With Apple’s recent announcement of new iPhones I thought it would be useful to put together a little post about the new hardware sizes and how they compare to various other models.

Apple provides a very useful iPhone comparison tool but it only lets you choose three phones at a time. To make comparison easier I made a composite image from multiple iPhone models, starting with the iPhone SE and going up to the current phones just announced.

iPhone size comparison

Observations

The iPhone is now available in a multitude of different sizes, and they haven’t always tallied with the price, for example the cheaper 11 is physically larger than the more expensive 11 Pro. The picture gets messier when you consider that Apple continues to sell the SE (2nd generation), 11, and XR on top of the four new models introduced last week; that’s quite a variety.

This year’s model lineup seems more sensible though, starting with the 12 Mini as the smallest, you then have the 12 and 12 Pro which are the same physical size, and finally you have the 12 Pro Max which is the biggest. The 12 Pro mainly differentiates itself from the 12 with an upgraded triple-lens camera system and a stainless steel finish on the sides. The 12 Pro Max offers more unique camera upgrades, and is the only model that has the sensor-shift stabilisation technology, the wider ƒ/1.6 aperture lens (47% bigger) and 1.7μm pixels, Apple claims this delivers an 87% boost in low-light performance.

The previous 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max models had no differences in their camera systems, so you weren’t forced to get the largest physical model to get the best camera. This is disappointing for someone like myself who prefers a smaller phone, but also does a lot of photography and so wants the best camera.

The smallest

The iPhone 12 Mini really is tiny! It’s almost as small as my previous phone, the original iPhone SE, which I stubbornly ran for multiple years until its age forced me to finally upgrade. Note that it’s also smaller than the iPhone 6/7/8 body, which is the same size as the second-generation SE. I can’t wait to try one out in person and see if my small phone dreams can be realised again, without compromising on the latest technology.

This new model seems like the perfect upgrade for anyone who has been holding out for a small iPhone, and since it’s packing the same internals as its larger siblings, the only real trade off is the smaller battery that comes with the smaller dimensions.

Other sizes

The 12 Pro is actually slightly larger than the 11 Pro it replaces, whereas conversely the regular 12 is slightly smaller than the regular 11 it replaces.

When we take a look within the same generation, the 12 and 12 Pro are the same size, but interestingly the 11 was actually larger than the 11 Pro.

The largest

Until last week the iPhone 8 Plus was the biggest iPhone ever made, being ever so slightly larger than the 11 Pro Max - but no more; the iPhone 12 Pro Max now firmly takes the crown as the largest iPhone available.