iPhone 12 specs vs. iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone X: What’s new and what’s changed since 2017

Patrick Holland/CNET

Of the four iPhones launched in October, the iPhone 12 is equipped to suit most people. It’s also one of our highest-rated phones ever. Starting at $799 (£799, AU$1,349), the iPhone 12 boasts a bunch of brand-new, buzzy features like 5G, a stronger ceramic-glass display and a revamped design that includes flattened edges and embedded magnets. Those magnets allow users to attach an array of magnetic accessories, including Apple’s wireless MagSafe charger and leather cardholders.

Perhaps the last time Apple made a comparable level of changes to its iPhones was in 2017, when it unveiled the iPhone X. Back then, Apple CEO Tim Cook called it, “The biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.” For that iPhone, Apple did away with its predecessors’ chunky bezels and physical home button, setting a new design standard for iPhones going forward. Although Apple has since discontinued the iPhone X, refurbished devices are still be available at third-party retailers. 

Apple’s follow-up to the iPhone X was the iPhone XS (which is also discontinued, but available outside of Apple) and the best-selling iPhone XR, both of which were unveiled in 2018. Of the two, the iPhone XR is the more affordable option, delivering most of the high-end iPhone experience with a few compromises (it has an LCD screen instead of an OLED display, for example). Apple still sells the iPhone XR new and as expected, it has dropped its price. It now starts at $499 (£499, AU$849) for 64GB and $549 (£549, AU$929) for 128GB. 

The big differences between the iPhone 12 compared to these three predecessors are its new features, like 5G connectivity and MagSafe. As always, Apple made upgrades to core specs like the processor and camera hardware. It also runs the latest iOS 14 out of the box, though the other iPhones are compatible with the update. For a…