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iPhone 12 vs iPhone XS: Which Is Actually Better?

Key Takeaways: iPhone 12 vs iPhone XS in 2024

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick summary of the most important points when comparing the iPhone 12 and iPhone XS in 2024:

Key Differences at a Glance:

  • A14 Bionic chip in iPhone 12 offers significant performance boost
  • iPhone 12 features 5G capability, while iPhone XS is 4G
  • Upgraded camera system in iPhone 12 with Night Mode and Deep Fusion
  • iPhone 12 has longer battery life and MagSafe wireless charging

Performance:

  • The A14 Bionic chip in the iPhone 12 is significantly faster than the A12 in the iPhone XS
  • iPhone 12 is better suited for demanding tasks, gaming, and AR

5G Connectivity:

  • iPhone 12 supports 5G networks for faster downloads, lower latency, and improved connectivity
  • iPhone XS is limited to 4G LTE

Cameras:

  • iPhone 12 features a dual 12MP camera system with Night Mode and Deep Fusion for improved low-light performance
  • iPhone XS has a dual 12MP Wide and Telephoto setup, but lacks Night Mode and Ultra Wide lens

Battery and Charging:

  • iPhone 12 offers up to 17 hours of video playback, compared to 14 hours on the iPhone XS
  • iPhone 12 introduces MagSafe wireless charging for more convenient charging

Display:

  • Both have OLED screens, but the iPhone 12 has a larger 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with higher brightness and contrast

Bottom Line:

  • iPhone 12 is worth the upgrade if you prioritize performance, 5G connectivity, advanced camera features, and longer battery life
  • iPhone XS remains a capable and budget-friendly option in 2024, especially if you’re satisfied with its performance

For a more detailed comparison, continue reading the full post below.


iPhone 12 vs iPhone XS: Design and Display

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The iPhone 12 marks a design shift with its flat edges and narrower bezels, reminiscent of the iPhone 4. It uses aluminum and “Ceramic Shield” glass, making it more durable than the iPhone XS. The XS features a stainless steel frame and rounded edges.

Both phones have OLED displays, but the iPhone 12 boasts a larger 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with higher brightness and twice the contrast ratio of the iPhone XS’s 5.8-inch screen.

A14 Bionic Chip

Speed and Performance: The A14 Bionic chip in the iPhone 12 offers a substantial performance upgrade over the A12 in the iPhone XS. The A14 boasts:

  • Up to 50% faster CPU and GPU than other smartphone chips
  • 11.8 billion transistors for enhanced efficiency and performance
  • 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning

While the A12 remains capable, the A14 enables faster app launches, smoother gaming, and better AR experiences.

5G Capability

One of the standout features of the iPhone 12 is 5G support. With 5G networks becoming more prevalent, the iPhone 12 is equipped to take advantage of faster download and upload speeds, lower latency, and enhanced connectivity. The iPhone XS is limited to 4G LTE.

Camera Comparison

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iPhone XS

The iPhone 12 features a dual 12MP camera system with an f/1.6 Wide and an f/2.4 Ultra Wide lens. It introduces Night Mode for improved low-light photography and Deep Fusion for enhanced detail in mid to low-light scenes.

The iPhone XS has a dual 12MP setup with a Wide and Telephoto lens, offering 2x optical zoom. While still capable, it lacks the iPhone 12’s advanced low-light capabilities and Ultra Wide lens.

Battery Life and Charging

The iPhone 12 offers an impressive 17 hours of video playback, compared to 14 hours on the iPhone XS. It also introduces MagSafe, a magnetic wireless charging system that aligns the charger perfectly. The iPhone XS features standard Qi wireless charging.

Price and Availability

As of 2024, the iPhone 12 starts at $799 for 64GB, with 128GB and 256GB options available. The iPhone XS has been discontinued but can be found refurbished for under $400. Both models will receive iOS updates for years to come, but the iPhone 12 will have longer software support.

Conclusion

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While the iPhone XS remains a capable device, the iPhone 12 offers meaningful upgrades in performance, 5G connectivity, camera capabilities, and battery life. However, the iPhone XS is still a great choice for those on a tighter budget.

Consider your needs and priorities when deciding. If 5G, the latest camera features, and maximum performance are important to you, the iPhone 12 is worth the upgrade. But if you’re satisfied with your XS’s performance, it remains a solid choice.

Michael Grothaus

Michael Grothaus is an American author and journalist with a flair for exploring the intersection of technology, creativity, and digital culture. With a background in film, journalism, and creative writing, he brings a unique perspective to the world of mobile technology. His work has been featured in renowned publications like Fast Company, The Guardian, and Engadget. At KnowYourMobile, Michael leverages his extensive knowledge to guide readers through the complexities of mobile devices, helping them make informed choices in the fast-paced tech landscape.

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