iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Today I want to talk about two flagship devices from Apple. Namely, this article will focus on the discussion between the last generation iPhone 12 and the new iPhone 13.

In this article, you can find out whether it is worth buying the iPhone 13 when you already have an iPhone 12. I will also talk about the main differences and, in general, how the new version of the device has shown itself in real life. Yes, in fact, this will be a review about the iPhone 13, but not a simple one, but with a comparison with the previous generation of the iPhone 12.

I immediately wanted to point out that in practice, the difference between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 was very minimal. Therefore, I see no point in updating my proven iPhone 12 smartphone to a new generation. But you are reading this review for a reason, but want to know the main differences between the two generations of devices. Thus, I will definitely tell you about them.

Of course, the first difference between the two generations of iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 smartphones is their cost. It is not surprising that the previous generation will lose its value after the release of a new model of the device. For example, the official cost for the new generation of the iPhone 13 starts at $799. At the same time, the previous generation of the iPhone 12 will cost you $699.

$799.00
Apple.com
$699.00
Apple.com

The difference is not very significant, but it is there. Naturally, the price is the official one in the Apple online store. Therefore, it should not be surprising that the price tag in countries other than the United States will differ from those I said above.

But the difference between the two flagship devices doesn’t end there. Therefore, if you want to know more about the new iPhone 13, then I suggest starting your full and in-depth review with unboxing and appearance.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13: Specifications

Specs:iPhone 12iPhone 13
Display:6.1 inches OLED with 1170 x 2532 pixels, 60Hz6.1 inches OLED with 1170 x 2532 pixels, 60Hz
CPU:Apple A14 Bionic 5G Hexa-core 3.1 GHzApple A15 Bionic 5G Hexa-core 3.22 GHz
GPU:Apple GPUApple GPU
RAM:4GB4GB
Internal memory:64/128/256/512GB128/256/512GB
Memory extension:NoNo
Cameras:12MP + 12MP main camera and 12MP front camera12MP + 12MP main camera and 12MP front camera
Connectivity:Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band,3G, 4G, 5G Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and GPSWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band,3G, 4G, 5G Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and GPS
Battery:2815mAh (20W)3240mAh (20W)
OS:iOS 15iOS 15
Connections:LightningLightning
Weight:164 grams174 grams
Dimensions:146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7 mm
Price:$699$799

Unboxing and packaging

If you look at the packaging of the two iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 devices, the dimensions and weight remain almost the same. These are two small white boxes, only the last generation of the iPhone 12 has a drawing of the front of the device on the boxes. While the updated version of the iPhone 13 received a drawing of the back of the device.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Apple still follows its trend and releases its new devices in compact and thin packaging. That is, this indicates that the equipment of the new generation of iPhone 13 will be identical to that of the previous generation. On the back of the box, there is information about the brand and model of the device.

Inside the package, I found the following components such as a SIM tray needle, brief documentation, one apple sticker, and a Lightning power cable. That is, the equipment has not become better, but not worse. Therefore, I do not plan to dwell here for a long time, and let’s talk about the appearance of both models in more detail.

Design, build quality and materials

If you look remotely, the difference in design between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 is not very big. But it does exist and let me first tell you about the identical features, and then about the differences.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

For example, if we talk about dimensions, then there is practically no difference between the devices, except for its thickness. That is, the length and width remained the same – it is 146.7 x 71.5 mm. But the thickness of the new generation iPhone 13 has grown by 0.3 mm, was 7.4 mm and became 7.7 mm.

In addition to the thickness, the new generation of the device has grown in weight. If the previous generation of the iPhone 12 weighed about 164 grams, then the new version of the iPhone 13 will weigh 174 grams. This is not particularly significant, since holding both devices in my hands I did not feel a strong difference, either in weight or in thickness.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Well, if you look at the bottom location, then both models of smartphones iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 received a completely similar arrangement of the charging connection of the Lightning connector, the main speaker and even the microphone. In addition, the location of the built-in antennas was completely identical.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

But if you look at the right and left sides of the device, you will notice an interesting difference. This is that on the new generation of iPhone 13, the power button and toggle sound with volume buttons began to be located slightly lower than the version of the iPhone 12. But the SIM card slot has an intact position on both versions of devices.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Therefore, it tells us that the new generation of iPhone 13 will not be able to use the protective case from the previous generation. This is also due to the fact that you will have to buy additional accessories. In addition to the protective case, you will also buy a different protective glass than that of the previous generation iPhone 12. This is due to the fact that the bangs on the top of the screen have become slightly smaller in size.

The manufacturer says that the difference in the area of ​​the iPhone 12 bangs between the new iPhone 13 has become about 20%. The location of the spoken speaker received some minor changes. If the previous generation iPhone 12 had a speaker in the center of the bangs, then the new version already has a speaker in the top of the bangs. The same goes for the location of the front camera and other sensors. That is, the new version of the iPhone 13 has a selfie camera on the left edge of the bangs, while on the iPhone 12 the camera was located on the right corner of the bangs.

Okay, there are also minor changes on the back of the devices. Yes, the location of the main camera module remains the same. But the location of the sensors themselves has changed. Now the new generation of iPhone 13 has sensors diagonally, and before that they were located vertically. You can also notice a slightly different location of the LED flash and the secondary microphone.

Naturally, both iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 smartphones received completely untouched workmanship. The body of the devices was made of protective glass, both on the back and on the front, and the frame itself was made of aluminum. Also smartphones have full protection against water under the IP68 standard. Now I propose to talk about the screen and their differences.

Screen and main features

If you look at the front of both models of smartphones iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, then here we see exactly the same screen size with 6.1 inches. The manufacturer decided not to touch the screen at all and left everything as it was on the previous generation.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Let me remind you that the new generation of the iPhone 13 has an OLED matrix with a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels. Exactly the same matrix was on the previous generation of iPhone 12. Therefore, there are practically no differences between the screens.

But now, when examining the characteristics, I noticed a slight discrepancy in the brightness of the screen. For example, if in the last generation of the iPhone 12, the screen had a brightness of 625 nits, then the current version of the iPhone 13 has a brightness of 800 nits.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

In practice, I didn’t really notice this difference, although when looking at the screen from an angle, you can see a slightly better brightness value for the new generation of iPhone. At the same time, I note that the peak brightness on both models of smartphones remained the same – 1200 nits.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Also, you may ask me, what about the refresh rate of the screen? So, I can disappoint you, 120 Hz refresh rate was only set on the iPhone 13 Pro version. But the regular version of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini were equipped with a standard 60 Hz screen refresh rate.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

In addition, both versions of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 smartphones received good glass protection with an oleophobic coating. Naturally, the devices have features like HDR10, Dolby Vision, Wide color gamut, and True-tone.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

In practice, the 6.1-inch screen was a pleasure to use. I was even very glad to see that Apple did not come up with new features, but left everything as it is. Except for the slightly reduced bangs on the front.

Performance, benchmarks and games

Of course, in terms of performance, the new generation of the iPhone has received minor changes. For example, the new iPhone 13 was equipped with the Apple A15 Bionic chipset. While the previous generation of the iPhone 12 had an Apple A14 Bionic processor. In fact, the difference between these processes is not particularly noticeable, but it is still there.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Both processors were built using 5 nanometer technology and had six cores in their performance. But the frequency of the two powerful cores has become a little more productive compared to the previous generation. That is, it is 3.22 GHz versus 3.1 GHz. The other four energy-saving cores were left untouched at 1.8 GHz.

If you go through the benchmark tests, then in AnTuTu, the devices scored slightly different points. If the new generation of the iPhone 13 scored about 767 thousand points, then the previous generation of the iPhone 12 had 655 thousand points. As you can see, the difference is quite significant towards the iPhone 13.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

As for the game processes, they remained the same, since the video accelerator on both smartphones remained untouched, this is an Apple GPU with four cores. That is, during heavy games, you can enjoy the gameplay without any problems and not have unnecessary problems in terms of latency or other freezes.

At the same time, I want to note that the basic version of the device with 64 GB of memory has gone down in history, as it was on the iPhone 12. Now the new version of the iPhone 13 has a minimum amount of memory of 128 GB. This is actually good news, since 64GB of storage was very small for the modern world. But the RAM remained intact, that is, absolutely all memory modifications will have 4 GB of RAM.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

In general, the performance on paper has improved a little, and this is proven by the benchmark tests. But in fact, even the performance of the iPhone 12 will be enough for most tasks for a couple of years, that’s for sure. Therefore, I do not see a strong leap in the performance of both smartphones in the iPhone line.

In addition, the wireless connection remained completely intact. For example, both iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 have a 6th generation Wi-Fi module, Bluetooth 5.0 version, GPS and NFC module for contactless payments.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

At the same time, the operating system remained the same on both models of smartphones, iOS 15. If we conduct a test to open applications on smartphones iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, then I did not see much difference between these two smartphones. Like any device from Apple, the user interface is very fluid and fast. All applications opened without any problems or complaints.

Camera and sample photos

If the look of the camera sensors between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 is slightly different. That is, in the new generation, the camera modules received a slightly larger diameter and a slightly different arrangement. But on paper, there are no special differences between the two smartphone models.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

For example, both devices have a 12-megapixel main camera with an f/1.6 aperture. Also, the additional sensor received a 12-megapixel resolution with an f/2.4 aperture. In this case, the second sensor was used for ultra-wide shots with a viewing angle of 120 degrees.

The front-facing camera module received the same resolution at 12 megapixels with an aperture of f/2.2. There is also an SL 3D module for using the depth or biometric face recognition function of the wearer.

If you look at the camera app on the new generation iPhone 13 and the past iPhone 12, you won’t find much of a difference in features. But there is only one small difference – the display of 0.5x and 1x in the photo section on the new version of the device. At the same time, I note that earlier the smartphone displayed only 1x, and when pressed, the mode changed to 0.5x.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Perhaps the manufacturer strongly praises the fact that the camera on the new version of the iPhone 13 smartphone has become many times better than the previous generation. But in fact, I did not find much difference when testing the two devices. You can see examples of photos below and from myself I can note that both smartphones took good photos, both day and night.

Battery and run time

I said earlier that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 devices have a slight difference in thickness. It’s not just that, because the new version of the smartphone has an increased battery capacity of 3240 mAh. Let me remind you that the iPhone 12 version of the smartphone came with a 2815 mAh battery.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Yes, perhaps comparing this battery capacity to Android devices where the typical 4500mAh capacity is small. But for Apple devices, even a 3240 mAh capacity will be quite significant. In terms of numbers, the capacity of the built-in battery on the new iPhone 13 has grown by 15% compared to the previous generation.

This has a very significant impact on the time of use. For example, if the previous generation had about 7.5 hours with the screen on, then the current version got about 10 hours with the screen on. In other words, you can charge your device once every 1.5 days, and not as it used to be every day.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

But with the increased capacity of the battery, the charging time also increased. That is, the new version of the iPhone 13 smartphone will charge longer than the iPhone 12. At the same time, both models retain the typical 20W fast charging function and 15W wireless charging function. 

But it’s worth remembering that there is no power supply from the box, and in order to use fast charging, you need to separately purchase a power supply, unless, of course, you have one.

Conclusion, reviews, pros and cons

Comparing two generations of smartphones iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, I had both positive emotions from the new generation and neutral ones.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

Frankly speaking, I did not find a big and significant difference between the two versions of devices in the iPhone line. Therefore, from my point of view, I see no reason to switch to a new generation of smartphones.

For example, the appearance, with the exception of the reduced bangs and the location of the camera sensors, remained absolutely the same. But some interesting colors have been added, such as blue and pink on the new generation iPhone 13.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 Review: Full Comparison and Key Differences

I can also highlight the increased capacity of the built-in battery by 15%. But the rest of the features remained almost the same. Yes, perhaps the manufacturer will talk about better performance, but in fact, even the performance of the iPhone 12 will be enough for most tasks for a few more years, that’s for sure.

The same applies to cameras, as you could see from the examples of the pictures, I did not reveal a strong difference between the two versions of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 smartphones.

Price and where to buy cheaper?

As I said at the beginning of the review, currently the official price for the new version of the iPhone 13 will cost you $799. While the previous version of the iPhone 12 will cost $699.

Therefore, if you already have an iPhone 12, then I see no reason to switch to a new generation of the device. But if you have an older version of the iPhone, then it is definitely better to buy the iPhone 13. Since even the most basic version will have 128 GB on the new generation, and the basic version of the iPhone 12 with 64 GB of storage will not be enough.

$799.00
Apple.com
$699.00
Apple.com

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