iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13: Which is right for you?

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 comparison

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models feature exceptional design elements that prioritize durability and aesthetic appeal, underscoring Apple's commitment to crafting high-quality devices. Here is a detailed analysis of their design features:

Comparison by Feature

Feature chart: iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13


iPhone 12

iPhone 13


A14 Bionic

A15 Bionic


Dual 12MP rear, 12MP front

Dual 12MP rear (larger main sensor), 12MP front


Up to 17h of video playback

Up to 19h of video playback


Wider notch

Smaller notch (20% reduction)

Starting Storage

64 GB

128 GB

Available Colors

5 colors: White, Black, Blue, Purple, Red

6 colors: Blue, Pink, Black (Midnight), White (Starlight), Green, Red

Size and Weight

6.1 inches, 164 grams

6.1 inches, 173 grams

Material and Durability

Both models are equipped with a Ceramic Shield front covering, significantly enhancing their durability against drops and scratches.

Rated IP68, they can withstand a maximum depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes, ensuring protection against water and dust ingress.

Design Aesthetics

The iPhone 13 continues with the flat-edge design that was reintroduced with the iPhone 12, appealing to fans of the classic aesthetic of the iPhone 4.

The color options for the iPhone 13 offer a broader range of choices for customization compared to the iPhone 12.

Size and Weight

The iPhone 13 is slightly heavier and thicker than its predecessor. This change is primarily due to the integration of a larger battery and additional internal components aimed at enhancing performance.

Notch and Face ID

A notable change in the iPhone 13 is the 20% reduction in notch size, offering a less intrusive design and slightly more screen space than the iPhone 12.

These design improvements in the iPhone 13, although subtle, reflect Apple's ongoing efforts to refine the user experience through incremental enhancements, without compromising the iconic style and resilience of the iPhone. Each iteration not only respects aesthetic values but also incorporates practical upgrades that contribute to the overall functionality of the device and user satisfaction.

Dive into our extensive iPhone collection to find the perfect match for your needs, or explore our detailed guide for making informed decisions when buying a phone online.

Technology and Display Quality

Super Retina XDR OLED Screens

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 are equipped with Super Retina XDR OLED screens, ensuring vivid colors and deep blacks for an immersive experience. Here's how they compare:

Brightness and Visibility

The iPhone 13 advances in brightness, offering up to 800 nits in typical use and 1200 nits for HDR content, compared to the 625 nits of the iPhone 12. This makes the iPhone 13 more suited for viewing in bright outdoor conditions.

Color Accuracy

While both models boast a wide color gamut, the iPhone 13 has improved color accuracy with a better Delta-E rating, ensuring colors that are truer to life.

Refresh Rate and Fluidity

Exclusive to the iPhone 13 Pro models, ProMotion technology with a dynamic refresh rate ranging from 10Hz to 120Hz offers smoother scrolling and better responsiveness, a feature not available in the iPhone 12 series.

Resolution and Pixel Density

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 both have the same screen resolution of 2532 x 1170 pixels. However, it is important to note that the iPhone 13 has a slightly brighter screen than the iPhone 12.

Notch Size

The iPhone 13 features a 20% smaller notch, allowing for a slightly larger screen area and less intrusion when viewing content.

These improvements in the display technology of the iPhone 13 contribute not only to a better visual experience but also underscore the incremental improvements Apple continues to make to their iPhone series, focusing on user satisfaction and immersive content consumption.

Processor and Performance

Comparison between the A15 Bionic and A14 Bionic Chips

A15 Bionic Chip of the iPhone 13

  • Future Compatibility: The A15 Bionic chip is designed for Apple's future innovations, including AR and VR devices, ensuring long-term utility.
  • Battery Efficiency and Lifespan: This chip enhances battery performance by optimizing energy use, making the iPhone 13 more efficient.
  • Performance Score:
    • AnTuTu: This site gives a score of 1244K, 15% higher than the iPhone 12.
    • GeekBench 6: This site shows an improvement with 2200 points in single-core tests and 5217 in multi-core tests.
  • Enhanced CPU and GPU Speeds: The performances of the CPU and GPU are up to 50% and 30% faster than the previous generation.
  • Innovative Features: Enables features such as the Cinematic video recording mode, which performs dynamic focus adjustments on subjects entering the frame.

A14 Bionic Chip of the iPhone 12

  • Base Performances: Although it precedes the A15, the A14 chip still offers robust performances for most common applications.
  • Performance Scores:
    • AnTuTu: Reaches a score of 1038K.
    • GeekBench 6: Records 2014 in single-core tests and 4495 in multi-core tests.

This analysis highlights the technological advancements of the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic chip compared to the A14 Bionic chip of the iPhone 12. It showcases notable improvements in terms of efficiency, compatibility with future technologies, and performance.

Also check out our blog posts for a detailed comparison between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, as well as an in-depth overview of the differences between the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iPhone 12

Camera Systems

Improvements in the iPhone 13 Camera

The iPhone 13 significantly advances in camera technology, notably with its wide and ultra-wide lenses. The key updates include:

Sensor Enhancements

The wide-angle camera features a larger sensor with sensor-based stabilization, improving both the quality and stability of images.

The new design of the ultra-wide camera sensor enhances light capture, crucial for low-light environments.

Advanced Features

  • Cinema Mode: This new video feature allows real-time depth of field adjustments, creating film-quality with focus transitions.
  • Photographic Styles: Customize the look of your photos with real-time adjustable filters that do not affect skin tones.
  • Night Mode and Smart HDR 4: Both features have been improved, offering better performance in low light and an extended dynamic range in photos.

Read our blog post to discover the best smartphone designed for taking exceptional photos.

Camera Capabilities of the iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 maintains competitive camera features that remain impressive:

Basic Features

Similar to the iPhone 13, it has a set of main and ultra-wide 12 MP cameras.

Features such as Night Mode, Deep Fusion, and Smart HDR 3 provide excellent photo quality, especially in challenging lighting conditions.

Video Recording

Supports HDR Dolby Vision video recording up to 4K at 30 fps, ensuring high-quality video output.

Comparative Camera Capabilities

Both models offer robust camera systems, but the iPhone 13 takes the lead with newer technology and advanced features that enhance both photo and video experiences. The key comparisons include:

  • Stabilization: The iPhone 13 introduces sensor-shift image stabilization for sharper images.
  • Low-light Performance: Improved sensors and an enhanced Night Mode on the iPhone 13 allow for better photos in dim settings.
  • Video Technology: The iPhone 13 supports HDR Dolby Vision up to 60 fps, doubling the frame rate capability of the iPhone 12.

These improvements make the iPhone 13 an appealing choice for those who prioritize cutting-edge camera technology and multimedia capabilities.

iPhone 13

Battery Life and Charging Capabilities

Battery Capacity of the iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13

  • iPhone 12 : 2815mAh
  • iPhone 13 : 3227mAh

This increase in battery capacity in the iPhone 13 models translates into longer usage times and improved efficiency, making a significant difference in daily use.

Enhanced Battery Performance

The larger battery of the iPhone 13 not only supports longer operating hours but also offers a prolonged battery lifespan that is noticeable in practical use:

  • Daily Use: On average, the iPhone 13 lasts 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12.
  • Web Browsing: When browsing the web via 5G, the iPhone 13 offers about 2 hours and 8 minutes more battery life than the iPhone 12.
  • Video Playback:
    • iPhone 13 Mini: Up to 17 hours
    • iPhone 13: Up to 19 hours
    • iPhone 13 Pro: Up to 22 hours
    • iPhone 13 Pro Max: Up to 28 hours

Compared to the iPhone 12 series, each iPhone 13 model sees an increase in battery life, enhancing the user experience, especially for media consumption.

Charging Capabilities

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 support fast charging and are compatible with MagSafe technology, which offers a convenient and efficient way of charging wirelessly:

  • Fast Charging: Up to 50% charge in approximately 30 minutes for both models.
  • MagSafe Wireless Charging: Up to 15W for both models.
  • Wired Charging Power:
    • iPhone 12: Up to 18W
    • iPhone 13: Up to 20W

The slight increase in wired charging power for the iPhone 13 ensures that users can recharge their phones a bit faster, reducing downtime and enhancing overall convenience.

These improvements in battery life and charging capabilities make the iPhone 13 a more attractive option for users who need a phone with endurance that can keep up with their busy lifestyles.

Discover the most reputable smartphones for exceptional battery life here.

Software and Ecosystem

iOS Updates and Compatibility

Operating Systems of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13

  • iPhone 12: Initially launched with iOS 14, now upgradable to iOS 16.
  • iPhone 13: Came with iOS 15, also upgradable to future versions of iOS.

Exclusive Features of the iPhone 13

  • Cinema Mode: Revolutionizes video recording by allowing real-time depth of field adjustments, focusing on subjects that dynamically enter the frame.
  • Photographic Styles: Offers customizable AI filters that enhance the aesthetics of photos without altering skin tones.
  • Emergency SOS via satellite and crash detection: Enhances safety features, providing peace of mind in critical situations.

MagSafe Compatibility and Accessories

MagSafe Ecosystem

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 support MagSafe, offering a wide range of compatible accessories such as cases, wallets, and chargers.

Pricing and Storage Options

The iPhone 12 is available with a base storage capacity of 64 GB. In contrast, the iPhone 13 starts with a capacity of 128 GB, thus offering double the storage space from the base model.

While the iPhone 13 offers better initial capacity, it is also more expensive than the iPhone 12. Options for increasing storage are available for both models, at additional costs that vary depending on the upgrade chosen.

If you are interested in exploring alternative operating systems, check out our Android collection. Additionally, you can find an informative blog post detailing the main differences between iPhone and Android here.

5G Connectivity

  • iPhone 13: Improved 5G compatibility, ensuring faster data speeds and better network performance.

By integrating these features, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 offer robust software ecosystems that cater to a variety of user needs, from enhanced multimedia capabilities to improved safety features, all supported by the promise of future iOS updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the iPhone 13 better than the iPhone 12?

The iPhone 13 offers several improvements over the iPhone 12, including a brighter display that is easier to read in the sun, and the more powerful and efficient A15 Bionic chip, compared to the A14 Bionic of the iPhone 12.

Is it wise to upgrade from the iPhone 12 to the iPhone 13?

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 are very similar, and the differences may not justify an upgrade for everyone. If you are using a much older iPhone model, both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 are excellent options to consider. Think about the features that matter most to you in daily use before deciding.

Does the iPhone 13 take better photos than the iPhone 12?

Yes, the iPhone 13 takes better photos than the iPhone 12. The cameras on the iPhone 13 are positioned diagonally, allowing more space for sensors, which results in better image quality and improved video stabilization.