Apple’s 2020 flagship iPhones, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, will both feature heavily updated displays compared to 2019’s iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max…
In just a couple of months, Apple will take the wraps off its new 2020 iPhones in the form of the iPhone 12 range, a line-up of phones that will apparently feature four models – the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. All models are believed to feature 5G and OLED panels. But Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro models will have at least one ace up their sleeves…
According to Ice Universe, a well-known Twitter leaker, Apple’s incoming 2020 iPhone flagships – AKA the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max – will feature 120Hz ProMotion displays. If true, this would be a significant update over Apple’s current iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max – both of these phones feature 60Hz displays.
With respect to how Apple will differentiate its iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models, the leak suggests the entry-level, cheaper iPhone 12 models (iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max) will both feature the same 60Hz display tech found inside Apple’s 2019 iPhone 11 range. However, Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max will be significantly cheaper than last year’s iPhone with prices starting at $549 which is $150 less than Apple’s current iPhone 11 price.
Confused? It is a little confusing, right? Four iPhone models, different refresh rates, and a range of different prices. Never fear, based on what we know, here’s a quick breakdown of what Apple’s 2020 iPhone 12 range should look like:
iPhone 12 Models Coming In 2020: How They’re Different
- iPhone 12 – The iPhone 12 will be the smallest iPhone Apple has produced in years; it’ll apparently have a 5.2in display and a smaller footprint than the iPhone SE 2020. The iPhone 12 will be cheaper than the already-well-priced iPhone 11 at just $549. It will feature 5G, Apple’s new A14 CPU, and run a 60Hz refresh rate OLED panel just like 2019’s iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max.
- iPhone 12 Max – The iPhone 12 Max is a straight-up iPhone 11 replacement. It has a 6.1in display, packs in 5G, and will run on Apple’s new A14 platform. It will still be positioned as an “entry-level” iPhone like the iPhone 12, only here the handset will be aimed at years that want a phone that is similar in size to the iPhone XR and iPhone 11.
- iPhone 12 Pro – The iPhone 12 Pro will feature a 6.1in display, the most advanced features, 5G, and, of course, Apple’s new 120Hz ProMotion display. It is also likely that prices for the iPhone 12 Pro will remain the same as last year’s iPhone 11 Pro range, meaning they’ll start in and around $999.
- iPhone 12 Pro Max – The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest iPhone of the range; it will feature a 6.7in 120Hz OLED panel, 5G, Apple’s A14 CPU, and the best camera experience of the range (although it will be the same as the 12 Pro’s). On top of this, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will have the biggest battery of all models. And with a large 120Hz panel like that, it’ll definitely need it too!
What is Apple’s ProMotion Display?
ProMotion first launched inside the iPad Pro range. Here’s the official line on what ProMotion does via Apple:
“The edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display — in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes — is the world’s most advanced mobile display. Featuring P3 wide color support, it lets customers see photos, videos, apps, and games in vivid, true-to-life detail. ProMotion technology automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120 Hz for ultra-smooth scrolling and responsiveness. And no matter where customers take iPad Pro or how they interact with it, True Tone, high brightness, and an anti-reflective coating deliver the best viewing experience possible on any mobile device.”
Obviously, the above quote is talking about the iPad Pro but nearly all of what is said will make its way down to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The main benefit of 120Hz displays is the smoothness and wider color palettes; things just look more vivid and engaging. Plenty of Android phones can now technically do 120Hz, but none have yet truly nailed it – the Galaxy S20 cannot do QHD+ at 120Hz, for instance, though Samsung is believed to be fixing this on the incoming Galaxy S21.
Will you notice a difference between the iPhone 12’s 60Hz display and the iPhone 12 Pro’s 120Hz display? In a word, yes – the iPhone 12 Pro’s display will have better overall color performance and it will be visibly smoother to use, both inside iOS and when using applications and/or playing games. You will also notice the difference when watching videos on the iPhone 12 Pro models – videos will “pop” more and run smoother, as you can see below in the video:
Find out more about the iPhone 12 range inside our in-depth coverage of the phone which looks at all aspects of the phones – from design changes to camera tech.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.