Picking the right iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max storage size is tricky so we want to help you decide between Apple’s cheapest option, middle option, and the most expensive versions of these new devices.
You might be tempted to buy the cheapest version of the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max or the model with the most storage. And while a lot of you will be perfectly fine with one of those models, others will want to buy something in between.
One thing you need to remember is that you will probably end up paying for more storage one way or another. Either you’ll spend the money up front or you’ll wind up paying a monthly fee for additional storage via Apple’s iCloud service.
There are several factors to consider before you settle on one storage size or another and we’ll break down all of the things you need to think about in this guide.
- iPhone 12 Storage Options
- iPhone 12 mini Storage Options
- iPhone 12 Pro Storage Options
- iPhone 12 Pro Max Storage Options
- Pay for Storage Today or Pay Later
- Who Should Buy 64GB?
- Who Should Buy 128GB?
- Who Should Buy the 256GB?
- Who Should Buy the 512GB?
- How to Check Your Current Storage
iPhone 12 Storage Options
Apple offers three iPhone 12 storage options at different price points.
The iPhone 12 starts at 64GB with 128GB and 256GB options available for people who want more space. The 64GB model is the cheapest option while the 256GB model is the most expensive.
If you don’t want to pay full price for your new iPhone, you can save money if you’ve got a smartphone to trade-in. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for other deals as we push through the year.
iPhone 12 mini Storage Options
The smallest model, the iPhone 12 mini, also comes in three sizes: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
iPhone 12 Pro Storage Options
As for the iPhone 12 Pro, there are also three storage options, but they’re a different than Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini options.
The iPhone 12 Pro starts at 128GB instead of 64GB. From there, its storage capacity goes up to 256GB and 512GB.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Storage Options
The largest 2020 iPhone, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, comes in the same sizes as the iPhone 12 Pro: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.
Pay for Storage Today or Pay Later
While you can add additional storage to some Android devices, the iPhone 12 series doesn’t come with a microSD card slot. If you want to add additional storage you’ll need to use iCloud or buy a Lightning-compatible drive.
If you plan to shoot 4K video, download movies or songs, or play games on your new iPhone, you’ll need quite a bit of space.
While 64GB or 128GB might seem like enough, there’s a chance you fill up that space up quickly. At that point you’ll be forced to continuously delete files you no longer need or pay for iCloud storage.
Fortunately, iCloud storage is fairly inexpensive. You can get 50GB of cloud storage for a dollar a month. Here’s how the current pricing breaks down:
- 50GB: $0.99
- 200GB: $2.99
- 2TB: $9.99
Remember, you can share iCloud storage with your family members.
- OFFER INCLUDES: An Apple iPhone and a wireless plan with unlimited data/talk/text
- WIRELESS PLAN: Unlimited talk, text, and data with mobile hotspot, nationwide coverage, and international reach. No long-term contract required.
- PROGRAM DETAILS: When you add this offer to cart, it will reflect 3 items: the iPhone, SIM kit, and carrier subscription
- Ceramic Shield, tougher than any smartphone glass
- A14 Bionic chip, the fastest chip ever in a smartphone
Why You Should Buy the 64GB iPhone 12
The 64GB iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini are the cheapest options and should be considered if you don’t consider yourself as a power user.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to buy a 64GB iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini:
- You stream most of your movies and music.
- You don’t plan to shoot a lot of 4K video.
- You plan to store your photos in iCloud Photo Library or on a computer.
- You come nowhere close to using 64GB of storage on your current phone.
Why You Should Buy the 128GB iPhone 12
If you’re interested in going with the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max, the cheapest option is the 128GB variant.
Apple also sells 128GB versions of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini and, again, they sit between the cheapest and most expensive versions of the two non-Pro models.
Here are some reasons why you should buy the 128GB iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max:
- You like to store some movies, photos, and music locally.
- You plan to shoot some 4K video.
- You’re close to using 64GB of space on your current phone.
- You hate having to occasionally manage the data on your phone.
Why You Should Buy the 256GB iPhone 12
Some of you might want to spend the extra money for the additional 128GB of space, even if it’s for the peace of mind that comes with having a bit more storage to play around with,
Here are a few reasons to buy the 256GB iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max:
- You like to store lots of movies and music locally.
- You need or prefer to keep your photos stored locally.
- You plan to shoot a lot of 4K content.
- You’re close to using 128GB of space on your current phone.
- You can’t stand having to constantly manage the data on your phone.
The 256GB model is an excellent middle-of-the-road option that can work with or without iCloud.
Why You Should Buy the 512GB iPhone 12
The expensive 512GB iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models are solid options for those that want, or need, a ton of local storage.
It should provide enough space for photography buffs, avid gamers, and those who plan to tackle school or work projects while on-the-go.
Unless you’re already using well over 256GB or don’t use the cloud, you probably don’t need this much storage. Here’s who we think should buy one of these models:
- You’re an extreme power user.
- You’re planning to use the iPhone as a professional creative.
- You’re a photo buff who doesn’t want to use iCloud.
- You’re someone who travels often and wants everything store locally.
How to Check Your Current Storage
Before you pick one of these, you should check your current storage because you’ll be able to gather some great insight into your habits. Here’s how to do this:
- Tap on your Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on iPhone Storage.
This will show you how much free storage you currently have and how much you are using. It’ll also tell you exactly what’s taking up the most storage. For many of you, it’ll be photos and videos, apps, and messages.
If your current device is around a year old, you should still have around 50% of your storage left. If you are within 10-15% of its capacity, you probably need more storage.
If you’re using iCloud, you should also check on your iCloud storage usage:
- Open Settings.
- Tap on your Name at the top of the screen.
- Tap on iCloud.
This screen shows your iCloud storage use and your current plan. If you tap on Manage Storage you’ll get a better breakdown of how you use cloud storage.
Install iOS 14.6 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.6 right away.
iOS 14.6 brings 38 important security patches to the iPhone. If you're curious about the particulars, you can read about them right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you get the update's two security patches on board. You can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit.
If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.
iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.
If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.6. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.6. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.6 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.6 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
Last update on 2020-12-15. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.