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What is the difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro?

Camera of an iPhone 12

iPhones are one of the popular phones in the market today. The iPhone 12 and 12 pros were released to the market on October 23, 2020. What is the difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 pro? keep reading the article to know more

With iPhone 12, the designs were changed and new technologies have been added. This made the phone one of the best buys back then. Even after the launch of the iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and 12 pros are still selling well.

Picture of a hand holding iPhone 12
iPhone 12

The processor inside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are identical and they are up for any task. It is powerful enough for all the tasks and at the same time frugal and efficient enough to save some of the battery life. The result is snappier performance and great battery life. The similarities end there and the differences started to see between iPhone 12 and 12 pro despite the design language being the same. 

As far as performance goes, as said earlier, both have the nearly same performance. But why did I use ‘nearly same performance?’ All has to do with the RAM of the devices. 

iPhone 12 has 4 GB ram while iPhone 12 Pro has 6 Gb ram. The difference has a marginal impact on performance as 4 GB is more than enough. You can keep more and more apps, big games in memory with 6 Gb RAM but it is not a deal-breaker. The 6 GB RAM has an upper side only with the cameras. From deep fusion to Dolby vision recording, more RAM quantifies better performance. Otherwise, it is a tie. This is one of the prominent differences between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

Let’s see the differentiating factors one by one. 

Dimensions and Build

The dimensions of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are identical. They are essentially the same phone with different build materials and different cameras. The iPhone 12 has a dual camera while the iPhone 12 Pro has a 3 lens camera. 

The weight of the iPhone 12 is 5.78 ounces while the weight of the iPhone 12 Pro is 6.66 ounces. The extra camera and build are making the pro slightly heavier. This is yet another difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

The build matters. The normal iPhone 12 is made of an aluminum frame with glass on the front and back. The build quality is strong and can survive falls. Apple calls it aerospace-grade aluminum. It has a brushed aluminum finish

The iPhone 12 Pro has a frame and is made up of surgical-grade stainless steel. This is super strong. This along with the cameras make the phone a little heavier. The build quality is up to the mark. The phone has a beautiful shiny mirror finish. The only downside is that it is a fingerprint magnet.

The camera

Camera of an iPhone 12
camera of an iPhone 12

iPhone 12 and 12 pros have great cameras, to begin with. The image quality is fantastic and the video quality is the best in class. The difference is that iPhone 12 has a dual-lens camera system while the iPhone 12 Pro has a triple-lens camera system. The cameras are the real things that make the difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

The camera spec of the iPhone 12 is as below.

  • 12MP Ultra-wide camera with ƒ/2.4 aperture and 120° Field of view
  • 12 MP wide camera with ƒ/1.6 aperture.
  • 2x optical zoom out with the ultrawide lens
  • 5X Digital zoom
  • Panorama (63 MP)
  • Ultra-Wide Lens correction
  • OIS on wide camera
  • Portrait mode with bokeh mode
  • Portrait Lighting has six effects
  • True Tone flash
  • Five‑element Ultra-wide lens; 
  • seven‑element wide lens
  • lens cover made of Sapphire crystal
  • Night mode on both Ultra Wide and Wide
  • Smart HDR 3 
  • Deep Fusion 
  • Live Photos
  • Red‑eye correction
  • Burst mode
  • Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG

The spec of iPhone pro is as follows

  • 12MP Ultra-Wide camera
  • 12 MP Wide camera 
  • 12 MP Telephoto cameras
  • The five-element lens on Ultra Wide 
  • The six‑element lens on Telephoto 
  • The seven-element lens on Wide
  • Portrait Lighting with six effects 
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • The ultra-Wide camera is ƒ/2.4 aperture and has a 120° field of view
  • The wide camera has ƒ/1.6 aperture
  • Telephoto has an aperture of ƒ/2.0
  • Three lenses make a 4x optical zoom range
  • Digital zoom up to 10x
  • Panorama up to 63MP
  • Portrait mode 
  • Night mode portraits by LiDAR sensor gives good depth
  • optical image stabilization on both Wide and Telephoto lens
  • True Tone flash with Slow Sync
  • Night mode 
  • Deep Fusion 
  • Smart HDR 3
  • Apple ProRAW lossless format
  • Wide color capture 
  • Lens correction on Ultra Wide to compensate distortion
  • Red-eye correction
  • Photo geotagging
  • OIS
  • Burst mode
  • Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG

From the specs, it can be easily deduced that the iPhone 12 Pro is superior and it is. The three-lens camera is a joy to use. With 6X zoom on iPhone 12 Pro, video taking is a tad better compared to iPhone 12.

The iPhone pro can record videos with Dolby vision at 4k 60fps while iPhone can only record the same at 30 fps.

Lidar sensor

Lidar stands for Light Detection and Ranging. iPhone 12 doesn’t have a Lidar sensor but iPhone 12 Pro has. It not only helps in faster focus on iPhone 12 Pro but also gives bokeh effect on Night mode portraits. Also, the measurement app has better accuracy with this Lidar sensor. It is not a must-have but it is nice to have. Having Lidar is a difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.


iPhone battery
Photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

The battery life is more or less the same with these two phones. The performance difference is almost tie makes the battery life similar. The increased RAM in iPhone 12 Pro doesn’t affect the battery much. So is the increased brightness level of the display. It affects only a marginal amount of battery life. Battery life makes iPhone 12 worth buying. Want to know if the iPhone 12 is worth buying? Follow the link.


iPhone display
iPhone display

This is one more area where iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro has similar but slightly different spec. This is one of the unknown differences between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. It is all about the brightness. 

iPhone 12 goes to a standard brightness of 625 nits while the iPhone 12 Pro can go up to 800 nits. Surprisingly, both can do the same peak brightness that is 1200 nits.

Otherwise, the display is the same. It is an OLED display with a resolution of 2532 x 1170 and that translates to 460PPI on a 6.1-inch display. This is the Display difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.


iPhone 12 comes in a variety of colors and they look awesome. The colors included are black, white, Product(RED), green, and blue. In contrast, the iPhone 12 Pro is available only in four colors. They are pacific blue, gold, graphite, and silver. I Prefer white iPhone 12 and pacific blue iPhone 12 Pro. However, all the colors are awesome and you cannot go wrong with it. As far as color goes, 6 and 4 colors are the difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.


The iPhone 12 starts at 64 GB and iPhone Pro starts at 128 GB. iPhone 12 can have 64GB, 128GB or 256GB. The iPhone 12 Pro has 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. The price differs correspondingly. This makes the storage difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro


It might or might not be striking to see the difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. But it is there. The major difference is in the camera department and the building department. So, is the iPhone 12 worth buying? Probably. But for camera enthusiasts, iPhone 12 Pro is a better buy. Thanks for reading.

Interested in iPhone 12? Check the price on Amazon.

Interested in iPhone 12 pro? Check the price on Amazon.

Check the Price on Amazon
Vignesh sathiaraj

Aju Vignesh Sathiaraj Padma is a mechanical and audio engineer. He is a person who loves technology and things. He is also an audiophile and loves to listen to audio gears. He is an avid writer and loves to blog.

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