The iPhone 12 is impressive. 

Some of its new features may sound evolutionary, but they hit all the right spots. The iPhone 12 has a new super-hard glass, a new design that makes it more compact and lighter than before, a new Super Retina XDR display, a super-fast A14 processor, 5G, improved cameras on all fronts, and MagSafe tech that opens up a bunch of new possibilities. (Check out our overview of all the new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini here.)

But at $799, the iPhone 12 is also more expensive than the iPhone 11 was at launch, and that’s a bit of a disappointment. 

The iPhone 11 was a massive change in Apple’s strategy. For the first time, the Cupertino-based company positioned its mid-tier model as the front-and-center iPhone, giving it nearly all the important features of the Pro models, and all at the very cool price point of $699. 

The iPhone 11’s direct successor, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, costs one hundred dollars more, starting at $799. Yes, the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini does start at $699… but that’s a different device. Not only is its display significantly smaller (and has a slightly lower resolution), it also has significantly less battery life (as advertised by Apple). 

On the left: iPhone 12 mini. On the right, iPhone 12. Note that the iPhone 11 has roughly the same advertised battery life as the iPhone 12.

Note that a fairly early rumor predicted the new lineup would start at a lower price, with the iPhone 12 mini coming in at $649 and the iPhone 12 at $749. Perhaps Apple changed its mind about the pricing, or perhaps the rumor was inaccurate all along. But it felt just right; this new iPhone 12 pricing is a price hike, plain and simple. 

It’s an interesting gamble by Apple. The company extended its lineup as it never has before, launching four new flagship phones at once. If you add older models into the mix, prospective iPhone buyers have never had so much choice. 

Choices.

Choices.

And yes, you can still get a brand new flagship iPhone for $699…but that amount of money gets you the tiny iPhone 12 mini, a model that not everyone will fancy. The value seeker in me is experiencing mixed emotions here. 

With the launch of the iPhone 12, Apple has left the iPhone 11 in its lineup (see photo above) at a reduced price, making it a really interesting choice for anyone looking to get a new iPhone. For $599, you get an older phone that’s still faster than most other rival handsets, looks fairly similar to the $799 iPhone 12, and also has a dual rear camera. Yes, the iPhone 12 is a pretty big leap ahead, but the iPhone 11 is still a very capable device, and $599 is quite reasonable. 

So there you have it: If you’re looking for a new iPhone on a tight budget and the 5.4-inch display is too small for you, then the iPhone 11 might actually be the best bang-for-your-buck option. 

Sorry, iPhone 12. 



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