iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 13: which is worth buying in 2024?

by Vanessa Ricca, on Mar 5, 2024

In 2021, Apple introduced its new model, the iPhone 13, knocking the popular and iconic iPhone 12 off its perch. The new features? Improved rear cameras, longer battery life, A15 Bionic chip, and other interesting aspects. In 2024, both models are still best-sellers on refurbed, thanks to their exceptional value for money. But let's delve into the similarities and differences between the two devices to figure out which one makes more sense to purchase this year.

iPhone 12 and 13 compared: which model makes more sense to purchase in 2024?

iPhone 12 and 13 compared: which model makes more sense to purchase in 2024?

iPhone 12 or iPhone 13? That is the question.

What are the substantial differences between iPhone 12 and iPhone 13? Is it worth opting for the latest version or do these Apple predecessors still offer competitive value? We take a closer look at the features, specs, and improvements that distinguish the iPhone 12 from the iPhone 13, to help you dispel any doubts and guide you towards a more informed choice when purchasing your next refurbished iPhone.

Design and colours: differences and similarities

The first noticeable difference between the two models lies in the layout of the rear cameras. While on the iPhone 12 the two cameras are vertically positioned (as was already the case with the iPhone 11), the iPhone 13 introduces a design with the dual camera arranged diagonally.

In terms of dimensions, the screen remains identical, with a 6.1-inch diagonal for both models. The same goes for materials and finishes. What differs, however, are the dimensions of the notch, which in the case of the iPhone 13 have been reduced by 20% compared to those of the iPhone 12.

Another difference lies in the weight: 162 grams for the 12, compared to 174 grams for the 13.

The iPhone 13 also has a slightly larger thickness with at 7.65 mm (it's 7.4 mm for the iPhone 12).

Lastly, let's look at the list of different colours in which the two models are available:

iPhone 12
  • Black
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Red
iPhone 13
  • Blue
  • Pink
  • Black
  • Green
  • Red
  • White

To take a look at all the colours and configurations, visit our product pages: iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.


The iPhone 13 introduces new display features: while the iPhone 12's screen was already the brightest ever, the iPhone 13's brightness increases by 28%. Thanks to this improvement, you get better readability, even outdoors.

In terms of similarities, both have a resolution of 2532×1170 pixels with a pixel density of 460 ppi.


From a hardware perspective, the iPhone 13 with its A15 Bionic and 5-core GPU offers superior performance compared to the iPhone 12's A14 Bionic and 4-core GPU. The frequency of the processor has also been improved in the latest model. However, if you use it normally in your everyday life, you might not notice a significant difference. Thus, the iPhone 12 might be the better choice for you, if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option among Apple' s smartphones.


As we mentioned, the iPhone 13 weighs a few grams more than the 12. This is because it integrates a slightly larger battery. While the iPhone 12's battery promises a 17-hour video playback duration, the subsequent model's battery lasts up to 19 hours under the same conditions.

The difference is not significant and here, too, you might want to reflect personally to understand whether the price difference makes sense for your daily needs.


On the camera front, the iPhone 13 did not introduce substantial changes compared to the previous model. On both models, we find a dual-camera system (with a change in layout from vertical to diagonal) with:

  • 12 Megapixels
  • Wide-angle: 12MP, ƒ/1.6
  • Ultra-wide-angle: 12MP, ƒ/2.4
  • Optical zoom 0.5x, 1x

So what's different about the iPhone 13's camera compared to the iPhone 12's? The novelty of the iPhone 13's camera lies in the "Photographic Styles" function, which allows you to take photos according to four different presets: Vibrant, Rich Contrast, Warm, or Cool.

As for videos, the innovation of the iPhone 13 comes with the Cinema mode: designed to record videos with a reduced depth of field and add sensational focus transitions for a cinematic look. Ideal if you like creating professional-level video content.


Launch price

The launch price on the market (in 2020 for the iPhone 12 and in 2021 for the iPhone 13) was the same for both models: * *upon release in Ireland, these could be purchased in the Apple Store for €929**.

New price

Today, at the beginning of 2024, the price of a new iPhone 12 is around €539, while the new iPhone 13 is purchasable for €759 on the official website, with not too substantial a difference from the more recent 14 and 15 models. So, is it worth buying new?

Refurbished price

The cheaper and safer alternative is certainly the refurbished version.

On refurbed, for the same quality, you can find the refurbished iPhone 12 from about €280, while the refurbished iPhone 13 is almost half the price of the new one, as on refurbed it is around €450 (even less, if you use a discount code or if you choose a lower aesthetic grade).

In conclusion: is it better to buy an iPhone 12 or an iPhone 13 in 2024?

In summary, choosing between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13 depends on your personal needs and priorities. While the iPhone 13 offers you hardware improvements and new camera features, the iPhone 12 continues to be a solid choice with reliable performance and a recognised design. If you're a regular user of Apple devices and are looking for the latest upgraded technologies while staying under €500, the iPhone 13 might be the most enticing option. However, if you're looking for a refurbished Apple device at even lower prices (under €300), then the best choice for you is the iPhone 12. Ultimately, evaluate the features, budget, and your personal needs before making a decision.

And if you're still unsure, delve deeper into the topic by reading our related article: * *Does it make sense to buy an iPhone 13 in 2024?**

Or, contact us and we'll help you find the refurbished iPhone model that's right for you.

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