The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are simply extraordinary. Our full review

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Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro mark the beginning of a new generation of iPhone. , a new hardware design and camera improvements are a significant step away from the generation of devices. This is nothing new. Apple did something similar in 2010 with the and in 2014 when it released the and

There is , though. It’s the first time there are : the iPhone 12, , iPhone 12 Pro and . If you want to go small and reap the benefits of a lower price there’s the Mini. If you want the biggest iPhone with the newest in iPhone cameras, get the Pro Max. But that leaves the 12 and 12 Pro which are similar (like basically-the-same-phone similar). That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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iPhone 12


  • New square-sided design
  • 5G support for both sub-6 and mmWave
  • Low-light photos and videos
  • MagSafe everything

Don’t Like

  • $829 off-carrier price is high for the 12
  • Baseline 12 only has 64GB of storage


iPhone 12 Pro


  • Premium fit and finish
  • Fantastic autofocus for photos and videos
  • Solid build quality
  • Fastest phone we’ve ever tested

Don’t Like

  • iPhone 12 offers most of the same features, design and build for less money

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are the same size. They both have the same design, the same display, the same insanely fast A14 Bionic chip, the same , the same selfie, wide and ultrawide cameras. Heck, they both come in blue. (Technically, the 12 Pro is Pacific blue.) This is a departure from the base and pro models from the previous year. The $699 iPhone 11 and $999 iPhone 11 Pro were similar but had enough differences to distinguish themselves from each other.

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The $829 iPhone 12 (or $799 if you activate it on a carrier when you buy it) is $130 more than the iPhone 11 when it was released. An iPhone 12 with 128GB of storage (the same as the baseline 12 Pro) costs $879 (sans carrier discount) which is only $120 less than the $999 iPhone 12 Pro. It’s best to think of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro as “better” and “best” versions of the same phone. .

Prices start in the UK at £799 for the iPhone 12 and £999 for the 12 Pro. In Australia they start at AU$1,349 for the 12 and AU$1,699 for the 12 Pro. See the chart at the bottom for a full pricing breakdown.

iPhone 12 vs. 12 Pro vs. iPhone 11

iPhone 12

iPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 11

Price off-contract (USD)

$829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB)

$999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB)

$599 (64GB), $649 (128GB), $749 (256GB)


12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)

12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)

12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)


64GB, 128GB, 256GB

128GB, 256GB, 512GB

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Now there are many people who will just get the iPhone 12 because it doesn’t cost a thousand dollars and it’s a great phone. Which it is. And there are many people who will get the iPhone 12 Pro because it is more premium. Which it is. Either way, you’re getting an amazing phone with the best overall camera system you can find.

During my time with both phones, I found myself picking the 12 Pro more. Not because it had a telephoto camera or lidar, which the 12 lacks: I preferred the matte textured back, the shiny stainless steel band around the sides and the fact that the 12 Pro, despite weighing nearly an ounce (25 grams) more, felt solid and premium in my hand.

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Our in-depth review of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro


The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the same 5G support

It’s brilliant that . One phone doesn’t have better 5G support than the other. They are both the same.

I tested these phones in Greenville, South Carolina on both T-Mobile’s 5G network and Verizon’s Nationwide 5G (the non-mmWave version without the bonkers speeds). I was impressed with the coverage both carriers offered, but not always with the consistency of 5G speeds. Using the app SpeedTest, the iPhone 12 on T-Mobile recorded download speeds between 10.4 and 14.9 megabits per second, while the iPhone 12 Pro on Verizon clocked in between 97.9 and 104Mbps for downloads.

iPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 both offer the same support for 5G.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Speed tests aside, . Right now, you’ll see a lot of reviews showing you SpeedTest scores and how fast you can download season 3 of on Amazon. That said, most iPhone owners tend to keep their phones for years. Even if you don’t experience fast 5G speeds now, at least your phone will be able to handle them when they arrive down the line.

Connecting to 5G can tax your phone’s battery life. Apple implemented a clever software feature called Smart Data mode, which balances data needs, speed and power. Smart Data looks at a number of factors to determine whether you need to use 5G. If you don’t, your iPhone will switch to a 4G connection. Smart Data can even switch between different bands of 5G. You can override Smart Data and select to have 5G connectivity all the time. 

One cool thing about 5G on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro was that it let me make HD FaceTime calls over cellular. More 5G things like that, please. 

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