2024 iPhone 12 review: still a solid choice?

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Explore the lasting value of the iPhone 12 in 2024 with our detailed review covering its iOS 17 compatibility, performance, and camera capabilities.

Expert Insights: A Thorough Review of the iPhone 12’s Continued Relevance

Welcome to our in-depth review of the iPhone 12, a model that significantly influenced the smartphone market with its introduction of 5G and advanced imaging capabilities. In this article, we  examine every aspect of the iPhone 12 to determine how it stands up in the fast-paced tech environment of 2024. Find out if the iPhone 12 is still a viable choice for consumers looking to balance price with high-end features.

A quick preview of the iPhone 12

SpecificationDetail
Display6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display
ChipA14 Bionic
CameraDual 12MP system; Ultra Wide and Wide
Battery LifeUp to 17 hours of video playback
Storage Options64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Specification tables

Introduced as Apple’s first foray into 5G technology, the iPhone 12 came with substantial upgrades, including the A14 Bionic chip and a new Ceramic Shield front cover. It was designed to offer a blend of affordability and high-tech features, appealing widely to both tech enthusiasts and average consumers. Its sleek design and improved photographic capabilities set a new benchmark for future smartphone innovations.

Release date: when did the iPhone 12 launch?

The iPhone 12 was officially launched on October 23, 2020, marking Apple’s entry into the 5G era. This release underscored Apple’s commitment to bringing cutting-edge technology to a broader audience, setting the stage for subsequent innovations in the industry.

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Design and colors available: stylish and durable

The iPhone 12 introduced a flat-edge design, a nostalgic yet modern throwback to the iPhone 5’s beloved style, combined with a robust Ceramic Shield material that significantly enhanced drop performance. It was offered in five attractive colors—Blue, Green, Red, White, and Black—providing options for every taste and personality.

The iPhone 12 display

The iPhone 12’s 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display was a leap forward in visual technology, featuring an OLED screen that brought incredible contrast and color accuracy to the user experience. This display made the iPhone 12 ideal for streaming high-definition videos and gaming, with Dolby Vision support enhancing the viewing experience even further.

Man using iPhone 13

iPhone 12 camera

Apple equipped the iPhone 12 with a dual-camera system that included Night mode on both the Ultra Wide and Wide lenses, significantly improving low-light photography. The introduction of HDR video recording with Dolby Vision was a first for smartphones, positioning the iPhone 12 as a powerful tool for both photography enthusiasts and professional videographers even to this day.

Software upgrades & battery lifespan: iOS 17 and enhanced efficiency

With initial support for iOS 14 and now upgraded to iOS 17, the iPhone 12 continues to receive the latest software features and security updates. Its A14 Bionic chip not only provides powerful performance but also optimizes battery life, enabling more hours of usage without the need for frequent recharging.

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Specs and performance comparison: staying competitive

The iPhone 12 remains competitive in 2024, thanks to its A14 Bionic processor and well-rounded specifications. Although newer models have introduced more advanced technologies, the iPhone 12 offers a balanced performance that is sufficient for most users’ needs.

iPhone 12iPhone 11iPhone 13iPhone 14iPhone 15
Display6.1″ Super Retina XDR6.1″ Liquid Retina HD6.1″ Super Retina XDR6.1″ Super Retina XDR
ChipA14 BionicA13 BionicA15 BionicA15 Bionic
CameraDual 12MP Ultra Wide & WideDual 12MP Ultra Wide & WideDual 12MP Ultra Wide & WideDual 12MP Ultra Wide & Wide
Battery LifeUp to 17 hours video playbackUp to 17 hours video playbackUp to 19 hours video playbackUp to 20 hours video playback
Storage Options64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
DesignAluminumAluminumAluminumAluminum
Refresh Rate60 Hz60 Hz60 Hz60 Hz
Price (Launch)Starte at EUR 913Starts at EUR 810Starts at EUR 1000Starts at EUR 969
Price refurbished version on Swappie*From EUR 239From EUR 339From EUR 539From EUR 769
Specs and performance comparison

*Prices accurate as of 26 April. Prices are subject to change without prior notice. For the latest pricing, see our iPhone deals

iphone and accessories

Compatible accessories with the iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 not only shines in performance and design but also supports a wide range of compatible accessories that enhance its functionality and user experience. MagSafe technology, introduced with the iPhone 12 series, offers a unique ecosystem of accessories that magnetically attach to the back of the phone, providing a seamless integration of added features.

Key Accessories Include:

  • MagSafe charger: enables fast wireless charging up to 15W, optimizing convenience without the hassle of cables.
  • MagSafe cases: available in various materials and colors, these cases not only protect the iPhone 12 but also maintain compatibility with other MagSafe accessories.
  • Wallet attachment: A practical addition that snaps to the back of your iPhone, allowing you to carry cards securely and stylishly.
  • MagSafe car mounts: Ideal for hands-free use while driving, these mounts securely hold your iPhone in place, making navigation or managing calls much easier.

Beyond MagSafe, the iPhone 12 is compatible with a myriad of other accessories that cater to diverse needs:

  • AirPods for a high-quality audio experience, whether you’re taking calls or listening to music.
  • Apple Watch, which seamlessly integrates with the iPhone for health tracking, notifications, and more.
  • Various third-party accessories like Bluetooth speakers, gaming controllers, and more, which connect via Bluetooth or the Lightning port, expanding the utility of the iPhone 12 for all types of users.

These compatible accessories not only add to the functionality but also improve the overall experience of using an iPhone 12, making it adaptable to a wide array of activities and lifestyles..

iPhone 12 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Advanced 5G capabilities: First iPhone model to support 5G, providing faster internet speeds and improved connectivity.
  • Powerful A14 bionic processor: Delivers fast and efficient performance suitable for gaming, augmented reality, and more.
  • Enhanced camera system: Offers significant improvements in both photo and video quality, especially in low-light conditions.
  • Robust design: Features Ceramic Shield and IP68 water resistance, enhancing durability.

Cons:

  • Battery life: While improved, it does not match the longevity of newer models with more advanced battery technology.
  • Storage options: Limited to 256GB, which may not suffice for users with high storage demands.
  • Design similarity: Maintains a similar aesthetic to previous models, which might not appeal to those seeking a fresh design.

Considering a refurbished model: smart and sustainable

Choosing a refurbished iPhone 12 in 2024 can be a smart and sustainable decision. It offers significant savings and a reduced environmental impact without compromising on performance or quality. Our refurbished models are backed by a comprehensive warranty for peace of mind.

Expert’s opinion and conclusion: is the iPhone 12 worth it in 2024?

The iPhone 12’s introduction marked a significant technological leap, especially with its integration of 5G technology, which has become more relevant as 5G infrastructure has expanded globally. Its advanced camera system and high-definition OLED display also set new standards for mobile photography and media consumption. 

These features still hold their ground in 2024. The iPhone 12 strikes a balance between modern capabilities and cost-effectiveness, making it a popular choice among both tech enthusiasts and general consumers.

Comparison with other options:

When compared to its predecessors like the iPhone 11 and newer models like the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, the iPhone 12 stands out particularly for its 5G support and improved display technology. Although it lacks some of the more refined enhancements found in the latest iPhone models, such as the improved battery life and photographic capabilities of the iPhone 14, the iPhone 12 remains a compelling choice. It offers a significant upgrade over the iPhone 11 in terms of display and connectivity and holds its own against newer models with its all-around performance.

Conclusion and recommendation:

For those considering whether to purchase an iPhone in 2024, the iPhone 12 is a good balance between price and performance. It is highly recommended if you need reliable and fast connectivity, particularly with the expanding availability of 5G services. The device is also a great choice for photography lovers and general users who appreciate a good display and long-lasting build quality. 

If cutting-edge features and the absolute latest technology are not critical to your needs, the iPhone 12 offers a very sensible compromise, delivering most of the benefits of new models at a more accessible price point.