T

he latest iPhone release gives Apple aficionados four models to choose from: iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

iPhone 12s all come 5G-enabled – a first for Apple – and have several new features including Dolby Vision video footage and MagSafe.

Inevitably there’s some overlap between the models. So why should you choose the iPhone 12 Pro over the others? Read on to find out and also use the boxes below to track down the best deals for this particular iPhone handset.

iPhone 12 Pro specs

The spec of the iPhone 12 Pro is very similar to the iPhone 12. For a start, the iPhone 12 Pro has the same dimensions as the iPhone 12 (146.7 x 71.55 x 7.4mm) although it does weigh 25g heavier at 189g. That’s down to a combination of factors including: the Pro’s stainless steel rim, extra RAM (6GB compared to the iPhone 12’s 4GB), and additional camera elements.

The iPhone 12 Pro offers some more fancy colours than the iPhone 12 as well. You can pick up the Pro in shiny silver, graphite, gold, and pacific blue; that compares with the iPhone 12’s plainer shades of black, white, red, green, purple and blue.

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Screen test

Both models have Apple’s new nano-crystalline Ceramic Shield screen which makes them tougher than previous iPhones. The Pro’s screen has the same 2532 x 1170 resolution as the iPhone 12 and the same 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED screen with a 60Hz refresh rate. This figure is slower than you can get on flagship Android phones.

The iPhone 12 Pro has a triple-lens rear camera setup plus a depth-sensing imaging technology called ‘lidar’. Lidar stands for light detection and ranging, and uses lasers to survey the environment you’re shooting.

The technology helps capture image data in low-light situations by better reading the landscape and allowing the camera to focus up to six times faster in darker conditions. In effect, this feature means the iPhone 12 Pro works like a high-end DSLR camera.

The top-of-the-range iPhone 12 Pro Max has lidar too – but the cheaper iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 don’t.

Night time

As with other phones in the iPhone 12 range, the iPhone 12 Pro’s camera also has Night Mode which is a low-light assist capture feature, and 10-bit Dolby Vision video footage enabling cinema-grade videos to be shot.

The iPhone 12 Pro comes with either 128 or 256, or 512GB of internal memory, with the biggest storage option a good bet for anyone who downloads a lot of media or regularly shoots video.

It also has dual SIM, Bluetooth, NFC, and wireless charging. Working within the device is the iOS14 operating system and A14 Bionic processor.

Faster charging

Another feature that’s new on the iPhone 12 range is a MagSafe connector on the rear of the handset. MagSafe offers faster charging and also enables you to attach accessories, such as a charger, games controller or case, to your phone.

The iPhone 12 Pro has a 2815mAh battery. This ought to provide users with 17 hours of video playback, 11 hours of video streaming, or 65 hours of audio playback.

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Apple’s first 5G phone

All the phones in the iPhone 12 range work on 5G – a first for Apple. Whether you can actually get 5G where you live is another matter. All the major networks, including EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, have online coverage checkers worth investigating before you decide on a network.

As well as living in a 5G area, you’ll need a 5G airtime tariff to go with your iPhone 12 Pro.

How to compare iPhone 12 Pro deals

The iPhone 12 Pro 128GB starts at £999, the 256GB version £1,099, and the top-level 512GB device £1,299.

Once you’ve decided how much internal storage you want (remember you can’t add external storage with a microSD card on any iPhone), and picked the network with the best 5G coverage in your area, you should research the best tariff for your needs.

Some contracts offer no upfront costs, meaning you don’t have to pay anything when making your order. This might sound good but might not necessarily be the best value long-term.

To work out the total cost of any mobile deal, multiply the monthly cost by the number of months, add on the upfront fee, and subtract any cashback amount. This will give you the total contract cost to compare with other contracts of the same length.

Missing in action

There’s no fingerprint recognition on the iPhone 12 Pro. That said, it does feature Face ID which is generally quicker and more convenient, but not if you’re wearing a face mask unfortunately. Something to bear in mind with the pandemic still around.

As with previous iPhone models, there isn’t a microSD card on the iPhone 12 Pro, so you can’t expand the device’s storage capabilities. Finally, there’s no charger in the box but dedicated Apple fans will probably already have one.

Apart from a fancier camera and more RAM, there’s not a great deal of difference between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Keen photographers will notice an upside but, for other users, it’s likely to be a close call as to whether the more expensive handset is worth the extra cash.

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