iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro teardown reveals smaller battery

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An iPhone 12 teardown wouldn’t be complete without a cool X-ray.
Dive deep into the iPhone 12 standard and Pro with an X-ray.
Photo: Creative Electron

Open up the standard iPhone 12 and and you’d be hard pressed to find a difference between it and the iPhone 12 Pro. An iFixit teardown shows these handsets so similar internally that they can share many parts.

But the news isn’t all good. Another tidbit revealed by cracking open Apple’s latest is that that have smaller batteries than their predecessors.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro: Practically twins

Even a glance at the specs of the two iOS devices that debuted Friday shows that they have much in common. Both have 6.1-inch screens, for example. iFixit proved that their display panels can be swapped between the devices, though the Pro’s is slightly brighter.

A major hardware difference is the iPhone 12 Pro’s third camera lens and LiDAR scanner. This isn’t included in the base model, but Apple has a very simple solution. “Turns out these phones are so similar, that where the Pro keeps its extra camera module + LiDAR sensor, the standard 12 has… a plastic spacer,” notes FixIt.

Each handset includes an identical battery, too. Speaking of which….

iPhone 12 teardown finds smaller battery

iFixIt says both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro use a battery that holds 10.78 Wh. That is a downgrade from the 6.1-inch iPhone 11, which includes a 11.91 Wh battery.

We have to find this out in the teardown because this is one of the specs that Apple doesn’t reveal. Instead of being specific, Cupertino says the iPhone 12 offers up to 11 hours of video playback, a 10% increase over its predecessor.

A possible reason for a drop in battery size is to make room for extra components needed for 5G, one of the most important new features of the 2020 iPhone. iFixIt points out the logic board has “grown enormously in size — probably to accommodate Qualcomm’s 5G chips.” There are also two 5G mmWave antenna modules in the U.S. versions.

The teardown also revealed a tidbit that came to light earlier: the standard iPhone 12 has 4GB of RAM while the Pro model includes 6GB. This is another spec Apple doesn’t announce.

iFixIt can’t yet do an iPhone 12 mini teardown, or one of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Neither will debut until November.