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iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13: What’s the Difference?

Phone advice | by Denise Timmis | May 06, 2022

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13: What’s the Difference?

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13: What’s the Difference? 

Are you eyeing up an iPhone? Then, you’re sure to run into Apple’s flagship iPhone 13. This juggernaut made waves in September 2021 when released alongside its siblings, the Mini, Pro, and Pro Max. And for a good reason. Its improved A15 Bionic chip and brighter Super Retina XDR display are just two of several significant upgrades that continue to excite IOS fans.


But do these new additions warrant the price tag? And how does the handset stack up against its immediate predecessor? We look to answer these questions and more as we delve into the differences between the iPhone 12 and 13. Once you’ve weighed up your options, head to our refurbished Apple iPhones page for fantastic savings on the latest IOS tech.


iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13


Design and size


Apple harked back to its once sharp, industrial curves when designing the 12 and 13— last seen on the original iPhone SE. The result is a chic, modern aesthetic that oozes space-age tech. The devices first appear very similar: both sport squared-off edges, flat aluminium rims, hard-wearing Gorilla Glass, and support Face ID. However, look closely, and you’ll see a few subtle differences. For instance, the 13’s front-facing camera notch is smaller, taking up roughly 20 percent less space and culminating in a less obtrusive design.


Size-wise, there’s not much in it: the iPhone 12 measures 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm, while its newer sibling is slightly thicker to accommodate a larger battery. The 13 is also 10g heavier, tipping the scales to 174g. One other difference is phone colour—you’ll have the choice of Starlight and Midnight on the latest model, along with Blue, Pink, and Green.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13 dimensions:


iPhone 12

iPhone 13


5.78 inches (146.7 mm)

5.78 inches (146.7 mm)


2.82 inches (71.5 mm)

2.82 inches (71.5 mm)


0.29 inch (7.4 mm)

0.30 inch (7.65 mm)


5.78 ounces (164 grams)

6.14 ounces (174 grams)


Envirofone’s ip12 v ip13 verdict: Stalemate.


Display and screen


The iPhone 12 and 13 share one of the market’s most beautiful displays: a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED. The subtle difference is that the 13 is 28 percent brighter, peaking at 800 nits (nearly 200 more than the 12). However, to the unwitting eye, they’re both as glorious as each other, making excellent use of True Tone technology and HDR.

Likewise, the 12 and 13 share the same 60Hz refresh rate, wide colour gamut, and 1170 x 2532-pixel resolution, but you will get a little extra space thanks to the smaller notch on the newer model. Whichever you choose, you’ll have Ceramic Shield technology wrapped around the display—four times stronger than previous iPhones.


iPhone 12 and 13 display:


  • Super Retina XDR OLED
  • 1170 x 2532 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio
  • 6.1-inches and 86.0% screen-to-body ratio.
  • Dolby Vision
  • 460 ppi density
  • Scratch-resistant ceramic glass
  • True Tone
  • Wide colour gamut

Envirofone’s ip12 v ip13 verdict: The iPhone 13’s brighter display edges it.




While the iPhone 12 and 13 might share some design similarities upfront, there are a handful of noticeable differences on the rear. For starters, the newer model’s dual rear cameras are positioned diagonally rather than vertically. It’s difficult to say whether this directly impacts camera quality, but, in any case, you’ll have a 12MP wide sensor taking in 47% more light, capturing 1.7µm pixels (it’s only 1.4µm on the 12).

Both phones indeed have dual 12MP lenses (one wide and the other ultra-wide), but the 13’s larger f/1.8 aperture and sensor create greater clarity when shooting in low-light conditions. Along with less image noise, the newer model has sensor-shift optical image stabilisation technology that improves image quality. It also records up to 60 fps—a big step up from the 12’s 30fps. Budding filmmakers should check out the iPhone 13’s Cinematic mode, which records shallow depth videos at 1080p and 30fps.


iPhone 12 v iPhone 13 camera specification:



iPhone 12

iPhone 13


12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/3.6"

12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1.7µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS
12 MP, f/2.4, 120˚, 13mm (ultrawide)


Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)

Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)


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

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


Envirofone’s ip12 v ip13 verdict: The iPhone 13’s cameras reign supreme.


Performance and battery


Under the hood of the iPhone 13 is Apple’s A15 Bionic processor. It’s one of the fastest chipsets around, housing 15 billion transistors and a dedicated neural network (the Neural Engine) that performs 15.8 trillion operations per second. Opt for the 12 model, and you’ll have an A14 Bionic chip that, like the A15, features 6-core CPUs and 4-core GPUs—so you shouldn’t notice a huge performance gap. Apple hasn’t divulged how much quicker the iPhone 13 is when browsing, streaming, or firing up apps, but a few tests show a modest improvement in CPU. Both devices also feature 4GB of RAM.


Where the A15 shows some extra class is in the battery department. It’s more efficient and is twinned with a slightly chunkier Li-Ion 3240 mAh, resulting in 2.5 hours more ‘on time’ (according to Apple). Certain sources also suggest this battery upgrade offers up to 2 hours more video playback (19 hours) than the iPhone 12.



iPhone 12

iPhone 13


Apple A14 Bionic (5 nm)


Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm)


Hexa-core (2x3.1 GHz Firestorm + 4x1.8 GHz Icestorm)


Hexa-core (2x3.23 GHz Avalanche + 4x1.82 GHz Blizzard)


Apple GPU (4-core graphics)


Apple GPU (4-core graphics)

Battery type

Li-Ion 2815 mAh, non-removable (10.78 Wh)


Li-Ion 3240 mAh, non-removable (12.41 Wh)


Fast charging
USB Power Delivery 2.0

MagSafe wireless charging 15W

Fast charging
USB Power Delivery 2.0

MagSafe wireless charging 15W


Envirofone’s ip12 v ip13 verdict: More power. More battery life. It’s got to be the iPhone 13.


Conclusion: iPhone 12 vs iPhone 13


Should you plump for the 13 over its predecessor? Well, it comes down to what matters most to you. If you aren’t concerned with having an all-singing, all-dancing chipset and are leaning more towards style, the iPhone 12 is probably sufficient. There are a lot of similarities between these two phones, after all: from the uber-cool aero-space aluminium to the 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. If, however, you care about camera quality and superior battery life, the iPhone 13 wins every time. In any case, shop with Envirofone, and you’ll get both these marvellous devices at a snip of retail prices. Good luck!



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