Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 as the successor to the popular iPhone 12 with improved rear cameras,
longer battery life, an A15 Bionic chip and more. More affordable than the Pro models, but more
fully featured than the inexpensive iPhone SE or iPhone 11, the iPhone 13 is likely to be the most
popular option among consumers. We decided to do a full review and comparison of the iPhone 13
and iPhone 12.
The iPhone 12 from 2020 continues to be sold by Apple. Since it's a year older than the most recent
iPhones, it starts at $ 699 and the iPhone 13 starts at $ 799. Since the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 are
packed with features, is it worth buying an older model to save money? Our guide helps answer the
question of how to decide which of these two iPhones is best for you, but overall, the iPhone 13 is
only a minor upgrade over the iPhone 12.
IPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Comparison
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 share many key features in common, such as display size, 5G
connectivity, and camera specifications. Apple lists the same iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 features:
6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with HDR, True Tone, P3 Wide Color and Haptic Touch
5G connectivity at 6 GHz (and mmWave in the US)
6-core Bionic A-series chip
4 GB of RAM
Dual 12MP cameras / 2.4 ultra wide and ƒ / 1.6 wide angle cameras with 2x optical zoom
Photo features including Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Slow Sync True Tone Flash, Portrait Mode, and
Video shooting features including 4K video recording at up to 60fps, HDR video recording with Dolby
Vision, audio zoom, slow motion video up to 240fps at 1080p, night time lapse, and more.
Ceramic visor at the front
IP68 splash, water and dust protection
Aerospace grade aluminum
MagSafe and Qi wireless charging
Available in 128GB and 256GB storage options
Available in (PRODUCT) RED
Apple's breakdown shows that the iPhone has a number of important key features. However, there
are significant differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, such as their processors and
Super Retina XDR display with 625 nits maximum brightness (typical)
Bionic Chip A14
Dual SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM)
Smart HDR 3 for photos
Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 30fps
Battery up to 17 hours of video playback
Weighs 164 grams
Available in purple, blue, green, PRODUCT (RED), white and black.
Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options
Super Retina XDR display with 800 nits maximum brightness (typical)
Cut 20 percent less
Bionic Chip A15
Supports two SIM cards (nano-SIM and eSIM) and two eSIMs
Smart HDR 4 for photos
Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 60fps
Cinematic video recording with shallow depth of field (1080p @ 30fps)
Battery up to 19 hours of video playback
Weighs 174 grams
Available in Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink and PRODUCT (RED) colors.
Available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options
Design and colors
Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 share the same industrial design with square edges and a flat
aluminum strip on the sides. The devices use aerospace aluminum around the edges and one-piece
polished glass on the back. The dual rear cameras on the iPhone 13 are offset diagonally relative to
each other, as opposed to the vertical orientation of the iPhone 12.
On iPhone 13, the TrueDepth camera array cutout is 20 percent smaller, which frees up more display
area and makes the cutout less intrusive. Except for the location of the rear camera and a smaller
notch, the devices otherwise look the same.
The iPhone 12 is available in purple, blue, green, white and black, while the iPhone 13 is available in
Starlight, Midnight, Blue and Pink. Both are also available in red. The two shades of blue are similar:
white and starry, black and midnight. As devices similar in appearance, the preference for the iPhone
12 or iPhone 13 in terms of design and colors will be down to personal taste.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 have a 6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with support for HDR,
True Tone, P3 Wide Color, and Touch Touch. The only difference with the iPhone 13's display is that
it is capable of 175 nits brighter in normal use without HDR, but that's not the main reason for buying
a new model.
A14 vs A15
The A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 provides a modest performance improvement over the A14
Bionic chip in the iPhone 12.
Early benchmarks show that the A15 in the iPhone 13 offers about 10 percent better single-core
performance and 18 percent better multi-core performance than the A14 chip in the iPhone 12. In
graphics, the iPhone 13 performs about 15 percent better than the A14 Bionic in the iPhone 12. …
These performance improvements with the A15 are recurring and not a significant reason to upgrade
alone. The A14 is still an extremely powerful chip, and in day-to-day use, both devices will likely
perform about the same.
Two sim cards
Both devices support dual SIM, with one physical nano SIM and an eSIM, but the iPhone 13 can also
support two eSIMs at the same time. If you need to switch between two eSIMs, you'll need an
iPhone 13 to get this feature.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 have dual 12MP rear cameras with ultra-wide / 2.4 and ƒ / 1.6 wide-
angle. The wide-angle camera on the iPhone 13 features a larger sensor than the iPhone 13, capable
of capturing 47 percent more light for less noise and brighter images, while the ultra-wide-angle
camera features a new sensor for more detailed shots. The wide-angle camera also features sensor-
shift optical image stabilization technology for smoother videos and improved image quality.
While both devices can record Dolby Vision HDR video, the iPhone 13 can record it at up to 60 frames
per second, as opposed to the iPhone 12 at 30 frames per second.
The iPhone 13 features a new camera feature called Cinematic Mode, which allows users to record
shallow depth of field video at 1080p and 30 frames per second. In Cinematic Mode, you can set
focus to smoothly switch focus from one subject to another when capturing video. It keeps focus on
the subject by blurring the background, and can automatically change focus when a new subject is
about to enter the scene. Blur and focus can be adjusted after capturing a video, as well as through
the Photos app.
The iPhone 13 also supports photographic styles, which are smart, customizable filters that can do
things like boost or mute colors without affecting skin tone. Styles are applied selectively to an
image, as opposed to a filter applied to the entire image. Photographic styles include Vivid (enhance
colors), Strong contrast (darker shadows and deeper colors), Warm (emphasize golden hues), or Cool
(emphasize blues). The tone and warmth can be customized for each style, so you can get exactly the
look you want.
While the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 have cameras with similar specifications, the iPhone 13 offers
Dolby Vision HDR video at higher frame rates, cinematic mode and photographic styles, as well as
hardware improvements such as a larger sensor and sensor offset stabilization. The iPhone 12's
camera is still good, but with more photography and video options and improved image quality, the
iPhone 13 is a better option.
One of the major differences between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 is battery life. The iPhone 13
provides up to 19 hours of video playback, two hours more than the iPhone 12 – 17 hours. When
streaming video, the iPhone 13 can last 15 hours on a single charge instead of 11 hours of the iPhone
12. The iPhone 13 can also stream audio for 10 hours longer than the iPhone 12. The iPhone 13 is
thus the best device for users who want the most time possible. battery life of the iPhone compared
to the iPhone 12.
The iPhone 12 is available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage options, while the iPhone 13 is
available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. This means that if you need more than
256GB of storage, you will need to purchase an iPhone 13 to be able to have the larger 512GB
storage. Otherwise, there is no difference between the devices in terms of storage options.
Other iPhone options
It's worth noting that the iPhone 13 mini provides the same feature set as the $ 699 iPhone 13,
simply with a more compact design, 5.4-inch display, and a slightly shorter battery life of 17 hours
(during video playback). Likewise, the iPhone 12 mini provides the same feature set as the $ 599
iPhone 12, but with a more compact design, 5.4-inch display, and 15 hours of battery life (during