In the 1920s, Alfred P. Sloan, then CEO of General Motors, came up with a genius strategy to sell more cars: planned obsolescence. They’d release a new model with new styling each year to convince people they needed a new car.
Ever since it’s been standard practice for companies to release a new product each year. Sometimes, these new products represent genuine engineering upgrades over old models. Other times, they don’t.
Apple is no exception. The new iPhone 12 debuted in October. But, Apple releases so many new phones so quickly, you might be wondering, are iPhones worth it?
Size and Display
The iPhone 12 is significantly smaller than the iPhone 11, although both feature the same 6.1-inch display. Thanks to a flat screen and flat edges, the iPhone 12 has 15% less volume.
Likewise, while the screen is the same size, it is now an OLED screen, rather than an LCD like on the iPhone 11. OLEDs offer better contrast, brighter colors, and deeper blacks. Apple has also upgraded the screen resolution, from 326 PPI to 460 PPI.
The display is built from a more durable type of glass. As a result, the iPhone 12 has 4 times better drop protection.
Speed: Access to 5G Wireless and a Better Processor
Other phone manufacturers have included 5G functionality for a long time now. Finally, Apple has caught up. The iPhone 12 includes multiple bands of 5G, including one of the fastest, mmWave.
In practical terms, that means higher speeds and lower latency. So not only are streaming videos smoother than ever, but there’s less lag for mobile gaming.
Additionally, Apple has configured the phone so that it only uses 5G when you need it, like when downloading a large file. The rest of the time, the phone relies on 4G, which saves battery life (more on that below).
This new 5G performance relies on a new processor, the A14 Bionic, which is Apple’s fastest yet.
The downside to all this is that getting the most out of 5G depends on living somewhere with 5G access. Unless you live in a major city, you might be out of luck.
Battery Life for the iPhone 12
The battery life for the iPhone 12 is about the same as the battery life in the iPhone 11. Considering the new features and increased performance, that is still pretty strong.
The Cost of the iPhone 12
Now here’s the bad news. The new iPhone will set you back $799 if you buy it directly from Apple. If you buy it from your cellphone provider, they might offer a rebate that will bring that price down. Still, it will never be cheap.
On the plus side, parts and repairs are relatively affordable if anything ever breaks down (you can see more here).
If you want the iPhone 12 Pro, it will cost you another $200 for a total of $999. For that money, you get an extra telephoto camera lens, a LIDAR sensor, more RAM, double the base storage, and a stainless steel frame.
Are iPhones Worth It? You Decide
Some people will buy the iPhone 12 either way because it is the new iPhone, and that carries certain clout. But, if you’re asking are iPhones worth it, that probably is not you.
At the end of the day, the iPhone 12 is mostly a marginal upgrade over the iPhone 11. If you have ready access to 5G, or if camera performance is very important to you, it might be worth it. If not, it probably isn’t, depending on how old your phone is.
For more articles on the latest tech, browse some of our other blog posts.