Apple’s iPhone 12 is now one of many highest-rated telephones CNET has ever reviewed. If you’re enthusiastic about an upgrade from final 12 months’s iPhone 11 to the bottom iPhone 12 mannequin (or one of many different three fashions accessible), you could also be questioning: What precisely is the difference between the 2 telephones? And is it value it to spend $799 on an iPhone 12 proper now? If you haven’t got both telephone, the iPhone 11 now begins at $599 and that $200 hole is likely to be all you wanted to listen to. (You can nonetheless discover some good offers on iPhone 12s, too.)

Read extra: Here are CNET’s evaluations of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

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What makes the iPhone 12 so nice anyway?


Here’s every part you have to learn about how the iPhone 12 compares with the iPhone 11.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone 12 (and its higher-end iPhone 12 Pro counterpart) obtained one in every of our highest overview scores ever. It options the highly effective and quick A14 Bionic processor, twin rear cameras, 5G and a MagSafe characteristic that enables it to hook up with different cell equipment magnetically.

Read our iPhone 12 overview.

Design and display measurement

There are 4 iPhone 12 fashions: the iPhone 12 Mini (5.4-inch), the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro (6.1-inch), and the iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7-inch). By comparability, there are solely three iPhone 11 gadgets: the iPhone 11 (6.1-inch), the iPhone 11 Pro (5.8-inch) and the iPhone 11 Pro Max (6.5-inch). Basically, the bottom iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 are the identical measurement. However, the iPhone 12 weighs about one ounce lower than the 11. 

There are some key variations, nonetheless, with regards to every telephone’s design. Both are IP68 rated for water-resistance, haven’t any headphone jack, and have wi-fi charging capabilities. But the iPhone 12 additionally has an OLED show (in comparison with the iPhone 11’s LCD), a magnetic backing that works with new MagSafe chargers and equipment, and a extra sturdy display strengthened by ceramic. The 12 additionally has a totally flat design alongside the sides, with no raised buttons, because the iPhone 11 has. 

The iPhone 12 is available in 5 colours: deep blue, minty inexperienced, purple, white and black. The iPhone 11 is available in six colours: black, white, purple, inexperienced, yellow and Product Red. 

Winner: iPhone 12 

Screen refresh fee

Though there was hypothesis that the iPhone 12 Pro’s show might have a 120Hz refresh fee and a ProMovement show (just like the iPad Pro), this ended up being only a rumor. Both the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 12 refresh at 60 frames per second, or 60Hz. Most telephones are the identical. But some, just like the Galaxy S20 and the OnePlus 8 Pro, refresh at 120Hz. The increased the refresh fee, the sooner and smoother a telephone feels when you’re scrolling by means of apps and web sites. 

Winner: Tie


As is usually the case with new iPhones, the iPhone 12 has upgraded digicam capabilities over the iPhone 11 — particularly the iPhone 12 Pro fashions. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini largely keep on with the iPhone 11’s digicam design, with common, ultrawide and selfie cameras. But additionally they provide Night Mode photographs that now work on the ultrawide and selfie cameras, too, and an improved HDR mode for difficult scenes with vibrant and darkish components. 

Read extra: iPhone 12 Pro cameras showcase round Lake Tahoe

Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max get major pictures enhancements, together with a bigger picture sensor and a fourth telephoto digicam for extra distant topics, too. The iPhone 12 Pro has the identical 2x zoom telephoto attain as earlier iPhones — a 52mm equal focal size — however the Pro Max’s extends to 2.5x zoom, or a 65mm equal lens.

Despite this, the iPhone 11 digicam is nothing to sneeze at: It has a Night Mode and an ultrawide-angle digicam that may add additional element in photographs, together with a fantastic video digicam. 

Winner: iPhone 12

The addition of 5G

All iPhone 12 fashions provide next-generation 5G mobile connectivity, as just about all new Android telephones arriving within the US have already got. This means the telephones can faucet into the high-speed wi-fi community on the go — which could appear barely much less thrilling throughout the pandemic, as we’re spending extra time at house, however will nonetheless future-proof your system for the rise of 5G. 

The iPhone 11 doesn’t provide 5G connectivity, although many individuals appear to imagine it does

Winner: iPhone 12

Battery life and processing pace 

The iPhone 11 consists of Apple’s A13 Bionic processor, whereas the iPhone 12 consists of Apple’s A14 Bionic processor, providing sooner speeds that enhance the digicam and looking expertise. While it is robust to see the elevated pace over the A13 chip, it is also meant to future-proof your telephone, in order that it may possibly deal with later variations of iOS

Though Apple would not disclose the battery capability of its telephones, in CNET’s preliminary battery take a look at (working steady video playback in Airplane mode), the iPhone 12 battery lasted greater than 17 hours. The iPhone 11 lasted about 14 hours. 

Winner: iPhone 12


The 2019 iPhone 11’s base mannequin price $699, which was $50 lower than the 2018 iPhone XR. Now, with the addition of the iPhone 12, the iPhone 11’s worth has dropped to $599. 

The iPhone 12 Mini prices $699, the iPhone 12 is $799, the iPhone 12 Pro is $999, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max is $1,099. (See the chart beneath for UK and Australian costs.)

Winner: iPhone 11

For extra in regards to the iPhone 12 and every part else Apple introduced, take a look at our roundup. You also can take a look at our overview of the iPhone 11 and all of its options.

Apple iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 11 specs

iPhone 12 iPhone 11
Display measurement, decision 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6.1-inch LCD; 1,792×828 pixels
Pixel density 460ppi 326ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.78×2.82×0.29 in 5.94×2.98×0.33 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 146.7×71.5×7.4 mm 150.9×75.7×8.3 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.78oz; 164g 6.84 oz; 194g
Mobile software program iOS 14 iOS 13
Camera 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)
Front-facing digicam 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K
Processor Apple A14 Bionic Apple A13 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
RAM Not disclosed Not disclosed
Expandable storage No None
Battery Not disclosed, however Apple claims 15 hours of video playback Not disclosed, however Apple claims it’s going to final 1 hour longer than iPhone XR
Fingerprint sensor No (Face ID) No (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No
Special options 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging Water resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging
Price off-contract (USD) $829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB) $599 (64GB), $649 (128GB), $749 (256GB)
Price (GBP) £799 (64GB), £849 (128GB), £949 (256GB) £599 (64GB), £649 (128GB), £749 (256GB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,349 (64GB), AU$1,429 (128GB), AU$1,599 (256GB) AU$999 (64GB), AU$1,079 (128GB), AU$1,249 (256GB)


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Our in-depth overview of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro