality.
With so many differences between the models there’s clearly a lot to recommend each of them. To reflect these differences Apple offers the 12 series at a range of prices. With the mini model at the cheaper end and the Pro models at the higher end.
- The iPhone 12 mini starts at £699 for the 64GB model going up to £849 for the 256GB model.
- The iPhone 12 starts at £799 for the 64GB model going up to £949 for the 256GB model.
- The iPhone 12 Pro starts at £999 for the 128GB model going up to £1,299 for the 512GB model.
- The iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at £1,099 for the 128GB model going up to £1,399 for the 256GB model.
Arrange mobile phone insurance with Gadget Cover
Whichever iPhone 12 you choose, keeping it safe from harm can sometimes feel like a full-time job! But rest assured Gadget Cover’s team of insurance specialists will always be there to find the best mobile phone insurance policy for the right price.
Policies arranged through Gadget Cover can include protection for your devices from accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage. For an extra premium, loss can also be covered.
If you’re taking your phone abroad, cover is also automatically extended to include use of your phone anywhere in the world, up to 180 days in any one year. We can also cover phone accessories and extend cover to your immediate family.
Get a quote for mobile phone insurance today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.