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, a middle-of-the-road option, or the most expensive version of the iPhone 12.
You might be tempted to buy the cheapest 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 variants, 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 the 64GB iPhone 12?
- Who Should Buy the 128GB iPhone 12?
- Who Should Buy the 256GB iPhone 12?
- Who Should Buy the 512GB iPhone 12?
- How to Check Your Current Storage
iPhone 12 Storage Options
There are 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’s 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, the iPhone 12 Pro’s storage capacity goes up to 256GB and 512GB.
Apple no longer sells new iPhone 12 Pro models on its website so you’ll need to track it down at another retailer or carrier.
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. Like the iPhone 12 Pro, Apple no longer sells brand new iPhone 12 Pro Max models on its website.
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.
Why You Should Buy the 64GB iPhone 12
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
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 15.6.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, you'll want to think about installing Apple's iOS 15.6.1 update right away.
iOS 15.6.1 has two security patches on board. They are essential if you want to keep your device and its data protected. You can read more about the pair on Apple's website.
If you missed Apple's iOS 15.6 update, it had 30+ security upgrades on board. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed iOS 15.5 it brought 27 new security patches to the iPhone. You can learn more about these patches over on Apple's security site.
If you missed iOS 15.4.1, it had one new security patch on board. You can read more about it over on Apple's website.
If you missed the iOS 15.4 update, it had a whopping 36 new security patches on board. If you want to learn more about these patches, head on over to Apple's security site for the particulars.
If you missed iOS 15.3.1, it had one security patch on board. For more about it, head over to Apple's security page.
If you missed iOS 15.3, you'll also get its patches with your upgrade. iOS 15.3 brought 10 new security patches to iPhone users. If you're interested in the details, you can read more about them right here.
If you missed iOS 15.2.1, you'll get its security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about the change over on Apple's website.
If you missed Apple's iOS 15.2 update, you'll get its 30+ security patches with your upgrade. You can read all about them over on the company's security site.
iOS 15.2 also included some important upgrades to privacy. The software brought the company's App Privacy Report to Settings. This lets you see how often your apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and more during the last seven days. You can also see their network activity.
In addition, iOS 15.2 brought Apple's communication safety features for kids. You'll find these features in the Messages app, in Siri, in Spotlight, and in Search.
If you missed iOS 15.1, iOS 15.6.1 will bring its security patches to your iPhone. You can read more about them on Apple's website.
If you missed iOS 15.0.2 you'll also get its security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about it right here.
iOS 15.0 also brought numerous security patches to your iPhone. If you'll be moving up from iOS 14 and you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
Apple's updated its website with new information about iOS 15's batch of security patches. The company now says the software patched up an issue that could have exposed a user's private Apple ID information and in-app search history. It also says iOS 15 patched up an issue that allowed apps to override Privacy preferences.
If you skipped iOS 14.8 or any older versions of iOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 15.6.1 update as well.
In addition to those patches, iOS 15 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Siri. Requests made to Siri are now processed on the device itself using Neural Engine. This makes it more secure.
If you're an Apple Card user, you'll now get a security code that changes regularly to use when you make online transactions.
Apple's also included a built-in authenticator that's similar to Google Authenticator. This will let you generate verification codes for enhanced sign-in security under your Passwords.
There's also a Mail feature that hides your IP address.
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