iPhone 12 and 12 mini vs iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max: Which should you buy?

With more models, new screen sizes, and a whole lot of new camera tricks, upgrading or switching to the iPhone 12 is a no-brainer. Deciding which phone to buy, well, that’s another story. Luckily, we’re here to break it all down for you.

Update 10/16: The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are now available for pre-order at Apple.com and other retail stores.

iPhone 12 and 12 mini vs iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max: Design

While Apple didn’t completely reinvent the iPhone as it did with the iPhone X, the iPhone 12 definitely has its own style. It features flat edges and a uniform construction not unlike the iPhones 4 and 5. The antenna lines are more of a design element this year as well, and the camera array on the back has been slimmed down a bit for a more seamless flow.

iphone 12 pro hero2 Apple

Like last year, the Pro models feature stainless still versus the iPhone 12’s aluminum, as well as a frosted glass finish instead of glossy. And despite having the same 6.1-inch display as the iPhone 11, Apple has trimmed a bit of the iPhone 12’s body. And even though the Pros have larger screens, they’re not much bigger than their predecessors either, though you’ll notice that the entire lineup is quite a bit thinner than the previous generation:

iPhone 11: 75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm
iPhone 11 Pro: 71.4 x 144 x 8.1mm
iPhone 11 Pro Max: 77.8 x 158 x 8.1mm

iPhone 12 mini: 64.2 x 131.5 x 7.4mm
iPhone 12: 71.5 x 146.7 x 7.4mm
iPhone 12 Pro: 71.5 x 146.7 x 7.4mm
iPhone 12 Pro Max: 78.1 x 160.8 x 7.4mm

Overall, you’re getting a very similar footprint as the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, with the same screen general design. Not that we’re complaining—the iPhone 11 is one of the nicest phones we’ve ever seen—but we’re really hoping for a notchless iPhone 13.

iPhone 12 and 12 mini vs iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max: Display

The iPhone 12 and 12 mini’s biggest enhancement is with the display. Instead of the 720p LCD that required thicker bezels and looked positively outdated compared to the iPhone 11 Pro, all models now feature Apple’s Super Retina XDR Full HD+ OLED displays. That means you’re getting incredible contrast and the deepest possible blacks and brightness up to 1200 nits, about 50 percent brighter than the iPhone 11.