The iPhone 14 offers some impressive upgrades over its predecessor, the iPhone 12. But are these upgrades significant enough to justify the price difference? In this article, we’ll delve into the advancements made in the iPhone 14 and compare them to the iPhone 12 to help you decide between the two.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 14: Specs comparison table

FeatureiPhone 12iPhone 14
Release dateOctober 2020September 2022
DesignAerospace-grade aluminum frame, Ceramic Shield front, glass back, flat-edge designAerospace-grade aluminum frame, Ceramic Shield front, glass back, refined flat-edge design
Dimensions5.78 x 2.81 x 0.29 in
146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm
5.78 x 2.82 x 0.31 in
146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8 mm
Weight5.78 oz
164 g
6.07 oz
172 g
Display6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, 1170 x 2532 pixels6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, 1170 x 2532 pixels
ProcessorA14 Bionic chip with 4-core GPUA15 Bionic chip with 5-core GPU
Rear camerasDual-lens: 12MP Wide + 12MP UltrawideDual-lens: 12MP Wide + 12MP Ultrawide
Front camera12MP TrueDepth12MP TrueDepth with autofocus
Battery lifeUp to 17 hours video playbackUp to 20 hours of video playback
Storage options64GB, 128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Water resistanceIP68 (up to 6 meters for 30 minutes)IP68 (up to 6 meters for 30 minutes)
Special featuresMagSafe, Ceramic Shield frontCrash Detection, Emergency SOS via Satellite, Action Mode (video stabilization)
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.05G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3
Max OS compatibilityiOS 17iOS 17
ColorsBlack, white, (PRODUCT)RED, green, blue, purpleMidnight, starlight, (PRODUCT)RED, blue, purple, yellow
Price (new)Starts at Starts at
Price (refurbished)Starts at Starts at

Reasons to choose the iPhone 12

  • It’s significantly cheaper than the iPhone 14.
  • It has a smaller notch.
  • It offers powerful performance for everyday use.
  • It has a very similar design to the iPhone 14.
  • Highly capable dual-camera system for quality photos and videos.
  • You’ll still get several years of Apple software support.
  • Supports 5G connectivity for fast internet speeds.

Reasons to choose the iPhone 14

  • Improved camera features, including sensor-shift stabilization.
  • Base storage starts at 128GB, providing more space for content.
  • The battery lasts longer.
  • It includes safety features like Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via satellite.
  • It has a slightly faster processor.
  • Updated connectivity with Bluetooth 5.3 for better accessory compatibility.
  • It will likely get software updates for a longer time.

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 14: What are the differences?

Let’s have a look at the differences between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 14 in detail.


At first glance, you might struggle to differentiate between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14. Apple stuck with its successful flat-edged design language introduced with the iPhone 12. Both models boast nearly identical dimensions, with the iPhone 14 being ever so slightly thicker and heavier.

They both feature a durable Ceramic Shield front, an aerospace-grade aluminum frame, and a sleek glass back. You’ll find the same button placements and IP68 water resistance rating on both devices.

Color options are where you’ll see some variation. The iPhone 12 comes in black, white, (PRODUCT)RED, green, blue, and purple, while the iPhone 14 comes in midnight, starlight, (PRODUCT)RED, blue, purple, and yellow.

Blue iPhone 12
Blue iPhone 12


Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 feature gorgeous 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED displays with similar specifications. They deliver the same resolution, pixel density, HDR support, True Tone technology, and wide color gamut (P3) for vibrant and accurate visuals.

The display technology also incorporates Apple’s True Tone technology, which adjusts the screen’s color temperature based on the ambient light, making for a more comfortable viewing experience in different lighting conditions. Haptic Touch is supported on both models, providing tactile feedback to touch inputs, which enhances the user interaction with the device.

Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 have a typical brightness of up to 800 nits, which can go up to 1200 nits for HDR content. This ensures that the display remains visible even in bright sunlight.


Apple’s A-series chips are known for their power, and both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 deliver excellent performance. However, the iPhone 14 pulls ahead slightly with its A15 Bionic chip.

This chip features a slight improvement in CPU and graphics performance over the iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic, and it also contributes to better battery life and management, even under heavy usage.

This difference will be negligible for everyday tasks. Both phones handle web browsing, social media, productivity apps, and even many demanding 3D games with ease. Where the iPhone 14’s A15 might shine is in more intensive tasks like video editing or augmented reality applications.

Additionally, the iPhone 14 has 6GB of RAM compared to the iPhone 12’s 4GB, providing a smoother multitasking experience.


The iPhone 14 retains the dual 12MP camera configuration but introduces significant enhancements, especially in the main wide camera.

It features a larger sensor with sensor-shift optical image stabilization, a technology initially introduced in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which significantly improves photo and video stability and low-light performance.

👉 Related: iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: Which One to Choose

The ultrawide camera remains similar in specification but benefits from the overall improvements in the image processing algorithms.

Taking a picture with an iPhone 14
iPhone 14 camera

If you’re truly prioritizing photography and videography, the iPhone 14 brings some significant enhancements to the table:

  • Improved low-light performance with Photonic Engine: Apple’s Photonic Engine significantly improves image quality in low-light environments across all the iPhone 14’s cameras. This means better detail, reduced noise, and more vibrant colors in photos and videos captured in challenging lighting.
  • Autofocus for sharper selfies and video calls: The front-facing camera on the iPhone 14 now features autofocus, a welcome upgrade. You’ll see noticeably sharper selfies and more consistent focus during video calls.
  • Smooth action with Action Mode: The iPhone 14’s new video stabilization mode is designed to capture super steady footage, even if you’re running alongside your subject. It’s perfect for action shots or videos where a traditional gimbal would be impractical.
  • Still great photos in good lighting. While the iPhone 14 shines in low-light conditions, it still captures gorgeous, detail-rich photos and videos in good lighting conditions, much like the iPhone 12.

Battery life and charging

The iPhone 14 boasts improved battery life compared to the iPhone 12. Apple claims up to 20 hours of video playback on the iPhone 14, compared to 17 hours on the iPhone 12.

This means a bit more longevity throughout your day, potentially letting you squeeze in extra usage time before needing a recharge.

In terms of charging, both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 support:

  • Fast-wired charging: Up to 50% of the battery can be charged in approximately 30 minutes with a 20W or higher power adapter (sold separately).
  • MagSafe wireless charging: Up to 15W of power with a compatible MagSafe charger.
  • Qi wireless charging: Up to 7.5W on compatible Qi wireless chargers.

👉 Related: 8 Best MagSafe Accessories for Your iPhone in 2024


The iPhone 14 delivers notable improvements over the iPhone 12, particularly with its camera upgrades, enhanced battery life, and unique safety features.

However, the iPhone 12 remains a powerful device with excellent performance and a great camera system.

Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your budget and whether those extra iPhone 14 features are worth the additional cost.

If you’re looking for the best possible value, browse our selection of refurbished iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 models on RefurbMe in real time here. 👇

We compare prices from reputable sellers, helping you find the perfect iPhone at the right price, all of them with a warranty.

Happy shopping! 🛍️

Explore more reviews 👇