The iPhone 12 has been officially announced and is part of a series of four new iPhones with the same numerical value, competing for space in your pocket.
But if you’re in the market for a new Apple handset, you might want to ignore the iPhone 12 and its siblings and buy the 2019 iPhone 11 instead.
While the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max have been discontinued thanks to the arrival of the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, Apple has deemed the iPhone 11 worthy of being in its stores for at least another year.
That suggests Apple believes it still has something to offer, and I’m inclined to agree. This is why the iPhone 11 could be a better buy for you than the new iPhone 12.
Save yourself some money
Kick off with the easy one. The iPhone 11 is cheaper than the iPhone 12 – ‘wowee John, you really nailed this’, you sarcastically mock. But who wouldn’t want to save some money?
Yes, it is an obvious fact, but one worth noting. The price of the iPhone 11 has dropped with the arrival of the iPhone 12 and the entry-level 64 GB is now priced at $ 599 / £ 599 / AU $ 999.
Not only is that cheaper than the $ 200 / £ 200 iPhone 12, but also less than the handsome new iPhone 12 mini. And if you need more storage, Apple has also lowered the price of the 128 GB and 256 GB Phone 11 variants. Kerching!
The iPhone 12 has a new design! Kind of. Think back to 2010 and the launch of the iPhone 4, and suddenly that iPhone 12 looks less new and more … well, old.
Okay, so Apple has been refining a bit over the past decade and the iPhone 12 has thin bezels and super strong Ceramic Shield glass, just to name a few improvements.
And I’m all for that, but my problem lies with the flat sides of yesteryear.
There’s a good reason you’ll struggle to find another smartphone that opts for this angular design (think Razer phones) – comfort. Handsets with flat sides and angled edges feel thicker in the hand and are usually less comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.
I spoke to OnePlus about its recently released Nord handset and was shown a prototype of what the device could have looked like – and it was actually the iPhone 12. The company didn’t follow that design, however, as it found a more rounded finish. better suited consumers.
Now, I haven’t had a chance to hold the iPhone 12 yet, so Apple may have performed a magic trick to improve comfort, but I’m skeptical. However, the iPhone 11 is nice and round. No problems here.
Beware of the folly of 5G
5G is here! No really. Fair. It’s fast. Super fast in fact. Please believe us. It is the future, but also the present. Carriers and manufacturers like to remind us how great 5G is, and the launch of the iPhone 12 was no different with a section telling us how great it is now.
But those same people have bumped into it for what feels like forever, but I still can’t get 5G reception where I live. My next piece of wisdom: don’t fall for 5G.
If you’re considering the iPhone 12 purely because it supports 5G, stop where you are. Step away from the Apple Store.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for 5G. The possibilities it will be able to offer in the future are fantastically exciting, but it is ‘the future’ share what’s important there.
Sure, it means the iPhone 12 is now pretty future-proof, but when it comes to 5G, you might be waiting a while. Availability of 5G in most countries is still extremely scarce, and while carriers are steadily improving the rollout of the next generation network, it depends a lot on where you live.
There’s a chance you won’t get 5G connectivity where you live for the next year. The wait can even take longer.
So back to my point. Check how 5G coverage is in your area. If it doesn’t exist and you plan to upgrade again in the next 18-24 months, you can save yourself some money with the 4G iPhone 11.
Update, update, update
While the iPhone 11 may not have 5G capabilities, it won’t be outdated anytime soon. Apple’s annual iOS updates are wonderful, especially if you’re used to Android updates.
Updates hit all compatible handsets at the same time, and that compatibility goes back further than you might think.
Apple’s latest major software update, iOS 14, supports all handsets up to 2015 iPhone 6S.
With that in mind, the iPhone 11 has several years of iOS updates ahead of it, so it stays safe and receives new features over the years. It means you don’t have to rush to buy an iPhone 12 if you’re worried about longevity.
Like a blue cheese, the iPhone 11 will get better with age (though hopefully not that smelly).
But the iPhone 12 is actually better than the iPhone 11
Yes, yes, don’t worry. I know. The iPhone 12 is a better device than the 11.
Apple has made numerous improvements, including better cameras, energy efficiency and durability, more power, graphics and pixels, support for MagSafe and 5G, and improved video recording and night modes.
On paper, at least the iPhone 12 looks like a finished device, but is it the right device for you? You may find that the iPhone 11 does everything you want from a smartphone, providing a better experience in some cases.
It’s easy to be tempted by shiny new tech, and for some of you, the new iPhone 12 will be a perfect fit – just make sure you really think about your requirements before parting with your cash.