iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 – Same Size, But What’s Different?

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 10/14/20 •  7 min read

Welcome to our look at the iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12! Apple introduced no fewer than FOUR new iPhone models this month. All are part of the iPhone 12 series, yet all sport distinctly different features in myriad regards. Some couldn’t be more different, such as the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 mini.

However, some look nearly identical. I’m of course talking about the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro. Both have a 6.1in display, making them the same size. But how do they differ? Let’s take a look.

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 Quick Comparison

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 - Same Size, But What's Different?
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At first glance, it may be hard to tell the iPhone 12 Pro apart from the iPhone 12. When looking directly at the two models, they look nearly identical (on the front, at least). However, turn the models over to their side and you’ll see a big difference: the frame of the iPhone 12 Pro is stainless steel and the frame of the iPhone 12 is aluminum.

Continue flipping the phones over and the next big tell they are different comes in their color options. The iPhone 12 Pro comes in four colors and the iPhone 12 comes in five. However, even though both colors come in white, for example, none of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 colors look similar.

But besides the stainless steel frame and the color options, it’s very difficult to tell the iPhones apart (though the camera is a tell, which we’ll get to in a bit). Both phones sport the same all-screen display and the same Face ID authentication system.

Winner? iPhone 12 Pro. There’s no denying that the Pro is the sexier of the two. Thank that surgical-grade stainless steel body.

MORE: iPhone 12 Mini Battery Size: How Big Is It?


What’s astounding here is that both the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 use the EXACT same display. The display in both phones features a 6.1in 2532 x 1160-pixel resolution OLED Super Retina SDR panel. And look, that panel is PHENOMENAL. There’s never been a smartphone display that looks better. But just understand that buying the iPhone 12 Pro won’t get you a noticeably different display (even though it’s reasonable to assume it would).

Winner? Draw – Hard to believe, but BOTH phones have the EXACT same display.


Again here both phones are identical. The iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 have the exact same chipset: Apple’s powerful A14 Bionic. And this baby flies. The A14 is so fast it will likely outcompete the next few iterations of the chipsets found in Android flagships. But again, just be aware that you aren’t getting a faster chip if you opt for the iPhone 12 Pro over the iPhone 12.

Winner? Draw – Again, here it’s more of the same. Both the regular 12 and the Pro 12 have the exact same chipset.

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 - Same Size, But What's Different?
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OK – this is where there is a MASSIVE difference between the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12. And the iPhone 12 Pro has the clear advantage. That’s because the iPhone 12 Pro has a triple-lens rear camera system. It features a 12MP array with an ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto lens and 2x optical zoom in and out.

The iPhone 12 on the other hand sports a dual-lens 12MP rear camera with a wide-angle and telephoto lens and 2x optical zoom out. Yet it’s not just the extra lens the iPhone 12 lacks. The iPhone 12 Pro also supports Apple’s new Apple ProRAW photos and features a new LiDAR Scanner, the latter of which helps the camera focus faster in low light conditions.

As for the front camera, both iPhones do feature the same 12MP selfie camera.

Winner? iPhone 12 Pro – No two ways about it. The iPhone 12 Pro has a far superior camera system. It’s probably the single biggest reason to get the Pro over the regular 12.

Storage Options

No surprise here, the iPhone 12 Pro offers double the storage the iPhone 12 has across all capacity options.

MORE: Is The iPhone 12 Worth It? Let’s Investigate ALL The Updates…

Battery Life

Another draw! Both the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 will get you about 17 hours of battery life in mixed usage. Both phones also feature wireless charging and Apple’s new MagSafe wireless charging, too.

Winner? Draw – Both phones use Apple’s new MagSafe wireless charging tech and both have the same battery life.


iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 - Same Size, But What's Different?
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At first glance, it’s easy to think the phones are pretty identical. That’s because they have the exact same display. They also have the same A14 Bionic chipset, same battery life, same 5G support, same Face ID, and same front camera.

However, from a design perspective, the Pro’s surgical-grade stainless steel body literally outshines the aluminum body of the iPhone 12. But the real reason the iPhone 12 Pro destroys the iPhone 12 is because of its sweet rear camera system. The increased optical zoom, the three lenses, Apple ProRAW support, and the LiDAR scanner mean the iPhone 12 Pro destroys the camera found on the iPhone 12.

That being said, if the best possible camera you can have isn’t critical, the iPhone 12 is a terrific option considering its cost. However, if you take a ton of pictures with your iPhone, go with the iPhone 12 Pro. Your snaps will never look better.

MORE: Phones With 120Hz Displays: A Complete List (Updated)

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12: Specs

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 - Same Size, But What's Different?
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Here are the specs for the iPhone 12 Pro:

And here are the specs for the iPhone 12:

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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