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iPhone 15 vs iPhone 12: which is best for you?

Comparing a familiar Apple favorite to the new model

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on April 15, 2024
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Welcome to the iPhone 15 vs iPhone 12 round-up. Apple enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the next big thing in smartphones. With the recent announcement of the iPhone 15 at the Apple Wonderlust event, many are wondering if it’s worth upgrading from their iPhone 12

In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between the two models to help you make an informed decision about whether the iPhone 15 or iPhone 12 is the right choice for you.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 12: introduction

The iPhone 12 was released a few years back. This means the brand new iPhone 15 has come on leaps and bounds, but the updated new specifications might not be for everyone. In this guide, we’re going over a few of the updated features of the new model, so you can work out if it is right for you.

Remember, we’ve got a comparison of the new iPhone 15 to the iPhone 13, if that’s more your thing. Plus, we’ve compared the iPhone 14 to the iPhone 15, in case you need to choose between the newer models.

The Switch to USB-C

One notable change in the iPhone 15 is the switch from the Lightning port charging solution to USB-C. Apple has been pushed to make this change due to new EU regulations. While USB-C offers faster data transfer and more convenience, it may not be a game-changer if you’ve been using Lightning cables for years. However, the iPhone 15’s USB-C port does support reverse charging, allowing you to top up your AirPods directly from the phone. There will also be wireless charging via MagSafe. 

Dynamic Island: A New User Interface

Dynamic Island, introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, replaces the iconic notch on the iPhone screen. Last year, this feature was exclusive to the Pro lineup, but now it’s making its way to the standard models, including the iPhone 15. Dynamic Island provides a small area on the screen for surface-level information, such as the currently playing song or the charging status of the device. There will also be thinner bezels.

There’s 2000 nits peak brightness, which is an improvement on the 1200 nits of the iPhone 12.

Enhanced Camera Capabilities

One of the standout features of the Apple iPhone 15 is its upgraded camera system and range of photographic styles. The device boasts a brand-new 48-megapixel main sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. It also includes 4K Cinematic Mode, TrueDepth’s depth control in the front camera, and Smart HDR support. There’s also fantastic night mode portraits. It also can create ‘next-generation portraits’ where a regular photo can be changed to a portrait after it’s been taken. 

In comparison, the iPhone 12 offers two 12-megapixel sensors on the rear, with one having ultra-wide capabilities. 

If you prioritize a premium camera experience, the iPhone 15’s higher megapixel count and updated AI capabilities will provide a better result.

Both come with face detection. 

A16 Bionic Chip vs A14 Bionic

Apple has opted to use the same chip in the iPhone 15 as in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. The A16 Bionic chipset, built on a 4nm process node and boasting 16 billion transistors, features a 6-core CPU and a 4-core GPU. 

On the other hand, the iPhone 12 is equipped with the A14 Bionic chip, which is built on a 5nm process node and has 11.8 billion transistors. The A16 Bionic chip offers overall better performance, making it a great choice for gaming, multitasking, and resource-intensive tasks.


The iPhone 12 is definitely less expensive compared to the iPhone 15. The pricing of the iPhone 12 starts from $599, while the pricing of the standard iPhone 15 starts from $799. So, it all depends on what you want. If you are looking for a more affordable iPhone option, the iPhone 12 would be the ideal pick. On the other hand, if you are more concerned about performance and do not care about price, the iPhone 15 would be a better pick.

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max

If you’re considering an upgrade from the standard iPhone 12 to the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, the improvements will be even more significant. These top-of-the-line devices are the only ones to feature the new A17 Pro Bionic processor. With a new design and impressive performance enhancements, including 10% faster mobile CPUs and a neural engine that is twice as fast, the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Pro models are perfect for users who demand the best. They also feature far higher storage and generally better battery life. 

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 12: Specs

So, those are some of the new features of the iPhone 15. But how do the actual specs measure up to the iPhone 12? We’ve done a round-up of the specs so you don’t have to trawl online for more information.

SpecificationiPhone 12iPhone 15
Display Resolution1170 x 2532 pixels1179 x 2556 pixels
Storage64 GB, 128GB, 256GB128 GB, 256GB, 512GB
CPU Clock Speed3.1 GHz3.46 GHz
Rear Camera12 MP + 12 MP Dual48 MP + 12 MP Dual
Weight164 g171 g
Thickness7.4 mm7.8 mm
Size5.78 x 2.82 inches5.81 x 2.82 inches
Display TypeSuper Retina Color XDR OLED (16M Colors)Super Retina XDR OLED (1B Colors)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
BluetoothBluetooth v5.0Bluetooth v5.3
USBLightning CableUSB-C v2.0
Front Camera12 MP f/2.2 with Retina Flash12 MP f/1.9 with Retina Flash
OSiOS v14iOS v17
ChipsetApple Bionic A14Apple Bionic A16
CPU3.1 GHz, Hexa Core3.46 GHz, Hexa Core
Battery80 hours music playback timeNot specified
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 12 specs


The iPhone 15 offers several noteworthy upgrades over the iPhone 12. The switch from Lightning to USB-C, the introduction of Dynamic Island, the enhanced camera capabilities, and the improved A16 Bionic chip all contribute to a more powerful and feature-rich device. Whether these upgrades are worth the investment depends on your personal preferences and usage requirements. If you’re looking for the latest technology and a superior user experience, the iPhone 15 is definitely worth considering.

Remember to weigh the pros and cons, prioritize your needs, and make an informed decision based on your budget and preferences. Regardless of your choice, both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 15 are excellent smartphones that will provide a great user experience.

As a tech and AI writer for PC Guide, Gloria is interested in what new technology means for the future of consumer electronics and digital and broadcast journalism.