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iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12: What’s the difference?

Phone advice | by Denise Timmis | Aug 05, 2022

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12: What’s the difference?

New Apple models mean new features and upgrades. But is it worth trading in your iPhone 11 for the iPhone 12? We’ll help you decide. 
 

Whether it’s camera quality, battery life, or design that’s the Apple of your eye, find everything you need to know here. We’ll compare all the features and functionalities so that you can choose the right handset.  

 

Design and size 

 

Design is one of the main differences between the iPhone 11 and 12 — the more recent model welcoming a smaller, sleeker look and feel. The iPhone 12 offers a feeling of nostalgia to users, more similar in size to older models like the iPhone 4. 

 

A flat-edge and large screen-to-body ratio make the iPhone 12’s design stand out. Plus, at just 5.95 inches, it’s one of Apple’s smallest devices yet. By comparison, the iPhone 11 boasts the famous curved edges at 5.78 inches in length and is 30g heavier. 

 

While both devices include water-resistance and scratch shield protection, the iPhone 12’s display works harder. It’s water-resistant up to 6 meters for 30 minutes (the 11 only offers protection for 30 minutes in 2 meters) and boasts an all-new Ceramic Shield screen that provides four times extra protection against cracks.  

 

You’ll find a new deep blue and a lighter shade of green in the 12 range, plus the usual suspects—red, white, black, silver, rose gold, and gold. It’s also available in an even bigger capacity with 256GB of storage—perfect for a photo hoarder. 

 

   

iPhone 11 

iPhone 12  

Height  

5.95 inches (150.9mm) 

5.78 inches (146.7 mm)  

Width  

2.98 inches (75.7 mm) 

2.82 inches (71.5 mm)  

Depth  

0.33 inch (8.3mm) 

0.29 inch (7.4 mm)  

Weight  

6.84 ounces (194g) 

5.78 ounces (164 grams)  

Capacity 

64GB, 128GB 

64GB, 128GB, 256GB 

 

Verdict: The iPhone 12’s upgrades make it a clear winner—especially the shatter-proof protection. 

 

Display 

The most notable upgrade is the iPhone 12’s OLED 6.1-inch display with increased resolution. The result? Deeper blacks, brighter pictures, richer colours, and wider dynamics. 

 

The iPhone 12 also supports Super Retina XDR display, which introduces new levels of contrast and brightness to an Apple handset. The iPhone 11’s 1792x828 resolution seems almost ancient compared to the 12’s sensational 460ppi, 2532x1170 screen.  

 

   

iPhone 11 

iPhone 12 

Screen display 

HD 6.1-inch LCD display 

Super Retina XDR, 6.1-inch OLED display  

Features  

True Tone display, wide colour display (P3), Haptic Touch, 120Hz refresh rate 

True Tone display, wide colour display (P3), Haptic Touch, 120Hz refresh rate 

Brightness and resolution 

1792-by-828-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical), 625 nits max brightness (typical) 

2532-by-1170-pixel resolution at 460 ppi, 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio (typical), 625 nits max brightness (typical), 1200 nits max brightness (HDR) 

 

 

Verdict: Brighter images, improved colour recognition, more expansive views, and a higher contrast ratio put the iPhone 12 ahead. 

 

Camera 

From the outside, the iPhone 12 and 11 cameras look the same. Each device comes with a 12MP camera featuring a wide and ultra-wide lens, after all. But Apple has elevated the iPhone 12’s camera to improve the image and video quality, especially in low light.  

 

Apple also upgraded the iPhone 12’s aperture to f (1.6) and Smart HDR 3, bringing improved dynamic range for brighter photos.  

 

The iPhone 11 only features ‘Night,’ ‘Deep,’ and ‘Portrait’ modes on the rear lens, but you can enjoy all three effects across every one of the iPhone 12’s snappers —including its TrueDepth (front-facing) camera. 

 

It’s not just photography that’s had an upgrade, either. The iPhone 12’s video-making skills are significantly greater, thanks to the new 10-bit Dolby Vision feature (30 fps). Overall, this leads to brighter, sharper videos, allowing the user to create, edit, and playback footage in Dolby Vision.  

 

   

iPhone 11 

iPhone 12 

Lenses  

Dual 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1.8µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS  

12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/3.6", Six-element lens (Wide), five-element lens (Ultra Wide) 

  

Dual 12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS  

12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/3.6", Seven-element lens (Wide), five-element lens (Ultra Wide) 

Features  

2 x optical zoom out, 5 x digital zoom, Portrait mode (wide), Night mode (wide), Deep Fusion (wide), Panorama (up to 63MP), True Tone flash, Smart HDR, Burst mode, Smart HDR 

2 x optical zoom out, 5 x digital zoom, Portrait mode, Night mode, Deep Fusion, Panorama (up to 63MP), True Tone flash, Smart HDR, Burst mode, Smart HDR 3 

Video  

4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, HDR, slo-mo, time-lapse, stereo sound rec. 

Dolby Vision 4K HDR (up to 30fps), 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, HDR, slo-mo, time-lapse, stereo sound rec.  

 
 

Verdict: The iPhone 12’s increased dynamic range, brighter colours, and low-light image quality come out on top.

 

Performance and battery 

The iPhone 12 introduced something completely new—5G connectivity. Of course, this is a considerable upgrade in speed, but only if you’re in a location that offers 5G. Otherwise, you’ll still use the 4G LTE offered by the iPhone 11 regardless. 

 

Superfast connectivity is likely to drain battery life much quicker, although both iPhones perform similarly when analysing talkback/playback time. The only real difference is the extra hour of streamed video playback on the iPhone 12 (11 hours). 

 

The iPhone 12 also has a much faster A14 Bionic chip that improves CPU and GPU performance. However, you don’t feel a jump in the general running of the phone, as the upgraded chip is geared towards powering the enhanced camera.  

 

An upgraded 16-core Neural Engine means the iPhone 12 has better AI capabilities, increasing machine learning across tasks like voice recognition and video analysis.  

Another notable difference is the 15W MagSafe wireless charging introduced by the iPhone 12. The magnet function makes it easier to charge your phone and attach wireless charging accessories. That said, the iPhone 11 still offers QI wireless charging methods—it’s just fiddlier to connect. 

 

   

iPhone 11 

iPhone 12 

Cellular 

4G LTE  

5G  

Chipset  

A13 Bionic chip 

A14 Bionic chip  

   

CPU  

6-core CPU with 2 performance and 4 efficiency cores 

 
 

6-core CPU with 2 performance and 4 efficiency cores 

   

GPU  

4-core GPU 

8-core Neural Engine 

4-core GPU  

16-core Neural Engine 

 
 

   

Battery 

Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery 

Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery 

   

Charging  

Fast charging 

50% in 30 min 

USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 

QI wireless charging  

Video playback 17 hours 

Video playback (streamed) 10 hours 

Audio playback 65 hours 

 
 

Fast charging  

50% in 30 min  

USB-C Power Delivery 2.0  

MagSafe and QI wireless charging 

Video playback 17 hours 

Video playback (streamed) 11 hours 

Audio playback 65 hours 

 

 

Verdict: The iPhone 12 steals the crown yet again. Although many won’t feel the benefits of 5G just yet, no previous iPhone model offers it. But the iPhone 11 still offers tough competition on battery and overall performance. 

 

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12: The verdict 

If you like to take snaps and videos, live in a 5G area, or are prone to dropping your handset, the iPhone 12 is made for you. Its camera and video capabilities are second to none, plus it comes in a brand-new design, colours, and with a shatter-proof screen. 
 

But the iPhone 11 is still a great choice — it offers exceptional image quality, long-lasting battery life, and super-fast performance. 

 

 

Buy refurbished iPhone 11

Buy refurbished iPhone 12

 

 

Whichever device you choose, Envirofone ensures you get the best value for money. We sell a variety of refurbished devices that are as good as new, for a fraction of the price. Buy your device from us, and we’ll deliver it the very next day free of charge. We’ll even protect it with a 12-month warranty for

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