iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12: Differences, Features, Specs, Price and More

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Apple today announced a plethora of new products, but one of the major updates was again the company’s smartphone, with an all-new iPhone 13 line up now available.

What are the differences between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12? Let’s check them out below…


The iPhone 13 comes in five new colours: Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink, and (PRODUCT)RED. Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 comes in six colours: Purple, Blue, Green, (PRODUCT)RED, White and Black.


Apple slashed the price of its iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini after announcing the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini. So the iPhone 12 lineup is $180 cheaper in Canada (starting at $949 CAD), compared to the newer models in 2021, now starting at $1099 CAD.

Display and Cameras

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 share the same 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, with the same 2532-by-1170-pixel resolution at 460 ppi, along with True Tone, Wide colour.

But iPhone 13 has 800 nits max brightness, while iPhone 12 only has 625 nits, while both retain 1200 nits brightness in HDR.

Both phones have Wide and Ultra Wide cameras on the rear. Except iPhone 13 cameras are now placed diagonally (#muchwow), and can now record using a new Cinematic mode in 1080p at 30fps.

The Wide camera is all-new on iPhone 13 to allow for 47% more light, thanks to a 1.7 micron sensor to capture more light. The Ultra Wide camera also captures darker areas better on iPhone 13 says Apple.

New for iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini this year are Photographic Styles (for front and rear cameras), while Smart HDR 4 is available for photos.

iPhone 13 also gets sensor-shift optical image stabilization for better low light photos, a feature from iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Everything else remains the same when it comes to cameras specs for iPhone 13 versus iPhone 12.

Face ID and the Notch

iPhone 13 has a 20% smaller Face ID notch versus iPhone 12. This means more display and less annoying notch.

Networking, CPU and Battery Life

Both iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 retain 5G networking, but Apple says more support for 5G is coming in its 2021 models. iPhone 13 uses the A15 Bionic chip versus the A14 Bionic in the iPhone 12. Apple says the A15 is “faster than the competition”.

Battery life is now improved in iPhone 13 versus iPhone 12, with the 2021 phone getting 19 hours of video playback versus 17 hours in last year’s phone, a 2 hour increase.

Water Resistance and MagSafe

Both iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 are water-resistant to a depth of 6 metres for up to 30 minutes. Both phones are rated IP68 (maximum depth of 6 metres up to 30 minutes) under IEC standard 60529.

Both include MagSafe again to support accessories and wireless chargers.


iPhone 13 gets a new 128GB entry option and higher 512GB capacity. iPhone 12 starts at 64GB, 128GB and 256GB only.

SIM Card

iPhone 13 this year supports Dual eSIM, while that is not available on iPhone 12.


iPhone 13 has a slightly thicker depth at 7.65mm (0.30 inch) versus 7.4mm (0.29 inch) for iPhone 12.

When it comes to weight, iPhone 13 is also slightly heavier at 173 grams versus 162 grams for iPhone 12, a 10 gram difference, likely due to the bigger battery in the 2021 model.

iPhone 13 mini weighs in at 140 grams, a 7 gram increase over the iPhone 12 mini at 133 grams.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12: Which One Should You Buy?

If you have an iPhone 12, upgrading to the iPhone 13 doesn’t make sense, as the changes aren’t huge by any means. If you have an iPhone 11, the changes aren’t even that huge either.

If you have an iPhone X or older, jumping to the iPhone 13 would bring some nice camera and battery life upgrades. But the iPhone 12 is now cheaper after a price drop from Apple. You’ll have to take a look at your budget and see what you can afford. But it seems if you’re okay using iPhone models that are at least 1-2 years old, you can save money.

Click here to learn more about iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini on Apple.ca. Pre-orders start this Friday, September 17 at 5am PDT in Canada, with a launch one week later on September 24.