Apple has finally unveiled the iPhone 12! But what does it bring to iPhone X owners, or people prepared to upgrade to the X? Are there any new features that only the iPhone 12 can provide?
Let’s compare and contrast exactly what the newest model has over 2017’s heavy hitter.
The table below highlights the differences between the iPhone X and iPhone 12
|iPhone X||iPhone 12|
|Screen size||5.8 inches||6.1 inches|
|Height & width||143 mm x 70 mm||146 mm x 71 mm|
|Display type||Super Retina||Super Retina|
|Pixel density||458 ppi||460 ppi|
|Front-facing camera||7 MP||12 MP|
|Back-facing camera||12MP + 12MP Telephoto||12MP + 12MP Ultra Wide|
|Back-facing video||4K 60 FPS||4K 60 FPS|
|Battery power||2716 mAh||2775mAh|
|Video Playback Time||13 Hours||17 Hours|
|Internal storage||64GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|Operating system at release||iOS 11||iOS 14|
|Current Operating System||iOS 14||iOS 14|
|Body||Glass / Stainless Steel||"Ceramic Shield Glass" / Aluminum|
|Finish||Silver, Space Gray||Blue, Green, Black, White, and (PRODUCT)RED|
|Splash and dust resistant||IP67||IP68|
|Data Speed||4G LTE||5G|
|Price, at time of release||$999, $1149||$749,$799, $899|
|The current price, new**||$556||$749,$799, $899|
|The current price, pre-owned*||$385||N/A|
Where is the Upgrade?
From the table, we can see that despite being three years apart, the devices have similar exterior hardware and feature sets.
Body size and weight are quite similar. The iPhone 12’s screen is slightly higher in size, resolution and pixel density, but the difference is very slight. Both are classified as “Super Retina” and both are sufficiently dust resistant.
Here are the differences that matter:
CPU, Battery Life, Cameras, and Data Speed
By and large, this will be the most significant difference between the two phones on release.
Three years have passed since Apple’s A11 chip set, and there have been numerous speed and efficiency improvements made along the way.
It’s no doubt that the A14 will be 2020’s most powerful mobile CPU, but where does the extra power go to? We have reached a point in smartphone usage where daily tasks like loading videos, taking photos, playing games, and browsing social media is no longer cumbersome to even mid-ranged phones. The A11 excelled at all of these tasks in 2017 and continues to do so to this day.
Unless there are incredibly intense mobile games that a prospective user may be interested in, I find it unlikely that this new CPU will be a selling point for the phone, despite performing better.
While the size of the battery is roughly the same, the reported hours of video playback differ here. This is due to the previously mentioned CPU efficiency improvements.
The iPhone X should last you from morning to evening just as it always has, and it is expected that the iPhone 12 will be there for you on days that you forgot to charge, or for extended nights out.
The improvements are greatly appreciated, but nothing revolutionary. The same nightly routine of plugging in before bed will still guide our lives.
Each phone has a selfie camera and two front facing cameras.
In this case, the iPhone 12’s selfie camera has a more impressive 12 megapixel lens which beats the iPhone X’s 7 megapixel lens.
For the front facing camera, minor improvements for low light photos have been made in past generations, but the even bigger factor here is that the second lens in the iPhone X is for zooming in at an optical 2X zoom, while the iPhone 12’s second camera is for zooming out to get an even wider shot.
This ultimately comes down to personal preference and what kind of photos you are interested in taking; iPhone X for zooming in, iPhone 12 for zooming out.
5G, the next generation cellphone service technology, promises 4 gigabits down and 200 megabits up.
The new iPhone 12 series are the first iPhones to be equipped with technology to receive 5G signal and benefit from its increased download and upload speed.
This is certainly great for the future, but at present not many consumers will be able to access these enhanced antenna bands.
The ability to use this feature is dependent on your carrier and contract. Unless you intend to upgrade to a new service plan and are planning a move to one of the few areas in the US that have 5G currently, this feature does not benefit the average customer.
While the future of 5G looks promising, the early versions of this technology suffer from specific issues such as the cost of the extremely high speed. The areas covered from one broadcast is limited to the size of say, a park, an airport, or a football stadium. The technology has not yet reached a point where consumers will receive the benefits of 5G data while in a car, office building, or at home.
Apple’s newest phone is a magnificent piece of hardware that continues to push boundaries in terms of performance and future proofing.
However, I believe that since the past generations are not struggling at all for the vast majority of users’ demands, the general experience of using an iPhone 12 will not significantly differ from users of an iPhone X.
Specifically, I think a user who has been holding on to an iPhone 6 or 7 for the past six years would get much more value out of the iPhone X considering that high quality used devices are selling for about $390, and prices are decreasing every day.
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