iphone 13 blue and iphone 12 green

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12 — What Is the Difference?

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Apple’s 2021 release of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro series boasted tons of fantastic features. As always, they took a giant step forward, pleasing many Apple fans to clamor over them and even to wait patiently for their arrival — even amid slow delivery times and ETAs. However, when you need to upgrade an old phone, don’t shy away from the iPhone 12. It still has a lot of the same great features and may be all you need. 

So, iPhone 13 vs. the iPhone 12: What is the difference? In this guide, we explore Apple’s latest iPhone 13 model series and compare it to their iPhone 12 model series so that you may decide which one to go with when you make the jump to a new iPhone.


When comparing the iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12, the first thing you notice is the design, so let’s discuss this first. Both devices feature an edge-to-edge display and a glossy back, offered in multiple color options, too. 

On the front of each iPhone screen is a Face ID sensor built into a notch cutout. This is where the two differ slightly. The iPhone 12 is a bit larger than the iPhone 13 Face ID notch. In fact, Apple specs state that the iPhone 13 notch is roughly 20 percent smaller, but it is almost unnoticeably taller. Until they go notchless, this isn’t really much of a big deal, but still worth mentioning.      


The display of the iPhone 13 vs. the iPhone 12 is somewhat similar, but there are a few differences. Both phones offer a 6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display along with a 2532 x 1770 resolution (460 pixels per inch). 

The brightness level is where it truly shines. The iPhone 13 offers an upgrade to 800 nits, while the iPhone 12 sits at 625 nits. Even better, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models offer a ProMotion display instead of the iPhone 12’s 60 Hz refresh rate.


Okay, let’s make one thing clear: If you choose a phone based solely on its camera, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max series is the winner. The iPhone 12 camera was pretty impressive until the iPhone 13 entered the scene. Now, we’re talking extra features like Cinematic mode for videos (and not just photos), photography styles, macro photography and night mode portraits enabled by LiDAR Scanner. These are just a few of the impressive new camera additions that Apple has added to the iPhone 13. And the iPhone Mini isn’t bad either. 


We all need a long-lasting battery for our phones. So what do the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 have in store for us? Apple has seen a steady battery with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, each lasting roughly a full day before needing a charge. So many Apple fans were hoping for better with the iPhone 13 — and they were not disappointed. 

With the efficient A15 Bionic chip, Apple says that the iPhone 13 will last 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 and, in our book, that’s a big jump. Aside from the A15 chip, the larger battery plays a role, too. Unfortunately, the larger battery added extra weight and thickness to the iPhone 13, too.


Another advantage of the A15 Bionic chip inside the iPhone 13 is the enhanced performance. The iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic chip is comparable, offering 4GB of RAM, the same as the A15 chip. However, you won’t find many specs to prove that the A15 is faster. For that, you’ll have to turn to the trusted GeekBench source. Spoiler alert: They did find the A15 Bionic chip to have a slightly faster speed and overall CPU performance. 


Shop our entire collection of iPhone 12 cases and even our iPhone 12 Pro Max cases so you can protect your smartphone and look stylish, too. If you fell in love with all the extra benefits of the iPhone 13 model series — especially its super-impressive Ultra-Wide lens camera — then make sure to keep it in pristine condition with one of our iPhone 13 cases

Shop Case-Mate phone accessories, like our Screen Protectors and Lens Protectors, to keep your screen scratch-free and your photos clear and crisp.