iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro: which is the best smartphone?

If you already have an iPhone 11 Pro - or you can take a used one - should you necessarily prefer the newly announced iPhone 12 Pro? This is the question we answer in this comparison.

iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro // Source : Idroid

Not long ago, Apple unveiled four new smartphones, among which is the iPhone 12 Pro. The latter logically succeeds the iPhone 11 Pro by bringing in particular new features in the photo and video and 5G compatibility.

However, if you own an iPhone 11 Pro or have the opportunity to buy a used one in good condition - Apple no longer sells this model - do you really need to switch to the iPhone 12 Pro? Here is a comparison of the two smartphones to answer this question.

IPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro data sheets

Model Apple iPhone 11 Pro Apple iPhone 12 Pro
OS version iOS 13 iOS 14
Screen size 5.8 inches 6.1 inches
Definition 2436 1125 pixels x 2532 1170 pixels x
Pixel density 458 dpi 460 dpi
Technology OLED OLED
SoC A13 Bionic A14 Bionic
Graphics Chip (GPU) Apple GPU Apple GPU
Random access memory (RAM) Go 4 N / C
Internal memory (flash) 128 GB, 64 GB, 256 GB 128 Go, 256 Go, 512 Go
Camera (back) Sensor 1: 12 Mpx
Sensor 2: 12 Mpx
Sensor 3: 12 Mpx
Sensor 1: 12 Mpx
Sensor 2: 12 Mpx
Sensor 3: 12 Mpx
Camera (front) 12 Mpx 12 Mpx
Video recording N / C 4K @ 60 IPS
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 (axle) Wi-Fi 6 (axle)
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0
Supported bands 2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28) 2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
5G No Yes
NFC Yes Yes
Fingerprint sensor No No
Ports (inputs / outputs) N / C lightning
Battery 3046 mAh N / C
Dimensions 71,4 x 144 x 8,1 mm 71,5 x 146,7 x 7,4 mm
Weight 188 grams 187 grams
Colors Black, Silver, Gold, Green Black, Silver, Gold, Blue
Price 969 € 1 059 €
Product sheet See the test Product sheet See the test

Design change

Surprisingly, the iPhone 12 Pro offers a design that resembles… the iPhone 4. The front and back sides are connected by a stainless steel frame that does not go unnoticed. So, compared to an iPhone 11 Pro with rounded edges and a more refined look, the 2020 model prefers a slightly more industrial aesthetic that can be confusing.

iPhone 12 Pro //

Do not see there necessarily a defect. While it takes a while to get used to the slightly sharp edges of the iPhone 12 Pro, the latter seems to be specially designed to grip your hand well. You have very little chance of accidentally dropping it by squeezing it too tightly, when this risk is greater on its predecessor.

The glass on the screen of the iPhone 12 Pro is four times stronger than that of the iPhone 11 Pro thanks to a “Ceramic Shield” coating. Apple clearly wants to make sure you don't worry about falls anymore. However, be careful, micro-scratches occur quite easily.

The tranche of l'iPhone 12 Pro //

On the back, the glass is matt on both devices for a more pleasant touch. Square photo modules look a lot alike with three unaligned lenses, but on the iPhone 12 Pro the LiDAR sensor that adds to the array takes up a considerable amount of space. There are no fingerprint readers on either side, secure unlocking is via Face ID, Apple's 3D facial recognition system. On the new generation as on the iPhone 11 Pro, this results in a notch - the famous - imposing on the front of the smartphone.

The calls are good with the iPhone 12 Pro //

Then you already know the song: no jack for a long time and a Lightning port that continues to annoy, because we would prefer universal USB-C.

OLED and 60 Hz

The iPhone 12 Pro is slightly larger than the iPhone 11 Pro - 146,7 against 144 mm - and this is mainly due to its larger screen of 6,1 inches to 5,8 inches on the other model. In both cases, we are dealing with an OLED display for perfect contrast. The definition varies little from 2436 x 1125 (iPhone 11 Pro) to 2532 x 1170 pixels (iPhone 12 Pro) for an almost unchanged resolution.

The iPhone 12 Pro fits in your hand //

Thus, apart from the size of the screen, it is difficult to designate a winner. Both panels offer a very good display quality, with a high maximum brightness and colors that stand out, in a pleasant way. Also, in either case, the user will not have the ability to adjust the calibration himself and will have to trust the True Tone option for that. Count on a classic 60Hz refresh rate either way.

A good draw, or almost.

iOS 14 obviously

In terms of software, you are entitled to iOS 14 on both devices. This is the latest version of Apple's in-house operating system. We therefore find the outstanding features of this software experience: rapid deployment of updates and over several years, excellent consistency in design, good management of the notch (fortunately!), Plethora of features for accessibility ...

In return, iOS 14 still does not offer an application drawer and it is still impossible to create folders yourself to classify the apps. Some camera options can also be found in general settings and not directly on the interface of the application in question. If you're from Android, you'll have to get used to it.

iOS 14 brings the possibility of creating widgets - like on Android -, and changing the default browser, just like the default mail client. In addition, Apple always puts forward its concern for the confidentiality of the data of its users.

While waiting for the ProRaw

On both smartphones, we take advantage of three photo sensors on the back of 12 megapixels each time with a classic wide-angle, an ultra-wide-angle and a x2 telephoto lens. The iPhone 12 Pro however benefits from a LiDAR sensor that was already found on the iPad Pro, but not on the iPhone 11 Pro, and which allows it to better understand the depth of field.

However, the gain in quality is not immediately felt. In its time, the iPhone 11 Pro was attractive with well-detailed images, a beautiful color consistency between the three shots.

The overall finding does not change much on the iPhone 12 Pro which still relies heavily on Apple algorithms (Smart HDR, Deep Fusion, etc.) to refine the rendering of pictures.

Photo taken on iPhone 12 Pro //

Compared to the iPhone 11 Pro, we feel that the portrait mode of the iPhone 12 Pro has gained in precision for a more accurate division between the sharp subject and the blurred background. However, this is not a panacea and on certain details the bokeh effect remains laborious.

Zoom 100% on a rough cut in portrait mode // Source: Idroid

The 2020 model is especially excellent on moving targets and therefore competes with the Google Pixel 5 in this exercise.

Overall, the iPhone 12 Pro isn't a major leap forward in photo quality compared to the iPhone 11 Pro. Evidenced by the night photos always subject to some largesse in terms of exposure depending on the situation. It is still very good in itself, but not free from criticism.

Finally, what will be very interesting to analyze is the ProRaw mode which promises to greatly facilitate photo retouching on the 2020 Pro range. This mode makes it possible to recover a file without compression which preserves the information of the sensor as well as those of the algorithms of Apple. Enough to provide the user with a wide range of tools that will be used to transform his photo as he sees fit. At the time of writing this paper, this novelty has not yet been deployed.

On the video side, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro are both excellent and allow recordings in 4K at 60 fps with not only beautiful images, but also good sound capture, which is more rare.

A smartphone a little more powerful than the other

The iPhone 11 Pro is powered by an A13 Bionic. The iPhone 12 Pro, on the other hand, relies on an A14 Bionic. Obviously, the second is more powerful than the first and this can be seen in the benchmarks below, but it is not day and night either.

We are dealing here with two high-performance chips that allow you to enjoy greedy 3D video games without batting an eyelid - but not Fortnite banned from the App Store. The year-over-year power gain is therefore important to report, but in everyday life you won't really feel a difference between the 11 Pro and the 12 Pro.

Model Apple iPhone 11 Pro Apple iPhone 12 Pro
AnTuTu CPU N / C 169547
AnTuTu GPU N / C 200121
AnTuTu MEM N / C 114589
AnTuTu UX N / C 92939
3DMark Slingshot Extreme 5258 5433
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics 5783 6958
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics 3989 3074
3DMark Wild Life N / C 6744
3DMark Wild Life framerate moyen N / C 40 FPS
GFXBench Aztec Vulkan/Metal high (onscreen / offscreen) 48/28 FPS 47/20 FPS
GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen) 48/61 FPS 52/71 FPS
GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen) 60/156 FPS N / C
AnTuTu 8 N / C 577191
See more benchmarks

The big advantage of the A14 is that it brings 5G compatibility as we will see below.

Strong autonomy

The gain in battery life on the 2019 generation of iPhone was particularly felt when it was a major flaw in Apple products for many years. In 2020, the apple continues this good momentum, but without major development. So, whether you use the iPhone 11 Pro or the iPhone 12 Pro, you will enjoy a smartphone that can easily last a whole day in intensive use and a good day and a half with classic use.

The notch of the iPhone 12 Pro //

It now seems a long time ago when an iPhone with a little battery left at 17 p.m. was a myth. However, Apple can still put a great deal of effort into the still cadaverously sluggish recharge time. Capable of handling a power of up to 20 W, the iPhone 12 Pro takes an hour and 40 minutes to regain its full energy. Expect no better from the iPhone 11 Pro. Compared to the competition in the market, it is really long.

In other words: no significant differences to report between the two devices in this regard.

Network and communication of iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro

Apple hammered home this message during its presentation: the iPhone 12 Pro - and the other three smartphones of this generation - is compatible with the 5G network. Something which therefore does not benefit the iPhone 11 Pro. If this criterion is absolutely essential for you, then it will be more judicious to turn to the model of 2020.

Otherwise, you'll be very well off with the product released in 2019 - which you already own or buy secondhand - which already works with all 4G frequency bands.

Which one to choose between the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro?

The iPhone 12 Pro is an excellent smartphone offering 5G compatibility, a revised design and refined photo quality. Objectively speaking, it is therefore necessarily better than the iPhone 11 Pro - nothing abnormal since it is more recent.

However, it is not necessarily worth the effort to fall for the 2020 model. If you already have an iPhone 11 Pro or can get a good one on the used market, you don't have to. you don't necessarily need to look to Apple's latest release.

In fact, we will tell you to fall for the iPhone 12 Pro only if 5G is an essential criterion for you, that you absolutely want to take advantage of the ProRaw mode, that the small advances in terms of photography have particularly convinced you and that its design inspires you. Other than that, the grass is not necessarily greener elsewhere.

And if you don't have either of the two smartphones we looked at today and want an Apple device, then the classic iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini will probably be more relevant.

To go further, you can read our full reviews on the two devices of this versus:

  • iPhone 11 Pro full review
  • iPhone 12 Pro full review

Price and availability of iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 11 Pro is no longer officially offered by Apple. It was offered from 1159 euros for the 64 GB version.

Where to buy the
Apple iPhone 11 Pro at the best price?
  • Baker € 969 Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 859 € Discover the offer
  • Ubaldi.com 869 € Discover the offer
  • eBay Marketplace € 1 Discover the offer
  • Cdiscount € 1 Discover the offer
  • Fnac € 1 Discover the offer
  • Darty € 1 Discover the offer
  • Fnac Marketplace € 1 Discover the offer
  • Rue du Commerce € 1 Discover the offer
  • RED by SFR € 1 Discover the offer
  • SFR 1 549 € Discover the offer
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The iPhone 12 Pro, it also sells from 1159 euros, but you will take advantage of the version of 128 GB for this price.

Where to buy the
Apple iPhone 12 Pro at the best price?
  • RED by SFR € 1 Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 979 € Discover the offer
  • Ubaldi.com € 1 Discover the offer
  • eBay Marketplace € 1 Discover the offer
  • Rue du Commerce € 1 Discover the offer
  • Cdiscount € 1 Discover the offer
  • SFR 1 159 € Discover the offer
  • Baker € 1 Discover the offer
  • Darty € 1 Discover the offer
See more offers

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