Released in late 2020, the iPhone 12 lineup has been a smashing success. Quarterly sales showed that the iPhone 12 dominated, with the model being 27% of total iPhone sales that quarter and the Pro models not far behind. 

Before you decide whether the new iPhone 12 is worth buying, though, make sure to learn more about what’s made it so popular, as well as the features people aren’t loving. We broke down all the pros and cons of the iPhone 12 here for you. Keep reading to get the details!

Apple’s iPhone 12: Pros & Cons

Apple staggered the launch of the iPhone 12 lineup. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro were both released in October of 2020, while the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max were put on the market the following month in November. The iPhone 12 lineup was noted for its compatibility with 5G, a design change, new camera features, among others.

Before you dive in: If you want to browse a selection of used iPhone, you can do that here on the Glyde Marketplace. Now, let’s get straight into the pros and cons.

Pros

  • 5G connectivity. Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup is its first to offer 5G connectivity, which boasts extremely fast downloads and streaming through a cellular connection that’s anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than 4G.
  • Sleeker, lighter design. The iPhone 12 lineup has a sleeker look that many may like. Reminiscent of its older models, the 12 has flat metal edges with right-angle borders as opposed to curved. Many of the devices are also lighter.  
  • Fastest smartphone chip. With its release, Apple’s A14 Bionic chip has overtaken the previous A13 as the best mobile processor on the planet.
  • Upgraded camera features. The iPhone 12 lineup adds some new tricks to its cameras, including Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 60 fps, improved zoom range, and, with the 12 Pro and 12 ProMax, LiDAR Scanner for Night mode portraits, faster autofocus in low light, and next-level AR experiences. 
  • Ceramic Shield front. Apple claims that the iPhone 12 lineup’s Ceramic Shield front has 4x better drop performance compared to the manufacturer’s previous glass front.
  • Improved durability in water. The iPhone 12 lineup has upgraded in terms of water resistance and is now able to withstand a maximum depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes (as compared to the previous lineup’s maximum depth of 4 meters.)
  • MagSafe. Unlike prior iPhones, the new iPhone 12s are completely compatible with MagSafe accessories and wireless chargers.

Cons

  • 5G isn’t everywhere yet. While 5G is expected to dominate soon, it’s still in an early adoption stage with 5G networks not completely widespread in the way that 4G is. With that in consideration, the upgrade to 5G may not be that big of a deal to some.
  • Design can be uncomfortable. Some users have mentioned that the phone’s metal finish makes it prone to slipping in sweaty hands. Others have mentioned that the right-angle design can be uncomfortable to grip without a case, as the sharp edge digs into the skin.
  • No touch ID. The iPhone 12 once again only offers Face ID, something that has become a pain point for some users, especially with face masks becoming common.
  • Disappointing battery life improvements. Overall, there were no impressive improvements in battery life across the iPhone 12 lineup. In fact, the iPhone 12 Pro’s 17 hours of video playback is actually worse than the 11 Pro’s 18 hours. The 12 lineup’s longest battery life is 20 hours of video playback on the 12 Pro Max, which is on par with the 11 Pro Max. 
  • Higher starting price. The iPhone 12 was released at a more expensive price of $799 than the iPhone 11’s $699 starting price. (The iPhone 12 mini was priced at $699 instead.) This higher price could definitely be a con for those who aren’t too impressed with the upgrades, especially when you add in the fact that Apple no longer includes accessories—like EarPods or chargers—with its iPhones.

What’s the difference between the iPhone 12, the 12 Pro, and the 12 Pro Max?

In providing additional features for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple focused on upgraded displays, camera systems, battery life, and materials.

iPhone 12iPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Pro Max
Display6.1” Super Retina XDR display
2532-by-1170-pixel resolution at 460 ppi
6.1” Super Retina XDR display2532-by-1170-pixel resolution at 460 ppi6.7” Super Retina XDR display2778-by-1284-pixel resolution at 458 ppi
CameraDual-Camera System: Ultra Wide & Wide Lenses
Dolby Vision HDR video
recording up to 30 fps
2x optical zoom out
Digital zoom up to 5x
Triple-Camera System: Ultra Wide, Wide, & Telephoto LensesDolby Vision HDR video recording up to 60 fps2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 4x optical zoom rangeDigital zoom up to 10xLiDAR Scanner for Night mode portraits, faster autofocus in low light, and next-level AR experiencesTriple-Camera System: Ultra Wide, Wide, & Telephoto LensesDolby Vision HDR video recording up to 60 fps2.5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 5x optical zoom rangeDigital zoom up to 12xLiDAR Scanner for Night mode portraits, faster autofocus in low light, and next-level AR experiences
Battery LifeUp to 17 hours of video playbackUp to 17 hours of video playbackUp to 20 hours of video playback
MaterialAerospace-grade aluminumSurgical-grade stainless steelSurgical-grade stainless steel
ColorsBlueGreen, (PRODUCT)RED, White, BlackPacific Blue, Gold, Graphite SilverPacific Blue, Gold, Graphite Silver
Capacity64GB, 128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB

The Bottom Line on the iPhone 12

The most significant feature of the iPhone 12 is its 5G connectivity, making each model in the 12 lineup an investment that will future-proof your phone to the domination of 5G that’s nearly here. The 12 Pro and Pro Max also introduce the LiDAR Scanner, an attractive feature to anyone dedicated to taking the perfect photos. Still, some may be disappointed that there was little improvement in battery life or more significant camera upgrades. For those looking for the best deal on a smartphone, looking towards slightly older iPhone models is always a great option. Premium pre-owned iPhones that are both high quality and affordable can be found on Glyde, a used phone marketplace trusted by users because of its diagnostic testing systems and smart contracts!

FAQs: Comparing the iPhone 12 to other iPhone models

What’s the difference between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini?

The iPhone 12 mini veers away from the trend of smartphones swelling in size, with Apple offering this device as a tinier, more affordable version of its latest technology. There’s actually not a huge difference between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini, besides some minor deviations in display and battery life. Per its namesake, the iPhone 12 mini has a much smaller 5.4” display, with a lower pixel resolution. It also only has 15 hours of video playback, as opposed to the iPhone 12’s 17 hours.

What’s the difference between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 11?

Though the two phones are the same size, the iPhone 12 has a completely different design than the 11, with a flat and right-angle edge rather than a curved edge. The 12 also has a Super Retina XDR OLED display (and a higher pixel resolution), while the iPhone 11 has a Liquid Retina HD LCD display.

Both phones also have mostly the same camera system, except that the iPhone 12 also has Dolby Vision HDR video recording and its front camera can take photos in Night Mode and Deep Fusion.

Some other upgrades that the iPhone 12 has over the iPhone 11 includes 5G connectivity, the faster A14 Bionic chip, Ceramic Shield front, increased water resistance, and MagSafe compatibility.

When will the iPhone 12 price drop?

iPhones typically see a price drop when new models are released. In the case of the iPhone 12, its price will likely lower when the iPhone 13 (or maybe 12s?) is released. While it’s too early for any confirmed details, many predict the launch to be in September 2021—a common month that Apple announces new products.

Is the iPhone 12 worth buying in 2021?

For those eager to start connecting to 5G or capture footage with the most up-to-date camera technology, then the iPhone 12 is definitely worth the purchase. Otherwise, older iPhone models may be more bang for your buck, with comparable features at a lower price. Consider premium pre-owned iPhones sold on Glyde, a used phone marketplace utilizing diagnostics testing and trusted smart contracts. 

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