Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy?

Not sure which Apple iPhone 12 is the best choice for you? This Apple iPhone 12 comparison will help you choose!

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Apple iPhone 12 review
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Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy?

Not sure which Apple iPhone 12 is the best choice for you? This Apple iPhone 12 comparison will help you choose!

We are supported by our audience, this post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclosure for more details.

Apple iPhone 12 review
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Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy?

Not sure which Apple iPhone 12 you should buy? Well, you have four options to choose from, the Apple iPhone 12 Mini, Apple iPhone 12, Apple iPhone 12 Pro, and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. Between these four Apple iPhone 12 models, we’ll be comparing and highlighting the pros and cons of each model throughout this Apple iPhone 12 comparison. For a quick comparison, below is a specs table highlighting the key information of each Apple iPhone 12 model.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini Apple iPhone 12 Apple iPhone 12 Pro Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Released: November 13, 2020 October 23, 2020 October 23, 2020 November 13, 2020
Colours: White, Black, Blue, Green, Product (Red) White, Black, Blue, Green, Product (Red) Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue
Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Display: 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (460 PPI) 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (460 PPI) 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (460 PPI) 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (458 PPI)
Processor: Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic Apple A14 Bionic
Memory: 4GB 4GB 6GB 6GB
Cameras: 12MP wide,
12MP ultrawide,
12MP front camera
12MP wide,
12MP ultrawide,
12MP front camera
12MP wide,
12MP ultrawide,
12MP telephoto,
12MP front camera
12MP wide,
12MP ultrawide,
12MP telephoto,
12MP front camera
Battery: 2,227mAh 2,815mAh 2,815mAh 3,687mAh
Operating system: iOS 14 iOS 14 iOS 14 iOS 14
Weight: 135g 164g 189g 228g
Release price: £699 / $699 £799 / $799 £999 / $999 £1,099 / $1,099
Apple iPhone 12 Mini on Amazon Apple iPhone 12 on Amazon Apple iPhone 12 Pro on Amazon Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max on Amazon

Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy? - Design

The Apple iPhone 12 Mini and the Apple iPhone 12 are both available in five colours, these colours are: white, black, blue, green, and Product (Red). The colour option of Product (Red) is simply the colour red, but each purchase of that Apple iPhone 12 colour will contribute towards The Global Fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you can see how these five colours look on the Apple iPhone 12 Mini or the Apple iPhone 12.

Apple iPhone 12 colours
The five colours available on the Apple iPhone 12 Mini and the Apple iPhone 12 - Credit: Apple

On the other hand, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max come with four available colours, these colours being silver, graphite, gold, and Pacific Blue. Below you can see how these five colours look on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro or the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro colours
The four colours available on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max - Credit: Apple

When you compare the design of the Apple iPhone 12 to last year’s Apple iPhone 11, you’ll find very few differences. While the camera housing looks identical, and the sizeable notch and bezel remains, some are calling the Apple iPhone 12 a blend between the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone X. The main similarities from these iPhones are the notched, full-screen display first introduced in the Apple iPhone X, and the flat-edge design from the Apple iPhone 4.

This year’s Apple iPhone 12 range features a sleek flat-edge design, similar to the Apple iPhone 4 design, along with an aerospace-grade aluminium enclosure. This, along with the new Ceramic Shield front cover, which goes beyond just glass protection by growing nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix, ultimately increases drop performance by 4x.

Apple iPhone 12 design
Apple iPhone 12 design - Credit: Apple

Possibly the most controversial change with the Apple iPhone 12 models is its charging capabilities, with the introduction of MagSafe. MagSafe is a new feature on all Apple iPhone 12 models that allows magnetic accessories to be attached to the back of your Apple iPhone 12, including Apple’s MagSafe charger for precise wireless charging. We’ll go into more detail about Apple’s new MagSafe charging in the battery section of this review.

Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy? - Display

For the first time ever, Apple has included an OLED display in every iPhone model this year, not just the high-end models like in last year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro or the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Apple iPhone 12 display
Apple iPhone 12 display - Credit: Apple
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Mini features a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution at 476 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 85.1%.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution at 460 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 86%.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Pro features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution at 460 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 86%.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2778 x 1284 pixel resolution at 458 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 87.4%.

Simply put, the Apple iPhone 12 Mini has the smallest screen at just 5.4-inches, the Apple iPhone 12 and Apple iPhone 12 Pro have the same size screen at 6.1-inches, and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has the biggest screen at 6.7-inches.

This year’s Apple iPhone 12 range has made some huge improvements to the displays this year in many ways. The biggest improvement has been that now all models of the Apple iPhone 12 come with OLED displays, rather than the Liquid Retina LCD displays Apple has provided to the standard iPhone models over the past few years.

Although the Apple iPhone 11 didn’t feature a Mini model, when you compare the four Apple iPhone 12 models with the three Apple iPhone 11 models, you’ll see just how much this year’s display has improved.

What's the difference between the Apple iPhone 11 display and the Apple iPhone 12 Mini display?

The Apple iPhone 11 features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD display with a 1792 x 828 pixel resolution at 326 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 79%. This is in comparison to the Apple iPhone 12 Mini which features a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution at 476 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 85.1%.

What's the difference between the Apple iPhone 11 display and the Apple iPhone 12 display?

The Apple iPhone 11 features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD display with a 1792 x 828 pixel resolution at 326 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 79%. This is in comparison to the Apple iPhone 12 which features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution at 460 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 86%.

What's the difference between the Apple iPhone 11 Pro display and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro display?

The Apple iPhone 11 Pro features a 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with a 2436 x 1125 pixel resolution at 458 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 82.1%. This is in comparison to the Apple iPhone 12 Pro which features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution at 460 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 86%.

What's the difference between the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max display and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max display?

The Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max features a 6.5-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with a 2688 x 1242 pixel resolution at 458 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 83.7%. This is in comparison to the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2778 x 1284 pixel resolution at 458 PPI, with a screen-to-body ratio of 87.4%.

Although this year has seen many great and much-needed improvements come to the Apple iPhone 12 displays, Apple still has quite a lot of catching up to do with Samsung’s flagship displays. The Samsung Galaxy S series has been a leader in display technology for many years now, and the Samsung Galaxy S20 puts the Apple iPhone 12 display to shame, which was released 7 months earlier than the Apple iPhone 12 range. For comparison, the standard Samsung Galaxy S20 display has a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440, 563 PPI, and support for 120Hz display refresh rate.

Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy? - Cameras

As always with Apple iPhones, the cameras on the Apple iPhone 12 models are great, but there hasn’t been much change when compared to the previous year’s Apple iPhone 11.

Apple iPhone 12 cameras
Apple iPhone 12 cameras - Credit: Apple
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Mini includes dual 12MP wide and ultrawide cameras, as well as a 12MP front camera.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 includes dual 12MP wide and ultrawide cameras, as well as a 12MP front camera.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Pro includes triple 12MP wide, ultrawide, and telephoto cameras, as well as a 12MP front camera.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max includes triple 12MP wide, ultrawide, and telephoto cameras, as well as a 12MP front camera.

The rear cameras on all four Apple iPhone 12 models are housed in a slightly raised, rounded glass square. This design may take some getting used to and is much more noticeable if you tend to use your phone on a flat surface, especially when typing.

The Apple iPhone 12’s ultrawide lens has a 0.5x zoom compared to the standard wide camera. This allows you to essentially zoom out without having to move. This is great for tight environments such as the indoors where you may not have any room behind you. 

This ultrawide camera opens up the possibility for so much more. When you’re using the standard wide camera, under the user interface you can actually see what you could capture if you were using the ultrawide camera. This small, yet great feature helps you know when you should be making use of the ultrawide camera.

Apple iPhone 12 camera app
Apple iPhone 12 camera app - Credit: Apple

As well as this, the Apple iPhone 12 also a great option that allows your ultrawide camera to take a picture at the same time as the standard wide camera. This acts as a backup in case the standard wide photo doesn’t capture everything that you was hoping to capture, these backup images last 30 days if not used.

Alongside the ultrawide lens, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro features a telephoto lens that offers a 2x optical zoom. Similarly, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max also features a telephoto lens that offers a 2.5x optical zoom.

The Apple iPhone 12’s TrueDepth 12MP front camera is also great but is exactly the same as the front camera from the previous year’s Apple iPhone 11. The front camera features its Smart HDR for more balanced images, whilst also allowing for additional features such as Animoji, Memoji, and slofies.

As well as this, both the wide and ultrawide lenses on the Apple iPhone 12 include night mode and Deep Fusion. Night mode greatly improves camera low-light performance and allows for incredible night shots. This is made possible as your Apple iPhone 12 will ask you to hold the phone as steady as possible for a few seconds so that the shutter can take multiple pictures, all at different sharpness and exposure levels, for it to then merge the data together, which results in an incredible low-light photo.

Deep Fusion is Apple’s new image processing system, first introduced in the Apple iPhone 11, which works automatically in certain environments. Apple describes it as “an advanced image processing system that uses the A14 Bionic Neural Engine to capture images with dramatically better texture, details, and reduced noise in lower light.”  This feature is completely automatic and has no indication to show when it’s being used. However, there are a few scenarios where Deep Fusion won’t be used. Deep Fusion won’t be used when you’re using the ultrawide lens, shooting burst photos, or when you have the feature “Photos Capture Outside the Frame” turned on.

The Apple iPhone 12 models also have very impressive video recording capabilities. The rear cameras on the Apple iPhone 12 models are capable of capturing video at 4K at 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps (frames per second). As well as this, the Apple iPhone 12 is also able to record at 1080p at 30fps, 60fps, 120fps, and 240fps. Not only this, but the front camera is also able of recording at 4K at 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps, along with recording at 1080p at 30fps, 60fps, and 120fps.

What are the camera specs of the Apple iPhone 12 Mini?

  • The wide lens is 12MP, f/1.6, 26mm, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS.
  • The ultrawide lens is 12MP, 120-degree view, f/2.4, 13mm, 1/3.6″.
  • The front camera is 12MP, f/2.2, 23mm, 1/3.6″.

What are the camera specs of the Apple iPhone 12?

  • The wide lens is 12MP, f/1.6, 26mm, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS.
  • The ultrawide lens is 12MP, 120-degree view, f/2.4, 13mm, 1/3.6″.
  • The front camera is 12MP, f/2.2, 23mm, 1/3.6″.

What are the camera specs of the Apple iPhone 12 Pro?

  • The wide lens is 12MP, f/1.6, 26mm, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS.
  • The ultrawide lens is 12MP, 120-degree view, f/2.4, 13mm, 1/3.6″.
  • The telephoto lens is 12MP, f/2.0, 52mm, 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom.
  • The front camera is 12MP, f/2.2, 23mm, 1/3.6″.

What are the camera specs of the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max?

  • The wide lens is 12MP, f/1.6, 26mm, 1.7µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS.
  • The ultrawide lens is 12MP, 120-degree view, f/2.4, 13mm, 1/3.6″.
  • The telephoto lens is 12MP, f/2.2, 65mm, 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2.5x optical zoom.
  • The front camera is 12MP, f/2.2, 23mm, 1/3.6″.

Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy? - Battery

Apple has never been the best when it comes to battery size, and unfortunately, this year’s Apple iPhone 12 models are no different. Below are the battery sizes of all four models of the Apple iPhone 12.

  • The Apple iPhone 12 Mini has a battery size of 2,227mAh.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 has a battery size of 2,815mAh.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Pro has a battery size of 2,815mAh.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has a battery size of 3,687mAh.

These battery sizes are one of the biggest drawbacks of the new Apple iPhone 12 range. For better comparison, here are the battery sizes of the previous year’s Apple iPhone 11 models:

  • The Apple iPhone 11 has a battery size of 3,110mAh.
  • The Apple iPhone 11 Pro has a battery size of 3,046mAh.
  • The Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max has a battery size of 3,969mAh.

Apple are notoriously bad for having some of the worst battery sizes in the flagship smartphone market, and when you compare the standard Apple iPhone 12 with the standard Samsung Galaxy S20, Apple’s main competitor, it really puts Apple to shame. The Samsung Galaxy S20 has a battery size of 4,000mAh, almost double the 2,227mAh battery included in the Apple iPhone 12.

Possibly the most controversial change with the new Apple iPhone 12 range is the introduction of MagSafe. MagSafe is a new feature on all four Apple iPhone 12 models that allows magnetic accessories to be attached to the back of your Apple iPhone 12, including Apple’s MagSafe Charger (sold separately), for precise wireless charging. For more information about how this works, check out Apple’s MagSafe Charger support page.

On top of this, Apple will no longer include a power adapter in the box of the Apple iPhone 12 models or any other future Apple iPhone models, nor will they provide Apple’s wired earphones, the Apple EarPods. However, all of the Apple iPhone 12 models will come with a Lightning to USB-C cable, which you can use to charge your Apple iPhone 12 by connecting to a laptop, desktop PC, or your own power adapter, as long as they have a USB-C port.

These changes come as a result of Apple attempting to reduce its carbon emissions and overall environmental impact. By removing the power adapter and Apple EarPods, it allows Apple to reduce the size of the Apple iPhone boxes. It’s not all bad, however, as you can still buy the power adapter and Apple EarPods, each sold separately.

Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy? - Performance

The system-on-chip found in the Apple iPhone 12 models is the new A14 Bionic. The Apple A14 Bionic chip features a very powerful CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and allows for advanced features such as Deep Fusion, Apple’s newly-introduced image processing system. Apple’s A14 Bionic chip is the fastest Apple has ever made.

Released on September 16, 2020, iOS 14 will come preinstalled on all four Apple iPhone 12 models. The main focus for iOS 14 was to bring a fresh look to the things you do most often, making them easier than ever. Some of the main features of iOS 14 are widgets on the home screen, a redesigned app library, and compact calls. Feel free to check out everything new with Apple’s iOS 14.

The Apple iPhone 12 Mini and the Apple iPhone 12 comes with three internal storage options: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. This is slightly different than the Apple iPhone 12 Pro and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max models, which also come with three internal storage options: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Although competitors to Apple’s iPhone are starting to offer storage of up to 1TB, 64GB is usually enough for the average user.

The Apple iPhone 12 Mini and Apple iPhone 12 also come with 4GB of RAM (Random Access Memory), which in most cases is more than enough for day-to-day activities such as streaming Netflix. However, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max models come with 6GB of RAM.

Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy? - Pricing

The Apple iPhone 12 models were released across October and November of 2020. The standard Apple iPhone 12 and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro were both released on October 23, 2020, whereas the Apple iPhone 12 Mini and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max were released a little later on November 13, 2020. Below you can see the release prices for each model:

  • The Apple iPhone 12 Mini started from £699 in the UK, and $699 in the US.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 started from £799 in the UK, and $799 in the US.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Pro started from £999 in the UK, and $999 in the US.
  • The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max started from £1,099 in the UK, and $1,099 in the US.

Below are the best deals for each Apple iPhone 12 model from Amazon.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini

Apple iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Quick Answers

How much does the Apple iPhone 12 Mini cost?

The Apple iPhone 12 Mini was released on November 13, 2020. At release, the Apple iPhone 12 Mini started from £699 in the UK, and $699 in the US.

Is the Apple iPhone 12 Mini worth buying?

If you bought any Apple iPhone 11 model, we don't believe there has been enough change for you to upgrade to the Apple iPhone 12 Mini. However, if you still want to upgrade, we recommend you check out the Apple iPhone 12 or the Apple iPhone 12 Pro.

What are the differences between the Apple iPhone 12 Mini and the Apple iPhone 12?

The Apple iPhone 12 Mini has a smaller display, a slightly smaller display resolution, and a smaller battery size.

How much does the Apple iPhone 12 cost?

The Apple iPhone 12 was released on October 23, 2020. At release, the Apple iPhone 12 started from £799 in the UK, and $799 in the US.

Is the Apple iPhone 12 worth buying?

If you bought the Apple iPhone 11 and would like to upgrade, we actually recommend the Apple iPhone 12 Pro or the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max rather than the standard Apple iPhone 12. If you didn't buy an Apple iPhone 11, we recommend all four Apple iPhone 12 models.

What are the differences between the Apple iPhone 12 and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro?

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro comes with 2GB more RAM, includes larger storage options, features a telephoto camera, and comes in gold, silver, graphite, and Pacific Blue colour options.

How much does the Apple iPhone 12 Pro cost?

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro was released on October 23, 2020. At release, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro started from £999 in the UK, and $999 in the US.

Is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro worth buying?

If you bought the Apple iPhone 11 and would like to upgrade, we actually recommend the Apple iPhone 12 Pro rather than the Apple iPhone 12. If you didn't buy an Apple iPhone 11, it really depends whether or not you value the improvements the Apple iPhone 12 Pro brings over the standard Apple iPhone 12. If you're looking for something better than the Apple iPhone 12 Pro, check out our Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review.

What are the differences between the Apple iPhone 12 Pro and the Apple iPhone 12?

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro comes with 2GB more RAM, includes larger storage options, features a telephoto camera, and comes in gold, silver, graphite, and Pacific Blue colour options.

How much does the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max cost?

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max was released on November 13, 2020. At release, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max started from £1,099 in the UK, and $1,099 in the US.

Is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max worth buying?

If you have the money to spare, and would like the latest and greatest Apple iPhone, then we recommend this Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. If you bought the Apple iPhone 11 Pro or the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, it might not be worth upgrading.

What are the differences between the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro?

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has a bigger display, a slightly bigger display resolution, slight camera improvements, and a much larger battery size.

Which Apple iPhone 12 should you buy? - Conclusion

Now that we’ve compared the Apple iPhone 12 models, it’s time for you to decide which is the best model for you. Right off the bat, if you’re not looking to spend a fortune on your next phone, then we recommend the Apple iPhone 12 Mini. On the opposite side of the scale, if you’re looking for the best of the best in your next phone, we recommend the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. When it comes to the Apple iPhone 12 and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro, the only real deciding factor is the telephoto lens you get with the Apple iPhone 12 Pro. If you’re not too interested in having a third rear camera, we recommend the standard Apple iPhone 12.

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