Tech Talk

Is The iPhone 12 Still Worth Buying?

Dec 01, 2022 Marco Mai


Quick Answer:


With the release of the iPhone 14 expected just around the corner, there is no better time than to look at purchasing an iPhone 12 series device. Typically Apple will discount new versions of the previous years models which will send the value of the used devices down pretty significantly. With that being said, yes…it’s the perfect time to buy. Oh and buy used!


The iPhone 12 has been packed with upgrades from the 11 series in both functionally and aesthetically. There has also been a new member of the family introduced. The iPhone 12 mini! For those of you with smaller hands, have no fear, you can now hold an iPhone and look proportional when you do! They have released the mini along with the usual suspect of devices



Let’s break down the value by model:


iPhone 12


So what’s new? Well, the iPhone 12 has finally introduced 5G to the iPhone. It’s been around for a while now but of course it’s not legit until Apple does it, right? The 5G works as expected and delivers great speeds when you need it. The color selection for the iPhone 12’s are black, white, red, green, blue, and purple. Storage is familiar with the 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB options. Apple has also upgraded their display which was one of my slight gripes with the iPhone 11. There are many people that will never notice the difference but for those of you who do, it’s amazing. They have upgraded the screen from 720P to a 1080P OLED screen which makes the display pop with brilliant colors. They also made the glass flat with the side railing of the phone which makes for an even smoother finish to the display since there is no longer a plastic strip around the front glass separating it from the frame. With the addition of 5G, the battery life is surprisingly still very good for what the phone offers. 


The iPhone 11 is focusing more on wireless charging by introducing the Magsafe charger (sold separately of course) with the iPhone 12 line up. It’s essentially a magnet that pops right on to the back of the iPhone 12 (right over the Apple logo) and wirelessly charges the device. Apple decided not to include charging bricks with the new release and have decided to sell those separately as well. Obviously I highly recommend buying used…which will also save you money as they are normally included and chargers alone go for around $40. As far as the performance of the device, on paper it has been improved but for the base model, there is nothing to write home about. 




iPhone 12 Pro


The iPhone 12 Pro was released in silver, graphite, gold, and pacific blue. The colors are different from the iPhone 12 base model and they are by far a more beautiful tone. The finishes are also a matte finish versus the glossy finish on the 12’s. The storage bumps up to 128GB (base), 256GB, and 512GB. As for the upgrades on the iPhone 12 Pro, there is surprisingly not many to discuss. The camera has been upgraded but not in any impressive form. There is an extra lens that will provide a wider shot and a better zoom by 2x. It also has a depth sensor which has been included for better auto focus and augmented reality uses. If you are unfamiliar with AR (augmented reality), it allows the camera to digitally add content in picture and video to coincide with the real world. It’s a fun concept for now, but it’s yet to be ground breaking enough to use the camera for that purpose alone. The performance has been upped in the iPhone 12 Pro with more ram included in the base model, but it also has a bigger impact on the battery life. This is something you will have to weigh out for yourselves. Do you notice the performance improvement or a shorter battery life? I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that question. 



iPhone 12 Pro Max


This is where things get interesting. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest phone that Apple have ever released up to that point at 6.7 inches. It’s massive and it immediately feels like it when you get your hands on it. The other thing that has grown with the screen, is the battery. It goes from 2815mAh to a whopping 3687mAh battery. The colors and storage selections are the same as the iPhone 12 Pro selections. The Pro Max 12 now also has a physically larger camera sensor and improved stabilization for pictures and videos. This helps with photos in darker environments as the camera is not as shaky as it normally would be without a physical stabilizer. With the iPhone 12 Pro Max, you are essentially paying for the size upgrade just as you were with the iPhone 11 series. Sure you have storage and battery increases with the larger screen, but you have to keep in mind how much phone that is to tow around everywhere. 


iPhone 12 Mini


The iPhone 12 Mini is the real star in the lineup in my most humble opinion. It’s everything the iPhone 12 has to offer but in more of a… “mini-er” version. This is going to be the less expensive device in the line up of the 12’s but there are some things you will have to sacrifice. The fun size will give Apple less room to pack all the goodies into which means a smaller battery. Granted the device will not use as much power but as I have experienced, the battery life was not as good as the 12, 12 Pro, and obviously nowhere near the 12 Pro Max. This phone is almost the exact opposite of the 12 Pro Max as it offers everything in a much smaller package. The colors are all in line with the iPhone 12 base model line up. (Colors: black, white, red, green, blue and purple) Same goes for the storage. (64GB, 128GB, and 256GB) It has the same great iPhone 12 super retina screen at 1080P. For the most part, this is still a flagship Apple device in a much smaller package. 



So What Are We Missing?


As the iPhone 14 has not been released as of this writing, we can only see what has been improved on the iPhone 13 for comparison. The main upgrades that the iPhone 13 brings to the table is essentially the same theme as always. A better display which runs a bit brighter than the 12. The camera has a few improvements but when you compare the 2 side by side, it’s hard to see unless viewed on a larger format such as a high res monitor. One of the gimmicky features that came out with the iPhone 13 was the cinematic mode option when shooting videos. The feature changes the focus point when shooting videos to make it more “cinematic like” without the manual changes one would normally have to make. It is not able to be used in 4K video filming. The stand out feature on the iPhone 13 is its battery life. It does hold out for a couple of hours longer than the 12. 


Our Conclusion


The rule of thumb with Apple upgrades is about once every two years. Unless you are a bonafide phone geek, then you’re probably upgrading your device every year. Sometimes twice like I do. (I know, it’s a problem) If you are still rocking with the iPhone XR or a previous model, the iPhone 12 is certainly a perfect upgrade. You are saving hundreds of dollars with huge upgrades. For most people, the iPhone 12 will be perfect. If you’re looking for the upgrades, the iPhone 12 Pro will deliver. The size is the only reason to go beyond that with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. There are so many rich features if you aren’t coming from the XR or before. 



To make it easier for you, UpTrade allows you to compare prices and options from various certified sellers so that you can get the best deal of a Certified Used iPhone 12.

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