iPhone 12 review – still worth it three years on

The iPhone 12 was launched because the vanilla mannequin in Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup again in October 2020. It’s been outdated by the iPhone 13 and that iPhone 14 and is prone to be pushed again a technology once more by the launch of the rumored iPhone 15 this fall.

Despite its age, the iPhone 12 is still a terrific alternative in the event you’re an off-the-cuff gamer and don’t have the price range for the newest flagships. It’s greater than half the value of the iPhone 14 Pro Max – for that, you get a gorgeous design and 6.1-inch OLED show, plus Apple’s A14 Bionic chipset that breezes by means of on a regular basis duties. The iPhone 12 lineup was the primary to get 5G connectivity, and it might still arguably sit among the many greatest 5G telephones on the market proper now for sheer worth for cash.

The iPhone 12 is beginning to present its age. Its digital camera tech specs are outdated, and the picture high quality is poles other than the likes of the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Despite dealing with content material effectively, it’s not a telephone designed particularly for gaming, and it lacks a quick refresh display screen or cooling mechanisms. Below, discover out whether or not the iPhone 12 is still probably the greatest gaming iPhones you should buy at present in the event you love Apple however don’t love the excessive price ticket of the iPhone 14 lineup.


Relatively reasonably priced
5G protection accessible
Decent battery life


Lacks newest digital camera know-how
No 120Hz show
64GB storage is limiting

Price and availability
The iPhone 12 is still a superb mid-range smartphone provided by a few of the greatest cellphone suppliers. Given its age and mid-tier specs, month-to-month plans are a lot decrease than the iPhone 14 and 13 collection. You can choose up the iPhone 12 from main retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy, however it’s getting tougher to discover a brand-new handset as many at the moment are refurbished.

On the official Apple retailer, the iPhone 12 begins at $599. Apple additionally presents between $40-$640 in the event you commerce in your outdated units all the best way to iPhone 7, which makes the deal even sweeter in the event you’re changing an outdated iPhone.

Apple iPhone 12 specs:

6.1-inch OLED (2532 x 1170 pixels)

A14 Bionic

Storage choices
64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Rear: 12MP vast (ƒ/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.4)Front: 12MP (ƒ/2.2)

Battery capability
2,815 mAh

5.78 x 2.81 x 0.29 inches

5.78 ounces

Inside the iPhone 12 is Apple’s A14 bionic chip, now outdated by the A15 Bionic on the iPhone 14 and A16 on the iPhone 14 Pro fashions. As talked about, it additionally has 5G and 4G connectivity, futureproofing you towards upgrades to the community.

Thanks to MagSafe (magnets contained in the telephone) you possibly can cost the iPhone simply with MagSafe-compatible chargers, supplying you with quick wi-fi charging as much as 15W.

In phrases of cameras, the iPhone 12 has a dual-camera system, providing vast and ultra-wide cameras to get extra within the body. Apple says that the ability of the A14 Bionic chip improves computational images; processing strategies that improve the colour and element of your photographs. There’s extra on how the digital camera performs in real-life eventualities beneath, however when it involves video, iPhone 12 options 4K HDR recordings, plus the flexibility to edit these straight from the telephone.

The iPhone 12 is a modern handset, with rounded corners and flat edges – a design that Apple carried by means of to the iPhone 13 and 14. While this strategy appears aesthetically pleasing, presents larger sturdiness, and permits strong buttons to take a seat on both facet of the display screen, the sharper edges can dig into your palms and make the telephone tougher to grip in the event you don’t use a telephone case. Fortunately, a softer case does spherical off these edges, however it’s one thing to remember in the event you like your telephone case-free.

The iPhone 12 has an edge-to-edge show (other than the Face ID notch on the prime) which implies you get extra show with much less bulk. The iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch OLED show with an 1170 x 2532 decision. This maxes out at 60Hz, which is beneath the graceful refresh fee of the 120 Hz iPhone 14 Pro with ‘ProMovement’.

Despite that, the display screen is vibrant, crisp, and lovely to take a look at, whether or not you’re net searching, enhancing pictures, or enjoying video games. In sunshine, the 625 nits brightness could be a little missing, however that’s my solely actual grievance.

The entrance case is constructed with Apple’s powerful Ceramic Shield show, whereas the again is made from glass and aluminum. Unlike cheaper plastic constructions, the iPhone 12 construct belies its worth, feels premium, and general sits properly within the hand. It’s a superb dimension for my smaller palms, that are dwarfed by the likes of the Google Pixel 7 Pro.

The iPhone 12 is offered in black, white, (PRODUCT) RED, inexperienced, blue, and purple colorways – which offers loads of choices for the fashion-conscious amongst us. I’ve had the white model for over two years, and amazingly, I’ve but to note any main scratches both on the again casing or the display screen itself – regardless of a number of drops out of my pocket onto laborious surfaces.

With an IP68 ranking, the iPhone 12 is splash and dust-resistant, however definitely nowhere close to as hardy as the most effective rugged smartphones. It’s been out within the rain, on seashores, and within the mist, and has by no means faltered below these circumstances.

The iPhone 12 has a twin 12-megapixel digital camera system and a front-facing selfie digital camera. Resolution isn’t the whole lot, particularly in the event you solely ever submit your pictures to social media, however it’s worth evaluating this rely to the 48MP fundamental digital camera discovered on the iPhone 14 Pro and 50MP on the Samsung Galaxy S23. When you utilize the digital zoom (as much as 5x zoom) on the iPhone 12m there’s successfully much less image to crop in on, and the standard is poorer.

Portrait mode was first launched to the iPhone in 2016, however it will get higher with every new iteration. With portrait mode activated on my iPhone 12, there’s a beautiful bokeh impact behind the topic, and 9 occasions out of 10 it locks onto a topic rapidly. After taking a photograph, it’s simple to regulate the depth of subject in order that roughly of the picture is sharp. You may also change the picture lighting, together with Natural, Studio, Contour, and Mono results, though I typically discover it more practical to edit pictures manually. iOS offers all of the parameters you’d anticipate, from distinction to white stability, however for inexperienced editors, Auto Edit does a superb job more often than not.

I used to be impressed with the readability and sharpness of the photographs from my iPhone 12 once I first purchased it. However, a number of years later, having now reviewed a whole bunch of telephones, the cracks are beginning to present. In brilliant sunshine, photographs tend to blow out (which means the spotlight areas lose element and data). You can pull the publicity down by tapping on these brilliant areas on the display screen and dragging them down with a finger, however this received’t come naturally to newcomers.

The iPhone 12 struggles when capturing high-contrast scenes, similar to a panorama at sundown, or when capturing right into a brilliant solar. When you shoot in dim places or at evening, photographs are acceptable with out utilizing the flash, due to a large, brilliant fundamental aperture of ƒ/1.6 and the telephone’s Night Mode (which prompts robotically in low gentle). When you do use the flash, the colours are pure and true to life.

Elsewhere, the iPhone 12’s digital camera app has a number of choices for artistic imagery, together with slow-mo, panorama (as much as 63MP), and timelapse. Live Photo is one other glorious characteristic, as it information 1.5 seconds earlier than and after urgent the shutter. The upshot of that is that you may seize numerous foolish and unplanned moments, and you may flip these reside pictures into GIFs or select the most effective body.

Battery life
The iPhone 12 has a 2,815 mAh battery, smaller than the iPhone 14 Phone’s 3,279 mAh however not by a big quantity. On a day once I’m working from residence and utilizing it throughout breaks, it lasts all day (round 16 hours) – with some juice to file an hour or so exercise with music. When I’m touring, utilizing 5G, operating maps and Spotify, and perhaps enjoying Apple arcade video games, I’d say the battery lasts extra like 8 hours, needing a top-up from a public energy outlet or iPhone energy financial institution.

Phone batteries grow to be much less efficient over time. After over two years of heavy use, my iPhone 12 battery is at 84 % most capability. When I performed Roblox for 1 hour, the battery had drained by 20 %.


I’ll begin by saying this: Apple iPhones usually are not particularly gaming telephones. But that doesn’t imply you possibly can’t have a terrific expertise when utilizing one, or that Apple isn’t advertising and marketing at players.

There aren’t any video games I’ve struggled to play, though I do at all times be certain to close down different power-hungry apps earlier than launching them. I’ve tried Genshin Impact and Stardew Valley on the best graphics settings and haven’t observed any issues with the body fee. In truth, the gadget constantly hits 60 fps playback and offers a clean expertise.

The iPhone 12’s chip with two high-performance cores can deal with most applications I throw at it, together with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for cellular. The solely time I’ve ever discovered the iPhone 12 to crash is when it’s left in scorching sunshine – however any gadget would probably do the identical, and a fast spell within the shade returns it to regular.

The iPhone 12 comes with a 64 GB base degree of storage. This is a ache level for me, as I rapidly stuffed it inside just a few months with music, and pictures and by downloading a number of video games. If storing media is vital to you, I’d suggest forking out on the 128 GB and even 256 GB fashions in order that your gadget could have capability for a while to come back.

Should you purchase the iPhone 12?

Yes: If you need an reasonably priced and well-designed iPhone
No: If you need the newest handset
No: If you’re a hardcore gamer

If the iPhone 12 isn’t for you
If you’re after the quickest, newest Apple handset, then the iPhone 14 Pro is a superb alternative. It has a greater show and cameras, however you’ll want a top-tier price range, given it retails for round $1,000 (£1,000).

Want a equally reasonably priced smartphone however desire the Android working system? The Google Pixel 7 is reliable and reasonably priced.

If you need an Apple smartphone for searching the net, answering emails, and enjoying the odd sport, the iPhone 12 is an excellent alternative. As a 5G telephone, it’s futureproofed for the subsequent few years of community connectivity, however at below $500, it received’t break the financial institution.

I’ve had the iPhone 12 for 2 years, and regardless of it being outdated a number of occasions by new iPhone generations, I’ve bought no ideas about updating it simply but. The iPhone 12 isn’t a media powerhouse, and its cameras are outdated by present requirements, however for the present worth, it’s laborious to complain.

iPhone 12 review
A dependable however ageing handset, Apple’s iPhone 12 is a good price range choice if you would like a well-designed and succesful iPhone for on a regular basis apps and light-weight gaming. The battery life and digital camera aren’t market main, however you get what you pay for, and the iPhone 12 is half the value of the newest flagships. Buy it in the event you just like the Apple ecosystem and need worth for cash on your subsequent smartphone.


Recommended For You