06/24 Update below. This post was originally published on June 23
The biggest surprise in Apple’s new iPhone 12 range appeared to be its price reduction. Now there’s a bigger one.
An eye-opening report from popular Chinese site ITHome has revealed the native resolutions for Apple’s resized iPhone 12 displays and it looks set to make the entry-level iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max the best smartphone buys of the year:
- iPhone 12 – 5.4-inch, 2340 x 1080 OLED display, 475 pixels per inch
- iPhone 12 Max – 6.1-inch, 2532 x 1170 OLED display, 460 ppi
- iPhone 12 Pro – 6.1-inch, 2532 x 1170 OLED Display, 460 ppi
- iPhone 12 Pro Max – 6.7-inch, 2778 x 1284 OLED Display, 458 ppi
While the iPhone 12 Pro models are in-line with their predecessors (which both have 458ppi), the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max blow away the iPhone 11 which has an LCD and 1792 x 828 native resolution with 326 ppi – there’s no comparison.
06/24 Update: the displays within the iPhone 12 series have taken another twist today following the discovery of variable frame rates within the new iOS 14 developer beta. Reported by popular render artist Ben Geskin and confirmed by others, navigating 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 so it is perhaps the biggest hint yet from Apple that its long rumored 120Hz ProMotion display tech will be coming to the iPhone 12 line-up. This is expected to be limited to the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, but it is deemed a crucial catch-up feature given its widespread adoption by rival flagships and the fact it does deliver a significantly smoother user experience. For me, its exclusion would be a deal breaker, so this is big news.
Yes, there may be technical differences between the Pro and non-Pro iPhone 12 models (see below) but Apple never puts out a bad display so, if ITHome’s source is correct, this is a truly massive step-up. In fact, Apple may even be offering too much here (the iPhone 12 has the highest ppi of any model!) which risks undercutting sales of the iPhone 12 Pro models.
After all, the differences between the handsets are now smaller than ever. All four models will have matching designs for the first time with ultra-slim bezels (thank you OLED), the same improved primary and ultrawide cameras and the same new Apple A14 chipset. Differentiators are aluminium Vs stainless steel chassis (the former is cheaper but also lighter), a telephoto lens (walk closer), LiDAR (it looks amazing but adoption will take time) and 5G Vs 5G with mmWave (which will have extremely limited coverage).
The one concern I do have is 120Hz ProMotion support is expected to be an iPhone 12 Pro-exclusive and high refresh rate displays do deliver a tangibly smoother experience. That said, there’s no arguing with Apple’s iPhone 12 price drop – something which looks all the more remarkable with this latest upgrade. So while the iPhone 12 launch is now running late, at this point, waiting looks like one of the smartest decisions you’ll make all year.
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