what differences, which one to buy?

iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max? The two models are quite similar, but there are still a few differences that can tip the scales in favor of one or the other. This is what we will see in this comparison which should help you make your choice between the two new premium iPhones.

Apple introduced four new iPhone models to renew its range. Among them, two particularly premium solutions stand out: the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The latest flagships of the brand at Apple bring many new features, but what makes these two references different from each other? Which one best suits your needs? The answers to these questions in this comparison.

IPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max data sheet

Looking at the technical specifications, it seems that there is little difference between the two smartphones. However, going into detail, we still see significant differences between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 Pro Max
Screen 6.1 “
Super Retina XDR OLED
2532 x 1170 pixels
460 dpi
6.7 “
Super Retina XDR OLED
2778 x 1284 pixels
458 dpi
Chipset A14 (5nm) A14 (5nm)
BONE iOS 14 iOS 14
RAM 6 GB 6 GB
Storage 128/256/512 GB 128/256/512 GB
microSD No No
Main sensor Ultra wide-angle (120 °) 12 MP, f / 2.4
Wide angle 12 MP, f / 1.6
12 MP telephoto lens, f / 2.0
Lidar 3D scanner
4x optical zoom
Digital zoom up to 10x
OIS
Ultra wide-angle (120 °) 12 MP, f / 2.4
Wide angle 12 MP, f / 1.6
12 MP telephoto lens, f / 2.2
Lidar 3D scanner
5x optical zoom
Digital zoom up to 12x
Optical image stabilization by moving the wide-angle sensor
Selfie sensor 12 MP, f / 2.2 12 MP, f / 2.2
Drums 2815 mAh
20W wired fast charging
Fast wireless charging up to 15W with MagSafe
3687 mAh
20W wired fast charging
Fast wireless charging up to 15W with MagSafe
5G Yes Yes
Biometrics Face ID Face ID
Water resistance IP68 IP68

The compact of the iPhone 12 Pro or the large format of the iPhone 12 Pro Max?

In terms of design, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are similar. Same notch housing the front photo sensor and Face ID 3D scanners at the front, similar border size, flat edges, same photo block in the upper left corner at the back… Ditto for the materials used, with Ceramic protection Shield for the panel (four times more resistant to drops than on the older generation iPhone), matte textured glass on the back and a stainless steel frame. Even the colors are identical: silver, gold, graphite gray and blue for both models. Not surprisingly, no 3.5mm jack for audio on either side. The IP68 certification (up to 6 meters deep for 30 minutes maximum) of resistance to water and dust is on the other hand present on the Pro as the Pro Max.

iphone 12 pro

Finally, the two devices are distinguished by their size and weight. Fans of compact form factor will appreciate the iPhone 12 Pro, which offers a size similar to the iPhone 12, namely 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is more difficult to handle with one hand and fit into a pocket since it measures 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm. With its 228 grams, the Max version also weighs significantly heavier than the 189 grams of the iPhone 12 Pro.

Only the screen size differs between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Both devices have a Super Retina XDR display OLED panel, which share almost all the same characteristics: HDR compatibility, True Tone, wide color gamut (P3), Haptic Touch, 2,000,000: 1 contrast (standard), maximum brightness of 800 nits (standard) or 1,200 nits (HDR ), fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating, simultaneous display of multiple languages ​​and character sets. There is also a refresh rate of 60 Hz, Apple having finally postponed the arrival of 120 Hz on its products by one year in order to give itself time to resolve issues related to autonomy.

iphone 12 pro max screen

The diagonal of the iPhone 12 Pro Max reaches 6.7 inches, while the iPhone 12 Pro is content with the same 6.1 inches as the iPhone 12. This is the main difference between the two models in terms of size. screen, it’s up to you whether you prefer the maneuverability of a mobile with a panel of just over 6 inches or the viewing comfort offered by a larger surface. Apple has adjusted the definition so that the two devices offer roughly the same resolution: 2532 x 1170 pixels or 460 pixels per inch for the iPhone 12 Pro and 2778 x 1284 pixels or 458 pixels per inch for the Pro Max version.

Thunderous performance

All new iPhones are equipped with the same SoC, theA14 Bionic manufactured using a 5nm etching process. This chip allows to benefit from a performance gain without consuming more energy and drawing on the battery. The A14 Bionic in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max is clearly the most powerful SoC on the mobile market today, both smartphones are blazingly fast at whatever task they can perform. They are also 5G compatible (sub-6GHz frequencies only in France, mmWave is reserved for the United States).

The chip also embeds a new generation Neural Engine, with further boosted capabilities related to artificial intelligence and machine learning. Apple evokes a 80% increase in performance compared to the A13 of the iPhone 11. Regarding the RAM, the Cupertino company has agreed to a move to 6 GB of RAM, against 4 GB for the iPhone 12 or iPhone 11 Pro last year. But again, no changes between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

a14 bionic

Even the storage is the same, with three possible configuration options: 128, 256 and 512 GB. You can forget the memory expansion by microSD card, there is no slot available, on the Pro like the Pro Max.

Better battery life for the iPhone 12 Pro Max

This year, Apple has reduced the size of the batteries despite the energy consumption of 5G. The American group is counting on software optimizations and on its new energy-efficient chip to maintain good autonomy. The iPhone 12 Pro is thus equipped with a small 2815 mAh battery, like the iPhone 12. Fortunately, the Max version has the right to 3687mAh higher capacity, necessary to power its large screen.

Apple claims up to 17 hours of video playback, up to 11 hours of video streaming and up to 65 hours of audio playback in battery life for the iPhone 12 Pro. The Max model is doing a little better with respectively 20, 12 and 80 hours of autonomy for these three activities.

For recharging, no difference, the two models are entitled to a 20W wired charging. Please note that the charger is not included in the box, so you have to buy it separately, from Apple or from a third party. Just take care to invest in a charger supporting at least 20W to take advantage of such charging power.

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max enjoy MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W. But again, you have to buy a compatible wireless charger that is not supplied with the smartphone. This comes with a system of adjustment magnets that allows you to easily position the smartphone in the best place on the charging mat so as not to waste energy and to charge the iPhone faster.

iphone 12 magsafe

Wireless charging using the more traditional Qi standard is also present, but up to only 7.5W. No reverse charging neither on the Pro nor on the Pro Max.

Photo pros

It is in the photo that the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the most impressive compared to the iPhone 12. They are equipped with a triple sensor thus constituted: a main module of 12 MP and opening f / 1.6 , a 12 MP ultra wide-angle (120 °) sensor, f / 2.4 and a 12 MP telephoto lens (f / 2.0 for the iPhone 12 Pro and f / 2.2 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max). The iPhone 12 Pro allows up to 4x optical zoom, compared to up to 5x for the Max model, which also benefits from a slightly more impressive digital zoom (up to 12x against up to 10x on the Pro) . New this year, there is also a 3D Lidar scanner on the back of the iPhone Pro, enough to improve bokeh effects, depth management and augmented reality features.

Note the very interesting main sensor of the iPhone 12 Pro Max and its large pixels with a size of 1.7μm 47% larger than those of the iPhone 12 Pro. A feature that makes it excellent in capturing light and therefore in low light conditions.

iphone 12 pro photo

In terms of features, night mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3 with scene detection, Burst mode, automatic image stabilization and many more are available on the iPhone 12 Pro as well. than on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. They also both support the brand new image format. Apple ProRAW, an improved version of RAW that allows you to retouch shots without affecting their quality. They also offer HDR video recording with Dolby Vision at up to 60 frames per second and in 4K. A slow-motion mode in 120 or 240 frames per second is offered, as well as cinema-quality video stabilization.

IPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max prices

Obviously, the Max version is more expensive, here are all the prices:

  • iPhone 12 Pro (128/256/512 GB): € 1159 / € 1279 / € 1509
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max (128/256/512 GB): € 1,259 / € 1,379 / € 1,609

So we have a difference of 100 euros for each variant between Pro and Pro Max.

So, iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max?

With better battery life and a slight lead in photos over the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro Max seems to be (slightly) a more interesting proposition for 100 euros more. If you hesitate between the two models, you are certainly not near this price difference.

But the real choice is in fact on the device format. If you prefer a more compact smartphone, the iPhone 12 Pro is for you. If you want a comfortable screen diagonal worthy of Android mobiles, then turn to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

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