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iPhone 12 series buying guide: Which is the best iPhone for you, which has best camera and other key details

This time Apple has launched four iPhones. These are the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Which is the best iPhone 12 for you? We explain in this buying guide.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | October 22, 2020 | Updated 18:39 IST
Each iPhone 12 series has something that the other phones in the series lack.

Highlights

  • There are four phones in the iPhone 12 series.
  • The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro max are targeted at different users.
  • Each iPhone 12 series has something that the other phones in the series lack.

Long ago choosing which iPhone to buy used to be easier. There was only one iPhone in the year. Then, the two iPhones became the norm as Apple launched an iPhone with a regular screen and one with a bigger screen. Then more iPhones were added in the mix. This time, and for the first time, Apple has launched four iPhones that are part of the same series. These are the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. So, in case you are a little confused about which iPhone to buy this year, here is your handy iPhone 12 series buying guide.

All right, before we move to the iPhones and highlight each one, with its strong points and weaknesses, a quick summary of the prices of the iPhone 12. And the dates when they are going on sale.

-- iPhone 12 mini is the most affordable of the lot. The price of the iPhone 12 mini in India starts from Rs 69,900.

-- The iPhone 12 price in India starts from Rs 79,900.

-- The iPhone 12 Pro price in India starts from Rs 1,19,900. Yes, it is expensive.

-- The iPhone 12 Pro Max price in India starts from Rs 1,29,900.

-- The iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro go on pre-order in India from October 23. They will be on sale from October 30.

-- The iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max go on pre-order in India from November 6, and they will be on sale from November 13.

One more point here. From pricing, it seems that Apple expects most people to choose either the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro are there to meet some very specific needs of consumers.

iPhone 12 vs iPhone mini vs iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro Max

Let's keep it breezy and start with what is common to all phones. All 12 series phones come with the same A14 Bionic processor, although it is entirely possible that the iPhone 12 Pro Max may end up being fastest in benchmarks because its bigger size gives it more thermal headroom to run the chip at full throttle. And for the same reasons, which are thermal constraints due to smaller body, the iPhone 12 mini may score a few points lower in benchmarks. However, A14 Bionic is an extremely fast processor so users are not going to notice a difference in the performance of iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The other bits that are common: the design is common. The front camera in all four phones is the same. All four have OLED panels. All four have wireless charging at the same speed. All four support 5G. All four have a ceramic layer on the screen.

Now, the differences: The major are in the size of the phones, the screen resolutions, the battery capacity, and the camera hardware. What all this means is for some other day, but in this buying guide, we are going to put some easy-takeaways.

-- The iPhone 12 mini is going to be liked by people who want a small phone with premium hardware. With its 5.4-inch screen, this is the most high-end "small" phone to buy in India. It will also appeal to users who just want the latest iPhone 12 and don't want to spend an extra Rs 10,000 on any other phone. Basically, the iPhone 12 mini is the phone for those who miss the size of something like iPhone 4 or even iPhone 8, and want a powerful, fast and small phone.

-- iPhone 12 is the iPhone that most people should buy this year as far as the Series 12 is concerned. It is the perfect mix of great hardware, good feature-set and affordable price in context of an iPhone 12 series phone. It's 6.1-inch screen is going to be more than good enough. It's size is neither big, nor large. It's battery life, we expect, is going to be neither too long nor too short.

Compared to the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 has everything but in a slightly bigger body.

Compared to the iPhone 12 Pro, there are four major differences. The iPhone 12 Pro has one extra camera a zoom camera with 52mm telephoto lens and LiDAR, which helps the iPhone 12 Pro focus better in low light. Then there is the weight. The iPhone 12 is lighter at 162 grams, while the iPhone 12 Pro weighs 187 grams. And finally, the price. The iPhone 12 costs Rs 40,000 less than the iPhone 12 Pro. You also get to record Dolby Vision video with 60FPS in the pro iPhone compared to 30FPS on the iPhone 12.

The performance between the two phones is going to be the same. In other words, with the iPhone 12 the only meaningful feature you don't get compared to the iPhone 12 Pro is the zoom camera. That alone is not worth paying Rs 40,000.

So, for most people, the iPhone 12 is the iPhone to buy this year.

What about the iPhone 12 Pro Max?

Before we answer this, let's deal with the iPhone 12 Pro. There is (almost) no reason to buy the iPhone 12 Pro in India. Either you buy the iPhone 12. Or you should get the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The only and this is a very narrow reason to buy the iPhone 12 Pro is if you hate the size and weight of the iPhone 12 Pro Max and you still want to brag that you have a "pro" iPhone.

This brings us to the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This is the best iPhone Apple has made this year, although it comes at a cost, and we are not just talking of the price.

Compared to the iPhone 12 Pro, the Max variant has a bigger 6.7-inch screen, and consequently a bigger battery. It has a 12-megapixel main camera that uses a different image sensor, a larger image sensor with pixel size of 1.7 micron, compared to the main 12-megapixel camera sensor in the other three iPhone 12 series phones. It also has a new 65mm lens in its telephoto camera, so effectively a bigger zoom of 2.5X.

The iPhone 12 Max is likely to offer users the best camera performance, and the best battery performance, when compared to other iPhone 12 series phones. The cost of this is: A price of Rs 1,29,900, the weight of 226 grams and a phone that is fairly broad. But if you want the absolute best iPhone 12, the cost is worth it.

So, to recap:

The lightest and smallest iPhone 12 to buy: The iPhone 12 mini

The best value iPhone 12 to buy: The iPhone 12.

The best iPhone 12 series phone: The iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The iPhone 12 with best battery life: The iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The iPhone 12 with best camera: The iPhone 12 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 buying guide

Okay, here is a summary. If you are in doubt, or just want a mighty good phone, go for the iPhone 12. For 90 per cent users, it is more than good enough.

If you take photography very seriously and can spend more, get the iPhone 12 Pro Max. If you record videos for living, and can spend more, get the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

If you absolutely cannot stand the large phones, and dream of smaller iPhone 4 or the iPhone 7 every night, get the iPhone 12 mini.

And if you are itching to spend an extra Rs 40,000, buy the iPhone 12 Pro.

This is as simple as it gets, don't bother too much with specs and all.

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