Apple’s October iPhone 12 5G 2020 event will bring a puzzle for each iPhone 11 model owner, should I upgrade to one of the 12 series iPhones? The task is further confused by the fact that both on the low iPhone 12, and on the high iPhone 12 Pro end, we will have models with different display sizes than their predecessors.
Actually, only the iPhone 12 carries over the screen diagonal of the iPhone 11 (but swaps LCD for OLED display tech), everything else is smaller or larger than what Apple has done so far. 
Add a design refresh with flat sides, the 5G connectivity, and the new A14 processor node, as well as camera improvements, and the “should I upgrade to iPhone 12” question will be on a lot of an iPhone 11 owner’s minds. Here are the main iPhone 12 Pro and Max vs iPhone 11 Pro/Max differences to help you decide when release date nears.

iPhone 12 Pro/Max vs iPhone 11 Pro/Max colors

  • Navy Blue vs Midnight Green
  • Space Gray
  • Silver
  • Gold
Just as it released the Watch 6 in blue for the first time, Apple will be adding a new color option for the iPhone 12 Pro series, and that is Navy Blue. Unfortunately, it will be replacing Midnight Green which turned out to be a hit among iPhone 11 Pro buyers, but to each their own.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 11 Pro Max display

  • 6.7 inches vs 6.5 inches
Hey, the iPhone 5 called from 2012, it wants its flat sides back! On the surface, the iPhone 11 Pro Max and 12 Pro Max, would differ more than the previous generational jump, what with the 12 series’ flat sides, and numerous 5G antenna notches.

They will also sport a different display size, as Apple is bumping things up a notch to 6.7 inches from 6.6 inches on the 11 Pro Max. Will that also increase the overall size of the iPhone 12 Pro Max in comparison. Hopefully not that much as the iPhone 11 Pro Max is already one big device.

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro display

  • 6.1 inches vs 5.8 inches

The 5.8″ iPhone 11 Pro to 6.1″ iPhone 12 Pro will not even be the biggest jump in display sizes this year, as we are also expecting a 5.4″ iPhone 12 that will sport a screen that is half an inch shorter than the 6.1″ iPhone 12 Max. Still, the smaller iPhone 12 Pro model gets a significant bump in display size, and is becoming more akin to a Pro model.

iPhone 12 Pro/Max vs iPhone 11 Pro/Max specs

  • Apple A14 vs Apple A13 chipset
  • 5G vs 4G LTE connectivity
  • 6GB vs 4GB RAM
  • Larger batteries

All four of Apple’s new iPhone 12 2020 models would be powered by the A14 Bionic chipset announced with the iPad Air 4. It’s the first 5nm chip found inside a smartphone. With 15 billion transistors inside (compared to the 8.5 billion in the A13 Bionic), the A14 Bionic delivers not so much a nice jump in performance but improved energy consumption. 

An upgrade of 6GB RAM will reportedly be deployed on the Pro models, with 4GB on the other variants. All four phones are expected to work with both high-band mmWave 5G signals and the low to mid-band Sub-6GHz 5G signals.

iPhone 12 Pro/Max vs iPhone 11 Pro/Max camera

  • 3x vs 2x telephoto optical zoom
  • Dual OIS vs Single OIS
  • 5mm larger 7P vs 6P lenses
  • F/1.6 vs F/2.4 ultrawide angle lens aperture
  • Larger sensor and pixels for better low-light shots
  • LiDAR camera for AR/VR apps

While the processor speed and memory upgrades are expected for each new iPhone generation, and 5G connectivity is long overdue for Apple’s handsets, perhaps the biggest surprise would be the 12 Pros’ camera kit enhancements compared to the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max generation.

The camera lenses on the new phones will be 5mm larger in length and width. With that said, we could see an improvement in low-light photography on the 2020 iPhones with 2 to 3 times faster autofocus. 

Image stabilization will also be improved as earlier this year TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the iPhone 12 Pro Max would have a new technology called “sensor-shift image stabilization.” This adjusts the sensor to remove the “shakes” instead of the lens. The latest word is that there is a chance that, along with the extra LiDAR camera, this will be included in the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro as well.

The Pro models will add a telephoto lens delivering 3x optical zoom, and the LiDAR depth sensor introduced on the latest iPad Pro models. The LiDAR sensor uses time of flight technology to improve AR capabilities and could be used for enhanced Portraits on the iPhone 12 Pro units. The LiDAR sensor will be found at the bottom right of the camera island. 

Apple was reportedly testing a 64MP camera for the upcoming series, but engineers were not happy with the outcome so you should expect 12MP sensors for this year. Apple has also improved the microphones on the iPhone 12 series including the audio zoom feature.

Apple will expand Night Mode to the telephoto camera on the iPhone 12 Pro. The company is also looking to add support for the ultra-wide-angle shooter and selfie sensor, although there are some software issues at the moment.

To ensure the results are impressive, Apple is reportedly planning to increase the aperture of the ultra-wide-angle camera by around 35% to f/1.6. This will allow the sensor to capture significantly more light, compared to the f/2.4 aperture on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 11 Pro Max battery life

  • 4400mAh vs 3969mAh battery

Apple is expected to pack the iPhone 12 Pro Max with a 4400mAh battery providing a 10.9% hike from the 3969mAh battery inside the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The logic board on the iPhone 12 Pro models will be split into two parts, according to tipster Jon Prosser. A ribbon cable will connect the two parts and it is believed that this is being done to help accommodate the larger battery used in each “Pro” unit. 

We only have a small bump in display size from the iPhone 11 Pro Max to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, so the larger battery and more frugal 5nm A14 processor should bring a significant jump in the 12 Pro Max battery life compared to the already excellent battery endurance on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro battery life

  • 3687mAh vs 3046mAh

By now, it’s fairly clear that at least some of the four new iPhone models in fall 2020 may ship without a charger in the box. We’d wager to guess that these will be the cheaper iPhone 12 and 12 Max models, as those would’ve otherwise probably shipped with Apple’s pathetic 5W chargers that nobody wants anyway. 

On the other hand, Apple is going to offer a brand new 20W charger for those that you will be able to buy separately if you want fast charging, or keep using your good ol’s 5W or 18W bricks that are lurking somewhere in your drawer.

So far, three capacity models above have appeared under the A2471, A2431, A2466 iPhone battery model numbers, and the biggest one of those will likely go to the iPhone 12 Pro, as the Pro Max is rumored to come with a 4400mAh unit. The current iPhone 11 Pro crop has a smaller battery pack but it’s display and overall sizes are also smaller than the 12 Pro, so the battery life may not be directly related to the bump in capacity.

iPhone 12 Pro/Max vs iPhone 11 Pro/Max prices

  • $1049 for the base iPhone 12 Pro vs $999
  • $1140 for the base iPhone 12 Pro Max vs $1099 
While initially analysts didn’t expect Apple to change the $999/$1099 starting price of the iPhone 11 Pro series when the 12 Pro models are released, the $100 bump in iPad Air 4’s base price with the new design is an ominous sign. 
Moreover, the larger display sizes, and the extra 5G connectivity thrown in, could certainly be used from Apple as an excuse to plump up the iPhone 12 Pro series pricing with at least $50 northwards of their correspondent iPhone 11 Pro models. Any takers?