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iPhone comparison 2021: specs, prices, offers and more!

What are the latest iPhones in the market right now – and what’s next? Which iPhone is best suited for me and where can I buy it? What are the best prices for the iPhone right now? Is there anything new in iOS that I should be aware of? These are commonly fielded questions that we would like to answer on your behalf in our iPhone overview.

Content of this article:

Current lineup

The iPhone 12 marks the current generation of iPhones which were released in October 2020. That was a month later than normal as Apple introduced the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPhone 12 mini, apart from the base model, of course. In addition, Apple still has the iPhone SE (2020) and the iPhone XR as part of the current lineup.

These are the most important innovations of the iPhone 12 generation:

  • Apple A14 SoC
  • 5G connectivity
  • OLED display
  • New camera system
  • MagSafe standard
  • New retro design
  • A mini model!

We invite you to discover more details about the respective models in the following paragraphs. You can also find our detailed reviews of the iPhone 12 series, iPhone XR and iPhone SE in the tables below.

The “normal” ones: iPhone 12 and iPhone XR

NextPit iPhone 12 back
The iPhone 12 is available in numerous colors, including light green / © NextPit

The iPhone 12 is the vanilla model from the current iPhone series and as usual, it offers all of the same features as the Pro models in terms of processor, connectivity, and display. It is only the camera system that comes up short compared to the Pro models. The iPhone 12 lacks the telephoto lens that is found in the two more expensive models.

In addition to the iPhone 12, Apple also offers the iPhone XR (which was released way back in 2018!). It also has a 6.1-inch display and is, at least from the front, very similar to the iPhone 12 at first glance. When one takes a look at the hardware specifications, however, the two-year age gap becomes instantly noticeable: Instead of OLED, there is a LCD screen, you get only 4G connectivity, a single camera, and the A12 SoC that powers the device. 

Do take note that all of these are also noticeable in the price: The iPhone XR is (as of August 2021) approximately $300 cheaper than the iPhone 12.

Comparison: Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone XR

iphone 12 iphone xr

Apple iPhone 12

Available on Apple from $799:

Apple iPhone XR

Available on Apple from $499:

Buy now
Get the iPhone 12 at AT&T

Buy now
Get the iPhone XR at AT&T

Technical data:
6.1-inch OLED display
2532 x 1170 pixels (460 ppi)
64/128/256 GB storage
Apple A14 SoC with 5G
Dual camera system

6.1-inch LCD display
1792 x 828 pixels (326 ppi)
64/128GB storage
Apple A12 SoC with 4G
Single camera system
All about the Apple iPhone 12 All about the Apple iPhone XR

The Pros: iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

NextPit iPhone 12 Pro back
Full specs include a triple camera system. Seen here is the iPhone 12 Pro / © NextPit

In addition to the basic version, there are once again two Pro models in the iPhone 12 generation. The main strength of the two Pro models would be the camera system. Both of them have a triple camera with superior sensors and additional software features, including ProRAW support and night portrait mode. The LiDAR scanner has also been reserved just for the Pro models. Furthermore, both Pro models are also available with larger storage capacities including 512GB.

Between the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the main difference would be the display size. While the iPhone 12 Pro packs the same 6.1-inch display as the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro Max goes for a stately 6.7 inches. For the voyeuristic wildlife photographers folk out there, the Max version still offers a slightly better telephoto camera.

Comparison: iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

iphone 12 pro iphone 12 pro max

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Available on Apple from $999:

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Available on Apple from $1,099:

Buy now
Get the iPhone 12 Pro at AT&T
Buy now
Get the iPhone 12 Pro Max at AT&T

Technical data:
6.1-inch OLED display
2532 x 1170 pixels (460 ppi)
128/256/512 GB storage
Apple A14 SoC with 5G
Triple camera system

6.7-inch OLED display
2778 x 1284 pixels (458 ppi)
128/256/512GB storage
Apple A14 SoC with 5G
Triple camera system
All about the Apple iPhone 12 Pro All about the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

The “little ones”: iPhone 12 mini and iPhone SE (2020)

NextPit iPhone 12 Mini screen
The iPhone 12 mini may be compact, but it doesn’t sacrifice much in terms of features / © NextPit

The second-generation iPhone SE was the first iPhone for 2020 and it had an uncharacteristic launch date for iPhones. Basically, Apple unveiled the mid-range iPhone in the spring on April 24, 2020. The last time there was an iPhone released in spring was way back in 2016, which marked the arrival of the first iPhone SE.

With a recommended retail price of $399 for the most basic model, the iPhone SE (2020) is the cheapest iPhone ever. Technically, it is based on the previous year’s generation; mated to an LCD display and Apple’s A13 SoC. This means there is no 5G support on the iPhone SE (2020).

In October 2020, Apple has finally gave the iPhone 12 series a mini model. Armed with its 5.4-inch display, the iPhone 12 mini lies exactly between the iPhone 12 (6.1-inches) and the current iPhone SE (4.7-inches) in terms of viewing area.

When it comes to technology, however, the mini model is definitely in line with the rest of the iPhone 12 models. Underneath the hood, you will find the same A14 SoC with 5G support, a dual camera behind that is similar to the iPhone 12, and an OLED display that is on par with the other new iPhones. The “mini” suffix therefore only refers to the format, without any compromises in terms of features.

Comparison: iPhone 12 mini and iPhone SE (2020)

iphone 12 mini iphone 12 se (2020)

Apple iPhone 12 mini

Available on Apple from $699:

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Available on Apple from $399:

Buy now
Get the iPhone 12 mini at AT&T
Buy now
Get the iPhone SE (2020) at AT&T

Technical data:
5.4 inch, OLED display
2340 x 1080 pixels (476 ppi)
64/128/256 GB storage
Apple A14 SoC with 5G
Dual camera system

4.7-inch LCD screen
1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi)
64/128/256GB storage
Apple A13 SoC with 4G
Single camera system
All about the Apple iPhone 12 mini All about the Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Upcoming generation: iPhone 13

So what’s next in store for the consumers? Expected to arrive in September 2021, Apple looks set to unveil the iPhone 13 at what will likely be another virtual event. The upcoming iPhone lineup is rumored to consist of the vanilla model, the iPhone 13 mini, and two high-end versions – the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

We don’t expect to see any major changes to the design. With Apple probably looking into improving the camera sensors, we might see the inclusion of new sensors compared to the iPhone 12 generation. And who knows? Apple fans can possibly even look forward to the addition of periscope telephoto lens. You can find out all of the latest rumors surrounding the iPhone 13 in the following article:

iOS 15

It was no surprise when Apple pulled iOS 15 out of the hat at the beginning of June during WWDC. At first glance, the changes seem to be cosmetic at best. For instance, the Safari browser receives a facelift, notifications look different and can be better managed using the help of the Focus feature, with mindfulness being under the spotlight still. 

However, there are leaps and bounds when it comes to innovation in security and privacy issues. Paying iCloud customers can jump right into the “iCloud+” subscription at no extra charge and receive all kinds of additional services, including location and hiding your IP address. And Siri no longer sends voice recordings around the globe, instead of processing these requests locally on the handset itself. Read what else you can look forward to in iOS 15 in the article below:

Previous iPhone models

With which iPhone generation first saw the introduction of Touch ID? When did Apple retire the 3.5mm audio jack? And when did Antenna-gate happen? Join us on a journey through iPhone’s past in a walk down iPhone history:

Apple iPhone: model overview

Year Models Highlights
2021* iPhone 13
iPhone 13 mini
iPhone 13 Pro
iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • not yet unveiled.

iPhone 12

iPhone 12 mini

iPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 12 Pro Max

  • All models offer 5G support
  • All models equipped with OLED displays
  • Magsafe standard introduced
  • First “mini” model
2020 iPhone SE (2020)
  • Relaunched 2016 SE model with an updated version
  • iPhone 8-inspired design with TouchID
  • Shares most of the iPhone 11’s technology, including the SoC

iPhone 11

iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro Max

  • iPhone Pro model revealed for the very first time
  • Ultra wide-angle cameras in all models
  • NightSight night mode included
  • Charger and headphones no longer included with each purchase
2018 iPhone XR
iPhone XS
iPhone XS Max
  • Entire range sports a new design
  • iPhone XS and XS Max sport dual cameras
  • First iPhones to feature the new U1 chip
2017 iPhone X
iPhone 8
iPhone 8 Plus
  • Glass back and wireless charging support
  • iPhone X to feature “borderless” OLED display
  • FaceID replaces TouchID (iPhone X)
  • First iPhones equipped with True Tone display
  • “Bionic” chip used for the first time
2016 iPhone 7
iPhone 7 Plus
  • No more 3.5mm jack port
  • Splashproof certification
  • Dual camera for bokeh (iPhone 7 Plus)
  • A10 Fusion SoC powers the smartphone
2016 iPhone SE
  • The first SE model!
  • Shares design and dimensions from iPhone 5s
  • Mainly includes technology from the iPhone 6s
2015 iPhone 6s
iPhone 6s Plus
  • 3D Touch display
  • 4K video recording supported for the very first time
  • 12-megapixel camera
  • Rose gold color variant
2014 iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
  • One iPhone with two display sizes (4.7- and 5.5-inches)
  • NFC module and Apple Pay (U.S. only)
  • Bend-gate affair
2013 iPhone 5s
iPhone 5c
  • Two iPhone models introduced for the very first time
  • Introduction of Touch ID (on the iPhone 5s only)
  • Slow motion mode & TrueTone flash (iPhone 5s only)
  • iPhone 5c is the iPhone 5s lite: unpopular plastic back armed with iPhone 5 technology
2012 iPhone 5
  • First iPhone released with Lightning port
  • LTE support
  • New “EarPods” included
  • Switched to Nano-SIM
2011 iPhone 4s
  • First iPhone with Siri virtual assistant
  • Better antenna design
  • Full HD video recording
  • Wi-Fi hotspot feature
2010 iPhone 4
  • Completely new design
  • Retina display
  • Selfie camera
  • Antenna-gate (“You’re holding it wrong!”)
2009 iPhone 3GS
  • Better camera (3 megapixels)
  • Improved video recording capability (480p @ 30 fps)
  • Faster CPU (ARM Cortex A8 @ 600 MHz)
  • Integrated compass
2008 iPhone 3G
  • Mobile Internet via UMTS
  • GPS
2007 iPhone
  • The first iPhone!
  • Capacitive touch screen display
  • Introduction of apps and the Apple App Store

*Prediction – Apple probably won’t unveil the iPhone 13 series until September 2021.

Did we leave anything out? Do you have any suggestions or feedback for us? We look forward to your comments!

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