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Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Vs. iPhone 12: Which Is Best For You?

CRN compares the two similarly sized models of the iPhone 12 series on their displays, cameras, storage options and other features.

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Buying a new iPhone used to be a fairly simple decision: did you want the smaller model or the larger one? But in 2021, there’s a lot more to think about. Apple has introduced five new iPhone models over the past year, including a record four new iPhones in the fall with the iPhone 12 series as well as a second-gen model of the compact-sized iPhone SE. For anyone who knows they don’t want the smallest or the largest models, though, the choice should be simpler--and probably has come down to an iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 decision. Why? Because those are the “typical” size phones in the current Apple iPhone portfolio--not as small as the SE or iPhone 12 Mini, but not as massive as the iPhone 12 Pro Max. For many users, the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 might be “just right” -- at least on size. There’s more to consider, though, including around specs and features such as the camera system, battery life, RAM and storage--and, of course, the difference on iPhone 12 and 12 Pro price.

Which of the two phones is the better choice for you? What follows is our match-up of Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 on specs, features and price.

Display And Overall Size

If you’re looking for differences that set apart the iPhone 12 Pro from the base-model iPhone 12, the displays and overall sizes of the phones are not among them. Apple has used an identical form factor and, apparently, a near-identical display on both phones--to the point that protective cases for the iPhone 12 fit the iPhone 12 Pro as well. Both iPhones feature a 6.1-inch display with “Super Retina XDR” OLED technology and resolution of 2,532 x 1,170 (460 pixels per inch, or ppi)--offering the sort of vivid, colorful and sharp display quality that users in 2021 demand. The use of OLED display technology on both phones is a notable change from the past--previously, with the iPhone 11 and earlier base-level models, the display technology used was LCD and the Pro models were the only ones with OLED. But now, OLED is not an advantage that the iPhone 12 Pro can claim vs the iPhone 12, with Apple instituting OLED displays across the iPhone 12 line. Apple’s specs for the two phones suggest just one slight difference on the displays -- the iPhone 12 Pro features a typical max brightness of 800 nits, vs 624 nits on the iPhone 12.


It’s worth noting that Apple did shake up the design for the iPhone 12 series, though again, this isn’t something that will distinguish the iPhone 12 vs 12 Pro. The entire iPhone 12 lineup has shifted to a flat-edge design that makes them boxier than previous iPhones, which had featured a curved-edge design. The redesign removes the border that once separated the display and the stainless-steel body--allowing the glass and aluminum body to stay flush.

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