06/25 Update below. This post was originally published on June 23.
The biggest surprise in Apple’s new range of iPhone 12 seems to be its price reduction. Now there is a bigger one.
A revealing report from the popular Chinese site ITHome revealed the native resolutions for Apple iPhone 12’s resized screens and looks like it will make entry-level iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max the best smartphone purchases of the year:
- iPhone 12: 5.4-inch 235 x 1080 OLED screen, 475 pixels per inch
- iPhone 12 Max: 6.1-inch OLED screen, 2532 x 1170, 460 ppi
- iPhone 12 Pro: 6.1-inch OLED screen, 2532 x 1170, 460 ppi
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6.7-inch 2778 x 1284 OLED screen, 458 ppi
While the iPhone 12 Pro models are in line with their predecessors (which have 458ppi), the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max outperform the iPhone 11 which has an LCD display and native 1792 x 828 resolution with 326 ppi, there is no comparison .
06/24 update: iPhone 12 series screens have taken another turn today following the discovery of variable frame rates within the new beta version of developer iOS 14. Reported by a popular rendering artist Ben GeskinNavigating to iOS 14 Settings> Accessibility> Motion has introduced a setting to limit frame rates to 60 frames per second. Unlike the iPad Pro range, iPhones are currently limited to 60fps, making it perhaps Apple’s biggest indication that its long-rumored 120Hz ProMotion display technology will hit the iPhone 12 lineup. This is expected to be limited to the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, but it’s considered a crucial upgrade feature given its widespread adoption by rival flagships and the fact that it offers a significantly smoother user experience. For me, their exclusion would be a decisive factor, so this is great news.
06/25 Update: More details on the iPhone 12 screen are emerging from Ben Geskin’s iOS 14 Motion settings discovery yesterday. Geskin discovered that developer beta version iOS 14 contains an option to “limit” iPhone screens to 60fps, thus strongly hinting at the faster 120Hz ProMotion panels envisioned on iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Interestingly, while other users found the same settings and I recorded it on video, does not appear for most of those running the new beta, and therefore suggests that an error has accidentally revealed it on their devices. Of course, the bug could be related to a setting for the iPad Pro lineup (which already has 120Hz displays) that appears by mistake on iPhones, but that seems unlikely now that iPads and iPhones have their own separate platforms. Either way, the excitement levels for the iPhone 12 Pro models increased a bit.
Yes, there may be technical differences between the iPhone 12 Pro and non-Pro models (see below), but Apple never comes up with a faulty display, so if the ITHome font is correct, this is a really massive advance. In fact, Apple may even be offering too much here (iPhone 12 has the highest ppi of any model!), Which risks lowering sales of iPhone 12 Pro models.
After all, the differences between phones are now smaller than ever. All four models will have matching designs for the first time with ultra-thin bezels (thanks OLED), the same ultra-wide primary and improved cameras, and the same new Apple A14 chipset. The differentiators are the stainless steel Vs aluminum chassis (the former is cheaper but also lighter), a telephoto lens (walk closer), LiDAR (looks amazing but adoption will take time), and 5G Vs 5G with mmWave (which will have extremely limited coverage.)
The only concern I have is that the 120Hz ProMotion support is expected to be an exclusive iPhone 12 Pro and the high refresh rate displays provide a tangibly smoother experience. That said, there is no discussion with Apple’s iPhone 12 price drop, something that looks even more noticeable with this latest update. So while the iPhone 12 launch is being delayed, at this point, waiting seems like one of the smartest decisions you’ll make throughout the year.
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