Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup packs some major upgrades over the iPhone 11 series. Apart from a design refresh, Apple has also upgraded the camera and made major internal changes for improved performance. There’s even 5G connectivity which allows for blazing-fast mobile data speeds.
Apple has also expanded its iPhone 12 lineup by offering four models instead of three. The newest addition is the iPhone 12 mini which features a 5.4-inch display and a compact form factor that makes it ideal for one-handed use. There are plenty of other new features and improvements that Apple has made in the iPhone 12 series. Read about them below.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro – New Display Sizes
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro series consists of four devices with three different screen sizes: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. Compared to the iPhone 11 series, the iPhone 12 series now packs bigger and better displays.
Apple has also switched over to using OLED panels across the entire lineup, so irrespective of which iPhone you buy, you will get a Super Retina XDR display. Contrary to rumors, the entire iPhone 12 series feature a 60Hz refresh rate display.
As for the notch, its size remains unchanged on the iPhone 12 series. There’s also no in-display Touch ID on the devices.
iPhone 12 – New Design
Apple has debuted a new design language with the iPhone 12 series. The front of the devices remains unchanged, but the rear and the chassis do get a major overhaul. The camera layout at the rear is similar to the iPhone 11 series, but Apple has tweaked the glass cut out for the camera sensors this time around. The chassis itself now has square edges, which changes the devices’ in-hand feel in a big way. The design is now reminiscent of the iPhone 4s/5 series.
Apart from this, the entire iPhone 12 series continues to be IP68 certified, meaning they are dust and water-resistant. Sadly, despite the design overhaul, Apple continues to stick with the Lightning connector on the iPhone 12 lineup.
A14 Bionic, Up to 6GB RAM, Increased Base Storage
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro lineup is powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic chip based on the 5nm fab from TSMC. Apple has always set new benchmarks with its A-series chips, and the A14 Bionic is no different. It continues to lead the mobile smartphone segment in terms of performance and efficiency, with the Neural Engine and the ISP bringing major performance improvements to the table.
The good thing is that with the iPhone 12 Pro series, Apple has finally bumped the RAM to 6GB and base storage to 128GB, with the lineup topping out at 512GB of storage. The regular iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini continue to feature 4GB RAM and 64GB of base storage. They can be purchased with a maximum of 256GB storage.
The biggest highlight of the iPhone 12 series is the addition of 5G support. In fact, the iPhone 12 mini is the most compact 5G smartphone in the market right now. In the United States, Apple sells the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro variants that support both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G networks. This means if you are on Verizon’s network, you can get download speeds over 1Gbps easily.
Outside of the United States, Apple is only selling the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro variants with sub-6GHz 5G support. This should not be a cause of concern since most network operators outside of the United States have used the sub-6GHz standard for rolling out 5G.
Apple has also enabled dual-SIM 5G support on the iPhone 12 series with the iOS 14.4 update so that you can connect to two 5G networks at once on your device.
iPhone 12 Camera – Same yet Improved
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro have similar cameras as the iPhone 12 series from last year on paper. The camera is also one of the major differentiation points between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro series.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro’s underlying camera sensor is the same one that Apple used on the iPhone 11 series. What’s changed is the lens, as Apple is now using an f/1.6 aperture lens on the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 Pro. This allows the camera to take in more light and click sharper photos as well. The primary and ultra-wide cameras on these three iPhones are the same – 12MP f/1.6 with OIS and a 12MP ultra-wide. The iPhone 12 Pro has a telephoto sensor as well, allowing it to offer 2x optical zoom.
The LiDAR sensor on the iPhone 12 Pro allows it to offer 6x better autofocus performance in low-light scenarios. It also helps with Night mode portrait photos on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.
As for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it has the best camera setup of the lot. It uses a notably larger 12MP camera sensor featuring 1.7um large pixels and an f/1.8 aperture. Instead of OIS, Apple is using sensor-shift stabilization that allows for greater shake compensation. The telephoto lens on the device also has a slightly higher reach of 2.5x (65mm). Like the iPhone 12 Pro, the Pro Max also features a 12MP ultra-wide and a LiDAR sensor.
MagSafe, No Power Adapter
Another highlight of the iPhone 12 series is the addition of MagSafe. This allows magnetic accessories to snap on the phone’s back, which makes putting cases, wireless chargers, and other accessories very convenient. Apple itself is selling some MagSafe accessories, including wallet cases and wireless chargers.
Citing environmental reasons and to keep its bill of materials price in check, Apple has not bundled a power adapter with the iPhone 12 series. This has also allowed the company to greatly slim down the retail packaging thereby saving on shipping costs. Apart from the phone and some regulatory papers, the only other thing that Apple bundles with the iPhone 12 in the box is a USB-C to Lightning cable.
iPhone 12 Price
Despite the major improvements and the addition of 5G, Apple has priced the iPhone 12 lineup the same as the iPhone 11 series from last year. Technically, there’s a price increase as the iPhone 11 is now replaced by the iPhone 12 mini.
The iPhone 12 mini starts from $699, while the iPhone 12 starts from $799. The Pro lineup pricing remains unchanged, though: $999 for the iPhone 12 Pro and $1,099 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. You can also get an iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max for free, and when you do, make sure to go through the best iPhone 12 tips and tricks.
If you are looking to buy the iPhone 12 mini in 2021, you might want to reconsider your decision.
The iPhone 12 is now over six months old, which begs the question: should you buy one right now or wait for the iPhone 13? Check out our detailed explainer on should you buy the iPhone 12 or wait for iPhone 13 to take the right decision.
This page was last updated on July 7, 2021.