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Apple’s iPhone 12 comes in four different versions: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.All the new iPhones support 5G, run on the A14 Bionic processor, feature a durable ceramic coating, and support Apple’s MagSafe accessory system. The $799 iPhone 12 is the standard model with a 6.1-inch screen and dual camera, while the new $699 iPhone 12 Mini has a smaller, 5.4-inch screen. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max cost $999 and $1,099 respectively, and come with triple-lens cameras and premium designs. Check out our guide to the best iPhone deals happening right now.
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Updated on 2/19/21 by Lisa Eadicicco: Added testing notes based on our reviews of the iPhone 12 lineup.
The iPhone 12 is the successor to last year’s iPhone 11. Like the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 has a dual camera and comes in an array of colors: This year’s lineup is black, white, red, green, and blue.
But the new device differs from last year’s model in a few key ways. While the iPhone 11 had the rounded design Apple had employed since the iPhone 6, the iPhone 12 has a sharper edge, similar to older iPhones like the iPhone 4 and the new iPad Pro. Apple said the iPhone 12 is 11% thinner and 16% lighter than the iPhone 11.
Unlike the iPhone 11, the new device has a 6.1-inch OLED display, which allows for better contrast. (Last year’s model had Apple’s LCD Liquid Retina display.) Apple said the iPhone 12 has four times better drop performance thanks to a new step in the glass-making process called ceramic shield.
The iPhone 12 runs on Apple’s new A14 Bionic chip, which Apple said would provide increased performance with better energy efficiency.
While last year’s iPhone had wireless charging, Apple added a way to make it easier with the iPhone 12: The phone will have MagSafe built in, meaning any MagSafe accessory will automatically snap to the back of the device.
The iPhone 12 has a dual camera like last year’s model, but unlike its predecessor the iPhone 12 can capture Night Mode photos on all of its camera lenses. That makes it easier to snap photos in dark circumstances whether you’re taking a selfie, a regular photo, or an ultra-wide photo.
The iPhone 12 starts at $799, and you can check out our full review here.
iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 12 Pro.
The iPhone 12 Pro is the upgrade to last year’s iPhone 11 Pro, Apple’s higher-end device with pro-level photography tools.
The iPhone 12 Pro’s design is similar to the iPhone 12’s, but with a stainless-steel band on the outside that gives it a more luxury look and feel. The device comes in silver, graphite, gold, and blue.
The Pro has a 6.1-inch OLED display — making it the same size as the iPhone 12 — Apple’s new A14 Bionic chip, and a three-camera array with wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses. Apple said it added pro-level controls for the camera, including a feature that shoots in the RAW file format while still applying some of Apple’s computational photography to the image.
The iPhone 12 Pro and its larger sibling are also the first iPhones to come with a LiDAR sensor, which gives the device more spatial awareness since it can measure depth. This makes augmented reality apps run more smoothly and enables the capture of Portrait Mode photos at night.
Overall, the iPhone 12 Pro is the right iPhone to get if you want the best camera possible on an iPhone in a compact size. It starts at $999, and you can read our full review here.
iPhone 12 Mini
The iPhone 12 Mini.
The iPhone 12 Mini will has all the same specs as the iPhone 12, but in a smaller size. Rather than a 6.1-inch OLED display, the Mini has a 5.4-inch OLED display. Apple described it as the smallest, thinnest, and lightest 5G phone on the market.
Otherwise, the iPhone 12 Mini comes in the same five colors and have the same squared-off design, cameras, A14 Bionic chip, and features like 5G and MagSafe. But its smaller size also means it has shorter battery life than the regular iPhone 12. During our testing, the iPhone 12 Mini had 23% of its battery left after 9.5 hours of use, while the iPhone 12 still had 34% after 15 hours of use.
If you want a smaller-sized iPhone with more features than the iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 Mini is the phone to get.
The iPhone 12 Mini starts at $699, and you can read our full review here.
iPhone 12 Pro Max
The new iPhone 12 Pro Max has the largest display ever on an iPhone, at 6.7 inches. Otherwise, the device is pretty much identical to the iPhone 12 Pro, with the same high-end camera specs and four colors.
Both the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max have a triple-lens camera, a depth-sensing LiDAR scanner, and a design comprised of a textured matte glass back and stainless steel edges.
But other than its super-sized screen, the biggest difference between the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the smaller iPhone 12 Pro is battery life. After using the phone all day, the iPhone 12 Pro Max had 38% of its battery left during our testing, while the iPhone 12 Pro had 13% left after 16 hours of use.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max also has a slightly better zoom lens compared to the iPhone 12 Pro, but it’s not a major difference that should heavily factor into your buying decision.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099, and you can read our full review here.
Senior Tech Correspondent