These big iPhone 12 leaks actually make a lot of sense

iPhone 11 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future)

Update: Another iPhone 12 leak has shared even more information about the phone since this story was written.

While there have a been a slew of leaks lately around the new iPhone 12, the latest one from well-known leaker Max Weinbach offers some new details that actually make a lot of sense.

Sharing his information with the YouTube channel EverythingApplePro, Weinbach claims that Apple's iPhone 12 Pro will boast the same 'Pro Motion' display tech that featured in this year's new iPad Pro models.

In practice, that would mean a new iPhone that would pack features that only would fire when needed, such as when browsing the web or playing games coded to use the smoother scrolling, giving a more buttery feeling under the finger.

Given that this year's iPhone 12 models look set to be 5G capable, it would make a lot of sense that the combination of faster connectivity and a 120Hz display will significantly impact battery life. 

To accommodate for this, Weinbach claims that the iPhone 12 Pro will boast a larger 4,400mAh battery – a significant step up from the 3,969mAh battery inside Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Face ID and camera upgrades

Along with the display and battery claims above, Weinbach also suggests that Apple's upcoming handset will receive an improved Face ID sensor that will allow users to unlock their phone from a wider range of angles.

Additionally, Weinbach says the iPhone 12 Pro's rear camera will receive upgrades of its own, reinforcing a previous rumor which claimed that the handset will receive a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner for improved autofocus and enhanced augmented reality experiences - which we saw debut on the iPad Pro 2020.

According to Weinbach, the iPhone 12 Pro will also feature Smart HDR functionality for improved low-light performance, as well as 3x optical zoom – an increase from the 2x zoom capability featured in the iPhone 11 range. 

This makes a lot of sense

The tricky thing when poring through the iPhone rumors each year is deciding on their veracity – Apple has the scale and resource to do huge things in the phone world, but it's always about balancing the functionality while letting it maintain a desired profit margin.

To that end, the upgrades are rarely things that no other brand has done, more a refinement of what's already there using tech that's (ideally) been used and proven elsewhere in its lines.

The notion that the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max models – tipped to be 6.1– and 6.7-inch phones respectively – look set to get upgrades to the Face ID sensor, camera, screen and battery all fit into that model well.

A better camera would allow Apple to sample some of the industry's headline features – like longer and more powerful zoom from the camera, in a bid to match up to Samsung and Huawei – as well as more meaningful updates like improvements to the portrait mode through better depth sensing.

Rumors of a better HDR mode to allow for smoother and less-grainy night shots also make sense, but we would have been shocked if the new chipset from Apple didn't pack some improved image processing anyway, so that's likely always been on the roadmap.

The 120Hz capabilities might not sound like much, but they're becoming more of a feature on high-end smartphones in the likes of the OnePlus 8 Pro, and using it on the right apps will help save battery for when it's needed.

The smaller notch is something that's been mooted for months, but the key thing is that Apple is now rumored to improve the range of Face ID through hardware, which would make scanning quicker and taking away a pain point for its users – something not massive, but fits with the kind of upgrade path Apple takes.

Of course, these leaks are far from certain – there are usually multiple versions of a new iPhone in prototype form that exist before the final model is seen, and in the current climate it's about being able to mass produce a phone at the speed needed to hit the expected September iPhone 2020 release date, although the iPhone manufacturer Foxconn says this is on track.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.