How to figure out which iPhone 12 is best for you

Watch the breakdown of the iPhone 12 line.

Apple announced the iPhone 12 lineup this week. Let’s see which phone is right for you!

Before starting, it’s important to know that all four iPhone 12 models are at their core the same device. Same A14 processor and same basic smart phone features, including 5G.

The four models are, from smallest to largest: the iPhone 12 mini at $699, the iPhone 12 at $799, the iPhone 12 Pro at $999 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max at $1099.


One of the important features that differ based on model is battery life. Apple posts estimates for battery life on their site than can shed some light on how each model compares. Looking at the numbers for continuous non-streaming video playback, the iPhone 12 mini is rated at 15 hours, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are rated at 17 hours, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max are rated at 20 hours.

Is this really how long they will last under real world conditions? Can’t say for sure, but these number tell you roughly how much more power you’ll get with a bigger phone. For instance, the iPhone 12 Pro Max should last about 33% longer that the iPhone 12 mini.


The non-pro models start at 64GB and the pro models are now starting at 128GB. This is an increase from the iPhone 11 Pro, which started with a storage size of 64GB. If you’d like to bring the iPhone 12’s non-pro models up to 128GB, just add $50 to the price.

The iPhone 12 lineup: Models, Prices, Battery life ratings and storage sizes.


Apple decided to add more colors to the iPhone 12 line. Non-pro models have the standard aluminum silver, space gray, blue, pale green and product red. The colors are glossy on the back and matte on the sides of the phone.

5 Colors for the aluminum bodied non-pro iPhone 12 models

Pro models have four stainless steel colors: silver, graphite, gold, pacific blue. The colors are matte on the back and shiny on the side, although early reports have the stainless steel picking up lots of fingerprints.

iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max come in 4 stainless steel colors

Here’s what you’re really paying for: The Camera

First off, it’s important to know a couple of things about the iPhone 12 camera line up: all the models have fantastic picture quality, even the cheaper ones. The iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 have the same camera set, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a somewhat better camera than the iPhone 12 Pro.

The non-pro versions have two lenses: A wide angle lens and an Ultra-wide angle lens. This means They can optically zoom out up to 2x.

All models have the wide and ultra-wide lens, but pro models have a telephoto lens for close-up shots.

The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max have an additional telephoto lens making Optical zoom-in possible. The Pro can zoom in up to 2x but the Pro Max’s superior telephoto lens allows up to 2.5x Optical zoom.

Camera comparison across models

The Pro versions also have the LiDAR from the 2020 iPad Pro. This make focusing faster and more accurate, even in low light. It also opens these models up to better augmented reality performance.

But the Pro Max has more features than the Pro. In addition to the better telephoto lens, it’s wide-angle lens bigger sensor means that it will preform better in low light. It also has image stabilization built directly into the lens that will help keep the image sharp even when the phone is not perfectly still.

But which one to buy?

Size is a big consideration. If you like a tiny phone, or a replacement for the iPhone SE (first generation) then the iPhone mini is best for you. If you like a big screen then the Max is the best option.

With two medium-size models, the decision comes down to the camera. The non-pro iPhone 12 will be fine for most users but for $200 more you can have a camera that will be the top-of-the-line smartphone camera for a few years to come.

Have you decided to buy one of the iPhone 12 models? Which one? Leave a comment below!