Apple iPhone 12 Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Apple’s iPhone 12 series may have been revealed a while ago at this point, but any of the iPhone 12 models are still among the best you can get. The device offers an all-new design, a better processor, an improved camera, and more.

There are four different iPhone 12 models: The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Each model has its own unique traits and features, and there should be something there for everyone. Not exactly sure how much size varies between all the models? Be sure to read our size comparison article. Here’s everything you need to know about the new 5G phones.

iPhone 12 pricing and availability

All four models of the iPhone 12 are now widely available. You can get them from your carrier, or unlocked from Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers. In fact, over the few months that the iPhone 12 has been available, Counterpoint Research says it’s the best selling 5G phone, and became so in its first two weeks of being available.

The iPhone 12 Mini starts at $699, and is the lineup’s small and affordable option. The iPhone 12 starts at $799 and goes up to $949 for the top storage option. We recommend opting for at least 128GB of storage.

The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999, which gives you 128GB of storage, and goes up to $1,299 for the top storage option. At the top end, the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099.

If you’re looking to possibly score one as part of a deal, here’s a rundown on the different ways to buy them. Or, if you’re not sure if you should get the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 12 Pro, check out our comparison.

s of the iPhone 12 series

Now that the iPhone 12 models have been out for a while, we’ve had a chance to put them all through their paces. It starts with the base iPhone 12 and its size sibling the iPhone 12 Pro, which are the go-to picks because of their size and pricing. The iPhone 12 is a fantastic value and brings a great experience to anyone who isn’t going to push the limits. The 12 Pro goes a step beyond, with a stainless steel frame, more memory for a few advanced features, and a couple of extra camera capabilities.

Then you have the Mini and the Pro Max, bookending the group. The 12 Mini is delightfully small, fitting in anyone’s hand, yet still has a full set of iPhone 12 features and a complete camera experience. The 12 Pro Max is truly massive, with an excellent screen and superlong battery life — plus, a main camera that’s a cut above the 12 Pro in low light.

Read our iPhone 12 review

Read our iPhone 12 Mini review

Read our iPhone 12 Pro review

Read our iPhone 12 Pro Max review

Should you upgrade to the iPhone 12?

The iPhone 12 is, obviously, the best iPhone ever — and as such, if you’re in the market for a new iPhone, something from the iPhone 12 series is probably the way to go. That said, not everyone should buy it. For example, if you already have an iPhone 11, then an iPhone 12 probably won’t be that much of an upgrade. Save that for the iPhone 13 or iPhone 14.

We’ve compared the iPhone 12 to a number of other phones out there. Deciding between the most recent iPhone models? Check out our comparison of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11, and our comparison of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro. Or, if you’re one of the (very) few people still deciding between iOS and Android, it’s worth reading up on the iPhone 12 Pro and Galaxy S20, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, or checking out newer models, like the iPhone 12 against the Galaxy S21.

The iPhone 12 currently tops our list of the best smartphones you can buy, but there are many great options out there.

How to use the iPhone 12

iPhone 12 Mini
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Finally got your hands on the iPhone 12 and want to make the best of it? We have a ton of guides on the iPhone 12 and iOS 14 to help you out. For example, here’s our guide on iOS 14 tips and tricks, which should help you get up and running with Apple’s latest-and-greatest mobile operating system. By the way, you don’t need an iPhone 12 to get iOS 14 — and here’s how to download it if you don’t have an iPhone 12.

If you’re dealing with a 5G iPhone, you can also take a look at our guide for how to turn off 5G when you don’t want to use up your data.

iPhone 12 design and display

The headline for 2020 is that Apple finally made a dramatic change to the overall hardware design, after evolving the iPhone X design for three generations. The latest design calls back to the iPhone 5 and falls in line with the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air.

The sides are now flat, with a matte finish on the iPhone 12 and a glossy finish on the iPhone 12 Pro. There are also sharper edges that transition to the g