Which iPhone 12 to Buy?

With four new phones to choose from, which one is right for you? The easiest way to break this down is to look at the features that are important to me. Size, performance, and price.

Size

When we look at the size of the new iPhones, we have three different options. For the first time we have a “mini” phone at 5.4-inches, two medium sized options at 6.1-inches, and the largest at 6.7-inches.

Lets start with the iPhone 12 mini. At 5.4-inches, it is the smallest modern-day design iPhone. The only smaller option is the iPhone SE for $400 with an older iPhone 6,7, and 8 design. There is nothing wrong with that, especially for that price. But if you want something modern, new, and small the iPhone 12 mini is your choice. This gives you the same performance as the regular 6.1-inch iPhone 12 but with a lot less bulk. This phone’s footprint is smaller than the iPhone 6,7,8, and the newest SE but has a bigger screen.

If you want a middle of the road device, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 or 12 Pro should be your go-to. If you are coming from the iPhone XR or 11, this size will be familiar to you. And from the specs from Apple’s website, this should be a tad smaller and lighter than those two devices.

Now it’s time for the big boy. If you want the biggest iPhone available, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is your best choice. Previously, the largest phone available was the iPhone XS Max and 11 Pro Max at 6.5-inches. Now, the 12 Pro Max takes over as the biggest iPhone.

Ultimately, if size is important to you, Apple gives you plenty of options. If you want small, go with the iPhone 12 mini or if you want the big kahuna, go with the 12 Pro Max.

Performance

All models of the iPhone 12 have the same A14 Bionic processor inside. So you shouldn’t notice any differences in speed among all of Apple’s latest offerings. News came out recently that the 12 Pro models will have 6GB of RAM and the 12 mini and regular 12 will have 4GB of RAM. This isn’t a huge deal unless you are a heavy multitasker. That extra RAM will allow you to keep multiple apps open in the background and will avoid a refresh when you recall that app minutes or hours later. The extra RAM in the Pro’s will also help with all of the extra features that are packed into the cameras. Apple doesn’t advertise RAM or talk about it at all because truly it isn’t a huge deal. I do notice a lot more app refreshes on older devices that have less RAM compared to my 11 Pro.

The 12 Pro model phones get one extra camera on the phone compared to the regular 12 mini and 12 models. This extra lens is a telephoto lens that will allow you to zoom-in without degrading the quality of your photo. So, if you are currently using a phone that has that 2X optical zoom feature, and you use it a lot, this would be missing by not going with the Pro devices.

Ultimately, the 12 Pro Max is the best phone available this year. And it all comes down to the camera. The 12 Pro Max gives you 12X digital zoom with an overall 5X optical zoom range. In comparison, the 12 Pro gives you 10X digital zoom with an overall 4X optical zoom range. Also, the 12 Pro Max will be able to take better low-light photos using that telephoto lens because of its f/2.2 aperture while the 12 Pro has a f/2.0 aperture. This does not mean the other 12 models have bad cameras. As technology progresses, these are the best cameras that have ever been on an iPhone. You cannot go wrong with your choice.

Price

If price is the deciding factor for you, the range is a big one. The iPhone 12 mini starts at $700 for 64GB of storage. The 12 starts at $800 for 64GB of storage. For these options, I highly recommend paying the extra $50 and getting the 128GB model of the iPhone 12 or 12 mini. You can currently order the iPhone 12 and it will be released October 23rd. The 12 mini will start being able to order on November 6th with a release date of November 13th. As of this writing, on October 17th, if you order now you can still pick up some models of the iPhone 12 on launch day.

The 12 Pro starts at $1,000 for 128GB of storage and the 12 Pro Max starts at $1,100. For most people, the 128GB of storage is going to be plenty. If you don’t pay for any type of cloud storage and keep every file on your device, then maybe in that instance I would recommend upgrading the storage option. You can order the iPhone 12 Pro right now but the ship dates are well into November on pretty much every storage and color option. The 12 Pro Max goes on sale November 13th but preorders start on November 6th.

So, which phone are you picking up? Or are you sticking with your current phone? Depending on how your battery is holding up, I bet most people with a XS and newer will be fine skipping this year’s update. It is crazy to think that the iPhone X is now three years old. While it still looks new, the performance and battery may start to show its age and may be time for an upgrade. On the flip-side, I know tons of people who aren’t going to upgrade until their current phone bites the dust, and that is awesome. Always remember, there are more than these options available to you. Apple now has the iPhone SE (My Review) starting at $400, the two-year-old XR starts at $500, and last year’s iPhone 11 starts at $600. Plus, the used market is always a great option. It is great to see that there are iPhone’s for sale in a wide range of prices.

My Choice

I decided to go with the 12 Pro in 128GB. I really like small phones and the mini was tempting. But I have gotten use to using that telephoto lens and that would be something I would miss. While the Pro Max has the best camera, there is no way I would want a phone that big. The increase in size from the 11 Pro to the 12 Pro itself is kind of disappointing but looking at comparison photos, the size difference between the two may not be too bad.

Do I need to upgrade? Absolutely not. If you are content with your current phone, stick with it for as long as you can. But if you are ready to upgrade I hope this has helped you in your decision.

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