iPhone 11 vs. iPhone 12: What to Expect

It’s that time of year again: the good folks over at Apple have been working on the newest version of the iPhone, the iPhone 12. And while not all specs are 100% confirmed up to this point, there are a number of new potential features that are reason enough to get excited about.

iPhone 12 release date

Like most iPhones before it, the iPhone 12 was originally planned to be released in September (2020), however due to production issues related to COVID-19, Apple have confirmed a delayed release date—likely being some time in October, or even indefinitely for certain models.

iPhone 12 price

The iPhone 12 is rumored to be coming in three different models this time around, although non-Pro editions come in two sizes.

iPhone 12 prices (rumored)
iPhone Model128GB256GB512GB
iPhone 12$649$749n/a
iPhone 12 (6.1")$749$849n/a
iPhone 12 Pro (6.1")$999$1099$1299
iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7")$1099$1199$1399

The iPhone 12 series’ model names are a bit confusing, particularly if you’re used to the iPhone 11 series breakdown from last year; the iPhone 11 Pro model was the smallest version within the series, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro sits in the middle of the line-up now. Regarding iPhone 12 prices, the range is typical of most iPhone releases—with the base model being rumored to cost around $649 (64GB) and the largest model (Pro Max; 512GB) likely falling somewhere in the ballpark of $1399.

iPhone 12 design changes

Recent generations of iPhones have adopted a softer, more rounded design, after straying away from the rectangular, edged design of the iPhone 4 and 5 series. Those who preferred the rectangular build of iPhones in the past will be thrilled to hear it’s likely making a comeback with the iPhone 12 series. Another likely change to the design will be a slightly smaller notch on the touchscreen (black space at the top of the screen), although the iPhone 12 is still not quite a full screen phone—such as the newer Samsung Galaxy models.

Speaking of screens, another noteworthy change likely coming to the iPhone 12 will be OLED displays—a feature not new to iPhones in general (the XS, XR, iPhone 11 Pro use OLED displays), but it would seem that Apple is gradually making the shift to OLED displays for all of its devices. It also looks like Apple plans to differentiate between OLED types for its iPhone 12 models—the “Pro” variations will likely house a Super Retina XDR OLED, while the base models get the slightly less-impressive Super Retina OLED.

Compare the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 sizes

Phone Base size Pro sizePro Max size
iPhone 116.1 inch5.8 inch6.5 inch
iPhone 125.4 and 6.1 inch6.1 inch6.7 inch

Compare iPhone 11 vs. iPhone 12 specs

Apart from the obvious external differences, the iPhone 12 is rumored to house some serious hardware improvements to better take advantage of Apple’s upcoming iOS 14—most notably, its new A14 processor. True to form, Apple is rumored to have made the A14 processor much faster than last year’s A13 processor, making it capable of handling iOS features revolving mainly around its improved multi-tasking functionality. Below you can find the specs we’ll likely see for the iPhone 12 upcoming models.

Expected iPhone 12 specs
iPhone 12iPhone 12iPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Pro Max
Price$649; $749$749; $849$999; $1,099; $1299$1099; $1199; $1399
ProcessorA14 BionicA14 BionicA14 BionicA14 Bionic
Display5.4-inch Super Retina OLED6.1-inch Super Retina6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
Build QualityAluminumAluminumStainless SteelStainless Steel
CameraDual camera (rear)Dual camera (rear)Triple camera w/ LiDAR (rear)Triple camera w/ LiDAR (rear)
Storage Capacity128GB; 256GB128GB; 256GB128GB; 256GB; 512GB128GB; 256GB; 512GB
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Note: Rumors point to the iPhone 12 series being the first to not include both headphones and a charging adapter, based on packaging layouts and other sources.

iPhone 11 vs. iPhone 12 camera comparison

One of the more highly anticipated potential changes for the higher-end iPhone 12 (Pro and Pro Max) is its camera design, with rumors pointing to a triple rear camera, and similar LiDAR functionality seen in the iPad Pro series. The LiDAR scanner is meant to increase photographing capabilities, but where the real added benefit lies is in its enhanced Augmented Reality functionality—improving the way that apps using AR integrate real images with digitally rendered ones.

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Note: base models of the iPhone 12 will likely have dual rear cameras, with image quality comparable to that of the iPhone 11.

iOS 14 new features

iOS 14 is set to debut on the iPhone 12 this fall, and with it comes a few long-awaited features, such as:

  • “Picture in a picture” layouts for phone calls (no more full-screen interruptions)
  • A redesigned home screen, with improved customizability
  • New app library functionality

Like most iOS releases, iOS 14 will be available on older model iPhones as well, although it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that the experience will be better optimized for the iPhone 12 given its hardware improvements.

5G Network connectivity

The iPhone 12 is set to be the first iPhone with 5G connectivity—a much-welcomed addition with 5G beginning to pick up speed across the country. There are thought to be minor differences in connectivity, between the base iPhone 12 and the Pro/Pro Max model, with the latter models being able to take advantage of millimeter wave technology— as opposed to sub-6 GHz waves, which are considered to provide much less impressive speeds overall.

iPhone 12 overall impressions

With much of what is known about the iPhone 12 being speculation, most sources of leaked information have been relatively reliable with iPhone releases historically. Regardless, the expected changes in both hardware and software are nice changes of pace for a phone series that is due for a redesign. With the added improvements expected in iOS 14, the iPhone 12 will likely be one of the more popular phones to get your hands on this year.