Which iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini Storage Capacity Should You Buy — 64GB, 128GB or 256GB?

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 15 Oct 2020

iPhone 12

Apple continues to offer its iPhone 12 lineup in the same storage options as the older iPhone 11 lineup. Sadly, this means you continue to get 64GB of base storage, with the other two options being 128GB and 256GB. If you are confused as to which iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini storage option is right for you, read this guide to find out.

Which iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini Storage Capacity Should You Buy?

iPhone 12 – Capacity and Pricing

Before we proceed further, below is a quick rundown of the pricing of the iPhone 11 for different storage tiers.

  • 64GB – $799
  • 128GB – $849
  • 256GB – $949

Coming from the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 is actually $100 more expensive. Worse, the base storage remains unchanged at 64GB. The $50 extra for the 128GB variant might sound tempting but when compared to iPhone 11, you will end up paying an additional $150 for the iPhone 12.

Read: iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12: Should You Upgrade?

General Storage Guidelines

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep their entire music library offline on their iPhones or you download a lot of movies or apps, it’s best if you don’t skimp on your storage. If you like to keep your entire photo library available offline on the device, it’s best if you go for the largest possible storage capacity.

On the other hand, if you use music streaming services, stream movies and TV shows exclusively and you back up all photos and videos to iCloud Photo Library, you might just get away with the lowest storage tier. But even then, you should be prepared when you hit the wall. You’ll need to delete apps and backup photos actively to make sure there’s enough storage space available.

Who Should Buy the 64GB iPhone 12?

If you are someone who primarily uses their phone for social media, calling, light photos and videos, the 64GB iPhone 12 variant is going to be enough for you. Remember that unlike Android smartphones, iPhones store photos and videos in HEIF and HEVC formats which take up significantly lesser space than regular JPEG and video files. Plus, there are plenty of space-saving features in iOS that can be used to automatically free up internal storage.

Down the line, your storage needs are going to ballon as you have more documents and files stored on the device so you are likely going to be left with around 10-15GB of free storage after a year or two. If you are fine with that then go ahead and buy the 64GB iPhone 12. The money saved can be spent on AppleCare+, case, and other accessories for the device.

Before you pull the trigger though: ask yourself how long do you plan to keep using your iPhone 12 and the storage space free on your current device. If right at the end of day 1, you will be left with around 10GB of free space on your iPhone 12, you should consider buying the 128GB variant.

Who Should Buy the 128GB iPhone 12?

Considering that most people tend to use their iPhone for 3 or even 4 years now, I will strongly recommend you to buy the 128GB variant. In my opinion, it should be the default choice for anyone considering buying the iPhone 12. This is because over time you will end up storing a lot of unused files, photos, apps, and videos which will take up precious storage space on your device. Plus, over time your storage requirements are only going to increase with iOS, apps, and games themselves getting heavier.

The good thing is that Apple is only asking a $50 premium for the 128GB variant of the iPhone 12. You might have to push your budget a bit to get the 128GB variant but it would be worth it in the long run. If you were planning on getting AppleCare+ with your iPhone 12 purchase, you can now get it later on since Apple is now allowing customers to get the extended protection within a year of purchasing the device.

Who Should Buy the 256GB iPhone 11?

Unless you are someone who likes to carry around their entire library of FLAC music or have tons of Netflix content downloaded for offline viewing, there really is no need for you to buy the 256GB iPhone 12. While the jump from 64GB to 128GB storage is priced at a $50 premium, the jump to 256GB has a $100 premium to it. This means the iPhone 12 with 256GB storage will cost you $949. That’s a lot of money and at this point, I will suggest you spend another $50 and get the iPhone 12 Pro instead as it will offer a better value.

Free Apple TV+ Subscription

Just like last year, Apple is bundling a free year of Apple TV+ subscription with the iPhone 12 lineup this year. The content on Apple TV+ is still nowhere near as good as that of Netflix or Prime Video but at least you will still be saving around $60 if you like the content that Apple has to offer.

Buy iPhone 12

You can buy the iPhone 12 from any of the following retailers and carriers below:

You can also get an iPhone 12 for free. And once you do get your hands on it, check out the best iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro tips and tricks. There are plenty of new features in iOS 14 that you need to know about, so take your time to go through them all.

This post was last updated on March 26, 2021.