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iPhone 12 (Pro): teardown shows the differences between the two smartphones

apple iphone 12 ip 68 10132020
© Apple

This year iFixit has once again taken a close look at the inner workings of the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Apparently due to 5G, various changes were found.

It has become a tradition: as soon as a new iPhone is released, the repair experts at iFixit get to work as fast as possible to get an overview of the new features behind the display. This was once again the case with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. But when opening the two currently available Apple smartphones, there were only a few differences at first glance:

When looking under the hood, as seen in the video, only small details could be seen at first that they are different smartphones. For example, the differences were evident in the shielding of the camera module. The battery, Taptic Engine, and even the display look very similar.

Initial tests showed that the displays can be easily exchanged between the two devices. According to Apple, however, the display of the iPhone 12 Pro should have a slightly higher "maximum typical brightness" with 800 instead of 625 nits. iFixit wants to examine this difference a bit more closely in the future.

iPhone 12 Teardown iFixit
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in parts. / © iFixit

iPhone 12: Logic Board grows due to 5G

According to iFixit, another change compared to older iPhones is a significantly grown logic board. The reason is the 5G chip from Qualcomm, which needs additional space.

At the same time, the battery and the Taptic Engine have shrunk. The new energy source is identical on both iPhones 12 and offers 10.78 Wh. In the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro it was still 11.91 and 11.67 Wh respectively. The days of L-shaped batteries, such as those found in the iPhone XS, are over.

Unfortunately, the current teardown gives leaves evidence to the size of the installed RAM. There is currently talk of 4 GB RAM in the regular iPhone 12, while the Pro model gets 6 GB. This could explain the different specifications of the camera system. The iPhone 12 allows HDR video recording with Dolby Vision only up to a maximum of 30 fps, while the iPhone 12 Pro manages 60 fps. The Pro models will also receive ProRAW for photos in the future.

Overall, iFixit gave the iPhone 12 Pro 6 out of 10 points for reparability. For example, the battery and display can still be easily replaced. Many other components are also modular and easy to access. However, there were deductions for the use of special screws, for which one needs suitable tools. Improved protection against liquid ingress can make repairs more difficult, but water damage is likely to become less frequent.

Furthermore, the use of glass on the front and back doubles the risk of expensive damage. If the rear glass shatters, every component must be removed from the case and the chassis replaced.

Source: iFixit

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  • storm Oct 28, 2020 Link to comment

    Glass backs were always dumb. Claiming it as Premium materials was marketing hype the tech press ate up.

    • Rusty H. Oct 29, 2020 Link to comment

      I wish they would go back to a PLASTIC back. Heck, plastic or glass, you'd be crazy not to put either in a case, to protect it, given the price of some of these things!