Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20

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The Galaxy S21 phones are now joining us, ready to impress! If you want to check out how the iPhone 12 Pro fares against the powerful Galaxy S21, check out our detailed comparison of the Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12 Pro.

Apple has four new iPhones in the pipeline for its October 13 "Hi, Speed" event, and one of these is quite likely to become very popular. The iPhone 12 Pro won't be the most spec'd-out among Apple's new jolly bunch, but it will certainly strike a nice balance between size and features.

Generally speaking, the same applies to the SamsungGalaxy S20, which doesn't usually get the same amount of attention as the Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra, but is the most affordable Samsung flagship on sale now. 

How do the iPhone 12 Pro and the Galaxy S20 stack up?

Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Galaxy S20: The main differences

iPhone 12 Pro vs Galaxy S20: Price

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro: $999
  • Galaxy S20: $999

Both the iPhone 12 Pro and the Galaxy S20 officially start at $999. You can have the iPhone with 128, 256, and 512GB of internal storage, with prices ranging from $999, to $1099, and $1299, respectively. When it comes to the Galaxy, that's its official price, but it can be often found for less across its retail network. 

Neither the iPhone 12 Pro nor the Galaxy S20 are the most affordable in their respective lineups: the iPhone 12 mini and the Galaxy S20 FE are more affordable, but you will have to make compromises with certain aspects. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Galaxy S20: Display

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro: 6.1" OLED, 1170 x 2532 pixels
  • Galaxy S20: 6.2" Dynamic AMOLED, 1440 x 3200 pixels, 120Hz refresh rate

In terms of display real estate, the iPhone has slightly less than the Galaxy S20. At 6.1 inches, the iPhone 12 Pro slightly falls behind the 6.2" Galaxy, which also has the upper hand in terms of overall display sharpness.  However, the Galaxy S20 has a feature that the iPhone sadly doesn't support - super-smoot 120Hz refresh rate. By no means should the latter a deal-breaker for potential iPhone buyers, but it's definitely one of the nicer new features to have on a late 2020 flagship phone. Reportedly, Apple had to choose between a 120Hz refresh rate for the display and 5G support, and we all know how that went. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Galaxy S20: Hardware

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro: Apple A14, 6GB RAM
  • Galaxy S20: Snapdragon 865, 12GB RAM

The iPhone 12 Pro is be powered by the same chipset that debuted back in September on the new iPad Air - the Apple A14 Bionic, built on a small 5nm fabrication process. What does the latter mean? Thanks to the 5nm process, the A14 Bionic offers excellent performance with better power efficiency. Judging from our past experience with Apple's chips, the A14 inside the new iPhones should have better synthetic performance than the Snapdragon 865 chipset that's inside the US version of the Galaxy S20. Paired with 12GB of RAM, Samsung's smallest Galaxy is definitely no slouch, but the new iPhone could definitely give it a run for the money, especially with the A14 chipset on deck. Don't let the 6GB of RAM on board the iPhone fool you, Apple's memory management brings it on par with Android phones having way more operational memory. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Galaxy S20: Camera

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro: 12MP main + 12MP ultra-wide + 12MP 2X telephoto + 12MP front camera
  • Galaxy S20: 12MP + 12MP ultra-wide + 64MP telephoto + 10MP front camera

Both phones came with triple camera setups, consisting of a regular, ultra-wide angle, and telephoto snappers. The differences are in the megapixels and sensor sizes as well as the software features. It's too early to say which one has the better camera, but one thing is for sure: they'll be neck to neck. One thing that will likely be missing on either device is an advanced depth measuring sensor. The iPhone 12 Pro comes with LiDAR on board, which will allow for precise environment mapping and improved AR and XR capabilities. At the same time, the Galaxy S20 has no ToF sensor like the S20 Ultra, so it's a bit gimped in that regard.

The iPhone 12 Pro will definitely catch the attention of avid photographers and videographers with ProRAW support and is also the first smartphone to support Dolby Vision HDR capture. That means they can capture over 700 million colors, up to 60X times more than before. You also get a live preview of HDR as you shoot it, and you can edit Dolby Vision videos right in the Photos app. This is truly impressive stuff, possible thanks to the powerful A14 chip. For all else, the cameras on the Pro and Pro Max are identical: you have the new Smart HDR 3 on both, which brings out detail in faces when the sun is bright behind the person and captures better HDR shots overall. Night Mode on both also gets better: it is now available on all cameras, including the ultra-wide and front cameras.

Apple Event October 13: where and how to watch

Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Galaxy S20: Battery

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro: 2775mAh
  • Galaxy S20: 4000mAh

Despite their smaller batteries, iPhones usually have comparable and often even better battery life than its direct Android rivals, Galaxies included. This is why we wouldn't be too quick to downplay the potential battery life of the iPhone 12 Pro due to its smaller battery, at least on paper. Apple has pretty tight control on the hardware and software of its phones and this optimization helps iPhones eke out very good battery life of otherwise humbler batteries. In comparison, the Galaxy S20 has a 4000mAh and that's plenty, but in our tests Samsung's smallest flagship doesn't achieve that good of a battery life in the smooth 120Hz mode. That's a pity that will hopefully be addressed with the Galaxy S21/S30 series. Fast charging is available on the Galaxy S20, and the iPhone 12 Pro would certainly have it, too. The same applies for wireless charging as well.

Now, Apple's official battery figures have been revealed and the iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max battery life is the same as the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. Check out our battery life comparison between the iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max and the previous iPhone generations right here.

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