As is Apple's standard practice, some of the newest and 'fanciest' features they've announced are only available in their high-end iPhones.
What is common to these four smartphones is their A14 Bionic chip. What is also common is the Super Retina XDR OLED display. All iPhone 12 models are also water-resistant at six meters up to 30 minutes.
The differences are in terms of the capabilities of the various cameras. Some facets such as manual brightness appear to have been artificially restricted through software. This may be to differentiate between the Pro and non-Pro branded models.
What is also common to all the models is their readiness for mmWave 5G technology. This will be a ‘game-changer’ but only if carriers start offering 5G services. The race will now begin between Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile & Sprint to see who can offer true nationwide mmWave 5G first.
Apple has mentioned the ‘5G experience’ in the very first sentence of their news release. Ceramic shield front cover and Dolby vision video are some of the other features. Telephoto, LiDAR and MagSafe are the other technologies which Apple has highlighted.
But not all iPhone 12 models are loaded with all the features. The higher-end Pro models naturally boast more features and the Pro Max model boasts the most features of all.
Here is how the Apple iPhone models differ.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max use surgical grade stainless steel. The iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini go for aerospace-grade aluminum.
Different Brightness Levels
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini can sustain 625 nits of brightness while displaying non-HDR content. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max can sustain 800 nits of brightness.
Different Camera Capabilities
The telephoto lens is only available on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. It’s completely missing from the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini.
This telephoto 2.0 optical zoom lens provides two times optical zoom-in capability on the iPhone 12 Pro.
The telephoto lens in the iPhone 12 Pro Max manages to outperform the telephoto lens in the iPhone 12 Pro. The lens in the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers 2.5 times optical zoom. The focal is 65 millimeters in the iPhone 12 Pro Max versus 52 millimeters in the iPhone 12 Pro.
The iPhone 12 Mini can do 5X digital zoom, iPhone 12 can do 10, and Pro Max does 12X.
In terms of the wide-angle lens, the one on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is larger. The sensor is 47% larger and the individual pixels are also larger at 1.7 micrometers.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max also includes a sensor-shift image stabilization technology which means the sensor itself shifts or moves inside the housing — thus the sensor itself is stabilized — instead of the lenses on the iPhone 12 Pro.
This leads to better stabilization, especially for photography in night mode.
OSI and ProRAW
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini get optical image stabilization (only on the telephoto lens) while the iPhone 12 Pro gets dual optical image stabilization. The iPhone 12 Pro Max gets sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OSI).
Dual optical image stabilization refers to the fact that both the telephoto and wide-angle lenses are optically stabilized.
The top lens on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the telephoto zoom lens and the bottom lens is the wide-angle lens. But on the iPhone 12 Pro, this is reversed which means the wide-angle lens is on top and the telephoto is on the bottom.
Only the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max get night mode portrait options as also Apple’s proprietary raw codec called Apple ProRAW.
While recording in the new Dolby Vision HDR codec mode, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini are limited to 4K 30 frames per second while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max can do up to 4K 60 frames per second.
The LiDAR scanner is available only on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. This helps with sensing depth and autofocus. Autofocus in the nighttime is six times faster thanks to the LiDAR. While Apple promotes LiDAR as a technology that is used by ‘NASA on Mars,’ the actual use case of this technology is mostly limited to a few apps and night-mode photography.
Different Battery Life
The iPhone 12 Pro Max offers up to 20 hours of video playback. Apple iPhone 12 Pro offers 17 hours of video playback. The iPhone 12 also offers 17 hours of video playback. Finally, the iPhone 12 Mini offers only 15 hours of video playback.
Apple iPhones — Storage Options
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini are available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB versions.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB versions.
Different Prices for different Apple iPhones
The iPhone 12 Mini starts at $699 while the iPhone 12 starts at $799 with Verizon carrier subsidy. Unlocked, the iPhone 12 Mini will be worth $729 and the iPhone 12 will be worth $829.
The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099. The priciest model of iPhone 12 Pro Max lists at $1,399 for the 512GB storage option.
So, there you have it.