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iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro: Should you go Pro or save cash?

After months of waiting, too many rumours to count and a lot of anticipation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro and they’re both available now. But which one should you choose?

Long gone are the days when Apple simply released a single phone. Now we’ve got four very distinct models, including the tiny iPhone 12 Mini, a more traditional iPhone 12 and a duo of iPhone 12 Pro models. Here we’re focussing on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, comparing the phones to see what the differences are and which is right for you.

The iPhone 12 Pro has more base storage

First off, let’s start with storage. If you plump for the iPhone 12 you’ll have a base storage of 64GB, with higher options up to 256GB available at a premium. 64GB feels a little stingy these days, with the majority of Android devices shipping with the at least 128GB and often offering expandable storage.

Pick up the iPhone 12 Pro and this starts at 128GB, up from both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 Pro. You can also get the Pro models in sizes up to 512GB – ideal if you like storing lots of content on your device.

Related: Best iPhone

Like the 11 Pro, the new Pro models have superior displays

Apple has improved the display on the none Pro models this year, ditching LCD in favour of OLED across the board. That means whichever iPhone 12 you plump for it’ll have the superior colours, perfect blacks and more vivid colours.

Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro should offer superior colour reproduction and they the XDR branding. While the iPhone 12 has a far sharper resolution than the iPhone 11, it’s still the Pro that has the most pixels. There’s HDR support across the board too. We’ll have to get all these devices in hand to really see what’s new and how they compare to each other.

Another thing to note is that the Pro model comes in a larger 6.7-inch Max size. The iPhone 12 Mini is 5.4-inches and both the Pro and iPhone are 6.1-inches. If you really like the bigger phones, then it’ll probably be the Pro Max that piques your interest the most.

Rumours had previously suggested that the iPhone 12 Pro would sport a 120Hz display similar to the iPad Pro, however this isn’t the case.

Related: iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11

Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro boast the new design language

Apple has finally drastically updated the design of its iPhone, ditching the iPhone X look we’ve had for a number of years now. These new models sport a look not too dissimilar to the iPad Pro, and they’re certainly inspired by the iconic iPhone 5.

You’ve got flat sides (rather than rounded ones) and a smooth back. The notch remains on the display, housing all the elements of the Face ID sensor. The Pro is made of slightly higher quality materials, with stainless steel sides as opposed to aluminium.

Both phones have water resistance skills, a Lightning port for charging (still no USB-C here) and lack previously included accessories like a charger plug and EarPods. You do still get the Lightning cable, though. They also both support the new MagSafe wireless charging tech.

Related: Does the iPhone 12 Pro have a 120Hz display?

These are the first iPhones to support 5G

One of the big new features for this whole selection of iPhones is support for 5G. The 5G networks have been live across most major carriers in the UK and USA for about a year now, so it’s good to see Apple finally add 5G to its phones.

You don’t need to plump for the Pro models to get 5G, as all new models do support the tech. There might be differences between models though, as some US networks require 5G mmWave support – a system we don’t have in the UK quite yet. It’ll be interesting to see if 5G effects battery much much, or if the more efficient chipset (and likely larger batteries) offsets that.

All the iPhone 12 models also run on the A14 Bionic 5nm chipset. Amounts of RAM haven’t been disclosed yet but we wouldn’t be surprised if the Pro models sport more.

Related: What is 5G?

iPhone 12 Pro has more cameras and more evolved zooming skills

The most obvious difference between the camera arrays on these two phones is the number of sensors. The iPhone 12 had two (wide and ultra wide) while the Pro has three: wide, ultra wide and tele. The Pro also has a LiDAR sensor, which is used for capturing your environment in 3D.

There’s a new 12-megapixel main f/1.6 sensor across the board, with that faster aperture allowing light in brighter shots and video. Night mode is also available in the ultra wide mode now.

It’s the Pro Max where the biggest updates are though. This has a new 65mm tele lens, a 5x optical zoom range, 87% better (according to Apple) low-light snaps and new sensor-shift optical image stabilisation. It can also shoot Dolby Vision HDR 10-bit video – a first for a phone. There’s a lot of camera goodness going on here and we can’t wait to try it out.

Both come in a variety of colours

Each of these phones come in a different selection of hues. Here’s the rundown: The iPhone 12 Pro comes in blue (replacing the green from last year) gold, silver and graphite. These have a matte back and really quite shiny, highly polished sides. The iPhone 12 has a glossier back, and comes in red, white, blue and a few other shades.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pricing and availability

iPhone 12 will start at £699/$699 for the Mini and £799/$799 for the 6.1-inch version. You can pre-order the iPhone 12 now, with the Mini available to order from November.

The iPhone 12 Pro starts at £999/$999 and again is open to pre-orders now, with the £1099/$1099 Pro Max coming in November.

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