If you are looking for an upgrade, or just need to decide between the two Apple flagships, our iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 comparison will be helpful. You might want to look at one of the newer models, especially with the iPhone 13 line now available.
Our iPhone 12 review will show that offers many upgrades over the iPhone 11. The iPhone 12 launched with four models, as opposed to the iPhone 11’s three. Apple also embraces 5G connectivity throughout the line. Every iPhone 12 comes with an OLED screen that is superior to LCD displays.
The iPhone 12 has many advantages: it features a stronger Ceramic Shield display, a faster A14 Bionic chip and a powerful LiDAR sensor for the Pro versions. The iPhone 12 line is also reasonably priced.
- iPhone 13 Review: We are in
- Take a look at our iPhone 13Pro review
- You want a less expensive option? Check our iPhone 11 vs. iPhone XR face-off
Based on our iPhone 11 Review, Apple’s older phones remain a solid choice for budget-minded buyers, thanks to the price cuts. Both the iPhone 12 (and the iPhone 11) have seen their prices drop with the release of the iPhone 13. It’s the perfect time to get one of the older models.
Which iPhone should you purchase? This comparison shows all the major differences between iPhone 12 and iPhone 11.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 – Specs
|iPhone 12 Mini||iPhone 12||iPhone 11|
|Display||OLED 5.4 inches (2340×1080)||6.1 inches OLED (2532×1170).||6.1 inches OLED (1792×828)|
|Colors||Black, Red, Green and Blue, Purple||Black, Red, Green and Blue, Purple||Black, Green, Yellow and Purple Red.|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB|
|Rear camera||12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultra-wide f/2.4)(||12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultra-wide f/2.4)(||12MP wide (f/1.8), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4)|
|Front camera||12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2).||12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2).||12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2).|
|5G||Sub-6Ghz, sub-6Ghz, and mmWave||Sub-6Ghz, sub-6Ghz, and mmWave||None|
|Battery Life||7:28 (5G)||8:25 (5G)||11:16 (4G LTE)|
|Size||5.18 x 2.53x 0.29 inches||5.78 x 2.82x 0.29 inches||5.94 x 2.98x 0.33 inches|
|Weight||4.76 ounces||5.78 ounces||6.84 Ounches|
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 – Models and sizes
The entry-level iPhone 12 comes in a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 miniature. This was a new size for Apple. The iPhone 12 is also available in a 6.1 inch size, which is identical to the iPhone 11.
The iPhone 12 Pro is available in two sizes as you move up to the Pro models: 6.1 inches for iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7 inches for iPhone 12 Pro max. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max measure 5.8 and 6.7 inches respectively. Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup has more options than the iPhone 11 list.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 – Prices
The iPhone 12 mini starts at $599. Regular iPhone 12 starts at $699. Each comes with 64GB storage standard. 128GB is an extra $50 and 256GB is an additional $150.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max and Pro Max come with 128GB storage. They were exactly the same price as the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Pro Max at launch: $999 for smaller models and $1,099 each for the larger.
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Apple is following tradition and has decided to retire the iPhone 12 Pro range, while keeping the iPhone 12/iPhone 12 mini on sale. These phones were given $100 off when the iPhone 13 line was introduced.
The iPhone 11 starts at $499 for 64GB storage and $549 per 128GB.
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iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 Design
Thanks to the iPhone 11’s round design, the iPhone 12 line has a flatter side. Even though the sides dig into your hands more, this retro-modern design is still appealing.
The most significant design change on the iPhone 12 is the Ceramic Shield display. Apple claims 4x drop performance when compared to the iPhone 11 Series, and iPhone 12 drops tests so far look very promising.
Rumours of a thinner notch on the iPhone 12 were not true. The iPhone 12’s TrueDepth camera cutout and earpiece are the same as before. The iPhone 13 finally got a smaller notch.
Apple has trimmed the screen bezel surrounding the Super Retina XDR displays on all iPhone 12 models. This results in a slightly larger screen-to-body ratio. Apple measured the iPhone 12 at 6.1 inches. It is 11% thinner than the iPhone 11 at 6.1 inches.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini come in five colors: black, white, Product Red and blue, respectively, while the iPhone 12 Pro & Pro Max are available in four: graphite, silver and gold, and Pacific Blue.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 Display
The iPhone 12’s four models have Super Retina XDR OLED displays, just like the iPhone 11 Pro. While the iPhone 11 had an LCD screen, the iPhone 12 has a Super Retina XDR display.
OLED has many advantages over LCD. OLED can produce deeper blacks and more vivid colors, as well as wider viewing angles. The biggest benefit of switching to OLED is the one that iPhone 11 users will notice when upgrading to the iPhone 12.
Apple was unable to provide 120Hz refresh rates for its Pro-series models on the iPhone 12, as was rumored. The omission was reportedly due to battery concerns. This is a surprising decision considering that all iPhone 12 models can support millimeter wave 5G, which can be quite power-hungry.
The 120Hz displays were added to the iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max a year later. These models may be right for you if you are a huge mobile gamer or if you have a preference.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini displays have 625 nits average brightness. This is in contrast to the 800 nits on the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pros will have a brighter image.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 – Specs and performance
Apple’s A14 Bionic processor is featured in the entire iPhone 12 line. It promises up to 50% higher CPU and GPU performance than other Android phones. The A14 also boasts a 16 core Neural Engine, which delivers an 80% increase in performance.
We’ve seen a significant increase in performance with iPhone 12 benchmarks. Geekbench 5 showed that the iPhone 12 scored 3,859 in multi-core testing, as compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s 3,517. (Officially, the iPhone 13’s A15 chipset does even more .
We also measured how long it took for a 4K video in 4K to be transcoded to 1080p using the Adobe Premiere Rush App. The iPhone 12 was finished in 26 seconds. The iPhone 11 Pro took 45 seconds.
Graphics performance didn’t make a significant leap for us. The iPhone 12 scored 39 frames per second on the 3DMark Wild Life test while the iPhone 11 Pro Max achieved 42 frames per second. The iPhone 12 Pro scored 51 frames per second, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max managed 42.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 – Cameras and LiDAR scanner
Thanks to their amazing Night Mode and next-generation Smart HDR, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro were among the most popular camera phones. The iPhone 11 had a standard wide lens and an ultra-wide lens. The iPhone 11 Pro added a zoom feature.
The iPhone 12 has two lenses: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and the 6.1-inch iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max offer three cameras and a LiDAR scanning.
A sample image from the iPhone 12 showing the next-generation Smart HDR 3 technology. Image credit: Apple Event
The advanced time-of flight sensor is already included on the iPad Pro2020 and assists with subject detection and autofocus when recording video and using the phone’s night mode cameras.
Apple’s other cameras feature a larger f/1.6 aperture on the primary camera of every iPhone 12. It also features a seven-element lens design, which is claimed to significantly improve the quality of photos in low- and medium-light situations.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a larger image sensor and Sensor Shift photo stabilization technology. It also features a telephoto lens that achieves 2.5x optical Zoom. This is a significant improvement on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro Max, and 12 Pro models’ 2x zoom.
All iPhone 12 models can use Night Mode and Portrait Mode across all of their cameras. All devices can record 10-bit HDR video with Dolby Vision, though the iPhone 12 Pro Max and Pro Max can only do this at 60 frames per minute.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max and Pro Max have the ProRAW feature. Unlike RAW images that aren’t compatible with smartphones due to all the image processing they have to do, Apple’s system blends both. It shoots high-quality, uncompressed RAW files and adds some image processing.
While it doesn’t prevent you from doing post-production editing just like you would with an RAW file, it can help you to take care of some of your more difficult parts before you start working on them.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11, 5G vs. 4G
The iPhone 11 series was 4G-only, but all four iPhone 12 models have 5G connectivity. This is not just for 5G networks that operate nationwide at sub-6GHz. Apple claims that all iPhone 12 models are equipped with millimeter wave (mmWave), 5G. This will give you an exceptional speed in urban areas of up to 3.5Gbps under optimal conditions.
The performance of nationwide 5G is not as good as many carriers would like. Even under the best conditions speeds have been unable to keep up with or outperform the fastest LTE signals. The battery life was also reduced by 5G, which took us two extra hours to test (8 hours and 26 mins vs. 4G’s 10.23).
5G has yet to realize its full potential. In a year or two years, however, you will probably wish that you had an iPhone capable of taking advantage of 5G.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 – Battery life
Apple doesn’t like to stuff the largest batteries in its phones. The iPhone 11 had a 3,100mAh battery and the iPhone 11 Pro had a 3,046mAh battery. The iPhone 11 Pro Max came with a 3,969mAh lithium battery.
The iPhone 11 (11 hours 16 minutes) and the iPhone 11 Pro Max (1:54) provided sufficient endurance to place on our best smartphone battery life lists.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro both come with a 2,815mAh lithium battery.
Apple claims that the iPhone 12’s battery life is similar to the iPhone 11’s, despite having a smaller battery. Our testing proved that this was not the case. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro were both able to last 8:25 and 9 minutes, respectively, over 5G.
Things were much better with 4G. The iPhone 12 lasted only 10 hours and 23 mins, while the iPhone 12 Pro lasted 11 hour and 24 minutes.
The iPhone 12 mini was only 7:28 long on 5G, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max was 10:53. This makes it the longest-lasting iPhone 12.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 – Charging and MagSafe
Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t include any charger in its iPhone 12 box. Apple made this change to reduce waste and protect the environment. Instead of a USB-C cable to Lightning cable, the box contains a USB connector.
Apple made it easy to charge your iPhone with a charging brick, but this is not the case. MagSafe’s $39 charger provides wireless charging of 15W and is easy to attach to your iPhone 12 thanks to its magnets.
MagSafe is slow, but it charges fast. Our testing results showed that MagSafe’s battery level was only 39% after 30 minutes. A $19 20W wired charger can be purchased that will charge you up to 50% in just 30 minutes.
iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 . Bottom line
There are many upgrades to the iPhone 12, including 5G and a faster processor A14 Bionic, as well as new sizes for both iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max. If you are a serious photographer, the iPhone 12 Pro model will offer better low-light performance and faster auto-focus.
Do all these changes suffice to excite shoppers? It’s no surprise that Apple has made the iPhones slimmer and more attractive despite all of these additions. If you have a tight budget, the iPhone 11 is still a great value. However, we recommend that you check out the latest iPhone 12 offers before making a decision.
To see how the phones compare, check out our iPhone 12 Pro review . You’ll also want to check out the iPhone 13 line of phones.