iPhone 12 (Pro (Max)) size decisions

I’m a bit conflicted over which size iPhone to get this year.

I’ve always thought that the iPhone 5 was one of the best iPhones. Not just because of the flat-sided design, but because I preferred the smaller size over the iPhone 6 and later. Now, we’re not only getting the flat-sided design back, we’re also getting another small iPhone. The iPhone 12 mini is actually pretty close to an iPhone 5 size-wise:

iPhone 5 iPhone 12 mini
Height 4.87" 5.18"
Width 2.31" 2.53"

Problem is, for me, one of the big incentives to upgrade my phone is the camera system. I use the 2x lens a lot and I don’t think I could give it up. That may rule out the 12 mini for me.

While grew to tolerate the iPhone 6, 7, and 10S sized phones, I was never a +/Max person. Even the intermediate-sized 10R/11 was too big for my taste. That’s what makes it especially vexing that the 12 Pro Max has a better camera system than the 12 Pro. Like I said, I use the telephoto lens a lot and there are plenty of times where I’ve wanted even more magnification. But as much as I want more zoom, I just don’t know if putting up with such a large phone would be worth it to go from 2x to 2.5x though. If it were a 4x they might have me.

Apple’s choices to link screen size and camera quality have made this a more difficult decision for me. If the same cameras were available across all three screen sizes there’s a good chance I’d have gone for the smallest phone. As it is, I’ll probably just end up getting the 12 Pro.

Anyone else similarly conflicted?

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The 12 Pro camera system is very similar to the 12 Pro Max.

If size is a concern for you, the 12 Pro seems like a pretty good compromise to get a better camera system in the smallest sized phone it is available in.

I would definitely not consider the 12 Mini if you like the Pro camera feature/lens options. I don’t think the small size will be adequate to compensate for the difference in camera performance.

I’m right there with you!

I had hoped that Apple was done with penalizing those of us with smaller hands and pockets, but nope — we can’t get the absolute best camera. (Until next year when it magically fits into the Pro-size models.)

My guess is that Apple wants to charge the most for the biggest phone, so putting a better camera in the Max will entice more people to spend the maximum.

I also use the telephoto more than the ultra wide lens, so that rules out non-Pro models.

This may be the first year in a long time that I don’t upgrade because it seems like the only advancements are small size (worse cameras than my 11 Pro) and much better cameras (but way bigger than my 11 Pro). 5G is pointless where I live.

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@ChrisUpchurch already said that the IPhone 11 is a bit too big, the 12 Pro is pretty similar size to the 11.

I’m bizarrely torn for the same reasons. I want small, so the Mini would be perfect, but like a good camera, and when sizing up to the 12 pro, I may as well go to the 12 pro max for an extra £100 over 3 years.

I currently have the iPhone X so a size change is imminent no matter what. I used to have the 6s plus and enjoyed moving down to the X.

I’m very conflicted.

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I’m not saying that’s not the case, but I suspect that there’s just more space in the 12 Pro Max for the better sensor and lense, and rather than holding back to keep the 2 pro phones the same, they’ve pushed forward on the Max because they can.

The 12 Pro is closer to the XS than the 11.

XS 11 12 Pro
Height 5.65 5.94 5.78
Width 2.79 2.98 2.82
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Found this size comparison of various iPhone models


This detailed comparison by Joe Beninato on Twitter (@beninato) might be helpful.

The more I read about the camera differences the more tempted I am by the 12 Pro Max. This has gotten to the point that I actually made a 12 Pro Max sized cardboard mockup to compare to my XS.

And . . . I don’t think I can do it. It would require me to significantly change how I interact with my phone. My hands are big enough that I can just barely operate the XS one-handed. I’m hoping that despite the slight size increase the 12 Pro will be as well. The 12 Pro Max would definitely be a two-handed device.


In terms of ONLY size, if you were okay with a X, you would be fine with either a 12 or 12 Pro…they are both EXTREMELY close to the size of a X…only a few hundredths of an inch difference.

The Mini or Pro Max are where you will notice the size difference - be that smaller or larger!

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My issue with the Pro Max is that while you see a little extra content on screen, Apple hasn’t really done any thing with that big screen user interface. It’s the biggest ever and we don’t even get an extra row of icons or room for extra widgets, or a way to split screen an app other than PiP. I just don’t see the benefit of that larger size and really wish for the weight and size Apple gave us a reason to enjoy the biggest size. I decided to go with the 12 Pro and loving it. The size is the perfect sweet spot.


Speaking only for myself, I am very happy having the Pro Max size option.

I am visually impaired and I still need to use visual accessibility options however the larger screen make it much easier to navigate for me. I am also a pretty big guy at 6’5” and my hands are larger than many others so the size and weight are not a problem for me at all.

I do, however, recognize that my individual circumstances are not those of the majority of Apple customers. I feel fortunate that Apple has opted to make a large screen size phone at a time when it seems as though many one time “phablet” users are wanting to move back to smaller phones.

Depending on how well the Mini sells this year (my initial impression is that it will be wildly successful) I am concerned that future iPhone models may not offer a Max size option.

Could it be that future iPhone Pro models will be sold as the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Mini, rather than a Max? I know many customers are hoping so, but I’m not one of them!